Has this ever happened to you too?
That too many people walk up to you and ask you for a free sample of your product or a free trial of your software or a free whatever-else-they-can-take from you?
And you, being new, think: “Well, yeah, maybe in the beginning I just have to give free stuff around and then maybe if people like it, they will recommend me to their friends, family, colleagues, pet dog.”
Now, tell me honestly:
How much success has it ever brought you? I’d love your honest responses to this below
I started my work by doing free workshops and consultations. I held workshops for which I would prepare for weeks and weeks and more than 20 people would sign up and on the day of the workshop, I would print the handouts and clip them all together, go to the venue 1.5 hours earlier to make sure it is well furnished for everyone’s comfort, arrange drinks (which also were free)..
Basically, I’d work my cute little butt off.
And what happened at those workshops?
All the people who’d said they would come, wouldn’t turn up…there would be less than 10% of the registered people.
These ones who’d attend would voraciously take down notes in the workshop (proving to me that the content was indeed excellent)…seek my advice and go back happy.
And did they give me recommendations or references?
Lol. Can you take a guess?!
You see if people have to pay for your services, they will always turn up at the appointed time, always refer you, always respect you. It is always a deal – and two way deal. You give and they give.
I even, hilariously, got requests from people who couldn’t attend to “come by” their office and give them the workshop…personally…!
Before this, when I worked for other businesses, and if we’d offer a free 30-day trial of the software, what did it result in?
It only delayed the contract-closing process..and for the one month of free trial, I was “their little bitch”, running around behind them, doing whatever they’d ask me to do because I wanted to close the contract more than they ever did.
Why am I ranting on? Did I take battery acid for breakfast? Nope, I did not. And this is not a rant. I am going somewhere with this. (And no, this is not a business advice blog)
Business is beautiful. Keep it beautiful. Don’t make mistakes that might make you start resenting people.
Working for free is a personal decision for everyone. But…
…understand, why does it come up at all?
It comes up when any one side of the business transaction is not willing to respect or trust the professional-worthiness of the other.
(But, seriously, as far as trust goes, just sign a contract!)
When does it come up?
All the time, doesn’t it?
Best ways to avoid it?
Is to clear up your messaging.
How you come across to people – your personality, your capability, your ideas, your values, your self respect – are all easily reflected in the words you use and how you use them. Everywhere – how you speak them, in your presentations/pitches, on your landing pages, on your website, everywhere.
Cary Grant could never be Cary Grant if he was ever caught slacking off for even 10 minutes…he WAS Cary Grant because, he was Cary Grant. Makes sense?