While in Newport, Oregon with my family recently, we toured one of our favorite areas: Nye Beach. It’s a historic little spot nestled amongst beach cottages (some run down, some worth a million or two) in the city of Newport, right on the Oregon coast.

I noted a lot of signage all over pointing us to a small specialty shop full of ice cream, fudge, coffee, etc. These are natural places for my family to migrate. I mean, who can resist?

When we got inside the small shop, the smells were overwhelming. The displays of goodies, top-notch.

The problem: we were the only ones inside.

This great little shop had a marketing problem. After dropping $15 in sugary sweets, and on the way out of the front door, I asked my daughter, “What would you do to increase the number of people that visit that store?”

Without hesitation she responded, “Free fudge samples out here on the sidewalk to create a crowd and get people curious.”

Genius. Really. She didn’t even get any prompting from me. She’s been to Costco enough to see how busy the samplers are there, and how much product “sampling” moves. It’s an age-old trick, one you think everyone would use. But, sadly, not enough resort to offering their wares or food-stuffs to people without risk of having to buy something. (But using guilt as a leverage point – consuming something for free that tastes incredible induces guilt – a point any good salesman worth his salt can leverage – sometime I’ll tell you my “Gary’s Nuts” story)

So here’s what I want you to try and please, report how it goes and work out the kinks as you go along…

Offer free upper or lower arch whitening. And, if they like it, you can do the rest, for a fee.

They get to “see” results. Works best of course, if you can do rapid in-office whitening, right?

Based on this proven formula to get more people “buying” what you have to sell, what other things could you offer on free trial basis that patients might LOVE and buy more of…I can think of one right now: Botox. And, the cool thing is, you can pick and choose who you offer this to since this is an in-office marketing/selling tool. Good luck!