Have you ever been strolling through a city and the Nuts4Nuts candy-coated peanut vendor offers you a free sampling of a couple peanuts? With just one bite, you’re hooked, and you go ahead and buy that $2 bag of warm nuts that, really, have a diminished value of flavor the more you eat. But after that first taste the memory of the smell of New York (or wherever you may be) keeps you coming back for more.
The other day my boyfriend and I were walking in our barrio in Barcelona and we passed a tiny hole-in-the-wall with a chalkboard that said “Claque, Tap Dance.” Now it’s been about 17 years since I even thought about tap dancing, but I stopped for a moment to look at a flier and this wildly dressed lady who calls herself Roxane Butterfly clacks on over and says, “Hey, we have a class tomorrow night at 8, if you just want to try it out.”
I replied that I wasn’t sure because I wouldn’t have time to buy shoes (AKA, I didn’t want to risk wasting money on $50 tap shoes.) She said, “Oh, I keep a closet of used tap shoes for anyone who needs them. Just come on over tomorrow.” I thought, “What the heck” and went over the next day.
The class was fun (but much harder than my tween self’s memory.) After class, while I was changing my shoes in her office-slash-changing room, she said, “OK for the next month, there are five weeks. Since it’s the end of the year, I’ll wave the 30-euro yearly fee, and, ohhh, how about I just charge you 50 for the next month, if you can pay now.” Oddly enough, I had the cash on me and paid. After, I realized what had happened. Without costing her any time or money (it was a group class), she gave me a sample of her service and then sold it to me without ever having to really ask me if I was even interested. She never droned on about the features and benefits of her tap classes, but instead she just bet on the service she provides and felt confident enough in them to assume I’d like them.
We at Quote Roller do the same thing. Our website isn’t designed to get you to pay for our SaaS right away (though you, of course, are welcome to,) but, rather, it’s designed to push you toward a free, no-credit-card-required, no-strings-attached, two-week trial. It shows that we believe in our product and that you’ll be hooked once you try it. It’s simpler to show than sell or to show then sell. Sampling can work for your business, too.
Why is sampling-to-sales so great? Well, it’s a LOT easier to convince someone to take an action when it’s free than to get them to commit some of their hard-earned dollar bills. And how excited do we get when we get something for free? Really, how often do you stop by the sample stand at the grocery store? And, as long as the food is yummy, how often do you impulse-buy what they just let you try? It’s not rocket science that people like free things. And if, like our SaaS, it costs you next to nothing to give them a taste, why don’t you?
What are other benefits to sampling, and how can we take advantage of them, you ask?
Someone that takes the time to try out your product or service is a pre-qualified lead. Whether you had to make an effort to reach out to them or they’ve reached out to you, people testing your product/service have an obvious interest in what you have to offer.
These qualified leads mean that you can more responsibly dedicate company resources to follow-up sales and marketing activities. It’s no longer a cold call — after sampling what you’ve got to offer, they are much more likely to answer your call, email or LinkedIn invite. As the trial period is going on, make sure to provide excellent service, making sure they know how to get the most out of what you have to offer, almost assuring that their sampling experience is a success.
Higher Conversion Rate
Kind of like a gummy bear dealer, you give one free and you’ve got ’em hooked! Human beings are opposed to change as a part of natural desire to survive — and we’re lazy to boot. Once your potential clients have learned how to use your service or have gotten used to your product, they are much more likely to stick with it. This is when you convert this lead into a sale.
Start by following up once the trial period is over. Ask for their opinions, any feedback they can give you — do anything to show that they matter to you. And then, Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale! Ask them, What could happen to make you sign with our company today? And then make it happen!
In this situation, timing is everything. You need to schedule follow-up activity within 48 hours of their sampling. Remember, humans are naturally forgetful, too, and you don’t want them to forget their wonderful taste of your company.
Let me ask you a question: Do you brag about how much you spent for something or do you brag about how cheap you got something for? We are beasts of bargains and we love to tell when we got something for free. This whole idea that we value something we’ve been given less than we’ve worked for is just hooey — we appreciate favors and deals even more. We appreciate it so much, in fact, that we brag to our friends about the price and then we start talking about the product or service itself.
No matter how much we rely on social media and website reviews, word-of-mouth is just as important as ever. Last year’s Nielsen ratings stated that “Nine out of ten consumers trust recommendations from friends more than any other form of marketing.” You just can’t get a better referral than a spoken one.
Just try it!
In the end, unless you’re selling diamonds, printer ink or Justin Timberlake, it’s probably worth a tiny investment to let a potential client take your product or service for a testdrive. Just don’t forget to ask for the sale afterward!
Want to see what a trial is like? Try Quote Roller for two weeks and start creating awesome business proposals today!
Note: We are no credit card required and you should be too. People are MUCH more likely to try something out when it’s really free and they have no fear of getting charged later.