Monday, July 26, 2010

Give it Away

My friend, Richard Vance, who owns the local McAlister restaurants, e-mailed me today to let me know that he is giving away free tea at his restaurants on July 29. That's right, free tea. Why in the world would he be willing to give away an item that people gladly pay him for every day? There's probably more than one reason but the most obvious one to me is that it is just good business. If you've ever had one of those extra-large glasses of McAlister's sweet tea you know it is good stuff. If you haven’t, Richard is confident enough in his product that if you try it just once, you will come be back to buy more.
People are great at spotting real value. If your product offers real value, there are only three reasons people won’t buy it: 1) they don’t know about it, 2) they don’t need it, or 3) they don’t trust you. Giving it away addresses all three. If you give them a sample, they definitely know about your product and how it might help them. Some people who think they don’t need your product will decide after trying it that they were wrong. One of the best ways to build trust and show that you are trust worthy is to be the first to ante up. Reciprocity is a powerful human dynamic. The next time you go into a building, hold the door for the person behind you. There is a pretty good chance they will intern hold the door for the person behind them.
None of this stuff works if people think you are simply trying to manipulate them. In fact, give aways work best when there are no strings attached. It shows you have supreme confidence in the intrinsic value of your product and respect the customer enough to let them make a decision based on their own personal value system. That kind of behavior not only builds trust; it also grows revenue.
Now back to sweat tea. Come by any local area McAlisters on Thursday, July 29th and enjoy some of that famous sweet tea absolutely free.
For more info on how to build trust, get a free review of the book Trust Agents at

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