If you are thinking of using the word “free” to market any of your products or services, you may want to think again. There is zero value in the word “free.”

The word “free” has always bugged me in sales. It is really saying the sales process isn’t working and the only way to get the customer to buy something is by making it free. I realize there are a number of businesses that have become quite successful by first going to the marketplace with a “free” strategy.

In today’s economy, though, too many salespeople think they’re brilliant and the way they will turn their business around is by offering something for “free.” Free may have a place in an overall strategy, but it has to be thought through very carefully. About 95% of the time, free is used to try and overcome the failure of the salesperson to truly create a value proposition with the customer. The only way to create a value proposition is to first genuinely listen to what the customer needs and then demonstrate how a product or service fills that need.

Once a company gets into the “free” strategy, it can become incredibly hard to eliminate it. The “free” becomes an addiction the salesperson can’t seem to live without. I strongly believe if a salesperson can’t sell something at full price, then they can’t sell.

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