What Is Better Than FREE? What do you think about risk free?

marketingmoneymojoBBy James Burchill

January 12th, 2017


Oh come on! FREE is free. Zero, zip, nada, zilch. What on earth could be better than FREE?

I recently mentioned online that FREE was the most powerful word in advertising. Nothing has changed, it still is.

So what is with the headline of this article? What is better than FREE?

Well before I explain, let’s recap a little first. FREE is the most powerful word in marketing and advertising world because at its very heart lies the secret of ‘risk reversal’. If you make your offer as close to risk-free as possible you will be ahead of most of your competition.

Beyond Risk Reversal

Getting over the risk associated with making the wrong choice, or making the choice and then having the product under deliver or simply not work, is a problem that every buyer struggles with. And for what it’s worth, most people are more afraid of making the wrong choice and looking foolish, than they are of just making the wrong choice.

So if you can negate this fear, if you stack the deck in your favour. If you can get the buyer over that hurdle, they will be one step closer to saying “yes”.

Let’s Dance

In any business transaction there is a silent dance that plays out every time someone offers something for sale, and someone considers buying it. Each party silently tries to maneuver themselves into a position where their risk is limited. As the seller, you can help the buyer get to that place if you assume all or more of the risk, then you will have less trouble selling your product or service. It’s that simple.

“But James, nothing in life is really free.”

Well, that is true to some extent. Even if I gave you something free, what it really means is that you did not have to part with any money. You paid no cash. You may still have spent time and energy on the sales process; you may have invested yourself emotionally in the prospect of owning that flashy newfangled widget.

Therefore, in reality, you have ‘spent’ something – you spent time. And time unlike money is non-refundable. Time is finite and as the old saying goes… “Time waits for no man.”

So if your prospect has accepted your request to explore the possibility of buying something from you, and has even gone so far as to consider making a deal with you, what can you do to clinch it? Well you can let them know you value their time. You can show them you respect them for taking the time to meet with you. You can show them that you appreciated their consideration of your product or service.

And The Answer Is…

And so the answer to your question ‘what is better than free?’ is ‘Better Than Risk Free’ or ‘BTRF’ for short.

Simply put, a BTRF offer rewards your customer for favouring you with their buying decision. In addition, if it does not work out – you compensate them for their efforts. Here is a concrete example:

best-are-freeWhether you sell products or services, give the client something extra as part of the main deal. If the extra premium is free, then so much the better. To make the deal even stronger, make it known that the whole deal is 100% guaranteed and you’ll refund their money if required (or whatever makes sense) and also let them know that regardless of the deals outcome, (and this is the BTRF part) they get to keep the premium item you gave them as your way of saying thank you.

‘Better Than Risk Free’ is better than free.

burchill-jamesJames Burchill is the founder of Social Fusion Network – an organization that helps local business connect and network.  He also writes about digital marketing, entrepreneurship and technology and when he’s not consulting, he teaches people to start their own ‘side hustle.’

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