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Freebies! Selling tip for small businesses

Freebies! Selling tip for small businesses

I checked into a hotel during a well deserved family holiday, but I hadn’t booked any breakfast. No surprises; I reserved the rooms in a rush. Normally, I would review the add-ons, and assess if paying extra for breakfast was necessary! In this post, I will share an interesting business tip I learnt from my breakfast experience in the hotel.

At exactly 8.00am, I got a ring from the reception waking up from our first sleep at the hotel. Complimentary breakfast was available, FREE OF CHARGE!  The ideas of exploring other breakfast options were already going out of the window. But here is the catch; although complimentary breakfast was available, with a variety of options, it was limited to a single guest in our room.  Since we were a family of 4, we decided to order and pay for additional breakfast plates!

The salient lessons in this experience are beneficial to small businesses too. Offering free services can sometimes help you get your services right in front of your customer. You may not get the sale immediately, but you can surely get your customers’ audience.

Here are the main tips from my hotel breakfast experience:

  1. Choose the right time – The hotel understood when to offer the complimentary breakfast service. It was offered to us when we woke up, just at the right time for breakfast.  Offering your services too early or too late, only limit your chances of selling. Regardless of what you offer, there is a selling window you should carefully identify, to increase your chances of selling.
  2. Know your customer – The hotel knew we were a family of four.  Customer profiling is so important, and can be used to your advantage in selling.  Understanding who your customer is, helps you to offer services that meet the exact needs of your customers. Do you know that MyCo can help you capture and store information about your customers?
  3. Your offer must be attractive – Offering FREE services won’t attract customers if it doesn’t meet their needs. If it doesn’t sound attractive, it won’t lure the customer or trigger interest either. The complimentary breakfast options were clearly described and was perfectly presented. Are your offers attractive enough?
  4. Upsell your services – Later that morning, the hotel asked if we were happy with the breakfast, and if it was okay to come clear up the breakfast tray. I expressed satisfaction and the receptionist gradually reminded me of some other hotel services that were available. I quickly jumped at a laundry service, as we needed some special ironing in preparation for a family wedding. The tip here is to identify additional selling opportunities particularly when you have the customer’s audience.

Business tips reveal themselves in so many ways, in the most basic of events around us. The world is constantly trading. Every day, you are probably buying something, or selling something, and I will encourage small business owners to be very aware of activities and events around them.

This was a simple hotel experience, no different from another, but the FREE breakfast service reminded me of how to use a simple FREE service model, to attract customers, increase your chances of selling, and further generate more revenue via upselling opportunities.


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