Give Your Customers Something for Nothing
marketplace is about building relationships and learning how you can
spend your resources wisely so those who are predisposed to buying
your products and services step forward. Unfortunately, many
companies are still following outdated mass marketing techniques
where they approach everyone with their offer with the hopes of
landing a few sales. As such, too many businesses spend too much
money on marketing because they’re bombarding people with ads and
offers—and getting mediocre results at best.
consumers feel buried under all the sales information hitting them
every day, they don’t trust companies and people who are blatantly
trying to sell them something. That’s why if you want to compete and
win in today’s business arena, you need to “give it away” in order
to attract long-term customers—that is, give away something of value
The focus on
“give it away” is on the pre-selling, meaning that you make the
prospect predisposed to your product or service. The goal is simply
to get prospects familiar with what you have to offer. By doing so
the sales will come, although not always right away. Remember that
customers willingly spend a lot of money buying from people and
companies they know, like, and trust. Since many companies offer
similar services or products, the winners will be the companies with
the best relationship, credibility, and rapport with the
marketplace. Competing on price alone is a road straight
decide to give something away, consider the following suggestions so
you can use this marketing strategy wisely.
Define your target audience: To attract new customers, you
need to focus on a target market and find new ways to reach them
directly. Such an approach will cost you less than traditional
marketing, because you’re focusing only on the people who are
predisposed to your product or service. Additionally, no company can
serve “everyone.” Even large multi-billion dollar companies who
market products that are seemingly for everyone (soda, sneakers,
snack foods, etc.) have a defined target market. They know and
follow the old Pareto principle that states 80 percent of your
revenue will come from 20 percent of your customer base. Therefore,
you want to focus on that 20 percent and cater to their needs.
“Who do we want to serve?” You can narrow down your audience many
different ways: age, gender, family status, personal or professional
interests, previous similar purchases, geographic location, etc.
There’s no one correct way to define your target audience. Your job
is to analyze what you do and whom you could help the most, and then
narrow that audience down to a clearly defined niche.
Identify your target market’s biggest pain: Once you identify
the target market you want to serve, the next step is to figure out
this group’s biggest pain or need. What are the concerns of your
target audience? What issues keep them up at night? What information
or services or products would they pay big money for? If you’re
selling business to business, what is the biggest pain of your
this information, you need to think like your potential customers.
Get in their shoes. Do what they do on a regular basis. You could
also interview them or ask them to participate in a survey.
Additionally, talk with your sales department and find out what
concerns prospects routinely mention. Take the time to understand
your potential customers, what motivates them, and what drives them
to make a purchase decision.
prospects are never interested in you. They only care about what you
can do for them. When they see that you can meet their needs, they
will seek you out and do business with you, without you having to
Define a product, service, or activity you could give away:
When you decide what to give away, you need to stretch and extend
yourself. What can you offer that will be of real value to your
target audience? Realize that this does not mean your give-away must
be expensive. It simply has to have a high perceived value to your
target audience. For example, a CPA could do a free seminar on the
new tax law changes and how they affect the target audience. A real
estate agent could give home sellers in their target audience a
how-to book or report on home staging techniques. A dentist could
offer a free teeth whitening procedure to new clients. In each of
these examples, the offering has a high perceived value to the
customer but is actually low cost for the business to implement.
A few more
examples of things you could give away include:
informational DVD, report, or e-book
complementary product or service that will make things easier
for your target audience
Be aware that
whatever you decide to give away must be relevant to the target
audience and must address their pain. The worst thing you could do
is give a “pretend” offer, such as a seminar or report that is
really nothing but a sales pitch, a coupon for free or discounted
products/services with lots of fine print restrictions and
conditions, or a useless and cheaply made gizmo or gadget (don’t you
have enough promotional magnets and key chains already?). Your
prospects will immediately see through any tricks or deception and
will avoid you as a result.
The goal is to
let your prospects experience what you have to offer so you can
prove to them that you are worthy of their trust…and their wallet.
When you genuinely help your prospects fulfill some need or
eliminate some pain, you will build a strong relationship with them
that is based on respect and value. By keeping your focus on a
customer’s lifetime value rather than the one-time quick sale, you
will grow your customer base and be very profitable.
Give Today –
As you go
through this process, always remember that your prospects and
customer are smart; they don’t want to be fooled. Therefore, don’t
burry them in junk mail, bad offers, trick offers, or bad quality.
Additionally, your prospects want to make their own decisions, not
be chased by desperate salespeople. So if your focus is strictly on
the commission or the prospect’s wallet, you won’t get vary far. You
need to have a genuine desire to help people solve their problems.
Also keep in
mind that your prospects and customers have a circle of influence.
Therefore, give them a good reason to bring their friends and family
to you. Happy customers will tell others about you, and those
referrals can quickly add up and impact your bottom line.
So be the
supplier of tomorrow’s customer. Focus on the long-term relationship
of mutual trust, and always give more than expected (more service,
more content, more value). Doing so will cost a lot less than
traditional marketing activities, and it will increase your
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