Outflow produces inflow again

I’ve had a few nibbles on my offer of free sign stencils and one solid strike, but no big rush.

It seems that non-profit organizations perk their ears up at the word "Free", but they make decisions more deliberately and I have not had any definite sign requests yet from them.

On the other hand, my ham radio expert neighbor has already put in an order for a call sign sign to be delivered as soon as I can make it. 

There are four more days to get a free custom sign stencil and we will see what happens on that front. So far, the results seem to indicate that this is not  a priority item in this area.

On the other hand, my phone has been ringing with more urgent framing requests than usual and I will have my hands full for the next week or so. This framing activity started this morning after I posted yesterday’s article and I firmly believe that the outflow has a definite part in creating the inflow.

For the past twenty years, I have been observing that almost every service-oriented outflow has produced a corresponding inflow of work opportunities or customer orders. Part of it may be that outflowing takes my mind off a demand for inflow and puts it on creating opportunities for others. The absence of any "must have income" attitude seems to open up communication channels and people call out of nowhere to discuss doing business!

Has anyone else noticed this phenomena?

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0 Responses to Outflow produces inflow again

  1. Perspective says:

    David,

    You always exhibit enlightened thinking. I’ve been way too income-focused in doing industrial market research (never wanting to give it away). I just never trusted a corporation would value the “market preview” in the same way a personal customer might. I know the client is a personal customer…but they don’t often stay in the job long enough to appreciate the “relationship-building” efforts by me.

    I try to learn from my mistakes…and maybe being too distrusting gets in the way. I’ll try it your way. Yet, I suspect I will tiptoe first.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. I think your caution is appropriate. A prospective industrial customer has reason to be skeptical of a “free” offer because his company will be investing time and money investigating the value of the offer to them.

    You have to keep a relaxed frame of mind when you make an offer of a free service or product. A full-court press to accept your offer will set off alarms in the prospective customer’s mind.

    A reduced-cost offer might actually be more acceptable to an industrial prospect or a limited time offer of free use, etc. for evaluation purposes.

    This kind of offer is best made to the top executive or owner of a company because a decision can be made more quickly.

    My offer was for the sole purpose of getting immediate feedback on the interest level for a stencil sign product, but it has produced more curiosity about my framing business than interest in signs. It has also generated a little buzz in the local area because of the mention of the CMC mat cutter capability.

    All in all, it has worked out to be a valid use of my time and completely justifiable as a marketing activity.

    In the industrial marketplace, a free evaluation period can be a powerful persuader and at the same time offer you as the supplier a wealth of information on problems you still have to solve to achieve success in a particular market.

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