At the moment I'm reading Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton, which questions various widely accepted business 'truths' and urges businesses to use evidence-based management. (Book is gaining points on the personal score rating with every chapter I read!)
One of the 'thruths' in our trade (and I think in many others) is not to spill the beans or 'tricks of the trade' for free. This results among other things in websites lacking basic information on those items a prospect might be interested in: want to know more? You will have to give us a call, you will have to send us an email, you will have to visit our shop.
We 'profit' from the hard fact that giving extra information or even free advice (easily obtainable for the prospect also) gains trust, more emails, more phone-calls, more visitors to our showroom and more sales.
In the last few years we have become trusted advisers on various DIY-forums (DIY-not.com, E-build etc) by answering many questions on the subject we have experiences in (natural wooden flooring and installation, renovation and maintenance methods). Our own website is filled with practical information and our FAQ blog is slowly turning into a fact-based DIY installation guide (might turn it in our second free E-booklet). We wrote our first E-booklet on Benefits and Advantages of Natural Wooden Flooring, free down-loadable as PDF-file.
Again today, we had a customer (who had driven over one hour just to visit our little showroom) who felt he had benefited from our advice on the forums and from our websites. And while the product he needed is widely available in other specialised shops, he gave us his custom. And this happens almost on a weekly bases.
Givers gain, all over again. And that's a fact!