I would like to introduce you to a concept that is extremely valuable in marketing your company. It is a phenomenal tool to demonstrate your unique experience, and it’s a fast growth tool because it makes it easy for a maximum number of people to “sample” your service.
It’s called “The Free Trial Offer.” This concept gives your prime tar- get market the opportunity to experience your product or service before purchasing it. In the best case, it is an actual sample of the product or service. For example, Chick-fil-A began to offer a free trial in the malls. Now everyone does it. If you own a residential cleaning business, you would clean a room for free. If you have a golf club, offer a free round of golf to attract new prospects.
Did you know that Lexus has a free trial offer? When you go to the Lexus dealership and express interest in a car, they encourage you to take it home for the weekend. If you say, “I’m not sure I can get it back in time,” they say “Don’t worry! Bring it back when you can.” You may say, “We’ll I’ve got to go out of town this week.” “Don’t worry, we’ll fill it up with gas. Take the car on the trip with you,” they say.
What’s happening here? They want you to take that car home with you because once you “experience” how it drives, you are going to want to keep it! And when you see how it looks in your driveway, now you really fall in love with it. But the kicker is when your neighbors come over and begin to ooh and ahh over it—there is no way that car is going back! Especially if you’re a male! You know how that male ego is!
Zig Ziglar called that the “puppy dog” close. You know how it is when you bring a cute little puppy home. You fall in love with it and that little dude ain’t going nowhere!
You might offer a free consultation, a free report, a free CD, video, webinars, or a free newsletter that offers tips and solutions to your prime target market’s biggest frustrations and insights into helping them fulfill their biggest desires.
Make your free trial offer as impactful as possible. You want it to be informative, emotional, and you want it to get them to buy without pressure. This is a wonderful way for them to experience your product or service in action.
Instead of trying to take someone from suspect (someone who may or may not be a good prospect) straight to paying customer, the free trial offer takes them from suspect to prospect and allows you to do a very important thing—collect their contact information! Now you’re in control of the follow up, not them. Plus, they have “raised their hand” for more information so to speak. They are telling you, “Hey, I’m a prospect! I’m interested!” All too often, prospects are skeptical and they want to “check you out.” The free trial is the perfect way for them to get to know, like, and trust you.
What if people take advantage of your free trial? What if you have a free trial offer and it costs you money to provide the free product or service, or if there is a cost in delivering or installing the product? If you are a restaurant, a free meal costs money. How do you know if they will come back? You don’t. But your goal is to create so many more clients as a result of your free trial that even if you get a few “freebies” who take advantage, you are still making more money.
Special note: Don’t confuse the concept of the free trial with a dis- count! This is a completely different concept. A discount is “conditional” and causes prospects to respond to get a “deal.” They still have to buy. The concept of a free trial offer is different because it allows them to experience you without risk.