Before I left the corporate world it was my responsibility to trek up to Washington, D.C. and bring home large contracts that would give my staff of 52 people something to do – money that would pay their salaries and mine. If I didn't bring home the bacon, I had no budget and had to lay staff off. Needless to say, the pressure to do well in selling our services was very high. I can't tell you the number of times I caught the 5:30 AM flight up to D.C., met with potential clients all day long, had lunch and dinner with existing clients, and flew home on the 11:00 PM flight. Exhausting, but that's the way it was done.
In the years I spent selling services to government clients, I learned a thing or two. One of the most obvious was that no one would respect you, your team, or the work you did if you tried to give it away for free. Yet I see small business owners offer free samples of their work (free massages, free consultations, free samples of baked goods). Do people take the free samples? Yes, they do! But does that translate into top of mind awareness about your business so that next time they need a baked good they come looking for you? No, it does not!
Free and “too cheap” are not good ways to increase your sales and make more money. I learned the hard way that pricing your services too low creates suspicion in a savvy buyer. Once when I was on one of those D.C. marketing trips I proposed doing a piece of research for a new client and took a little off the price, hoping to hook him. The first words out of his mouth were “You can't properly do this research for that money, this shows me you are not expert at what you do.” And he went with another research firm at $100,000 more than I had proposed. You can bet I didn't make that mistake again!
Don't teach people to wait until you offer special deals, sales, or free tastes – you are teaching a bad habit and you are not respecting your own time and work. If you don't respect your expertise and your time, no one else will, either. Research has shown that using the word “free” doesn't engage prospects. Freeloaders are just that – they are after stuff that doesn't cost them a thing. Freeloaders will never become your ideal client or customer.
Instead of using the word “free” in your marketing, use the word “new.” Prospects will respond to “new.” They will also respond to something that adds value – so try adding something into what you propose to do for them instead of throwing free stuff at them. You will increase your sales and make more money.
If you'd like to know more about creating a mindset and systems that give you ease and less worry over money, join me on April 10th for “The ABC's of Money Maturity – How to Decrease Your Worries, Feel Less Guilt, and Change Your Feelings About Your Financies.” You can go to this link to get your ticket, and you'll immediately receive a self-assessment with a worksheet that will help, too.