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Stop Giving Away The Farm

People are a lot like sheep. Or lemmings. If they see the crowd going in a certain direction, they'll follow without even thinking about it. If that means diving off a cliff to their death, they'll do it. Metaphorically, of course. I'm hopeful that no one would really jump off a cliff just because the 50 people in front of them did it.

But if you're an independent thinker, it's good to ask if that crowd of sheep people is going in the right direction. For example, if everyone else is selling a stock, maybe you should buy it. Fortunes have been made with this one strategy alone. Sure, sometimes you'll lose your small investment, but that will be more than compensated for when it turns out you were right and everyone else was wrong. Just ask Warren Buffet.

Everyone else is competing on low price? Then charge the highest prices of all and offer the best service. Everyone else is tightening their belt and laying off people? What a great time to expand your business! Everyone else is shying away from buying a home? Now is when you will get the best selection at the best prices.

Which brings me to something we all do online to reel in new business – and that's to give stuff away. It used to be that we gave away little tastes of our products and services to entice people. Why not? It can be a good marketing strategy. Unless, of course, EVERYONE ELSE is doing it.

Then it becomes a competition to see who can give away more. Result? Consumers get a pile of stuff they don't look at, don't appreciate, don't care about, and it does them absolutely no good. We all know that the more we pay for something, the more we value it. You got it for free? Subconsciously (or even consciously) we assume it must be junk.

So the question becomes, are you going to continue to participate in this endless cycle of giving more and more away for free, hoping that it results in business down the road?

Or are you going to carefully tailor anything you give away to add to your bottom line?

Remember, no one wants to pay you for something you will give them for free. If you're selling a service and you give them a free consultation of custom tailored advice, why in the world would they then PAY you for what you've been giving them for free?

I know, it's a catch 22. You want to give them a taste so they'll come back for more, but you don't want to devalue you or your products and services in the eyes of the customer.

Which is why you want to focus more on telling people WHAT they need to do and not HOW to do it. Because when you show them what they need to do to accomplish their goals, they're now ready for the how-to steps of HOW to do it. Their appetite is whetted. And all you have to do is show them how to pay you.

I strongly suggest you pull back from giving away the farm. Let them see your success from the outside looking in, but if they want to see the inner workings, it's going to cost them. In the end they will be far better off for it, because having paid you for your information or services they will then be far more likely to appreciate it, use it and profit from it.

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