One of the questions that I have been asked several times recently in Mentoring sessions with clients is:
‘Should I be using taster sessions to introduce myself to potential new clients?’
A taster session is an offer of a free or reduced rate session to a business where you basically give a little taster of what you can do – it could be a half day or 1 day workshop, a coaching session, a personality profiling session or whatever is appropriate. Taster sessions can be very useful for getting your foot in the door, showcasing what you do and gathering feedback and testimonials. Many freelance trainers and training companies I know use this model very successfully as a way of attracting new business.
The downsides of taster sessions are of course that they can become time consuming and a drain on your business if you don’t convert into paying clients. There is also a school of thought that says you shouldn’t go down the route of offering anything for free as it devalues what you do and sets up an expectation in the mind of the potential customer that they don ‘t have to pay.
If you decide to use Taster Sessions here are some tips:
1. Make sure that you only offer them to your target market and not just anyone who has a passing interest.
2. Think carefully about what hot topics and issues your target market needs answers to. Remember, people don’t buy training, they buy solutions to problems.
3. Instil some sort of commitment into the process. For example, ask interested parties to complete an application form, pre-course work or insist on a minimum number of delegates. This increases the perceived value in the eyes of the client and helps you sort out the wheat from the chaff.
4. Have a follow up system in place to convert the the potential client into definite business.
I’d be interested in your experiences, tips and views on using taster sessions so please leave a comment below.