Whenever I go to the mall, and walk by the food court, there is always that guy, handing out samples of the Chinese chicken.  Why? Because if you don’t know what you are hungry for, very often a little taste is enough to convince you to buy an entire plate.

That same try before you buy strategy works in many industries, particularly when the product or service is really unique or radically different from competing products.  For example networking – At Rainmakers our first big growth curve occurred when we started offering “free passes” to our events.  Our model is so different, we have never been very good explaining it on paper or on-line. It is one of those things you just have to experience.

The result of our free trial program – We lost some revenue at the door, since guests no longer had to pay the first time they attended, but we had way more guests.  With the average event seeing an increase in guest count from 5 to 15.  Since our closing percentage (guests who became members) remained the same, we tripled the number of new members each month.

FREE TRIALS! Have you figured out how to use them in your business?

The inspiration for this blog came when I read this post by John Jantsch about Jott moving to an optional paid model.  That’s the key.. use free trials to introduce the product, build a loyal fan base, and offer an option for more services of a reasonable fee. It the value is there, you wil have no trouble earning the fee.