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The Most Powerful Marketing Weapon Ever Invented

By Christopher Kyalo
Posted Saturday, October 9, 2004

It was probably first discovered out there in the caves or wherever else the history of mankind begun. And yet this weapon has been used so sparingly over the centuries. It is so powerful that those surprisingly few who have stumbled on to it and appreciated and respected its power have ended up making untold fortunes.

Even the greatest mail order marketer of them all, Joe Karbo, created a selling system that showed he fully understood the power of this weapon. (More on that at the end of this article.)

I am sure you’re dying to hear what it is. Let me warn you, you may be disappointed because like most great ideas which have changed the course of history, it is simple. So simple that you may just brush it aside – and lose a real chance to change your fortunes forever. Well, you have been warned.

Here it is.

It’s a FREE SAMPLE.

Let’s look at a real-life example that could happen in your neighbourhood corner right now.

Picture a small business selling doughnuts at a street corner. Potential clients in their hundreds pass by and ignore the seller’s smile and well displayed juicy-looking doughnuts. At the end of the day, he has barely sold a dozen.

Then a simple selling system involving tiny, miniature versions of the doughnuts being given away for free to passersby is introduced. A few people stop to sample the free doughnuts, at least half of them end up purchasing a doughnut or two. The small business owner does some arithmetic at the end of a hectic day. The bill for the samples was high, but his cash box is bulging like it never has before and the sheer volumes of business has reduced the expense for the free samples to a tiny fraction of his takings.

No matter how complex your business is, it can benefit tremendously from the power of a free sample. A few more examples;

An office cleaning concern wanted to expand its’ client base to restaurants but had a lot of difficulties making any head way until they came up with a simple selling system. They approached restaurants and offered to clean up free of charge, the only condition was that the owner sees the dirt that will be cleaned off their premises before it’s disposed of. (If you know the right places to look, any premises will give you a load of dirt enough to make anybody sick.)

Well, almost anybody because only 80% of the restaurants that were cleaned free of charge, signed up to have the firm clean up their premises on a regular basis. Not good enough for the city health inspectors but an unbelievably high percentage for any selling system. It naturally revolutionized this cleaning business.

A media company was facing very stiff competition getting advertisements into their newspaper. They designed a simple system where the company sales representatives approached a carefully selected client list with samples of their advertisements re-designed and placed on a dummy page. The response rate? Well, 4 out of every 10 clients approached in this way signed up for advertising space on the spot.

A company selling solar panels in the heart of Africa wasn’t making much headway until they bit the bullet with the following crazy selling system. They found a simple way to assess the income capabilities of rural homes that had no access to electricity. They would then knock on doors and offer to install solar electricity free of charge. They would then come back a week later and if the house owner liked it, they would pay for it and keep it. If they didn’t the solar firm would simply take their equipment and leave.

The firm which tried this strategy a few years back has bluntly refused to release the response rates for publication. But I can tell you one thing, this system helped to build up the company and today it’s the largest solar energy firm in East and Central Africa, having sold hundreds of thousands of solar systems in a part of the world that has one of the lowest per capita incomes on earth.

And I could go on and on with hundreds of other examples.

The point is that we are always trying to complicate things with elaborate new ideas when all we need to do is keep it simple and look back at the history of mankind. I can almost see that vicious looking hunter violently refusing to exchange part of his kill for a basket of fruit from the fruit-gatherer. That’s until he tastes a free sample of the fruit. Then he happily gives away half his kill for the entire basket.

Let’s wrap it up with Joe Karbo’s amazing selling system. His offer was simple. Order his book The Lazy man’s way to riches. Don’t pay for it now. Simply send a post-dated cheque dated 30 days later. Receive the book (a free sample because you have the option of returning it to the sender and not paying for it) and then if you are satisfied, you keep it. Millions of words have been written about Karbo’s techniques, but everybody seems to have missed this simple secret behind his success. A free sample will always do it where everything else has failed.

About The Author
Christopher Kyalo has over 20 years experience in marketing and creative writing. He provides a service that dreams up brilliant article ideas, and writes and posts them on the net thus creating tremendously effective advertising for any business. Email him now at ckyalo@yahoo.com to get your first article created, written and posted FREE with no obligations. Offer for a limited period only. He is also a consultant for magazines.