Give A $50 Bill To Get A Meeting

Hat tip Ari, posted by Tony Greenberg.

Check it out:

What do you think?


For comparison, consider an ISC West. Divide the cost per booth visitor and it is in the $100 range. Only factor in new leads and real prospects and it is hundreds of dollars per.

So $50 to a targeted lead that likely gets a very high response rate is not crazy at all.

I didn't vote because I don't think it is good nor bad - though it is certainly unique. My spam mail never contains cash.

Customer acquisition costs are always a factor in growing a business - I kind of admire the directness of this approach, though I'm not sure how effective it would be in the long run.

As an up-front, splash scheme (especially in any smaller industry with few large players) I could see validating the up-front spend... however, if you are gonna offer cash just to get people to listen, what you say better be pretty convincing, yes? :)

1, good feedback. So is it more effective to spend more than hundred dollars per person for trade show dinners that it is to give $50 direct to get a phone call?

$50 gets you the asked-for 2 minute call - and a certain amount can be converted to at least listen to a 30 minute pitch (all biz).

>$100 gets you a sit down conversation and meal to wrap your 30 minute pitch around.

Which is more effective? I don't know... :)

Not at a trade show dinner / event. And they easily cost $100+ per attendee.

I'm wondering what the ROI on this campaign ends up being.

After reading that there is one thing I now know... from this point on, I will not toss junk mail out without opening it first. Heck who knows, I may find a fifty dollar bill in it!

From a macro-economic perspective, throwing away cash, even large sums of cash, doesn't actually throw away anything of value, like say throwing away $50 of food or fuel would. It just reduces the outstanding bills in circulation, which has the effect of ever so slightly raising all other dollar holder's purchasing power.

Overlooking Maria's $50 is actually like sharing Maria's $50 with everyone. So, instead of being selfish, I hereby vow to not look at junk mail for bills and if I do accidentally find any, I simply dispose of them for the common welfare of all. Will you join me?

Anyway, she uses Fed-Ex, so...

I like the bit recommending 'donate' or 'give' away, without even the option of keeping it for yourself being given.

This is to reduce the feeling of being 'bought and paid for', which might make one uncomfortable and avoid the meeting even after taking the money.

I don't think I would want to be a customer of a company who gives $50 bills away.

But you would be a customer of a company who gave away ribeye steak dinners and Bordeaux wine?

Btw, I don't disagree that handing cash is riskier than giving things or meals, but I also think it's worth emphasizing both are of notable monetary value.

Its hard for me to do business with a company that would be that stupid.

Why? Is the thing coming Fed-ex or something? Because I would imagine a normal letter like that being thrown out without opening a good deal of the time.

Even if it is opened, will it be opened before the Thursday call? How do you know?

"Hey Tony, its Maria from Crestcom, did you get a chance to look at our letter we sent over? No? Hmmm. Ahhh, sure, we can send you another one. But first... Okkkk, Tony talk to you then."

On top of that of the ones who do get it by Thursday, how many skip the call?

And of the ones who take the call, how many are just doing it because of the $50, but not really because they are in the market for it?

When you spend money wining and dining you do so after a face to face, so you have a much better chance of directing your money at the right target.

Its hard for me to do business with a company that would be that stupid.

You are presuming the results are poor. Do you have proof? All we know is one guy thought so highly of it, he posted it on LinkedIn. We thought it was interesting enough to post here.

Because I would imagine a normal letter like that being thrown out without opening a good deal of the time.

Similar issues with a trade show booth or a conference meal. Maybe most of the people who come in have no real interest or just want a free drink or food, etc. Even if that portion is wasted, the return is still measured on how much profit the minority of leads deliver.

You are presuming the results are poor.

Yes, I was. But maybe you're right, I guess it really depends on how warm the leads are.

So let me restate my position,

I don't think I want to be a customer of company who gives $50 bills away to qualified but essentially cold prospects.

"I don't think I want to be a customer of company who gives $50 bills away to qualified but essentially cold prospects."

Devil's advocate. Go to ISC West or ASIS. Ask people where the parties are. Show up, go in, get a hundred dollars of free food and drinks.

Is that different? Prospects are not even often qualified or even prospects.

Protip: I once got an access manufacturer (pre-Vanderbilt BrightBlue) to give me an extra 3% discount on a project pricing because I walked into their ASIS booth and handed the sales manager back the free pen, cloth bag, sunglass lanyard, screwdriver set, and drink ticket they gave me. I told them instead of ridiculous swag, give me a deeper discount instead, and they did.

Maybe Crestcom will give you $75 off if you give them the $50 back. :)

I see it as a clever way to grab attention. I don't care who you are, cash is king and will always elicit a response. It doesn't matter if you have tons of money, you always want more.

I have 3 managers in the crestcom program. I believe it is very good value. The cost is 6000 per manager. Govt education grant has underwritten 70% of that cost.

The program was recommended to me and I didn't get the $50. I think it is a good way to get appointments from qualified leads.

Robert, without getting too far off topic, what value do you believe Crestcom gives that other traditional education avenues such as colleges do not?

Lots of options available.

I like the format of the program. 1 Education session per month (4hrs) with other managers. Program is 12 months long. The education consists of watching videos of experts on 2 topics each month. The student has to do 3 ROI projects that impacts the business. They have a mentor (an executive) in the company to help with their development and remove roadblocks. They also have a monthly check-in with the facilitator and the mentor and review progress of the project and the lessons learned in the education session and action plan. I have sat in on the check-in and observed the managers and mentors are very engaged and the peer managers are giving good feedback to each other.

The success is probably related to the skills and experiences of the facilitator. Classrooms in college may not be the best environment for attracting participants who are already doing the job and have real world issues that could make the learning practical. A formal curriculum may not provide the same experience.

Doesn't look like I'm going to see a note from Ulysses S. Grant anytime soon the way Ms. Busch explains her $50 program: of the questions posted to the update: "Does she send random $50 letters to everyone?" Heck no! I'm not crazy!

What I know from experience is that CEOs with small to medium sized businesses appreciate the $50 and often use it to recognize one of their employees, or take their team to Happy Hour.

My belief is founded on seeing the results myself. And if that means sending a few $50 bills to Presidents and CEOs that I think I can help, I’m willing to take that risk! And when it leads to a decision to enroll their team in Crestcom's leadership development program, they thank me for taking the risk.

So, remember you should thank her for giving the $50 and also thank her for risking the $50...

$50 well spent:

Over 3,700 likes and 400 comments later, this humble marketing idea received far more exposure than I ever could have hoped for!

Of course, if lots of people start doing it, like anything else, it will be less effective, but at least for this company, it appears to be a win on multiple levels.