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     Here!  Take this!  It’s free! 




     Yeah, right.  Listen, I know about that no such thing as a free lunch thing.  Nuttin’s “free,” anymore, baby!  Or maybe you got one a those hidden camera deals goin’ on?

     Serious.  Would you like a weird experience?  Try giving away something of value for free, and watch what happens.  Walk into a dozen businesses and offer the boss something of value for free . . . no strings attached . . . no gimmicks.  Offer something that’s really good for the business to have, something that will make them look good to their customers, something that will enhance their reputation.

     Maybe a couple of hundred free business cards, or a free display rack, or free flowers, or 50 free copies of a gorgeous, 80-page, regional magazine with genuine cultural substance, and upscale content and format treatments . . . a publication the business can turn around and give customers for free, even affix a “Compliments of ____” sticker to the covers.

     Really!  Do it.  Give it a try.  See what happens.  You’ll be amazed.  Some will of course accept what you give away, but odds are that most will look at you like you just landed on a spaceship from Pluto.  Very few (perhaps none) will trust you.  You must after all, be up to something!

     I tried getting an okay to allow some high traffic area businesses take on a beautiful, richly written and photographed, quarterly magazine for free that they could distribute for free to key customers and enhance their own reputation for quality goods and services by association, and for exceptional customer service simply by giving it out!


     “Oh, I don’t know.  I think I’ll have to ask our management team for approval.” — A Hospital 


     “What’s the trick?” — A Bank


     “Call back next week.  I’ll have to read the whole thing first, then check with the boss, who will also want a week or two to decide.  Actually call back next month.” — A Restaurant


     “Not right now.  We’re having some internal problems right now.  We’re tring to figure out ways to help improve customer relations.  Maybe some other time.”  — A Hotel


     “You’ll have to get an okay from the president and he’s out of town right now for two weeks, and there’s no assistant or anything to make these decisions ’til he’s back.” — A Manufacturing Company


     “I’ll submit the proposal for you to the director, but she will have to go to the VP and the VP needs to clear it with our advisory board.  Try back in six weeks.” — A Professional Sports Facility


     What’s happening here?  I don’t think I look like a terrorist.  I smiled and asked very politely.  Are nuclear science formulae involved in the decision?  Or are we becoming so suspicious and cynical a society that we can’t believe anything could possibly be free anymore?  Have you ever had an experience like this?  Tell me your “take” on this.        halalpiar 

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