There’s No Such Thing as a Free Product in B2B

Even if your product has a low startup fee — or if it’s completely free (freemium or free trial) — it has a cost.

Time is an investment. Training and implementation is always needed. Mobilizing a team to use a new solution is a risk.

The early risk for prospective buyers of a startup’s product is not financial; the career or reputation risk is more important. Managers put trust and credibility on the line to convince people to embrace a technology that might ultimately disappear.

Early prospects worry that your team is not going to perform or that the product might under-deliver. They want to be reassured that your solution will do what it’s expected to do.

Although the old adage in big business that nobody ever got fired for buying IBM was a creation of its marketing team, it holds some truth. No prospect will ever want to vouch for your solution at the cost of a promotion or, worst, a job.

Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your product and the implications of signing with you. Reduce the perception of risk, provide exceptional value and convince your buyer of the urgency of fixing the problem.

The last thing you want to sell is a career risk…

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