When does “free stuff” stop feeling “free”?

I purchased a sales book this week, as much for the cool free stuff I was getting as for the book itself. Now before I go on a bit of a rant – please remember that I’m still thrilled to get the free stuff, but not as thrilled as I was by the IDEA of getting free stuff.

I started at 6:00 a.m. going through it all – different places for the downloads, through different registration processes….. at 7:47 a.m. I gave up and decided I would come back later to finish. Almost TWO HOURS and I hadn’t finished.

Here is my list of what didn’t work for me, along with my commentary:

4 – The list was overwhelming, so much “free stuff”.

  • I completely understand that everyone who contributed to the book (tips & tricks from lots of different sales experts) wanted to capture my contact info and to me that is completely acceptable – I get free stuff & you get to market to me.

Some way to make the process easier – a “global registration” where I agree that by saying I want all the free stuff and it uploaded my contact info to everyone.

Most of them had the double response where I had to agree to be registered as well – so this would give me the opportunity to confirm I really wanted to register.

3 – eBook format – why not a .pdf?

  • A few of the eBook offers linked me to a web page with an article on it (remember, I am downloading lots of different things from different contributors at this point). What are the chances I’m reading it all right now – ZERO, I’m downloading to read later, can’t do that with a URL so now I am out of your life, no feeling of free on these. I just bailed without ever reading the content – might have been fantastic, I’ll never know.

2 – Landing pages as commercials vs. informative.

  • I had a couple favorite landing pages that gave me a brief understanding of what I would get by registering and a flavor of the way content would be delivered. LOVE IT! There were more that had the feeling of an infomercial at 2:00am, I have already decided to go to a page where I know I’m registering, stop “selling me” and start informing me of how the experience will be after I register.

Some of these convinced me – not purposely – to NOT register as I didn’t want to get eZines that had that feel to them as well.

….. and my number one pet peeve for this experience is (drum roll please):

1 -Don’t ask me for my credit card information to give me free stuff! Really are you kidding in this age of identity theft? You offer me a “free trial membership” and want my credit card.

  • Perhaps, thinking it through – if the offer was “buy 2 months get 1 free” then I would have gone into the process knowing you would need payment.

I know, I know – how does this apply to you?

4 – Don’t overwhelm your prospects with “stuff”, if you give away so much the value of your product (in this case the book) is diminished in the prospects eyes.

3 – What you give away needs to be easy for the prospect to use.

2 – Once the prospect has bought in, shut up. Many sales are lost because the salesperson keeps talking because they never noticed they had made the sale.


1 – If the prospect doesn’t believe it is free – it isn’t.

Economic Conversation Starters for Sales

Not sure how to start an economic conversation?

·         Open with acknowledging that times are tough.

·         Tell a relevant story about one of your customers (without naming the customer).

·         Ask a question on how the economy is affecting them.


On a cold call their defense system may be raised, you may hear a version of “what are you trying to sell me” or “what do you want”. Need a suggestion?

·         Actually – I don’t know if we are going to be able to work with together, until I understand more about you and your business, I will not know if you need what I do.


After that statement, take a breath to see if they answer your question. If they don’t ask it again using slightly different words – be sure to make it sound conversational (think of your best friend and how you would ask them the question).

Coaching over Coffee: The Beginning

UpYourTeleSales: Coaching over Coffee is an idea that started…. yup over a cup of coffee.

Welcome! My goal is to have a place to put tips, tools, and ideas that will help improve your TeleSales success. I also hope that ideas will expand and grow through comments and commentary.

Don’t just sit back and slup, join in.