We used to call them product trials.
They’re the “give aways” that helps create
Trust in the Know, Like, Trust paradigm.
But do they close sales?
Well, listen to Aaron Levine, creator of BOX a cloud based repository for all your business enterprise resources. He said in the Selling Power journal, “We’ve inverted the sales process completely, because…by the time our sales reps are talking to you as a potential customer you are already using Box in your business. No limited time offers, no 30 day trials, no credit cards – just sign up and start using Box in your business.”
Sounds like closing the sale is dead. That dreadful step where you have to, gulp, ask for the order. Well, maybe for Aaron’s product the technique of creating Trust in actuality is closing the sales. The question is will it work for you?
It could work, if you removed the road blocks to customers using your product. Road blocks like:
My product needs hours of implementation;
We must tailor it to the users needs;
Users must be trained how to use our product;
So maybe this kind of freemium is a little radical for your business but before you dismiss it out of hand consider this. Remember when enterprise applications like CRM took months to bring on line? As Selling Power journal eluded to in their article “The New Sales Process,”
“…millions of relieved converts from Siebel to Saleforce have learned…users can be up and running a matter of minutes.”
Doubtful as it may be that presenting your product in such away that a prospect could just click in the cloud to begin using it, there is a universal marketing nugget in this story that we all can use.
An imaginative approach to the Trust step can pay back big dividends as it is really where the Buy step begins. If you can’t knock down the barriers to using your product find ways to make the Trust step an easy, attractive way to experience your product or service.
Use video for your Q&A, white papers, testimonials and newsletters;
Do a series of lumpy snail mailings and/or audio emails;
Promote strategic partner relationships;
Expand nurture campaigns;
Give away pieces of your service or product (see Catalyst for a example).
Thinking like this educates your future customers creating their trust that you can truly contribute to their business success.