When You Can't Give Free Away

20110413-053108.jpg I am sitting at in Dallas, heading home after speaking at the Agent Reboot event here.

After grabbing a , I found some of those comfy leather Southwest chairs with the built in.

I sat directly behind a "barker" for southwest. That's what they are called right?

He is barking at all passerbys.

"Sign up today! Get a free flight! Only takes three minutes!"

I lost count of how many walked by, how many times he has said this, but I do know one number. How many people that have signed up. That number is Zero.

Can't Free Away

Why is it so hard to give away something free?

It even looks like you get a tshirt for signing up. I mean a free flight, a free tshirt, what's not to like here. But no one is signing up.

Could it be his script? Could it be him?

I doubt it. I think we have become so conditioned to free, that free is not amazing . In fact, I think free makes people feel there is a catch. And in order to figure out the catch, it will take time, energy and thought. We don't want to look foolish or feel like we got taken advantage of.

20110413-053944.jpgYou might want to rethink the word "free" in your marketing. I know I'm going to.

It shouldn't be so hard to give away free.

Interesting end to this story. The "barker" disappeared for awhile. It got quiet. Maybe he went on break. But someone walks up to the booth and started filling out the form on their own. With out be pitched and barked at.

Second interesting thing, another person came up to the booth. Social proof in action.

What's your take on free, barking, pitching and social proof?