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“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” -- Henry Ford

How do you eat a cow? One bite at a time.

It's how companies recruit new customer evangelists, too. Instead of selling customers on the whole kit and cow-boodle of products, successful companies often first entice customers with a steak dinner.

If they love the steak, they'll be back for the roast and later, the whole side of beef.

How? By breaking their product and service portfolio into bite-size chunks: small, easily consumed pieces of what makes your company valuable.

For some products, it's samples. For other products, a limited-time or limited-capacity trial version works well. For still others, it's a public workshop that provides a service.

A “starter” product or service lets customers try your lower-end offerings on their way to purchasing your high-end, more expensive and complex products.

How does this help create customer evangelists?

  • It reduces the risk for decision-makers in purchasing from you the first time. 
  • It eliminates inhibitors to the purchase, such as cost or time. 
  • It gets your great product into their hands and minds.
  • It shortens the sales cycle and provides a strategic opportunity for customers to experience your products sooner rather than later.
  • It spreads buzz by introducing the product or service to more people who can then tell others about it, even if they don't purchase your product.
  • It builds goodwill with customers because it provides value without requiring a large purchase.

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Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba are the authors of Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force.