Business and marketing coaches often give small and medium business owners one recommendation: in order to attract new customers, you need to offer them something free, something they will be hard to give up. And initially this is really the right advice.
Free first step perfectly removes the objection, can significantly increase conversion, allows you to warm up the "cold" audience and cause her confidence. Particularly successful examples also create a viral effect. By the way, the first step may not be free, but simply very cheap, that is, risk-free for the client.
However, training usually comes down to the fact that the speaker offers several outstanding examples of the world and makes the call in the style of "And do you think of something like that!". And how to think, where to look for examples, how to make cool - no one knows.
In this article I will give 14 working methods to attract new customers, which you can implement the next day after reading. Just try on every example in your business and think about the form in which this option can be implemented.
Immediately I will clarify that these tips are relevant primarily for attracting customers to a small business, and have nothing to do with infobusiness, car loggers and email newsletters.
- Idea number 1 - rent a product for the test
- Idea number 2: donate just one step!
- Idea number 3 - trial period
- Idea number 4 - help to look into the future!
- Process involvement
- Idea number 5 - games
- Idea number 6 - the opportunity to win something
- Idea number 7 - participation in production
- Idea number 8 - access to the "holy of holies"
- Idea number 9 - audit
- Idea number 10 - master class
- Idea # 11 - Consultation
- Free goods or services
- Idea number 12 - product-locomotive
- Idea number 13 - limited version (freemium)
- Idea number 14 - making money for a different audience
Test drives and its types
It seemed that this is the most trivial example, if we talk about simple and understandable products - fitting clothes and a test drive of a car have long been bothered. But do not rush to skip this item - just below I will tell you how to implement it on the example of goods and services that are difficult to test.
Idea number 1 - rent a product for the test
Everything is simple with everyday goods - to offer a tasting in one form or another, depending on the purpose of the product. Cosmetics - apply, products - try, equipment - use.
But there are goods, the effect of which is not immediately clear. For example, the furniture may not be suitable for the interior, the bike will be inconvenient after some time - in this case, the test drive will be a longer rental.Offer your customers to take goods for a while.
It may even make sense to make the rent paid. As an alternative to the purchase, if the buyer is very doubtful and close to completely refuse.
This idea came when I wanted to buy a country house. I have already begun to look at the earth, to study sentences. And then I thought - what if it would be uncomfortable for me to live outside the city? And instead of buying decided to rent. As a result, after a few months, I realized that the idea was not the most successful, and moved to an apartment in the city.
Yes, in this case, the rent did not lead me to purchase, but the chance was definitely.
Now I always try to rent an item before I buy it. Similarly, I decided not to buy a scooter, but decided to buy a cedar barrel home. (Of course, the rent must be executed legally, with collateral, or under supervision, to eliminate the risk of damage).
Idea number 2: donate just one step!
This option works fine in cases where the service consists of a large number of steps. You can offer to make some of them for free, and not necessarily the first.
When I was writing a book, the editor suggested that I edit one page for free. In the end, I decided to work with her, although her services were 2 times more expensive than most other options. I encountered a similar offer when I was ordered an advertisement for an English-speaking audience, and I had to translate the contract - I was made one page as a presentation.
In repair, they often offer a measurer's departure free of charge - but this has already stopped. In the cleaning, you can only clean the corridor for free, and then offer a full cleaning. So why not offer to make a mini-repair in any one corner, just to show that the hands from that place are growing? I heard that some workers are doing this, but, unfortunately, I did not come across this.
If you decide to use this method, keep in mind one thing. It makes no sense to offer to cut half a head, drill holes in the wall under your picture and offer other irreversible options. It is important that for the client this step was simply a kind of analogue test drive, which does not oblige to anything.
If you have a service, put it into all possible steps and think about which one you can offer for free.
Idea number 3 - trial period
This option works fine in cases where a person pays for the time of using the service - various online services, home Internet, IT services and other types of subscriber business. As you have probably guessed, a trial period will be a test drive here. Moreover, it can be expressed both in time (the first week is free) and in money (we give 1000 rubles for a deposit). Use, evaluate and decide whether you are ready to pay for it all the time.If the product is really high-quality, it allows you to save money or time, greatly simplifies life - it will be difficult then to refuse it.
So I once moved from a car by taxi (I received 3 free trips and realized that for me it was much more convenient). No wonder aggregators such as Yandex.Taxi, Get.Taxi and Uber send generous promotional codes if you have not used their service for a long time.
Idea number 4 - help to look into the future!
It is difficult to test a service that implies some kind of result after a while. How to make a test-drive interior design, for example, or a new hairstyle? How will the costume look after sewing? It is difficult to try on a suit that is not there, or to offer you half a head.
Modern technology allows us to look into the future. Photoshop, 3D modeling, 3D printing allow us to visualize what will be ready only after some time. There are programs that can even predict how you will look in old age.
Many editors are available online, there are a large number of applications. Some will have to be made to order. In most cases, freelancer can do simple work in Photoshop.This method not only removes objections, but also allows you to immediately anticipate possible difficulties and find more interesting solutions.
By the way, a portfolio is also one of the first known ways to look into the future.
Unfortunately, not always the product can be tested. Behavioral marketers say that the client must be involved, cause emotions in him, create a user experience that he does not have yet. Various interactions are very helpful. Production tours, quests, games, competitions, flash mobs and festivals are what leading world brands such as Nike or Red Bull often use. However, the same can be applied in small business.
Idea number 5 - games
Everyone loves to play, and if the game is offered free of charge and intriguing, no one will refuse it. Through games, you can create a user experience and bring some non-obvious benefits. The main thing that the game was associated with your final product.
So, I have a client - the owner of an elite perfume boutique in St. Petersburg. The boutique offers home fragrances that evoke a certain mood. (For example, there are flavors that "turn on" a working attitude). We came up with an interesting game for buyers. The fact is that different smells cause different associations, and perfumers have long studied them. The idea was that the presenter would tie the participant's eyes, give this or that smell to the sample and suggest to touch one of the offered items (glass, wood, etc.) by touch. As a result, the leader managed to "guess" in advance what exactly the client would choose. It looks like a card trick, but you must admit, it’s not at all so beaten up, and most importantly, it perfectly conveys the properties of smells to influence mood. The game was tested at several events, and it aroused great interest.
In the bookstore you can offer divination by pages and lines in the book. Gaining popularity quests and virtual reality. For example, one St. Petersburg network of fitness clubs once a year conducts a quest around the city, scatters tasks at each club, and offers winners generous prizes.Games sell the idea of buying, remove skepticism, so they can be combined with a simple test drive.
Once I was at a latex factory in Thailand. There I was offered to lie on an orthopedic mattress. At the moment when I went to bed, the whole group for some reason laughed. It turned out that I was secretly placed a handle under my back, but I didn’t even feel it - in this way the sellers cheered everyone and clearly demonstrated the orthopedic qualities of the mattress.
Idea number 6 - the opportunity to win something
Most people are reckless. And, if the games simply intrigue and involve, then betting is also a competitive effect, drive, adrenaline.
The quest from the fitness clubs from the previous item is a combination of the game itself with interesting tasks and the excitement of competitions with other participants for the main prize.
There are interesting examples of betting between the seller and the client, when in case of loss the client agreed to the presentation of the product, and in case of winning received a good discount for him. And it was absolutely unimportant whether he would win or not - the very fact of such a game, the excitement already created a lot of trust.
This also includes the lottery - give a person a chance to win just by twisting the drum!
An important point - we are talking about free entry points. "Collect 5 caps and 100 stickers, and get a chance ..." - also interesting, but a little from another opera. I propose to give a person the opportunity to win something without an obligation to buy anything for it.
Idea number 7 - participation in production
Some companies offer as one of their services ... participation in the production of goods, which you then buy. Why not do it for free?
A great example is the painting of dishes. You choose a “bare” plate, and you decorate it to your taste - you will be given all the necessary tools for this. How then not to buy it? Think about how a customer can take part in the production process and make a contribution. As in the case with steps, put the production on the shelves, and you will surely find an interesting and safe stage. As an option, you can even offer to work one day as an employee if the position is interesting, but not very responsible. The main thing is that it is really intriguing, and did not look like "do it yourself." Therefore, it works harder with the services - imagine a cleaner who playfully offers you to wipe a couple of shelves by yourself.
Idea number 8 - access to the "holy of holies"
Of course, it is harder to come up with such an interactive in strict subjects, for example, in construction. (Although there you can find tours of construction sites and objects.)
In such cases, you can give access to where usually do not let anyone. Any business has its own closed areas - offices, meetings, production processes, quality control. It would seem that there is nothing interesting in them, but the forbidden fruit is sweet, and curiosity takes up. Invite the client to your office, show how the business is arranged, how decisions are made. If possible, let him attend the meeting.
If you have your own production - arrange a tour on it, it is always interesting! The trip to the ice cream factory was one of the most vivid impressions of my childhood, and I still look for products from this factory on the shelves. And one of our clients, who produce advertising signs, was thus able to show potential customers their quality control. (By the way, for this purpose he strengthened it, so the side benefit was also obtained).If you have an order everywhere, then this method will significantly increase the confidence of your potential customers. Of course, this idea will not work in a restaurant where cockroaches run in the kitchen.
If you do not have a production or office, which would not be ashamed to show, there are alternative options. For example, access can be given virtually, and not only physically. One company that sold the smart home system installed cameras in its office, and brought the live broadcast to its website. This allowed her to satisfy customers' curiosity and show the capabilities of her system.
By the way, except for premises, there may be documents, events, some separate processes (shooting of advertising).
So, once I communicated with one entrepreneur, and just as part of the exchange of experience I showed him some of my internal documents, including very unusual charter company. After that, he turned to me for services, because he liked my approach. Although, within the framework of that communication, even in my thoughts, I didn’t have him to sell.
This unit is very interesting, because, teaching the client, we kill three birds with one stone. First, we give him valuable knowledge, show our approach, become authorities in his eyes, create trust. Secondly, we “insulate” the client and push them to the idea of buying: in the process of learning, “sleeping” needs are revealed, which he could not even guess about earlier. Thirdly, we learn the personal needs of the person and give him a personal solution. This method works great in topics in which an individual approach is important. It will also work well in newer niches.
Idea number 9 - audit
Often, people do not even suspect that everything is bad for them, because they do not know how it is good. An analysis of the situation brings out problems that sometimes have been hanging for more than one year. This idea came from medicine, where the diagnosis is established by the results of tests and diagnostics. In addition, advertising agencies very often use it - we will see your ad, say what’s wrong with it, and offer a good option.
The analysis of the person works very well. It is not without reason that astrologers and fortune-tellers flourish in the 21st century, because they fulfill one of the most desirable human needs - to listen about themselves. In humans, one can measure physical data, psycho-types, find out one’s lifestyle and its goals, even analyze its handwriting and propose a personal solution based on the data. So, I have a familiar stylist, who, before creating an image, analyzes the person in the most detailed way. Due to this, complete harmony is created between the internal state and appearance.
In addition, the situation or situation can be analyzed. Ed Khalilov, a famous survival coach in Russia, conducts a safety audit of a personal car or apartment; electricians are studying the correctness of the wiring in the apartment and its fire safety; fighters with cockroaches are studying the likelihood of cockroaches in the apartment.
Think about what tests will be interesting for a person and informative for you, and prescribe a treatment!
Idea number 10 - master class
Some products and services are classified as "hotelok", so their purchase is constantly delayed. Others seem to customers too complex or do not inspire confidence (for example, in China for a long time did not want to change from horses to cars). To push a person to purchase such goods, hold a master class. On it you can show all the advantages of your product / service and transfer them to a higher position in the priorities of the person. In addition, the workshops are likely to spontaneous purchases.
For example, at one time I began by selling hookahs and inviting potential clients to training in their preparation in order to build a client base.
Many restaurants hold cooking classes. I heard about the courses on finance, which offered brokerage services, and pet care, where new feeds were sold. Think about what you can teach your potential customers, and organize a master class for them. (Not necessarily yourself - for this you can find the artist).
Idea # 11 - Consultation
Many stores make the same mistake - they sell goods and absolutely do not focus on their services. When everyone has the same product, it makes no sense to talk about what this product is wonderful - in this case, people read the description from you, and buy where it is cheaper.Retail is primarily a service of convenient delivery of goods from the manufacturer to the buyer. “Delivery” includes not only the delivery itself, but also quality control, selection assistance, training in use and much more.
Let's stop on a choice. It is no secret that too many choices complicate decision making. As a result, many simply refuse to purchase. But why not help a person with this? To consult him, ask your questions, answer him. Here both audits and training are combined. With the help of a consultation, you can show your competence, involve a person, help him. Aerobatics - to dissuade him from buying. Если сделать это правильно, сказав "тебе лучше пока не покупать, попробуй вот такое решение", то вы получите бесплатного торгового представителя, который расскажет о вас всем, и при случае все равно сделает у вас покупку. Ведь на фоне всеобщего впаривания это выглядит очень красиво, доверие взлетает до небес и граничит с фанатизмом.
Лучшие торговцы на продуктовом рынке - те, что отговаривают вас. Remember - if the seller quietly tells you "do not take this meat, it is yesterday’s, look at this and that better", all others against him appear to be deceivers, and you no longer want to deal with them, even if their prices are much lower.
Look for the hidden needs of the audience, teach them something, and they will become your eternal customers.
Free goods or services
Idea number 12 - product-locomotive
Many people know the strategy of the locomotive goods, when in supermarkets a very low price is set for any popular goods. This price attracts buyers, and they, of course, are picking up full carts of other goods that are already sold at the regular price.
But rarely someone makes the locomotive free. Although this makes sense when it is very difficult to leave you empty-handed.
For example, I have already talked about cooking classes in restaurants. This allows you to create trust, but not only. After the master class, you will surely want to eat, and you should not go far for it.
Some shops offer free tea in the winter. You go to the store to warm up, drink a cup of hot tea, and your eyes scatter along the shelves.In this case, something free is just a reason to come to you.
If you have a high conversion from store visitors to buyers (that is, the main thing is that a person just comes in), then the locomotive is an excellent solution.
Idea number 13 - limited version (freemium)
This option can often be found on various services on the Internet. For a large circle of people, these services are free, but those who need advanced functionality will have to pay. In this case, a small number of customers finance the entire content of the service. No need to go far - bulletin boards are a vivid example.
But such examples are possible not only on the Internet. For example, free museums earn on guides and audio guides, skating rinks make their profit by renting skates.That is, in fact, the main goal is free, but related products are not.
Think about the meaning of your product, and what kind of related products may be related to it.
Idea number 14 - making money for a different audience
It happens that some people are willing to pay for the presence of others.
For example, in advertising. Gather a large number of people in one place for free, and earn sponsorship contracts. The main thing is to find a pretext for people - flash mobs, master classes, cinema, museums, sporting events.
But the case is not limited to sponsorship. Many contextual advertising agencies provide free customization services, receiving a commission from Yandex (I do not welcome this method, as it often leads to a conflict of interest between the agency and the client, but the example is significant).
In addition, in some cases, you can earn on by-products, waste production. For example, free of charge to do the harvesting of a plot in the fall, collecting fallen and rotten apples, and processing them into fertilizers; or even just mow a lawn, then sell hay or feed your animals. According to this principle, those who take out large-scale garbage and collect scrap metal act, and pay extra for it.Think maybe someone really wants to get rid of what you need?
So, we have dismantled 14 ways to offer customers something for free, and without obligation for them.
If you are a business owner, try on each of them - you will surely find some interesting ideas. It remains only to calculate the economy of such involvement, and if this is not a deliberately unprofitable option, test it in practice. But even if it seems to be unprofitable to you, it still makes sense to try it, because perhaps in this way you will significantly increase the influx of customers, increase conversion into sales, and pay off all investments. In addition, such actions often have a strong viral effect. You can try first on existing customers - firstly, this is the way to reanimate them and raise repeat sales, secondly, they will have less resistance, but more honest feedback.The main thing is to say so - we are testing, your opinion is important to us.
It is important to consider one feature, without which all these actions have no meaning. A good free step alone does not guarantee a sale, although it simplifies it. An important role is played by trained sales managers. Moreover, the sellers must be everyone who somehow contacts with customers all this time. If you do not sell, fail to purchase, "close" - you will be told many thanks, and leave empty-handed. Although, even in this case, a viral effect may play for you.
If you are a marketer, save yourself this article as a cheat sheet, and with each new client reread it in search of interesting solutions.