The give first approach is about giving and giving before taking from customers. Other business books call it the value-first approach. A simple example is an IT business operating in an area that gets lots of rain. They provide value to their customers if they give away free umbrellas and waterproof phone pouches.
This approach was coined in 2020; it is not revolutionary or new. It goes against the typical businesses out to take customers. In sales, there is a term called TNT (trash ‘n tickets); this is not what this is. It’s about giving value to customers and not just trinkets to lure them in.
The ‘give-first approach’ for your new business
In business, customers are the most valuable asset you can ever have, and as with any investment, you want to preserve them and make them grow in value. It’s known that it costs five times more to get new customers than to retain the existing ones. It is necessary for a new business with no customer base to keep this cost low.
As a new business, you must build lasting relationships with your customers and other companies. And if it’s a brick-and-mortar business, you will need to build relationships within the community you operate from. The value first approach will help you with this because it’s all about giving something to initiate a relationship.
Methods You can Use
● Free services/products
This is a great way to inform people about your services or how your products work. Using free offers can attract new customers when just starting your business. The good thing about this is that your potential clients experience your service or product firsthand. So when they refer other people to your business, they share an experience with the person, which creates a higher level of trust.
Just be sure to conduct thorough research of your intended market when using this method, as it can be a costly exercise. So the last thing you want is to send free samples to people who will never place orders or re-purchase your services.
This method has been used and overused over the years; we all know when a new furniture store opens, there will be discounts or free items. The reality is it still works. The advantage of having deals is that you are not only limited to opening specials, but you can have recurring discount days throughout the year, based on the season or other community activities like sports.
Another way to maximise this method is to offer gift cards to the value of the discounted amount, and the client can use them at a future date. When they return to use it, they will most likely purchase more expensive or additional items.
● Get Involved in the community
As a new business, you want as much positive good publicity as possible, and sponsoring community events is one way of doing that. You could host a charity event or co-sponsor a local sports team, depending on your budget. This gets your business on people’s radar, and you give them something. All this comes back to you as a more extensive customer base and better profits. Big companies like Mastercard and AWS have done this successfully. These companies sponsor the UEFA Champions League and the Bundesliga, respectively, but their core business has nothing to do with football or sports.
● Partnership with other businesses
You are adding value to your clients’ service/shopping experience by referring clients to another business. People who have pets will need veterinary services at some point, and pet owners who visit the vet need to buy pet accessories. So if both these businesses keep business cards and leaflets from each other, they win.
Make sure you partner with like-minded people and businesses who have the same quality standards as you do. Otherwise, this method could backfire on you.
● Social Media
Everybody and their uncle is on social media, and we know it’s a great way to market your new business. Go beyond just advertising on your social media account but interact with your followers and you can even follow them back and give a few mentions when necessary. People value recognition.
Does it Work
Those who have tried it will give a resounding YES, and those who haven’t may still be sceptical. Remember that for this approach to work, you must provide the customer with something they consider valuable. A prime example of this is a car dealership giving away free fuel coupons to customers. When budgeting for a new car, people think about car repayments, insurance, and maintenance and completely forget about the fuel costs. So free fuel is then highly appreciated.
The value–first approach is excellent for testing new markets as a new business owner. From the feedback you gather, you can then adjust your marketing plan and your prices and be able to sell confidently at full price afterward. It’s also a great asset when you want to launch a new product or new service. Finally, this approach can help you get through dry spells or quiet days. In some places, cinemas offer discounts on certain weekdays to attract customers, as those days are usually slow nights. Restaurants run specials on Monday nights rather than Friday nights when everybody is out on the town,
This approach works well for start-ups and existing businesses when value is given to the custom, not trinkets.