Is There Value In a Free Offer If Nobody Takes It?

Based on my experience throughout the years … I would have to say yes. “It’s not the gift. It’s the thought that counts.” People always love free services even if they never take advantage of it. Just knowing that you have made the offer, knowing that it is available, is perceived as being of value. How about some examples … 

NetWorks! Boise

For the past 15 years, I have owned and operated a for-profit B2B networking group. At one time, I had three. The dues to belong are substantially higher than any other local group. However, I run it and I do everything that might be associated with a leadership or committee position by a member. 

I also offer a number of enhancements for the group like a web-based database of shared leads and a very nice lunch during the meeting. On top of this, I am willing to provide members with a number of free services like a company workshop, help with configuring their LinkedIn profiles, and a free behavioral assessment.

How many members have taken advantage of all of these free included services? None. How about any of these offers? Maybe 20%. What would happen if I took them away? I can’t say that there would be a revolt, but I would lose a selling point.

Free Sign Allowance Analysis

When I was selling signs, I did a lot of networking with folks who I identified as being power partners. These were people who could refer me to their clients who were in need of signage, for example, commercial realtors.

My challenge was that I needed to be able to provide them something in return which was difficult as I generally learned about signage opportunities after the lease had been signed. So … I offered to provide the broker with a free signage allowance report on any property that they were attempting to lease or sell.

I might have provided two of these reports over a two-year period. It was the thought that counted. You know what else counted? Why would brokers refer me to their clients? I was a value-add and one that they never had to worry about coming back to haunt them.

Nimble CRM Training Materials

A couple of years ago, I developed a complete online course on Nimble CRM. It bombed. Good course, but nobody wanted it. Now, when I do one-on-one training, I offer access to the course for free. Only one person to-date has taken me up on it.

I also offer a substantial number of tools and resources with my personalized training. My guess is that only a very small fraction of the folks who have access to these ever do so. However, they love the concept when I present it and I know that most folks consider the value of these when making their decision to commit to training.

You might ask … “Why offer all of these services if nobody wants them?”. Because … just because they don’t take advantage of something does not mean that they don’t want it. Even if they don’t avail themselves of free goodies, they are still willing to pay for services in order to receive them.  Maybe it’s a comfort/security thing.

And, if your concern is … “What if I offer all of this free stuff and everybody wants them? I’ll go bankrupt!”. I doubt that will be an issue but, just in case …

  1. Offer services vs. products which carry a hard cost.
  2. Limit the overall value of the freebie.
  3. Weigh these offers when establishing your billable services.

Would you like to chat about sales or Nimble CRM? If so, please book a free 30-minute Zoom call with me!

Craig M. Jamieson

Craig M. Jamieson is a lifelong B2B salesperson, manager, owner, and a networking enthusiast. Adaptive Business Services provides solutions related to the sales professional including Boise’s best B2B leads group, NetWorks! Boise Valley. We are a Nimble SCRM Solution Partner and a Value Added Associate for TTI Performance Systems. Craig also conducts training and workshops primarily in social selling and communication skills. Craig is also the author of “The Small Business’ Guide to Social CRM”, now available on Amazon!

Craig M. Jamieson

Craig M. Jamieson

Craig M. Jamieson

Latest posts by Craig M. Jamieson (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *