Looking to boost your sales? Harness the power of free samples!
You may think that giving a bit of your product or service for free is a waste of your marketing budget, but I beg to differ. If you’re selling something that is of value, and you know your target market would fall in love once they’ve tried it, then what are you waiting for? Give them a little taste, and let them know how they can buy more.
Case in point: Yesterday I attended the 13th Annual Austin Home and Garden Show. Amid the usual array of home repair, remodeling, and interior decorating companies, there was a special “Go Texan” section of local food and product vendors, many of which were handing out freebies. One business in particular was letting people sample all of their jams, jellies, and sauces, and as a result, the products were selling like hotcakes! All around their booth they had little jars with spoons, each with a different flavor jam or sauce, and they were using tongs to drop crackers into customers’ hands for sampling. Customers decided which flavors to try, and workers happily passed out more crackers until each customer had sampled all they wanted. Throughout the process, they were informed that one jar would cost $6, but they could have a box of any six items of their choice for $30 ($5 each).
It shouldn’t surprise you that I went home with a box of four jellies, one barbecue sauce, and one salsa! What did I tell you, free samples work! If they hadn’t been giving samples I might have still bought one or two items, but without knowing what the product tasted like, buying six would have been too risky.
Moral of the story: offer free samples, and at the very least your potential customers will feel obligated to purchase some, and at best they will fall in love with your product and keep coming back for more. Bonus if you offer them a special coupon or package price to sweeten the deal.
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About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!