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Don Alm
January 19, 2007, 05:25 PM
One of my first ad projects was "Ads on Restaurant Placemats". I made up a Sample Mat with 16 Ad Spaces around the edges. Each Ad Space was numbered. I also made up a "Presentation" showing where the Mats would be placed....How Many and How Much I was charging for each Ad Space.

Well....after the first 3 "No!" I realized something was dreadfully wrong.

Then IT dawned on me...."No One WANTS to be first"!

I call this my "TRAIN" Marketing Theory;
When I was a little boy....I remember looking at a train we were about to ride on. It was just sitting there with it's engine off. I remember wondering;
"WILL the engine start?"
"WILL it have enough power to take us where we're going?"

THEN....as I was going over the 3 "No Sale Pitches" I had just given, I surmised that MAYBE....my prospects were ALSO WONDERING....IF....MY Placemat project would "get going"? Would I get enough advertisers to fill the spaces? All I was showing them was a Blank Sheet of paper with EMPTY Spaces.

So....I got a "Flash";
"Why don't I go back to each of these 3 prospects and offer them a "90 day FREEBIE"? I would put their ads in for No Charge for 90 days. (I'd print up enough mats to last for 90 days) I'd then ask them to pay for the next batch.

The results were, they ALL agreed to do a Freebie....AND...when I showed my Sample (with THREE ADS) to New prospects....they could see for themselves that "the Train was moving"...."the Engine was working" and...THEY could get ON!

I've learned this; "NO ONE LIKES TO BE FIRST!"....with most anything! When there is EVIDENCE that OTHERS "approve" of an idea...it is PROOF enough for them.

I also call this "psychological TOOL".....the "BRING ON THE WITNESSES" syndrome.

Now....this does not mean the "Freebies" will be "Free" forever. If they don't wanna pay when the "Trial" period is over...put in some newbies....who will be easier to enroll because they will now see only 3 Ad Spaces remaining (for example)

Don Alm

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