Offer FREE GIFTS with “high perceived value” to stimulate your Word of Mouth
The secret to being able to use FREE GIFTS as an added promotion is getting HIGH PERCEIVED VALUE gifts at a very low cost per unit.
Offering free gifts “kills many birds with one stone.” It helps with your unique selling proposition. It helps get attention in your ads. It helps add to the “pile on effect” so you’ll at least get a phone call from your prospect.
Free Gifts do all of these things, but they are NOT the main reasons we use them. The main reason we use free gifts is to STIMULATE OUR “BACK END” SALES (OR GIVE EVEN MORE REASONS FOR OUR GOOD CLIENTS TO SEND US REFERRALS!)
It’s that simple. We routinely spent almost six figures on free gifts alone.
I understand how much it costs to consistently pick up new clients from EXTERNAL advertising. And I can spend the same amount of money (or less) giving these gifts away and get BETTER results in many cases.
And not only were we adding new clients from referrals, but we were “cementing” our client base even more and increasing our client retention to even higher levels!
I’ve had some tax business owners tell me the free gifts they tried didn’t go over so well with their client base. So I asked them, “What did you offer them?” I get the same kind of answers that are, basically, they didn’t offer stuff that anyone WANTED. (Don’t waste your time if you are going to give “stupid stuff.”)
For a free gift promotion to work, you must offer stuff that MATCHES up with your target market. If your main clientele are “blue collar” workers, then have a $6 socket set ready to hand them. (The perceived value of these sets is over $25 bucks.)
You can get wrenches and coolers for the guys and cooking pans, necklaces and cameras for the women. (I can get all of this stuff at wholesale prices from distributors that specialize in items like these from $2 to $6 to whatever you want to pay.)
If you’re not sure about using a free gift promotion, just “test” it the first year. Pick out a few things from a couple of catalogs and see how your clients respond. I can tell you from past experience, a third will not care one way or another. You give them the gift and they walk out with their tax return not really caring one way or another.
Now the next third will be appreciative. They will take some time looking at the options you have for them, and then they will choose and say thank you. (These are your “on the fence” people that wouldn’t normally refer people but now that you’ve given them a free gift, you have a much better chance.)
And finally, the last third of your client base you give the free gifts to will absolutely love them! They will smile real big, get excited and say, “I can’t believe you are giving me this for free!” They will be your big referral clients. (Watch for them as you try and keep track of who might be in your “top 20% club.”
Over the years we’ve implemented free gift promotions, I’ve come to notice something. The ongoing repeat clients get used to receiving a free gift and actually ask about what the new ones are going to be this year.
(Hey, if the most important thing on a client’s mind is what kind of $4 gift are they going to get this year, that’s fine with me. If all it takes to get a client coming back is to offer a free gift that costs me less than $5 bucks and I’m getting about $400 in return, then I’ll give out all the free gifts you want this year and every year to come!)
I recommend B & F Wholesale System for Free Gift products and ideas.