We don’t give away free stuff to everyone….and hope you don’t either.
I think it all stems back to a few things. One was my son's Christening. I mean it was only 23 years ago…
It was practically yesterday!
The other was my mom’s hairdressing business, which I grew up in. Which was even longer ago!
Now regarding the Christening - You see there were a few people I didn’t want to invite. To be frank, I didn’t really like them. Well, they always complain and never help!
You probably know the sort!
Anyway, I was overruled….
So, they came.
I was not pleased to be proved right, but they sat in their seats, ate the food, drank the champagne and complained. Putting a dampener on the day.
The other thing was seeing a few of my mom’s customers take up a huge amount of her time. Always changing appointments, always being late or wanting to be just squeezed in for an appointment. When there was no appointment available.
Have you come across a few like this yourself? I would imagine so.
So, when I started my own business, I decided I would only work with people that appreciated my help. Not with people who want to buy a tenner for a fiver and get change!
You may think this is harsh, but the lady who just wanted to squeeze in a quick blow dry most weeks wasn’t a great customer, who appreciated my mom’s time. Or the craft she had learnt over many years.
She was just a drain on her resources and time. In effect, my mom gave her time away for free.
It can be scary to do at first. As when you start out all business seem like good business. However, it does allow space to gain clients who are more suitable to work with and will make life more enjoyable and in the end, will allow you to make more profit.
Look after your resources
Looking after your resources is important but can be sometimes overlooked in a small business. Especially the resource of time, as it can seem free.
Which brings me round to more free stuff, that is given away for no reason.
You have probably seen the people at exhibitions who go around collecting the free stuff. They end up looking like a child from Cracker Jack, who had answered all the questions right (showing my age there) with bags and bags full of the promotional products.
Now I know I sell promotional products and you would think that for me, the more that was given away, the better. As people would then need to buy more.
However, when businesses give promotional products to those that they haven't even spoken to, the products are not likely to work. Unless the person is already aware of the business.
Which can give promotional products a bad reputation. However, this can be rectified with a little bit of thought and planning.
So, if you are exhibiting soon, may be try adding a little intrigue.
Here is an idea
Put your promotional products in little gift bags with tissue paper. Use brand colours if possible. Adding some contact information, so you are easy to get hold of.
Then instead of allowing people to help themselves, try storing them under the table or at the back of the stand. Then give them to prospects, that you have had a good conversation with. This will avoid people helping themselves.
You can then give them a gift and tell them your details are in the bag. Then ask for their details and check they are happy for you to get in touch. As you have given them something, they will be happy to give you something back.
When following up, mention the gift. This will help your prospect to recall you and the conversation, which they are likely to appreciate.
Sometimes simple things can make a big difference.
Read more: here