Free Audits Don't Work
Many efficiency businesses offer free audits as a way of getting their foot in the door with new prospects. Free audits seem great in theory, but in practice, they don’t work (for a couple of reasons):
- If the customer doesn’t have enough money to pay for an audit, he or she is not likely to have enough money to pay for your other services.
- Free audits are very easy to approve – who would say “no” to that? The problem is that in many cases, the person approving the audit doesn’t talk to the real decision-makers because there is no money involved in the transaction. If the prospect doesn’t have to ask “Mother may I?” for even $500 to pay for the audit, it means you’ve never gotten his or her boss’s approval to do the audit (which means that you don’t necessarily have the boss’s approval to do any improvements that come out of the audit). Are you really going to dedicate all this time and money to do an audit and not even have the buy-in of the boss?
On a related note, there is added benefit in getting yourself into the accounts payable system of the organization from the very start. This makes your prospect less inclined to authorize and review your audit, and then hire someone else to do the job because they already went through the effort of adding you to the A/P system.
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