Free Samples – What is YOUR Football Phone?
“The Next Evolution of Marketing” by Bob Gilbreath spends a good amount of time on free samples. It talks about McDonald’s “free lunch” where the franchise fed 8 million hungry Americans by sampling its new chicken sandwich, and it also talks about Denny’s Free Grand Slam breakfast on Feb 3, 2009.
To me, the most notable example was Tylenol PM’s brilliant idea of partnering with vacation destination hotels to place samples of its product on the pillow of weary travelers with a simple note saying “We know how long you’ve waited for this vacation, and we know how much you want to catch up on your sleep. Enjoy”. Tylenol brand experts knew that travelers are often weakened by the stress of travel and need a good night’s sleep to make the most of their time away.
Well, free samples are fine and good if you are giving away food or shampoo or even pain relievers. But how can you as a speaker or coach give a ‘free sample’? The answer lies in your “Irresistible Free Offer” – or as I like to call it, your football phone. (Remember the ‘old days’ when Sports Illustrated sold magazines on TV and gave away a football-shaped phone as a free gift?)
An Irresistible Free Offer for Speakers:
Speakers have a dilemma that other business owners don’t face. Whereas most businesses can offer free samples, for speakers, a free 30-minute speech for every prospect is not gonna cut it.
Or is it? What if your ‘free sample’ or Irresistible Free Offer for Speakers (IFO) was a 10, or 15-minute sample of your speaking that truly delivered value?
What if it was a section of your keynote that was always well received? Not your BEST bit, but a really good one? Something that would give the meeting planner not only a realistic sample of what your topic is. But something that made them smile, or taught them something?
When you stop looking at getting gigs and promoting yourself as the commodity to be sold, and look at the message behind your speech, you can begin to understand what I mean.
This IFO isn’t all about you, that piece is highlighted on the website, but this video is all about THEM. What are they thinking about while they review the videos they see? What do they need? Perhaps a free event planner checklist in addition to the video would be valuable to them. If you are a newer speaker in a lower-end price range, chances are better that you are being scouted by smaller companies with planners that might find that checklist valuable.
If you are an established speaker, then I would guess the planner might not use it at all. The point is whatever you offer needs to be for them. When it comes to marketing with meaning, it is just not all about you.
Make your IFO stand out
In addition to your value-add video, I also suggest you make sure you have a process for handling leads. Here are a couple of tips that can help you with that:
- Do you customize your presentations for clients? Have a questionnaire asking specific questions about audience size and composition, the purpose of the event, the expected outcome of the presentation, budget, etc.
- Have an FAQ page for planners – what are your most asked questions?
- We love using the “online assistant” feature within speakers that allows the prospect to view your calendar, place a hold on your time, even get a contract if you have set pricing
- Showcase your professionalism and stand out from the competition!
Bottom line, sharing is caring. Your sample has to have a high perceived value for your prospect, whether they buy from you or not. Yes, you want to sell your service, but the free sample is about sharing yourself and giving a present in good faith.