Guerilla Generosity

These days, there seem to be two kinds of businesses: givers and takers. Today’s consumers seem to be increasingly attracted to “giver” companies and repelled by “taker” companies. Giver businesses are quick to give freebies to customers and prospects. The freebies may be gifts, but more likely come in the form of information. The right information is worth more than a gift and often even worth far more than money.

In fact I’ve added a new personality trait to my list of characteristics possessed by successful guerrillas. I’ve always known they were blessed with infinite patience and fertile imaginations. I’ve written in awe of their acute sensitivity and their admirable ego strength. I’ve raved about their aggressiveness in marketing and their penchant for constant learning.

Now, I’m impressed, but not surprised, at their generosity. They are, every single one of them, generous souls who seem to gain joy by giving things away, by taking their customers and prospects beyond satisfaction and into true bliss. They learn what those people want and need and then they try to give them what they want and need absolutely free.

The result? Delighted prospects who become customers and delighted customers who become repeat and referral customers.

What kind of things do guerrilla marketers give away for free? Let’s start with a list of ten and your mind will be primed to dream up ten more:
•They give gift certificates to their own business, whether the certificates are for products or services.
•They give printed brochures to anybody who requests one.
•They give electronic brochures, on audio and video, once again to people who ask for them. And they are quick to offer their free brochures in    their other marketing.
•They give money to worthy causes and let their prospects and customers know that they support a noble cause, enabling these people to        support the same endeavor.
•They give free consultations and never make them seem like sales presentations.
•They truly try to help their prospects.
•They give free seminars and clinics because ;they realize that if their information is worthwhile, it will attract the right kind of people to them.·
•They give free demonstrations to prove without words the efficacy of their offerings.
•They give tours of their facilities or of work they’ve accomplished elsewhere, again transcending any standard marketing tools they might employ.
•They give free samples because they know that such generosity is the equivalent of purchasing a new customer at a very low price.
•They give invaluable information on their web site, realizing that such data will bring their customers and prospects back for more, thereby intensifying their relationships.

Guerrillas are highly creative in dreaming up what they might give for free. Of course, many advertising specialties such as calendars and scratchpads, mousepads and ball-point pens are emblazoned with their names and theme lines, but they seem to exercise extra creativity as well.

Case in point: When an apartment building went up, signs proudly proclaimed that you get “Free Auto Grooming” when you sign a lease. Soon, the occupancy rate was 100 percent. The salary they paid the guy who washed the tenants’ cars once a week was easily covered by the difference between 100 percent occupancy and 71 percent occupancy, the usual occupancy rate in that neighborhood.

That means your task is clear: Think of what might attract prospects and make customers happy. Be creative. Be generous. Then, be prepared for a reputation embracing generosity, customer service, and sincere caring.

Today’s customers are attracted to giver companies and repelled by taker companies. What kind of company is yours?

Reprinted with permission from Guerilla Marketing