Free samples don’t always work. When I started my coffee business 20 years ago, a supplier from a 100 year old family business told me that giving away free coffee samples would not lead to sales. Nonsense! I gave away a lot of coffee before admitting to myself that he was right. Giving away beans does not lead to sales. Giving away tastes of freshly brewed coffee does lead to sales—on the spot.
In most businesses, free samples do produce sales. In this business, TeachU, I often give free samples—you’re consuming one now—and they do generally lead to business.
Samples work when they are close to the point of sale. Taste this. Like it? Buy some. That works.
Take this home and try it. If you like it, order some from me. That doesn’t work.
So now I’ve launched SeeIntoSpace.com. I want to teach people how to use a telescope. I want the classes to be free and fun. And I want to generate enough revenue for this venture to be rewarding financially.
Here’s the question: Will free samples work? If I offer free astronomy training will enough people buy a telescope from me to keep me going? Will free astronomy classes be the next big thing? If I flinch, it won’t work. It has to free, no strings attached. Build a relationship then they will buy. Right? Gulp.
In the meantime, I’d sure like your suggestions. Visit SeeIntoSpace.com and tell me what you think. I’m open to suggestions. And if you want a telescope to go with those free lessons…
What about this? What If give away telescopes. FREE. Just sign up for $600 worth of lessons?! I wonder…
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog