Friday, December 22, 2006

Making Your Free Offer More Appealing

Before the year is out and I go on break for the next week, I wanted to give my final report on the Business Basecamp 2006 Tele-seminar series. In all, it was very informative with the exception of a few less than informative seminars. It really got the wheels turning in my brain about how I approach both my own consulting business and the Treasure Valley Consultants' Network organization. I've got a lot of new ideas that I want to put in to action starting in 2007 and you should see some of those very soon. Hopefully we can work on those together for our mutual benefit.

Out of the last few seminars, I discovered a nice Tipping Point for consultants who have free offers of services or consultation that are used to entice customers and convert them into paying clients. I have that on my own website, but I'll be honest and tell you that no one has taken me up on my offer. Why is that? Think about the word free. When I think of that word two things come to mind:

It must not be worth much if you are giving it away for free.
Whatever it is, it won't be much.

In other words, when we use the word free we tend to cheapen and de-value our overall service offering or our products. Coaching expert, Christian Mickelson, offered three tips in his seminar to help you convert interested parties into paying clients.
  1. Give your offer a name. Don't call it "free offer", "free session", etc. For example, I'm thinking of calling my free offer "Usability Breakthrough Session". I know it's cheesed, but it's a working title.
  2. List out objectives or benefits a customer would receive after completing your session.
  3. Have a time limit and a deadline. For example, have customers sign up by a certain date for a 30 minute session that must be completed by another date.
Don't get me wrong, as consultants we should have the free offer. However, we should have it work for us and not against us. Think back to a previous post I did on having a succession of products and services that leads us to what we ultimately want - one-on-one coaching / consulting that can lead to higher fees.

Happy Holidays! See you in 2007.

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