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Offering Free Demo's
Hey guys! For those of you who offer free demo's, what have your results been in terms of closing more/less sales, customers trying to get larger areas cleaned as part of the demo? Do most customers book their cleaning immediately after the demo, or do they need to confer with others before making a decision? Or, depending on how large the job is, how many of them have you do the job while you are there doing the demo?

I currently do demo's only when requested to do so. Just trying to decide if I really want to promote the free carpet inspection and demo as Rick does in the CMS package. Thanks for the input!
did one yesterday and got the job... i like to give them because i myself want to see what kind of results i will be getting..i do warn them though that there good be a clean spot in the middle of the room if they don;t decide to clean it
I think there's 2 distinct types of customers in this scenario.

1. Customers who've approached you.

These customers have already decided to have their carpets cleaned for whatever reason. In this scenario the offer of a free demo is less likely to be taken up in my experience. The major benefit to offering a free demo to this customer is that it will instill confidence in their mind that you are professional and that you're service must be good if you are prepared to back it up with a demo. This will put you ahead of the others that just supply a quote and quite often means that that they will choose you even if your bid is higher than the others (within reason).

2. Customers you have approached.

In this scenario you're main aim is to provide reasons why they should have their carpets cleaned and educate them on the need and the benefits. In this scenario a demo is more likely to be accepted because it assists a customer who wasn't a prospect (until you made them think about it) to now see that they have a need and you have the solution. So in this scenario a demo is a lot more necessary to educate them and therefore more likely to be accepted. In this instance because you approached them you could quite likely be the only one providing a quote.

In both cases offering a free demo is making you look more professional, giving you a higher conversion rate and potentially making you more money.

My experience is that a time to do the job is organized for a later date as they usually need to choose an appropriate time and advise staff etc. but it also depends on the areas being cleaned.

Conversion is definitely higher with the offer of a demo.

Regarding larger areas being requested for the demo, most people are reasonable and this doesn't happen very often. Setting expectations before they agree to a demo helps here.

Regarding making a decision, if it's them who has called you and they take a demo then often booked on the spot. If you have approached them, then it depends on who you are dealing with (usuallythe gatekeeper initially) but usually they would need to consult with the decision maker anyway to get the go ahead for a demo and therefore you often get those on the spot too.

Sorry for the long post but I think it's a really good subject.

Cheers gents

Great posts guys. Thanks!!
Excellent advice above. What can I add to that?

Offer to do a demo of their worst area so they can see how good the carpet will look and what they can expect. This isn't an opportunity for them to score a free cleaning, it's simply a demonstration of how impressed they're going to be when they hire you to clean their carpet. Helps them to feel more comfortable with the decision to choose your service. Doing a free demo is a highly effective sales strategy that will dramatically increase your sales efforts.

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