Generosity Works Better Than Sales Pitches

Generosity Works Better Than Sales Pitches

How do you earn permission to speak to a group of people? How do you get them to engage with your message, buy what you sell, and share your ideas? By giving away some of what your audience values for free.

To get your name out there as an authority, it may feel like you should be constantly trying to close a ton of sales, to build word of mouth. You don’t have to. In fact, that may even undermine your goal.

For example, whose advice are you going to take? A personal trainer you have seen a few times at the gym comes over when he sees you working out. He asks if he could show you a couple of corrections that would make a significant difference to your work out. You accept, and he shows you what you need to do. Note the offer is provided for free without ever mentioning his services. Also, you can tell straight away, the difference his recommendations make. OR, A personal trainer assigned to you for a session because it was part of the package you signed up to.

I’ll tell you why you’ll value the former, because it will feel more genuine. It may also actually lead to more sales, subtly using the psychological principle of reciprocity. Reciprocity leverages the psychology of wanting to pay people back.

It is best explained by neuroeconomics expert George Loewenstein, who says that all consumers prefer to purchase from someone they know, like and trust. This means that by offering solutions or giving advice in the first instance with no mention of cost, you are more likely to be able to up-sell to paid products given they have gotten to know you, they’ve had the chance to decide whether they like you, and now you have already proven your value. It becomes a no-brainer.


Give away high-quality content without asking for anything in return, and you will find a much more receptive audience when it comes time to promote your service or product. Dropbox famously grew their user base to over 300 million by offering 2GB of free storage space and then offering paid plans. WP Curve grew their list and customer base by offering free content upgrades with their content.

Another way to engage an audience with generosity is to package up free resources like reports, videos, e-books, etc., and watch them spread across the web. You can also reach out directly to your audience or influencers in your niche and ask what problems they are grappling with, then offer to help solve them.

A great tactic is highlighting in your content the people you want to connect with, either as case studies or through an interview, to make it onto their radar. Then there’s the time-honoured best practice of delivering more than you promise.

Why don’t you let me know in the comments what you do to add value to your prospective customers?

Sue Mills is a marketing, sales and digital specialist to the financial and professional service sector, and the owner of Sassy Marketing & Communications.  With over 20 years of experience working for and with financial planners, accountants, brokers and advisors she shows her clients how to step up and out to be sustainable and thrive in their practices through adopting smart and valuable marketing strategies. Call Sue on 0477 468 888 for a confidential discussion or visit



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