I come across this situation all the time, and it completely baffles me when “free” is used as the main reason to do something in the market place; B2B, B2C or, C2C.
This is a big deal to me because “free” does not equate to “value”. Free often ends up being “wasted my time”. I have a problem, I want that problem solved, if something is free but does not solve my problem I just wasted a lot of time while still having my original problem. Not good right? But how many times have you been in a similar situation...
Here’s a few examples from a range of circumstances:
I need a car for my work commute, my main concern is point A to B. If I’m looking at an econo-box on the lot and you’re trying to sell me a Porsche and telling me about all the “free stuff and features” that come with it, I’ll end up at another dealer spending my money.
I have a problem with a core process in my IT infrastructure, it’s slowing my entire company network down. If you’re barely touching on how your product can address that, and spending time showing me all the features and freebies plus discounts…you’re going to lose me. I care about my PROBLEM, not your free stuff.
I need consulting/education on a certain problem, I need information I don’t have. You try and get me to accept/download your free book/E-book. If I have a major problem I want the best info possible, I’ll gladly buy the top books in that field. Why am I going to spend my time on your free book? If it were highly valuable, it would be on the best seller lists like so many others. All your free E-book/course/webinar tells me is that you’re trying to make it but, you haven’t yet. Good on you, supremely best of luck and I hope you do make it, right now I need the best proven information not your free stuff.
This is similar to going to the grocery store and receiving free samples. If I’m not hungry, and I do not need to buy groceries, I will not drive to the store for them. If I do need to buy groceries but the place I despise gives the best samples, I’m not going to waste my time and forgo my preferred grocer just for some free samples. If I’m buying groceries, and the store I frequent has samples while I’m hungry, AWESOME! Great compliment to my process, I may even spend more money with them however, this would be the only situation in which “free” is really doing anything for me. Make sense?
Stop trying to solve your customers/clients problems with free stuff.
I don’t care about your free stuff. If your solution is solving my problem, and I am completely convinced it does, then the free stuff can be a nice add-on. It’s more of a “thank you for doing business with us” gesture than anything else. Intelligent decisions are not based on your free stuff.