Give to Get: Marketing Strategy to get Customers to Listen to YouHow do you get customers to listen to you?

Give to Get is one marketing strategy to do that. But first, a brief philosophic moment before this post winds up with actions you can use.

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. and whatever the true history of this holiday may be, or its practice today, it is based on a traditional virtue in many cultures and religions; altruism .

By definition altruism is the unselfish concern for the welfare of others. And surely no one can argue its worthiness.

From a karmic view, giving something of value for the welfare of others will eventually return some benefit to the giver (it just may not be in this lifetime).

Altruism at Work

Altruistic behavior already exists at work in company and employee donations of money and time. Donations are often publicized on web sites, press releases, proposals, etc.

Does this make the value of giving any less?

I don’t think so. It may raise questions about motives. But business motives are typically clear; make profit, increase sales, and raise brand value. And working the Give to Get strategy is part of that.

Give to Get: Pragmatic Sales & Marketing

In both personal selling and company marketing, the Give to Get strategy can achieve these goals.

1) Permission for Customers’ Attention
2) Credibility & Visibility for You & Your Company

1) Permission for Customers’ Attention

The delete button, spam reporting or the office waste basket are your enemies.

Permission is what customers give you first, before they’ll pay attention to what you’re saying (marketing or selling).

With customers’ attention you can:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Pre-position as leading solution to customers’ problems
  • Educate customers to unrecognized needs & wants
  • Motivate customers to contact you when they’re ready to buy

The catch is you have to get customers’ attention before you can get their permission. Give to Get is the latest and most powerful strategy for gaining customers’ permission.

Give to Get for Permission

Below are several things to give to gain customers’ permission. You give these away for free, and in return customers opt-in to your subscription or mailing list (in return you get their attention).

The more value you give in this exchange, the greater customers will engage with you.

NOTE: Minimize your sales-marketing promotion in the giveaways as the business motives may look to outweigh the “unselfishness” of giving.

Consider giving:

  • free eBook
  • free plans or templates
  • free industry or benchmark reports
  • free white papers
  • free webinars
  • free in-person seminars
  • free calculators, tool applications (web-based, digital, etc.)

2) Credibility & Visibility for You & Your Company

You, and your company want to be recognized for your expertise, capabilities and uniqueness.

While these can be achieved through a one-time event, i.e. webinar or seminar, they’re best achieved through on-going customer conversations.

So seek Permission for Customers’ Attention and use the same actions listed above for Give to Get for Permission.

Costs & Price of Give to Get

Yes, you’ll have a cost producing whatever you giveaway. But the return is the best there is; engaged customers willing to listen to you.

Yes, you don’t have to give it away for free, you could charge something. But strongly resist that urge. Free is the new price, especially in the attention-deficit workplace.


  • Give to get is a human strategy
  • Use it in personal selling & company marketing
  • Customers’ give permission to talk to them in return for something you give of value
  • Free is the new price to gain customers’ attention

How do you get customers to listen to you?

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