Jim Logan has some great tips for making some marketing hay with free offers. He gives several examples of businesses that have succeeded by giving things away to customers for free. Here are my favorites:
- A few consumer electronics companies are letting customers take big screen TVs home for a free 30 day trail, you don’t pay a single cent until the 30 days are over. Delivery and pick-up, if you decide to return the TV, are free. Returns are almost non-existent.
- A lawn service business cut my grass and cleaned my yard free for one month, before we signed a contract for services. Every week they showed up on time, worked like dogs, and had the place looking and staying beautiful. I signed an agreement at the end of the free service.
- I was told of a donut shop that gives away donut holes, a dozen free, seven days a week. They report having seen their overall donut sales more than double. The donut holes are a marketing expense.
- Our carpet cleaner routinely offers to clean one room free, of any size, for new customers. Without obligation to purchase anything, they clean a room and say “Thanks for trying our service. Let us know if we can do anything for you in the future.” The guys told me they almost always are asked to clean additional rooms and are usually called back in 6 months.
The best tip is Jim’s own:
In my own business, I routinely structure consulting projects around defined phases, with payment following completion of the fist phase. It the client doesn’t want to complete the project after the first phase, they don’t pay and we end the engagement. In three years of doing business this way, I haven’t had one client stop a project of fail to pay.
If you are a lawyer and want to set yourself apart, you’d be wise to try Jim’s model with one of your new clients.