Moving a Business Relationship from Free to Fee: Power of Freebies - Part 2


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In the last issue we looked at 5 reasons why giving stuff away is a great tactic for filling your pipeline.

Now let's take a look at the kind of things you may want to give.

What Kind Of F'reebie Should You Offer?

You should aim to offer something tantalising to spark the relationship but that doesn't necessarily mean giving something that costs you in a big way. You need to put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and ask, “What problem would I be grateful to have solved right now and without cost?". The more closely you can provide something that's a genuine solution to people who may need what you sell the more powerful your offer will be.

My particular favourite is a special electronic (low cost) report, guide or information pack. They're relatively easy to produce, can have a high perceived value and if delivered through a website you don't even have to pay to produce them. So you can deliver value, set yourself up as an expert and do it for a very small outlay once the initial investment in creating the content is done.

Sometimes it isn't practical or appropriate to offer f'ree information, so below I've tried to categorise a few of the more common ways to provide a f'reebie.

Note: It's a good idea to have your pipeline handy. You can get the pipeline here. . .

Different F'reebie categories. . .

* Information (on website, information pack, toolkit) It's valuable to your target, but if packaged correctly costs you nothing! The added benefit is they'll give a little more information to you if they really want it!

In order to get the f'ree information you request that they provide you with their contact details and permission to contact them with regards to their enquiry.

So, they get something useful for f'ree and we can begin a relationship with them. The MWR with this technique is to move them from “Stranger" to “Know Who You Are" plus it gets them to divulge some ‘needs’ information.

* Sample Service (consultation/training/coaching session) This costs you more than simply providing information but you can also move your target through the pipeline more quickly. You'll be using this freebie to move the target from ‘Stranger’ or ‘Know Who You Are’ to ‘Sampled Your Work’.

Coaches usually use this approach with varied results. I'd suggest making it clear up front, how much this would usually cost and also being choosy about who you allow to take advantage of your offer.

A self-selection type questionnaire, designed to screen out people who you don't want to work with or probably won't get the full benefit will help.

One client, a training firm, uses this approach to get into large organisations by providing a f'ree training masterclass with decision makers and a small group. Their MWR is that the company takes part in a consultation first (an opportunity to learn more and make the sample work. )

* Healthcheck Free evaluations and audits for IT, people or systems is a high risk approach to offering a f'reebie. We did this once by offering f'ree website evaluations. On the surface it seemed good. find people who aren't entirely happy with their website and then tell them how we can help them get it working. The reality was a lot of work to attract uninspired and desperate clients who weren't prepared to pay for a ‘proper’ job.

A healthcheck can be great if you want to be inundated with enquiries but you could end up being a busy, unpaid fool. Most of the enquiries we generated from our healthcheck were from desperate people. In our experience you don't want desperate clients but more on that later.

* Workshop/Seminar A f'ree (or low cost) workshop/seminar can be a fantastic freebie. You get the opportunity to work with a captive audience, let them sample your ability and create a close, personal relationship with you.

You'll convert many from ‘Stranger’ to ‘Sampled Your Work’ in one shot which is sometimes easier than doing a whole load of one to ones.

* Paid For - Low Cost Although not exactly a f'reebie, having introductory services or providing a low risk opportunity for prospects to sample you could be a good way to move the prospect on quickly from ‘Stranger’ to ‘Paid For Your Work’.

Some people will try to take advantage if you're not careful though so, be very clear that this is a special price and if possible put certain terms on your offer; for people who buy before a certain date or because it's a cut-down version of the full service.

* Bonus Incentive Something that's better than Paid For - Low Cost is the bonus. Basically, when somebody agrees to pay for your work they'll get an additional bonus: ie a f'ree report, book, bonus session, discount off future course etc.

* Newsletter/Regular Updates This is an example of something we call a Ping. Basically it's a way of sending information to someone to see if they're still listening and interested. When you get people to agree to receive f'ree information from you on a regular basis in return for their contact details you have permission to give them the occasional gentle nudge.

Our tips ezine has been going since 1997 and provides a great source of leads and prospects for our various business offers.

Delivering this by email, using a form on your website, will keep the cost to you low and provides genuine value to your potential customers.

Have Fun!

'Dangerous’ Debbie Jenkins

(c) Copyright 2005

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