How to do “more than asked” WITHOUT giving it away for “free”…

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by Tom Watson on December 4, 2012

How do you “add value” to the customer without doing it for free? That’s the question we all face. It can be like walking a tightrope in a sense.

You need to separate your company from the rest of the pack yet do so in a way that doesn’t squeeze the purse strings. It doesn’t seem easy, but it really is! Need an example?

Consider the baker at the corner bakery who throws in an extra bread roll into a customers bag. That’s known as a “baker’s dozen”. In essence the baker is tossing you a freebie.

The real “secret” is that the baker is taking “credit” for it simply by the act of you seeing him do it. You notice the act, thank him THEN subconsciously file the memory in your brain as a “positive moment”.

This positive moment resurfaces in your brain every time you think of getting fresh rolls at the bakery. This leads you to then wind up going back to the same bakery each and every time you need something from a bakery.

Which is EXACTLY what the baker wanted!

If he tossed that extra roll into your bag when you weren’t looking he never would have been able to create that positive memory. Instead you would have viewed it as a mistake on his part. His loss and your gain, that’s it! So he wanted you to see it. It was no accident!

This technique can be used by just about any type of business. For the house cleaning business owner this may mean asking the customer if you can dust and wipe the baseboard behind the furniture in the living room.

They will certainly give you permission to do so! The act will take you but a moment or two yet create that same positive memory that the baker did by giving a free roll. There is no need to do it all the time, but every now and again is highly recommended.

To help drive this home I would also make a notation on the work order that makes mention of what was done for free. Simply create a line that reads “clean base boards behind furniture in living room. No Charge“.

Keep in mind that these little freebies can be just about anything. Perhaps cleaning behind the refrigerator in the kitchen, sweeping the porch or sidewalk out in front of their home. I even heard of someone firing up a leaf blower and blowing the driveway clean. Be creative!

For maximum effect you’ll want to do the freebie stuff AFTER you have already arrived at a price for the job. Don’t deprive the customer the satisfaction of getting a little extra service for no charge.

This concept of “giving extra but not doing it for free” is a powerful one you should make use of. It’s these little details that separate world-class operations from those of sub-standard ones. The real beauty to this method is that it’s extremely simple to make your company stand out from the rest in a crowded field of competitors.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our RSS feed. If you are looking for a blueprint that will show you how to start a cleaning business, then check out my Cleaning Business Start Up Guides. If you are badly in need of a first class website then take a look at my Cleaning Business Websites.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ron December 5, 2012 at 8:34 am

I like this advise because that is what every customer wants, which is benifits from what there paying for! I know I always remember when I buy something from stores that went that extra mile for me” I always think or go back to there business first!

2 Tom Watson December 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

I agree Ron! When you give a little extra, people remember you for it. EXAMPLE: We have several hardware stores near me. But one goes WAY BEYOND the call of duty to help you out when you are looking for something. That’s the store I always go to!

3 Shannon December 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Im glad your website is of use and that when I was looking for ways to start my business,well you couldn’t have made it any easier to understand thanks Tom

4 Tom Watson December 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hi Shannon! Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it. If you ever need anything just touch base.

5 Ti Roberts December 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Fantastic post, Tom. Throwing in freebies is a fantastic way to build and retain business. Like you mentioned, this same principle can be applied in any kind of business. I currently do this in my internet marketing business.

The name of the game in internet marketing is always offer a freebie of some sort and in exchange for an email. I always try to over deliver in the free reports and videos I offer. Even when I’m doing promos on a paid product, offering top notch bonuses for free is a great way to over deliver as well. I’ve even gone as far a giving unannounced freebies in addition to the bonuses of a paid product. This is always a great surprise to a new customer.

Thanks for sharing this post with our BizSugar community. You shared some great insights and I enjoyed reading it!


6 Tom Watson December 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Thanks Ti! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to comment.

7 Joyce December 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

A very useful tip for every business owner desiring to stand out in their industry. You are the best Tom.

8 Tom Watson December 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Hi Joyce! Thanks for sharing that.

9 Sian Phillips December 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Strangely enough I came across something like this on the weekend which made me think. I often hire a car from Hertz when I head back to the UK to visit the family and I think about 70% of the time they always offer me a free upgrade. When I thought about it it probably doesn’t cost them a thing as they are the upgrade cars they have freely available so it’s a nice touch. Thanks for sharing on

10 Tom Watson December 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hi Sian! Thanks for sharing that, it really helped drive home how all those acts don’t go unappreciated by the customer. They (we) remember!

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