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Selling With Free Trials and Product Demos

By: Bill Wortman



One of the most popular ways to turn a prospect into a customer is offering a product demo or a limited-time free trial. What makes them such great ways to market your product or service to potential clients is that it lets them really interact with what you’re selling and experience first-hand what they would be getting. But which options are right for you?

When it is possible, a face-to-face live product demo with a potential client might be the most effective marketing tool to turn them into a customer. When you are there meeting in person, the customer can see your passion, your character, and you knowledge. But there’s a downside. Doing a live product demo with every lead you have is going to cost a fortune, and could have you spending too much time and resources on leads that don’t turn into customers.
So a good way around this problem is to use live product demos as a second-tier sales tool; first engage with potential customers in another way first to see whether this is the right person for a demo, saving those for your best opportunities.
Offering a free trial set up of your product or service is a powerful offering that can bring many sales. As with the product demo, customers get to see for themselves what your product can do, but without the high cost in time and resources for you. However, when you offer a trial you need to help make sure customers understand how to use the product and all the most important features.
Consider setting up an email campaign to periodically contact people during their trial period, sharing and offering tips about different features. You might also call users to teach them how to maximize the use of the product. Whatever you decide to do, it has to ensure that the user gets the full experience of the product during the trial period, which should help convert them into a paying customer.
No matter whether you prefer a demo or a trial offering, consider using a free informational webinar session to generate those demos and trials. Advertise the webinar to your market niche by email invites to any leads you get, especially from people submitting their contact information through your website. You might offer a free white paper in exchange for contact information, or you could directly ask people to sign up for the webinar; just make sure the instructions are clear!
Published: April 15, 2013

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Bill Wortman

As the Chief Business Consultant at BizCoachingOnDemand.com, Bill has over 40 years of business experience. He's held multiple executive-level positions and fulfilled the role of CFO at large, publicly-held (NYSE, NASDAQA, and AMEX) corporations. In addition, he's also been an owner of several successful private ventures in real estate and in the automotive industry.

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