The Free Sample Mentality
(You all know how this free sample stuff works…at the store they give you free samples and then, if you like it, they ask if you want to buy some, and they have a little cooler right there, so that they can hand you a box of the stuff to buy on the way out).
I’ll never forget when I was living on a shoestring 15 years ago, and my friend Tawana took me and some friends to Sam’s Club after church. I insisted that I was too hungry to go without stopping for lunch first. The only problem was, I had no lunch money.
“Look”, I told her, “let me go home first and eat”.
“Nah,,,you won’t need to buy anything”.
Now, this girl was bold. Because when I got to Sam’s club, I saw her leave us, the group, with our carts, and go back FIVE TIMES to the hot wings sample counter to get all of us free samples. I’m not kidding.
Then, she proceeded to bring me a tray of seafood puff pastries that were just about the most heavenly hors d’ourves I had ever eaten. After I squealed in delight, I kid you not, she very disarmingly crooned another plate of this stuff from the sample guy. “Yea, my friend says these are the best she’s ever eaten, and she hasn’t had lunch yet…” Then she asked for a box of them, and we walked away with some samples and some boxes of them which we put in our carts.
I think you know what happened next. In between bites of six different appetizers now turned entrees (due to the volume of plates I was juggling), I informed her, under my breath, that there was NO WAY I could buy those appetizers she’d just placed in my shopping cart. She just dimpled, nodded, and continued her round of sample schmoozing.
And on the way out of Sam’s club, she deposited five boxes of various frozen foods into a stray cooler.
No way would she ever buy… she was far too good at fringing the fields.
In case you don’t know it yet, “fringing the fields” is an Old Testament term used to describe the Almighty’s righteous welfare system. Landowners were commanded to leave the corners of their fields unharvested so that the poor could discreetly come and pick some of the harvest, without disturbing the peace of the owner or trespassing on the field. It would be today’s equivalent of a homeless person reaching up and snapping off an apple from a tree overhanging the sidewalk.
And it was expected. When you give away free information, you can expect that there are going to be people who snatch up your free information in the hopes of getting a real education. You can’t be sure that all of your customers are going to buy, just because you gift them with free samples. Many will, because it’s going to be far more convenient to have your latest tutorial on their hard drive, than to pour over 100 free emails every week.
But a lot of very new marketers won’t be able to afford anything. Or, they believe that if they just dig long enough, they will find their information for free, somewhere on the internet. And, they probably will. They will be a nomad, going from free sample to free sample, looking for a snippet here and there. Will it be enough to get them a lucrative online business? Maybe, if they don’t starve while searching.
Some prospects don’t have a choice; I always tell people, if you can’t afford a real internet marketing education, don’t waste your time getting free “information samples”. Get a job at McDonalds, and save up to buy at least one comprehensive, internet marketing training course.
Am I recommending mine? Not necessarily. You need to find a program or system that meets your needs.
That you can afford.
And that you can trust.