I’m not sure who first had the idea of giving away razors and charging an outlandish price for the blades, but whoever it was—it worked. The same strategy has been employed by the printer industry. One can purchase a printer for your PC for almost nothing, but you want new ink? That’s going to cost you! I have a friend who found printers on sale at a major chain and bought several of them—because buying the printer was cheaper than purchasing the ink cartridges that were inside!
The point of all of this is how can you use this strategy in your business? Not necessarily “what can you give away?”, but how can you make it easier, more convenient or less expensive for customers to begin their relationship with you with the knowledge that your profitability will come from them BEING customers, not BECOMING customers?
Think about it.
One doesn’t have to give away their product and charge outrageous backend sums to continue the relationship, but what can you do to make it easier for prospects to become customers?
Satellite television is another great example: today it is virtually free to get started including equipment (unless you want DVR’s, etc) but then you pay an ongoing monthly fee—forever.
Smart phones continue to drop in price—as long as you have a call plan with a provider.
I could go on for days, but you get the point.
Think about how you can make it easier for the prospect to make the decision to begin the relationship with you—then make that relationship last—and make it profitable for both of you.
Be creative. Experiment with things that have never been done before—hold nothing back. But, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask: what do I want out of this relationship? What would make it beneficial for me? What would make me become a LONG TERM customer?
Then you’ll be well on your way to creating new customers and new sales!
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