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Now is the time to give it away

Bad economy marketing advice:

If people can’t pay for it, give it to them.

You don’t lose revenue when there is no revenue to get.

Start building a ton of goodwill. Make millions of friends.

They’ll be back, with their friends, when they have money to spend.

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  1. Thomas Lundqvist April 15, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    In my new book, Biological Sales – How you make the brain wanna buy, I have made a study with a fairly big company in Sweden, called Anticimex. The work with temperature control in restaurants etc. and has now a new great product witch save time. The problem is that the bad economy have made the restaurants reluctant to spend money. They tried to sell the product for some time but without succes. When I came in the picture they were ready to take the product out of the market. “Noboby wants to buy it”. My suggestion was to give the restaurants the product for free for some time (30 days) and then take it back if the didn´t want It for keep. The Company of course thought I was crazy. We can´t give away our products. But I just said if they can´t pay for it what´s point of selling it then? So I persuaded them to start out by giving away some products and the rest is like you Americans say, history. Of course every company wanted to pay for the product after the testperiod. Note that NO company returned the product after the free test period. A great example of TRY & BUY. People wants to pay if they now it is more than worth it is my conclusion of this small study.

  2. Kristen Isaacs April 16, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    This post was such a breath of fresh air. It seems like there are so many people vying for attention (and money) right now, and I feel like the people who are willing to invest in sincere relationships and goodwill will certainly reap the benefits when the economy picks back up.

  3. matt haines April 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    This concept needs a giant caveat emptor (or whatever “seller beware” is in latin…): those clients will be back later, expecting everything to still be free, unless you carefully structure your freebie to be logically time-limited. If you don’t manage “free” carefully, you simply lose customers to the competition when free becomes paid. Loyalty can be more myth than reality when it comes to money, and customers (if you can call them that, when it’s free) often get annoyed that their gravy train has been shut down, and will switch just on principle. If you use gmail and google started charging for it, would you pay? Or would you say “to heck with them, I’m going somewhere else, even if it costs me the same amount”? Too many people would in fact do that.

    I do agree with you that goodwill CAN be built up by giving stuff away, but only if done extremely carefully. Perhaps a future blog post about how to manage the free-to-pay expectations?

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