With an increasing number of pitches, offers, “try me” pleas, and what-nots, marketers and product managers are finding it increasingly difficult to stand out from the pack. The best single tool to help them? Empathy.
Think about it: How much spam do you get every day? How many messages do you just delete without even finishing reading the subject—let alone opening the message? And then which ones do you actually open? What compelled you to read it? It’s a challenge to offer up something different, and if you’re not, then you’re just part of the crowd.
One way to offer something different is to show that you have something different. Let customers and prospects try something for free. Some of you may already know this and get this. But for others, this is new, and it may seem … odd. ”Give away something? For free? That erodes my margin!” But how else do you expect people to trust you? To trust your products and services? On word of mouth alone? Sure, in an ideal world. But letting people try before they buy is the best item possible to get someone off that fence.
Here’s a real example to prove my point:
A professional organization contacted me recently, asking me to be a member of their private community, They extolled their benefits, explained what I would get with my (hefty!) annual fee, and the connections I’d make as a member. It all sounded good, but the price was steep. I was honest. I said, “This sounds great, but I’m not sure if I can secure the budget for that. Is there a way to attend one event for free so I can see what it is like? Or can I try a 6-month membership instead of a 12-month membership? This would go a long way for (potential) ‘management justification.’” They let me plead my case, and ultimately and politely said no, they don’t give away anything for free when it comes to that. I thanked them for the offer and declined.
I’m not suggesting that if I attended one free event, I would’ve definitely been hooked. But I definitely knew I wasn’t joining if I couldn’t see what I’d be getting.