Judith: Well, it was an idea of yours from last week actually. It’s about free trials, moneyback guarantees, client tasters, discovery calls at no risk, demonstrating value trial before you buy. The pros and cons of how much should we – what’s the best – what are the different strategies for enabling a client to either try before they buy or try at no risk because they can get their money back?
Nicola: This was prompted by me wandering on your website and seeing that there was simultaneously an offer for your Small Business Big Magic. And then there was also something on your navigation that let people try that for a much lesser amount for a certain period. I can’t remember exactly.
Judith: It’s a free trial for 30 days so that they can taste it before they commit to recurring payment. I don’t have a moneyback guarantee on it. Easy in, easy out is what I say. I don’t want them to be in handcuffs. And trial before they buy is one thing that I’ve had some success with. And typically, in the olden days—when we used to write long sales letters—we always had to have a moneyback guarantee.I’m quite good at selling. So, if I give a client a free trial, most of them convert at the end. And if I have a discovery call, sooner or later they become clients. But I think one needs to be careful – I think that was your concern. It’s that so many people that we know give everything away for free. And we don’t want them doing that really.
Nicola: Well, I thought you’re shooting yourself right in the foot by having an option on the same navigation for someone to go and do it without paying for it. But you shot me right down on that one because you said, “Actually, somebody just signed up with a full price that very day.”
Judith: Well, I tell you what I think there are. There’s at least two different types of people in the world. So, there’s the stranger who will cruise by and find it—the offer—compelling and not difficult to make a decision to spend £50 a month and in like Flynn and wants to start, and then the other people who’ll go, “Oh, well,” and finally bounce a bit and can’t quite make up their minds. And the experiments that I’ve done with inviting people for my newsletter to try it for free are about five out of six people – I’m very confident about everything I offer. So, I know that if people can try it for free, they will like it. There are exceptions which is it is a virtual group. We never meet up face to face. So, you need to be able to make connections very well on a group call and on a Facebook group. And the people that do both of those things well—myself included—enjoy it. Other people want to have somebody geographically close to them they could go around and have a cup of tea with. This doesn’t suit those people. So, when I did it before—and five out of six signed up—the sixth that didn’t, wanted real face to face interaction with human beings. I prefer this idea that we can connect around the world. And the Small Business Big Magic is so affordable because I coach them all in group. And what that means is they get a change to opt in to a 90-minute call which I run ten times a month. And I coach them while other people are listening either live or to the recording. But they get individual time. So, it’s quite a strange thing because I think there might be an anxiety around discussing your business or your issues in front of other people. But the thing they all like best about it—and this completely took me by surprise—is how much they learn about themselves in listening to other people. And the right sorts of people who enjoy this environment are not in judgment of other people. And so, those anxieties fade away. But they fade away better if you can taste the experiment with that—free—to say if you like it or not. And so, that’s worked. But you know me, I like to experiment with different ways. There is no appropriate way to get them a moneyback guarantee on a £50 a month thing because – try it for free instead—it’s easier—and then sign up. I think it depends on what the offer is. I think it depends what one is selling. You know what I mean?
Nicola: Yes, but I would have thought that two things would happen. One that you wouldn’t get anyone signing up at full price because they’ve got a free offer or you get people signing up at full price and then coming back to you and saying, “Can I have that money back because you’re offering a free month?”
Judith: Well, neither of those things have come to pass us yet—not to say that they won’t because [INAUDIBLE]. But 30 days is 30 days. So, for me, it’s just another way of offering them a moneyback guarantee that’s actually more administratively convenient for me.
Nicola: My instincts would have been to keep the offer off the main navigation and just offer it to people who perhaps contact you with lots of questions. And then you could just say, “Oh, you know, just try it for a month.”
Judith: It’s quite a simple offer, you see, Nicola. If it was a lot more expensive, I think I would have contact from people with lots of questions. But I don’t really have that. It’s £50. You want it or what?
Nicola: See, I’ve got a £50 a month membership like you have. And it operates in a similar kind of way. But I only offer the trial as either a bonus for something else, i.e. another product or perhaps if I’m doing a promotion. I’m doing so many promotions these couple of weeks it’s unbelievable. They’re sort of online seminar, everyone gets involved. I’m doing three of those as a brief able to test to see if they work. And the free trial—$1-trial in my case—is a really good bonus because it’s got a tangible value that nobody can access unless they’re part of this giveaway or seminar or they brought this product. So, $1-trials per month are very useful for that as well. But I only offer it to my mailing list after they’ve been through quite a long intense education process about the benefits of signing up anyway. So, it’s sort of a last-ditch attempt to catch a few who might convert, who wouldn’t have converted otherwise. So, the only guarantee—I think—with coaching is a real minefield because you are talking – I mean someone asked in Internet Super Friends yesterday, “What makes a great training course?” And there are about 48 replies. And James Schramko popped up with a return on investment. That was pithy—I thought—but very impertinent. But you can’t guarantee a return on investment because you’re really at the mercy of whether anyone takes any action or not. And actually, in my experience, the people who you give the free trials to are the people least likely to take action.
Judith: I discovered something quite interesting about the six people who went through. It’s that one, two, three were people I knew would sign up. Six was the one that didn’t because she wanted face-to-face. And of the other two, I’ve got them in the wrong order. The one that I thought wouldn’t, did. And then the one that I thought would, didn’t. That makes sense. So, you can’t really make any assumptions about people. I don’t really have many tire kickers in my world anymore.
Nicola: So, people come to your website and it’s doing a good job of qualifying the right kind of people.
Judith: I think you are the sort of person who thinks £50 for the first month is no risk at all actually because you can easily afford it or that you are anxious about £50 before you know what value for money you can get. I think I’m speaking to both of those people—those different sorts of people. But from my perspective, it’s this angle of what will it be like airing my stuff—my anxieties—in a group? And what I found is that they report it’s more valuable than they expected. And they can’t know that unless they’ve had a trial. And either they can pay £50 and take that at their risk or they can have it for free and take it at my risk. And it’s the same difference really. I think it’s – the world falls into different cans.
Nicola: Absolutely. So, we think they’re a good idea?
Judith: Well, I think it depends actually is what I’m saying. It’s a good idea for what I’m offering but it really isn’t a good idea for everything. I could think of all sorts of things that you wouldn’t want to give a free trial to actually. We’ve all had people come along to our membership and suck out everything they can and cancel their sub. You don’t want to enable people to do that I think. But if that’s not your reality, I don’t think they do. I think what you want to do is give people the opportunity to experience what you’re selling at no risk. And whether it’s a moneyback guarantee or a free trial, it’s to remove an objection, isn’t it?
Nicola: Yes. With Clicks and Leads, I did experiment with the idea of giving people a free trial for seven days. But then I realized it was so much work to set up a campaign. It just wasn’t feasible. o, what I do now is I have a demo session that they can book into through my online diary. And while the quality of people I speak to on that is in terms of customer prospects—in terms of all they ever allow you to convert to customers—it’s probably a call too as good as the referral prospects. Because I can’t actually demonstrate to them how much traffic I can get them. But what I do in that discovery call is ask them lots of really searching questions about their business and their profitability and their current marketing fund. And I really demonstrate on that lots of value because I give them an hours’ worth of basically my best marketing advice. And they are to respond to that and think, “Blimey, I’d like this person on my team,” or “Let’s get her on to do the ads,” or it displaced my feeling they’re not quite ready perhaps.
Judith: I also think – yeah, because for us even though we’re giving them away, they may turn into a client. I think they can also turn into useful research about one’s marketplace. And even if it doesn’t convert into a client, that person might go off and mention you to somebody else. You might get a testimonial which I often ask for that when I do a discovery call. “If you’re not going to become a client, can you just let me have some few sentences that I can share on Facebook?” Whatever it is, there’s lot of value that can be given and received I think. So, it depends how you look at the world.
Nicola: That’s a great idea about testimonials. I haven’t really been doing that. Because actually it’s quite a scary thing to book yourself into someone’s diary and commit a whole hour of your time to an experience that could very well be a hard sell. That’s what most discovery calls are. I deliberately don’t go there. I say right at the very beginning, “I’m not going to try and get you to commit to running Facebook ads for me at the end of this call. But I’m going to ask a lot of questions about your business. I’m going to give you my very best advice. And at the end of it, you’re going to go and you’re going to make a decision in the quiet of your own home, and then you’re going to contact me because you want to work with me.”
Judith: I think that means they can relax in the session then. And I think there’s an abundance to all of this which I think is interesting. And what would be lovely I think is if some of our listeners are thinking about their own examples, maybe they could send in some questions. “In my own business, how would that work?” Well, tell us a little bit about your business and we could give you some recommendations perhaps.
Nicola: Episode 25 at OwnItThePodcast.com. It’s a good opportunity for me to remind our American listeners to text 33444 – I’m sorry, no, I will do that the long way around – to text “own it to podcast” to 33444. And you will get back a little text that will invite you to join our mailing list and get lots of lovely free gifts just so I’d remember the public service announcement.
Judith: I think somebody came on to my list this week since you’ve made that announcement last time.
Nicola: How marvellous, it’s working. Nothing’s so nice as things that work, is there? That work is a treat.
Judith: Oh, you eventually bought a new kettle?
Nicola: Yes, I did actually secretly just got to buy one after we talked about it on that podcast. In fact, that’s an absolute lie. I went to Tesco with Sara [ph] and she made me buy one.