If you have ever been to Costco, then you know how well product samples are received. What you may not know is just how much of a return can be expected on something as simple as a piece of chocolate. Product samples have been shown to increase sales of items by as much as 600%! Even with this much potential for increased sales, we still hear from weight loss centers almost every day that don’t believe they should take a box off the shelf (and out of inventory) and use it to introduce a new product or build interest in a product that just isn’t moving as fast as it should.
Samples help people overcome their resistance to trying new things. They also demonstrate your confidence in the products you carry. Sample out one really great product and your clients will transfer that perceived value to all your offerings. This brings us to one of the common mistakes made when offering samples; don’t offer old or out of date products as samples. Use them as something extra you give to established clients or donate them to a local charity. When you donate, don’t forget to do a press release and you might get some free advertising. It also goes without saying that you should keep records of what you use for sampling and donations for tax purposes.
When you are giving out samples, you must remember that personality matters. You want someone from your office that is engaging and that has product knowledge to share with your clients. Have a carafe or beverage dispenser with a nice cold fruit drink or a warming hot chocolate with small sample cups in your waiting area. Pass a tray with bar samples around the office. Don’t sample out whole bars, but rather, cut them into pieces and insert toothpicks. Make it feel like a party and your sampling will be even more successful. Ideally, you want someone serving the samples. They will be able to answer questions, build interest and quickly overcome any negative comments. It is also a great idea to attach a special to the samples. Give them 10% off the item being sampled if they purchase the same day. Create the good mood and the urgency and watch the magic happen.
If you do any type of group classes or support meetings with your clients you have the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the other products like the entrees, chips and gelatin. Use the class as an opportunity to demonstrate ease of preparation and have a tasting. Make sure you have prepared the item yourself, so you can make it look very easy. Don’t do it the first time in front of everyone.
You should also take sampling outside your location. Offer to provide refreshments for a local gym or community event. Have someone there to represent you with the samples and coupons for your business. You shouldn’t pay for the space because you are bringing something to the table. Make the space inviting and make sure that dynamic person is there to answer questions.
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