Published: July 27th, 2016; By: Judi Hughes
The concept of sampling as an effective marketing strategy has been around for a very long time.
In 1913, Frank O’Connor opened a Toronto-based candy business selling hand-made chocolates. He soon noticed that once people bought their chocolate and tried it they bought again and again. His challenge was acquainting consumers with his product in the first place. He had an idea. He stood in front of the store and gave away free samples of his product. He got people to taste the chocolate. His company was Laura Secord.
Why give your product away for free?
Why would you want to give away your product? You are in business to make money. Where is the strategy in giving it away? Here are some really good reasons:
- Allow qualified prospects to experience the work you do and increase the probability that they will buy.
- Eliminate the doubt and problematic questioning of “does this work”.
- Reflects the confidence that you have in your product and the value it can bring.
- Significantly tighten up your sales cycle and reduce the number of meetings required to move from prospect to client.
- Incorporate a collaborative, high value experience that brings trust and credibility more quickly.
- Prove you are the expert.
- Make the “money conversation” easier when the prospect has experienced the value you bring.
Do free value initiatives work?
As mentioned, product sampling has been around for a long time and is a proven marketing strategy. Here are some examples we all encounter every day:
- Perfume & Cosmetics – free samples in department stores, magazines and through social media and online campaigns.
- Food – arrive on a weekend and you can make a full meal of samples at Costco.
- Websites – free downloads, free webinars, free eBooks all are available to let you try the product or program.
- Arts & Culture – free tickets are available at the library in the hopes you will return or buy a membership.
- Coaching – free first session is expected to ensure a match.
- Software – free 30 day trials are the norm.
Five key factors of successful free value strategies:
Just because you are offering something for free does not mean everyone will buy. You will increase your closing ratio if you include the following factors when you implement this strategy:
- It is FREE. There is no exchange of money. Only an investment of time.
- It has a high perceived value that allows a true experience of what you offer.
- There is no obligation for the prospect to buy.
- You are making the offer to the right people; your target market.
- The offer is incorporated into your sales process and you have a clear opportunity for the prospect to buy from you at the end.
Free Value Strategies work when you develop the right offering to the right audience. Be sure to measure and manage the success of this strategy and be prepared to make small changes to bring your greater results.
What is your “taste the chocolate”?
How can qualified prospects sample your work? What is it you can offer to demonstrate the value of what you do and let people experience how you do it? Where can it fit in the sales cycle to help bring you more Ideal Clients? Give us a call if you want some ideas.
Sample the work we do
Are you ready to grow your business? Here are some ways you can experience the work we do:
- Learn about the core principle of growing a strong and sustainable business. Download our free ‘Plan for Success Handbook’.
- If you have hit some barriers, sign-up for our 7 week online learning program. Conquer the Seven Barriers to Business Growth™.
- Find out if you would benefit from a free, half-day Strategic Focus Vision Session™. Call Judi at 416-429-2415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us for our next Free Taste the Chocolate Workshop.