A couple of years ago, we got a call from an eager entrepreneur working on marketing plans for her soon-to-open gourmet popcorn shop. (Sidebar: Really, could there be a more perfect client for us?) She wanted to know if we knew of a good vendor for magnets. I was confused. Why magnets? Her rationale was that it was a great way to be memorable – giving attendees something to keep around with the brand name and number on it. I delicately suggested this was an awful idea on many levels. Instead, I offered another recommendation –Give It Away.
Whether you’re selling popcorn or professional services, sampling applies to you. Give your would-be customers a chance to experience you and your offering. Give them a taste of more than simply a description of what you sell. Let them truly understand how you’re different and why you’re worth the investment.
How this plays out depends on your business. For popcorn, the give away is obvious – whether at a community festival or in a retail shop, samples are easy and inexpensive. A little taste will certainly whet many buyers’ appetites. But giving it away for professional services doesn’t have to be complicated either. Consider a free 30-minute call that allows you to showcase your smarts and your perspective. Sure, you could be billing someone else for the time, but the half hour is an investment in future revenue.
When it comes to retail, it can be trickier, but by no means impossible. Consider partnering with your vendors to offer giveaways that incentivize new customers to come into the store. Once they’re there, make sure they have the experience you know they’ll come to appreciate as a regular customer.
None of these apply to you? Consider content – whitepapers, video tutorials or blog posts – to give your prospects an opportunity to understand how you think, why you’re worth it and the value you provide. Or get creative! The idea is to provide the opportunity experience YOU. How that looks is different for every business.
Why should your target market buy from you? Not just because you say so in your marketing materials. Give it away, sell more and then watch your sales soar.
This post origionally appeared on Popcorn & Ice Cream’s blog
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