I wrote yesterday about my new Whirley Pop pan.  It comes with a 25-year warranty — if you register on line.  

This isn’t something that I would normally do for a $20 item, but to incentivize me to complete their form (and, I’m sure, to receive future emails with products for me to buy), they offered “all kinds of FREE* extras.”

Note the star on the word free.  

To receive my warranty, 2 Real Theatre All-Inclusive Popping Kits, Tips and Tricks Guide, Complete Popcorn Party Guide and 4 Individual Authentic Popcorn Serving Tubs, I needed to pay “minimal shipping charges.”  Groan.

I guess they knew I would balk at that part as the notice reads: “For some, you might be thinking here comes the catch — nothing is “Free” anymore.  We truly are giving you our products at no cost; but unfortunately the Post Office won’t ship it for free (we asked, but they said “no”).  The only thing you will need to pay is their minimal shipping cost.  We promise!”

may feel like I have been had when the “all kinds of FREE stuff” arrives in the mail, but I felt compelled to reward them for their marketing efforts.

Do you have something that you suspect will cause your customer to groan — and is there a way to address it with humor and good will?  Can you overcome an objection in advance in a manner that will lead your client to do what you want them to do, but feel good about it?

Take a lesson from Whirley Pop and make your clients chuckle their way into compliance.

— beth triplett

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