What’s important to you? How much does it cost to make is valuable? How much money did you save to make it worth your while, investment, thoughts, actions? How many times do you get to try it before it becomes valuable? “It” being a product or service.
You bought your Toyota thinking that the Japanese-made car was a good value for the price, style and mileage. Maybe it’s your second or third Toyota, or your first. Now, the value that you thought you had in the car is degraded because of the brakes and their recall. Its value in your estimation has declined…even a little bit. We put value on our possessions, work, profession, purchases and some intangibles.
You see an ad for some weight-loss products and their support, so you decide to try it. “I only need to lose those last 15 pounds, and this seems to be the ticket.” You sign up for the food, the classes and the value of losing those extra pounds in three-four months. The first week you’re sailing through and the scale tells you you’ve lost four pounds. Yeah! Time to celebrate, so you “cheat,” if just a little. The next time you weigh in you’ve lost another two…it goes on for a month and you’re now at a plateau: only seven pounds in two months. You hate the diet, the food and the meetings, you decide to quit, or go another route. The value of the initial buy lost its luster.
You go to a three-day training on customer service and you’re psyched: “I’m going to be the best customer service rep the company’s ever seen.” Then three weeks down the calendar and whoops, you’ve forgotten some of the cardinal rules; the value of the training diminished.
What about “Free”? If you sign up for a free one-hour webinar you expect some concrete information, even if it isn’t chock full of tools and tips. But, have you ever attended a free webinar and the sponsors just fills up the time: “I made $250K the first month.” “I’m the top of my game through this program and you can be too.” “Let me tell you a story about Martha…” Yikes, I want some meat to the hour of my time. My time’s valuable and I listen to these people jabber about themselves and never once give me anything substantial – in my estimation. It’s a waste of my time! Zero value and I exit early!
The waste of my time for the freebies has been more than once. But, then again, when I get one tool and implement it, and it makes my work easier, faster, less complicated, more open, whatever way, and I’m happy, happy, happy. That was invaluable to me. Don’t you think that free means, “don’t waste my time”? I do.
Then again, what if people don’t sign up for your “free” webinar, teleseminar, class? Suppose you threw a webinar and no one came. Is “free” a curse as well as a cornerstone? I’m finding out. When it’s free, some people sign up and then think, “Oh, well, I don’t need to sign on because I have something of more value to do with my time.”
I attended a freebie the other day and the last :20 was a slick, slick, slick sales job. I’m certain this person makes mucho dollars with this type of sales pitch, but I exited the webinar within seconds of the third sales pitch and testimonial. Today though, I had a 32-page workbook and fill-in-the-blanks’ pages, plus some polls. Now, this was worth my time. It was of great value to me, even if it was a short course on selling the three-day course. I know that almost every freebie is a hidden sales mantra, and I accept that. But today’s :90 gave me tools, tips and techniques for consulting and selling; I loved it.
Perceived value. The value you put on your work, your clothes, house, vitamins, party, co-workers, projects, training, staff meeting, client meeting, whatever it is, is under your spell. Anything and everything is of value to you when you put a value on it. Test it. Ask your co-workers who took the same training as you did and see if there’s 100 percent agreement on its value. Same question pertains to the diet, or book, or movie, or poll.
I hope that when you “give” something away for free you add value to the takers. It’ll come around full circle when they see, know and have the benefits.
Happy Presidents Day.