They say that the best customers are those you've had the longest. It's with the loyalty of these ambassadors that businesses really thrive.
But let's face it, loyalty is pretty hard-won. People are fickle (I know I am), and it takes something pretty special to keep them coming back to the same brands time and time again. Sometimes, that special something comes in the form of a freebie. There. I said it. I'm a sell-out.
But, let me cut to the chase:
'Free' is not synonymous with 'cheap'.
I say this not in reference to BOGOF offers and but-wait-there's-more!-style bargains (in these instances, maybe they're more synonymous than ever), but to something more... tasteful.
'Free' is only useful - i.e. not excessive, irrelevant, or wasteful - if it adds value to the life of a customer. For example,
- A free air freshener when you buy a car. Makes sense. My Morris Minor smells good. I want to keep it that way.
- A free trial for Netflix. Lovely stuff. I don't know if you've got any shows I like, so this'll give me a chance to take a look.
- A free set of Speedos with my swimming lessons. I'd only have to buy a pair anyway. Very valuable to me; not so to the other swimmers.
Anyway, you know a good freebie when you see one. The point I'm trying to make today is that your freebie doesn't have to be tangible. It only has to be useful.
Our consultations are always free. Not because we're devaluing ourselves (sorry to shame you guys, but like this), but because we know that people find them useful. We chatted with a lovely guy the other day, who popped in for one of these sessions. And look at this:
My illumination session with Bare Collective was very useful. Their feedback and insight into how I can improve my brand was eye-opening. Their honesty and transparency helped me to realise our potential while their quick-win pointers were very valuable. Their experience and knowledge is undeniable and having this session gave me further confidence and motivation.
This was not a sales meeting. This was not a paid-for service. What it did do was tackle a very specific challenge in this particular customer's universe at the moment, and give him some of the tools he needed to overcome them.
Now, I don't know if A.G. will come back - I'd certainly like it if he did - but that's not the point. By consistently offering real, considered usefulness and value, 'free' moves away from being the cheapo, last-chance-saloon option, and becomes a powerful tool in your sales arsenal. It's a conversion rate's best pal, and the secret to long-lasting relationships.
So fellow brands and businesses: don't be stingy! Generosity (of time, expertise, and for us, sometimes bananas) is what customers love the most.
Thanks for reading,
(Oh, and if you fancied a chat like our friend A.G. did, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org)