HubSpot’s new study, Buyers Speak Out: How Sales Needs to Evolve shows that there’s a huge chasm between how buyers want to be sold to and the way organizations are actually selling.

Digging into this study I found some interesting data that shows a third of buyers want the opportunity to see a service/product in action very early on. They want a very tangible understanding of what they’re potentially buying, and they want it right away.

How can businesses rise to meet this new expectation around try before buy?


I’ve been promoting a new stage in the lead generation process that I refer to as”Lead Sampling.” Lead sampling acknowledges the fact that your job as a salesperson or marketer is to replicate the conditions of actually experiencing the service or product in action.

7 Ways Prospects Can Sample Your Service or Product

Today’s shift in buying now demands a very tangible way prospects can experience your offer.

Prospects want to be able to sample your expertise, product or service and it’s the easiest way to move people to actually buying all-in, particularly in highly competitive and highly priced situations.

  1. Demo— a group consulting model that would demonstrate expertise by offering advice and answering questions in a free weekly session that could be upgraded to one-on-one consulting
  2. 30 – 90 Minute Consultation or Coaching— A personal or life coach might create a “get unstuck” in 3 sessions mini engagement that allows someone to try out coaching without a long term commitment
  3. Audit— an marketing firm may offer a free or low cost audit providing solid recommendations that could turn into long-term paid projects
  4. Trial Offer— an home improvement contractor might create a 4-Hour You Point and We Fix starter offering
  5. Assessment— an structural engineering firm might sell a feasibility analysis as a product.
  6. Seminar or Workshop— an sales training and development firm might offer free a seminar with worksheets and CDs.
  7. Basic or Low Cost Version— an accounting firm might sell a certain type of low-cost tax return.

The reason this approach is so effective is that no hard selling has to occur, you get to control the sample offering, the client gets independent value whether they agree to hire you or not, and finally, you get a value-based start in the engagement.

So, the best way to effectively sell a service or product is to start by giving it away (slightly).