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Free Stuff

I like, no, love free stuff.

Hamptons mean business. Free Business.I’m in Wisconsin and staying at the Hampton Inn in Appleton. I like staying at Hampton Inns because I get free stuff at Hampton Inns.

Well, it’s not free. I pay for it alright, but the stuff just feels free. And that’s all that really matters, how someone feels.

I stay at a lot of fancy hotels. Resorts. Casinos. Chalets. Many of my speaking clients choose expensive places to have meetings.

I like the fancy places OK. But I love Hamptons.

Fancy hotels charge me for Internet access. The fancier, the more expensive for less time. Really fancy places charge $14.95, sometime $15.95 for 12 hours. Less fancy places, but fancy none-the-less, give you 24 hours for the same price. Moderately fancy hotels are more like $9.95 for 24 hours.

At my Hampton Inns, Internet is free. Free breakfasts too. Hot food. Cold food. All you want to eat. And free.

Expensive hotels are, well, expensive. Much more than a Hampton and then they nickle and dime you for Internet access, for parking, for breakfasts, for local phone calls, some even for 800 numbers.

Now Hamptons give me all this stuff, “free.” Sure, I pay for it with my bill, but because it’s not itemized it’s “free.” I don’t feel nickled and dimed. I don’t feel ripped off. I feel like I got a deal. The best kind of deal. A free deal.

How do you treat customers, clients, patients? Do you nickle and dime ‘em? Or do you give ‘em free stuff.

“If I give away stuff, my margins shrink” is what I’m told by consulting clients.

“Increase your fee by the amount of the free stuff if you’re really worried about your margins,” I tell them. “But don’t nickle and dime them.”

It’s an insult to someone who is paying a premium price for service to charge something for things that you can get “free” at a less-than-premium price.

Do you give away free things to your clients/customers/patients that they’re paying for anyway? Or do you itemize your charges and charge for everything?

Do you like “free?” Or do you LOVE free?

They do too.

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