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Should you offer anything of value for free to prospects?

We have all heard, nothing in life is free. Why should anyone give you something for nothing? Many companies offer stuff for free, but mostly, it has very little value. Most always, they are looking for something from you in return. You may need to listen to a sales pitch that may or may not benefit you, or give up some of your information.

This is not really such a bad thing as it is simply a common marketing tactic to help the company sell. Every company should leverage every opportunity to build their customer database by offering something for free. Most retail shops ask their customers for their phone number and/or email address to build their database. What does the customer get in return?

Are you asking your prospects for their contact information? What are you giving them in return? Do you have a well-defined process to nurture these leads? What incentives are you offering them to part with their contact details? Do you secure their data? Just some of the things that you may want to consider when offering something free to attract prospects.

The frustration comes when the value received is negligent or worst – ridiculous. If you are going to ask your prospects for their information, you should have a reasonable value to offer them in return.

I recently read a comment that said people tend to give up their contact information easily because they do not see its immediate monetary value – much different when compared to handing over cash. Many people are already open to the idea of giving up their contact information. All VARs and MSPs should leverage this human behaviour to build their prospecting list.

Here are eight valuable things that our company offers for free and most do not even require contact information.

  1. Information for VARs and MSPs to learn how to improve their business see varcoach.com No need to provide your contact information, but if you do, we will send you a weekly summary so you do not miss anything. And, NO advertising!
  2. Test your business strengths and weaknesses. You can take the online test at varofficesuite.com and get a report. Leverage it as you see fit. If you really want to get serious, take the ultimate business assessment test at www.bestmanageditcompanies.com. If you are really good, you could win a 50 Best Managed IT Companies Award! The award is also free! This is actually something that has big benefits for everyone in the channel! We are benchmarking the best VARs and MSPs in their business practices to determine and recognize the country’s 50 Best IT Companies! We are running this in several countries so we will also take the very top 50 scores to crown the 50 Best Global IT Companies. If you are a VAR or MSP, you want to see you name on these lists! It is all part of our mission to help the channel to improve their businesses.
  3. Get industry news and promotions from e-channelnews.com and www.ecntv.tv. Every day we select 3 to 5 of the best news articles that we feel are the most relevant for our readers. It is very likely that our readers will find at least a few things to benefit them out of the 1,000 + articles that we publish each year. And, we do it without much advertising, because we know people hate banner ads as much as we do!
  4. Attend one of our channel events. You must qualify, but if you do, we pick up most of the cost and sometimes all of the costs, depending on the sponsors. You will gain tremendous value from our channel events. Some companies who attended said that they grew their business by 30% just from our events.
  5. Attend one of our webinars. We host a variety of free webinars on all sorts of topics that are important to the channel. Many topics are on the tools that leading VARs and MSPs use to run their businesses or the latest trends. These are 100% educational sessions with sometimes a reasonable “5-minute” sales pitch at the end.
  6. A resource for VARs and MSPs to find all of the tools and services that they need. See varofficesuite.com for more information. If a VAR or MSP is looking for any tool or service to run their business, they simply complete the inquiry form and we will connect them with the best-fit vendor with the right tool or service. The referral is free. Buying from the vendor is entirely up to you. This saves many VARs and MSPs an incredible amount of time and cost from researching the right solution.
  7. Talk with a business coach for 30 minutes. Explore the current situation of your company and identify the help that you need to improve your business. Our coaches who run VARMasterMind groups are always open to talking with VARs and MSPs to explore if there is potential to benefit each other. There is never any obligation to have an initial chat, but please do not expect them to train you for free. That said, some Coaches do offer free workshops at our events!
  8. Vote for your favorite vendor and distributor in our annual Reseller Choice Awards. This actually benefits you indirectly as the vendors use the report card of how well they did to improve their game in the channel and serve you better in the future. It is your voice being heard in the channel to get you the support your need from the vendors and distributors! Just for voting, they get a chance to win lots of cool prizes!

For our vendor clients, we offer lots of insights and data on the channel for free. We offer an annual Channel Manager Summit where they can get lots of help in growing their channel. We publish some of their news for free to amplify their message in the channel.

Everything that we offer for free must have significant value or we will simply not offer it! They key is to strike the right balance by knowing when to stop giving too much for free. What will you offer for free?