Admit it. Everyone loves free stuff. Who doesn’t? Whether you’re young or old, we all love getting something for FREE. There’s something about it that makes us all giddy. We’re proud to say, “Hey, I got this for free! I didn’t have to pay for it!”
As a business owner, let’s start by looking at this from a consumer’s standpoint.
A customer sees and encounters so many products, so many different choices in any different day. They’re faced with so many options. Which to choose? Most if not all give the same benefits.
A car takes you from point A to point B. A watch tells the time. Makeup enhances or conceals your skin. A mobile phone can be used to call or text.
So as a consumer, what goes on in my head when faced with so many choices in front of me?
Customers go through the buying decision process before making a purchase. They determine their need, desire or problem before beginning to find the solution to their issue.
Assuming they have already identified their need:
“I need a new car.”
“I need a new watch.”
“I need a new makeup foundation.”
“I need a new mobile phone.”
The next step is searching for information on the best or the closest to meet their budget as well. They ask their friends, family, colleagues, check social media pages, get whatever input they can to help them in their final decision.
In this stage, this is where your freebies and giveaways can step in and use to your advantage.
Picture the following scenarios when you can offer a customer your freebies and giveaways.
A customer walks into a car dealership, checks out the different models, and the sales staff offers him freebies if he purchases a particular vehicle.
A customer walks into a store looking for a new watch, and the sales staff offers another free watch or some free accessories.
A customer wanting to buy some new makeup walks up to the makeup counter. The sales staff offers some trial pack samples for her to try.
A customer wanting to purchase a new mobile phone and the sales staff offers some phone cases or batteries as freebies.
Chances are since your sales staff has something to offer the customer, the tendency is that they want to pay you back by making a purchase. This is what is called reciprocity. They may or may not feel pressured by this purchase, but it’s still a win-win situation for a business owner.
Freebies and giveaways don’t come cheap but can multiply a hundredfold if done correctly. Also, remember it not only works for new customers but existing ones as well. With your current customers, it can strengthen relationships with them. They would feel valued and essential to your business when you extend these items to them.
As a business owner, there is a lot to think about and not just the cost. The cost is only part of it and not the whole picture. You may have to spend up front, of course, but that’s a no-brainer. What you and your team need to think and focus on is the how, when, why, what, who, where of your strategy.
Here are some questions to think about and plan for. Mapping it out at the beginning will help you avoid unnecessary headaches and issues as well.
Now that we’ve talked about what should be done, here are some tips on what not to do.
Don’t offer too many options for your customers. Limit your freebies and giveaways to a few items so it would be easier for you and them. They can also get easily overwhelmed, and your business will strain under the added costs.
Don’t be too pushy even with freebies. Some salespeople are so eager to make a sale that they try to push their freebies down the customer’s throats. Train your staff to be pleasant and make the customer feel at ease.
Please don’t make it a hard-sell for your products. Be kind, helpful and friendly but not overly so, when the customer asks questions. Give them time to decide.
You might be thinking, what if you don’t have a physical store? Can freebies and giveaways still work?
Yes, they can. When a customer makes an online purchase, you can send them a sampler pack too. Some businesses set up trial packs for a customer to try at home at their convenience and send back those they didn’t choose.
In the end, what you want these freebies, giveaways, and gifts to come down to is profits for your business. It is a tried and tested marketing strategy for many business owners, just as long as it is planned correctly. It doesn’t even have to be a one-time offer; you can do it when the budget allows and when new products are to be launched. Make sure to track your success using these promotional giveaways and tailor them to your customer’s tastes and interests for a continuous and more profitable business relationship.