A while ago, I was doing some consulting with a business who are in their initial stages. They had finalised what it was they were going to be offering to their customers and now the conversation very much centered around how to bring business in. How were they going to get those initial sales?
Keep it Simple
A lot of the time, in these initial stages companies come into meetings and say how they want to do all these complicated things such as extravagant social media marketing as if there is a magic formula that can catapult the business into instant success.
And as I’ve said before, it shows a tendency to force things in a way that doesn’t necessarily lend itself towards true organic and sustainable growth in the long term.
Would You Like to Try…?
Working with this company, after speaking with the team for a while, it became clear that the most logical way forward was to just knock on the clients’ door, and show them what they were offering.
And hey, if it’s good enough, it will eventually sell.
Doing all these fancy things are well and good in certain stages, but the easiest route at this time to market their offering I thought, was to simply give a sample.
Types of Samples
This can work in many ways.
Say for example you’re a content creator and you’re looking to reel in more clients.
You might follow a business online, see some of the content they’re publishing, and perhaps send them a mail along the lines of;
“Hey, I follow your business, I think what you’re doing is really great. It actually inspired me as a content creator to create some sample content for you. I’m just going to give it to you free of charge. And hey, if you like it – perhaps I might be able to work with you.”
If your work is good enough they will pick up the phone and commission work from you.
Take Inspiration from Others
There are a million different ways you can provide samples. So take a look at what some other companies in your industry have done to inspire what you can do to pull in those initial sales. And like I said, in a way that is going to lead to that authentic growth curve.
Perhaps your business is a restaurant and you’re opening soon. An idea might be that while you’re doing up the space, you could put a few ads up saying something along the lines of; Opening on 1st February, The first 20 people here each night on our opening week get a free meal. Or whatever works best logistically for you and your business. There are a ton of different ways of doing it.
There’s a great example of that here in Dublin (where I’m from). There’s a chain called Chopped that every time they’re opening a new space they put posters out front saying Opening on X date. Free salads for the first 500 people that come in!
And whenever they open there are queues going down the street! It creates such a buzz. Everybody is talking about it. They’ve done phenomenally well and I think that’s a huge part of it.
Don’t Overcomplicate Things
So, long story short. When you’re starting out in business you might think there are loads of things you need to do in order to market, when in actual fact the most efficient way might be just picking up the phone and reaching out to whoever it is you are looking to attract. Giving them a sample, and going from there.
Give them a taste for what it is you are offering. And as I said, if it’s good enough everything will flow from there. It really can be so efficient.
It’s Not as Costly as You Might Think
You might think oh no, I can’t afford that. But more often than not, it is far cheaper to do that than to do all the other marketing fluff that you might be tempted to do to kick start initial sales.
If you believe in your product, others will, too. So have the confidence to show it to them, and the sales will follow.
So, I hope this brings you value and a different way of thinking about things when it comes to kick-starting sales!
Have you ever given out free samples? How has it worked for you? If you’re struggling with initial sales or feeling overwhelmed in the early stages, reach out to me and perhaps I can be of service to you.