We know that free trials are common in the SaaS world, but what about hardware?
As it turns out, major OEMs like Lenovo and Dell offer their channel partners demo programs that allow B2B customers to try out new product for a select time period before making a decision to purchase. Not all reps choose to utilize the service because they think it will extend the time to buy, when in reality, product demos have shown to close more deals, and faster.
The Power of Touch
When customers are given the opportunity to see, touch and experience a product line first-hand, they are able to visualize the products within their own infrastructure. By just touching the objects, the perception of ownership increases which can heavily sway buying decisions.
There are other psychological affects that a free product demo can stimulate, like the reciprocity principle – a basic law of social psychology that when someone does you a favor, you feel more compelled to act in return. If you offer a free product demo to showcase your new product line for a customer and a competitor doesn’t, the customer’s reciprocal feelings towards you, in addition to the added perception of ownership having already utilized the machines, can help sway the decision in your favor.
The Power of Free
There’s also something about the power of free that can cause B2C consumers to purchase somewhat irrationally, and some of this transfers to B2B. For instance, researchers have conducted experiments that show when offered a $10 gift card for free, and a $20 gift card which you have to pay $7 for, more people opted for the former, even though the latter held greater value.
Now, your goal shouldn’t be to trick your customer. You should be confident in the product you are selling and be enthusiastic about showcasing it to your customers, knowing its performance alone should impress and win the deal for you. But there’s still something to be said of the power of free. Maybe you can’t beat a competitor on price, but your free product demo has already placed the mindset to win the deal in your favor.
That’s why you’ll notice your marketing team really playing up that word “free” if they are able to in any context. It resonates with the customer, peaks their interest, and increases the potential of turning a prospect into a customer.
How to Get Free Demos to Your Customers
Are you a reseller of hardware technology who would like to provide free product demos to your customer? Make sure to contact your OEM to see if they have a channel partner demo program in place. These programs give them a perfect opportunity to show off their latest and great products while enabling channel sales.
Are you with an OEM who would like a channel program established? Contact us to see how we can help you set up a program that takes the operational burden of a demo program out of your lap while providing a valuable service to your channel partners.