Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away, Now

Give it away, give it away, give it away, now! No, I’m not talking about the song from the Red Hot Chili Peppers – even though that song is cool. I’m talking about how the butchers and bakers used to run their businesses years ago.

I remember as a kid going to the store with my Mom. The baker always had a cookie for the little ones and the butcher was happy to hand out some fresh sliced ham or turkey. It got your appetite going and would maybe entice you into buying something you hadn’t thought about.

I also remember a small hardware store a few blocks away that had bushel baskets of different size nails all lined-up in front of the counter. When you purchased the nails, the shop clerk would bag them up for you by weight. BUT, if you needed only a few nails, he’d give them to you free – that’s right, FREE!

Now, fast forward to when my girls were little. Our local supermarket has a “Cookie Club” and gives out a free cookie to all its members. Because of this, my kids never minded going shopping with mom or dad. They always knew a cookie awaited them.

And finally, there was my favorite deli that loved to hand out samples of its famous rice pudding. The smell of cinnamon was too good to pass up. I loved it, but my waistline didn’t. I remember having to detox myself from it leading up to my wedding so I could fit in my tuxedo!

Did these freebies cost money? Sure. But it was a sincere show of goodwill, good cheer, and good business, too.

Can you imagine businesses today doing this? Heck no. But why? If you have a business and can give away free samples to customers already in your store, what harm could it do? NONE, exactly.

Only good can come from your generosity – and maybe some future business too!

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Author: Steve DiGioia

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