Try Before You Buy Creativity

Bahadur Chand Gupta bought an old Airbus 300 and now offers weekly sessions in Delhi in which any of the 1 billion Indians who have never flown before can sit on a genuine (though disabled) airliner, listen to pilot announcements (“We are about to begin our descent into Delhi”), and be served by flight attendants. Said one customer (who paid the equivalent of about $4), “I see planes passing all day long over my roof. I had to try out the experience.” [The Times (London), 9-30-07]

There are a couple ways this “try before you buy” approach works in sales.

One is the old school “puppy dog” close. Take the dog home from the pet store. Let the kids play with it for a week. If they don’t like it, bring it back. The pet is never returned.

The car business used to use this, too. Take the vehicle home for a few days, try it out. After the prospect shows his friends, family and neighbors, his new ride, how likely will it be that he or she returns the vehicle?

Find ways to let your buyer have a temporary experience with your product or service. You can get them hooked on a permanent relationship that way.

Another way this tactic is useful is cracking large corporate accounts with baby buys. Get the potential client to nibble at a small, but solid sale. It turns you from being an outsider knocking on the door (or phone) into a existing vendor. That’s super smart selling. Jim Holden reveals some details on how to pull this off in his great book, Power Base Selling. You should own it.

Now you have a couple ways to get prospect to fly with you. When will you use them?

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