Should I give products or services away for free?

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Here are my three golden rules for giving away freebies to win business! 

Rule number 1 – never give anything away for free if you aren’t going to use the freebie as part of your sales funnel.  Many people offer free product samples or a free consult but they never follow up, they hope the prospect will love the freebie so much that they will be compelled to buy.  Most of the time that is just not going to happen, you need to ask the customer to take the next step in your sales process.  If you are not asking the customer to take that next step you are missing out on a golden opportunity not just to step them closer to a sale but also to find out why they might not be interested in purchasing – if you don’t ask they will probably never tell you.

Rule number 2 – Always put a limit on what you are giving away for free – if its samples of a product then limit the volume, if it is your time then set a limit and stick to it no matter what.  If a customer requests more samples or more of your time then they need to pony up some cash.  Not setting limits is a great way to be taken advantage of.

Rule number 3 –make sure you always track the cost of giving away freebies – both time and product freebies have a cost to your business – you need to know exactly what that cost is and what the return in sales is – so if you give away five free consults how many of those became a client or if you send out 100 free samples, how many orders did you receive.  Not tracking your return on investment could result in you giving a whole lot of freebies away for nothing.

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