People do business with the people that they Know, Like, and Trust, so how do you get people to Know, Like, and Trust you faster? Simple remove the risk or as much risk as possible.
The fastest way to do this is by giving away a sample or two. Sampling seems easy enough if you’re candy bar or a cookie, that’s how Twix got me to try them out about 20 years ago–you give everyone who walks by a free sample. Once they’ve had a taste, they’ll be back to buy more. But what about situations where your product is too expensive to give away, or when what you sell is an intangible service?
Look for a way to let potential customers sample the experience. Give them a feel for what they will get when they buy from you.
One of my favorite sampling stories comes from a mattress retailer. They offered to place a brand new mattress in the customer’s home for 30 days. At the end of the sampling period, they would pay for the mattress, or the store would come and pick it up. How many people do you think were willing to go back to sleeping on their lumpy, saggy old mattress after spending 30 days (and nights!) on a brand new one? Not very many!
If you offer a service, give a sample of your knowledge. Present a free webinar or teleseminar, give away a booklet or CD, do a free consultation, etc. For example, a decorator could give a free design consultation. Or a sales trainer could give a class at a networking meeting demonstrating a closing technique. Give enough information to help potential customers see what can be achieved and demonstrate that you know your stuff, but not so much that they believe they can do it on their own and they don’t need you.
A good rule is to give away the what or the why and sell the how.
Make sure your samples are targeted to reach specific customers. There are people who will take anything, as long as it is free, and you do not want to waste time and money marketing to people who have no chance of becoming customers. Promote your offer using methods that are targeted to engage your preferred customers.