“Should I offer a free demo class to prospects?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? I bet you have if you have been self-employed any length of time.
You should provide free demo classes to prospects, and you can do it in a way that will add money to your bank account. Here’s how! But first, here is why many freelance teachers decide NOT to do it…
The Case Against Free Demos “What if I just waste my time?” “What if you go to all the trouble of setting up a demo, preparing it, and delivering it to a prospect only to have them walk away and take their business somewhere else? What a waste!”
That’s the usual reasoning behind the “No” argument, right? You risk your time and money if your prospect goes somewhere else. And you are totally right if you don’t have a solid sales process in place.
Demo classes that lead to money and regular clients are a PART of a strong sales process. They are never THE only thing you do to sell. If you only depend on a great demo class to sell your service, expect to see people walking away without engaging with your services.
Ho to make Demos work:
- Create and follow your 4 step sales process: Where you qualify your prospects, develop rapport with them, educate them, and finally close them. (Your Demo class is a mix of educating your prospect and closing them.) You can learn much more about the 4 step sales process from this podcast . (The Entreleadership Podcast – well worth listening to.) I also blogged about it here: Selling for Freelance ESL Teachers.
- Place the demo where it belongs: as part of your education and close strategy. By the time you give your demo class, you should know that your prospect is a great ‘fit’ for you, your prospect should have had time to get to know you – YOU as a person and YOU as a service provider. They should know how you work, what tools you use, what method you follow, etc. They should also know how much you charge, how your payment policies work, and how you handle reschedule requests. In other words, by the time you get to the topic of a free demo class, your prospect knows pretty much everything they need to know to make a final purchase decision. The demo is the rehearsal and dinner before the wedding – if you want to look at it that way.
- Close the Sale After the Demo after you deliver an amazing demo class, like I totally know you will, here is what you should do to bring home the sale: 1. Upfront, state that your demo will be 45 minutes long. 2. Deliver an amazing 45 minute demo. 3. When you are finished, ask for feedback. What did you think? How did you feel as we worked together? 4. Shut-up and listen! If your feedback is positive, and you feel it is genuine, NOW is the crucial step: close the sale. You can do this easily and without any pressure by simply and calmly showing them your schedule and saying: I am hearing that you enjoyed our demo class and that you felt comfortable working with me. I am free on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30-9:00a.m. – would you like to schedule your first class for next Tuesday?”
- Listen. Let your prospect talk without any interruptions. You really don’t need to speak after you ask them a question: simply let them reply! If they are ready to close the deal, they will do it immediately. If they have more questions they will ask, and you can go back to the education/information step of your process. You aren’t pressuring or pushing here or ever. You are simply being the great teacher that you are! You are helping someone have enough information to choose you.
If the date you offer doesn’t work for your prospect, ask them to suggest one. Write it down, and let them know when you would need their first payment.
I have found that if you follow your 4 step sales process carefully, you will almost always end up with a sale after your demo class. No, these steps are not 100% guaranteed to work, but they sure will increase your chances of success!
How have you used free demo classes to increase your sales? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!