23 January 2007

Give away free stuff to build your business.


This is the “put your money where you mouth is principle” and whilst it might not work for all businesses it will work for most. If what you sell is as good as you say it is, be prepared to give potential customers a free trial or taste.

I recently worked a marketing campaign with a health studio and they wanted to promote personal training as it was a good source of revenue for the business. At the end of the day we could have advertised special introductory offers to get the people in but it was agreed that the best way to sell the service was to actually give potential customers a free personal training session. Now this was a big expense for the business but they felt that their service and the overall personal training that they offered was the best available so they put their money where their mouth was and it paid off incredibly well. They promoted to personal training sessions to their existing members as well as to the general public and they literally doubled their number of personal training clients in a very short amount of time.

This no risk, no commitment trial is a good option for customers. They can try a business without obligation and it is up to the business to sell themselves. If they don’t measure up, the customer can walk away.

I often recommend to my clients to try this technique when looking for ways to build their business and I have seen it work very successfully in businesses as diverse as restaurants, dance academies, training organizations, bakeries, filtered water, cleaning products and professional service based businesses. In my own business I offer a one hour free consultation. This provides potential clients with the opportunity to assess the advice offered by my firm. If they like what they hear they come back if they don’t we never see them again. Nine out of ten people come back and I put a lot of this high success rate to the fact that the client has the opportunity to make their own mind up in a non pressured way with a clear understanding of what my business can offer them.

If you think your business is as good as it can be, try embracing the concept of a free trial or free product and enjoy the results. Analyse what it will cost you to make this offer and monitor the results. You may be pleasantly surprised.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? Can you offer a free product or service as a trial to potential customers? Why not trial it with a few potential customers and see how it works before you mass market the idea? You may want to keep this option as a clincher when it comes to closing a deal.

6 thoughts on “Give away free stuff to build your business.”

  1. Matt says:

    Hi Andrew

    Give away free stuff to build my business? Ok! Do you want a free tailored shirt?

    I’m setting up a business to sell custom tailored shirts. Starting up in February.

    If you want a free one drop me an email (matthew at newtoninfomedia.com) before close of business Tuesday and I’ll include you in the customer trial – which I had going even before I saw this:

    ‘Why not trial it with a few potential customers and see how it works before you mass market the idea? ‘

    You should be proud of me.


  2. Matt says:

    NB. This is for the upcoming website http://www.newtonclothiers.com

  3. Hi Matt – I am proud of you. Keep me in the loop with how it goes for you. Good on you for putting your money where you mouth is in terms of offering some free product. Where will you business be located? Cheers, AG

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks for the comments, will do.

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