Oh my gosh! I can not tell you how much good a waiting list has done for my business! There is so much good it can do its hard to know where to start.
Waiting lists keep you from relying on them.
It keeps you from having rely on THEIR memory to call you back. Life gets busy and they forget. However, when we have their contact information the ball is in our court to make the move when we have something available. We have a much better idea of who is serious and who is not.
You are in demand
When people hear you have a waiting list it triggers them to think ” this person must be popular if they have people waiting to buy from them”.
Waiting lists keep your brain free and business flowing.
It helps you know how much business you have in reserve. For example, if you sell livestock you know how many offspring you need to meet your customer’s needs. (Read this post for more on planning your breeding season.) If you hand make your product you know how many hours of work you have ahead of you. In which case you can decide to stop taking work till you are able to catch up. Or you can just inform your customers how far out you are booked.
Having them on your waiting list develops loyalty.
When people know that they are on your waiting list they are far less likely to just buy from someone else when they are scrolling the pages of Craigs List. When they have a spot on your list they are more respectful of your time and effort.
To keep from losing people do an occasional check in with them If they are wanting an animal to send an email when you do the breeding then again when the babies are born to keep the anticipation going. If you are making a product let them know when you have started the project and send a photo so they can see how it is coming along. It also keeps you from getting in over your head and have more “orders” then you can deliver.