Marketing Products and Services with Samples

by | Jun 8, 2009 | Marketing & Selling

Providing a sample of your product can be much easier than providing a sample of your service. For example:

  • An auto dealer offers a test drive.
  • An ice cream shop offers a taste.
  • A computer store lets you play with computers on display.
  • A pet shop lets you visit with the animals.
  • A book store lets you browse and even read the books.

But how do you offer samples when what you are providing is a service that requires the time and expertise of a service provider? How do you let prospects “sample your wares” without taking away the time you need to serve paying clients? Here are some suggestions:

Gather testimonials and case studies
These are especially important for service professionals because it not only provides social proof (which a product will need, too), but offers a way for prospects to vicariously experience your services through the eyes of one of your past or current clients.

Publish a newsletter
This works especially well for those who offer an expertise-based service. By offering valuable content, prospects and get to know how well you know your stuff. This fosters trust, which can lead to a sale.

Publish special reports and white papers
This is another way to showcase your expertise. You wouldn’t publish these as frequently as a newsletter, but you would go into the topic more deeply than you would in a newsletter. Also, special reports and white paper appeal to a different kind of person than a newsletter, so if you do both, you won’t miss out on potential clients.

Speak up
Speak on teleseminars and at live meetings and events. When someone experiences you through public speaking, two things happen.

  1. They automatically view you as an expert. Otherwise why would you be asked to speak?
  2. They get to feel like they know you. Your personality comes through your voice much better than it does your writing.

These two things together can build the “know, like and trust” factor much more quickly than the methods listed above.

Give out samples
There are many ways you can do this without over-committing your time.

  • Limit the sample of your service to only 15-20 minutes, and only book these sessions on pre-established days of the week.
  • Hold a group session and allow plenty of time for Q & A
  • Provide a sample audio or video of you providing your service.
  • Offer a probationary period where they will get a 100% refund if not satisfied.
  • Offer a graduated refund policy (e.g. 100% after 1 day, 75% after 2 days, 50% after 3 days, etc.)

You’ll see, if you are creative you can come up with many ways to give your prospects a sample of your service without discounting or devaluing your time or expertise.

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