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Incentives WORK!

In the Summer of 2005 General Motors unveiled its hit consumer incentive program, "Employee Discount for Everyone." Did Americans respond to this already successful company's ploy for new business? YES! The promotion saw GM's share of the U.S. auto market jump an astounding 6.7 percent in one month!.

Why use incentives?

We are living in a new century! In today's highly competitive marketplace, it can be difficult to make a sale. Just being aggressive doesn't cut it any longer. Sales skills alone aren't enough to compete when so many new products and services become everyday commodities. Consumers are smarter, better educated.

The readily available mass of media has exposed the new client to numerous options for the same product or service.

You've got to distinctively separate your business from the competition and lead each of your prospects and customers to think, 'I would have to be a complete idiot to do business with anyone else'...regardless of the price. They are shopping for the best bargains and they of course want more than what they paid for.

In addition the lazy, non-dedicated, employee is a consistently growing problem. Having motivated employees who work hard to build your business is always a challenge.

Every industry both online or offline needs a cutting-edge cost-effective powerful marketing tool that appeals to every kind of consumer and can motivate every kind of employee.

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider using incentives as such a tool:

  • Knowledgeable and attentive employees account for 80% of the reasons consumers feel satisfied, according to a PNC Bank Corp. survey.
  • Fewer than one in four American workers is working at full potential; half of all workers do no more than directly asked, and 75% of employees say they could be more effective in their jobs, according to the Public Agenda forum.
  • 70% of unhappy customers abandon vendors because of poor service, according to the Forum Corp.
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase lifetime profits from a customer by 75%, according to the Loyalty Effect by Frederick Reichheld.

The bottom line is this - loyal customers and productive employees are the foundation of a successful business. But to continuously retain and motivate people can be a difficult challenge. Vacation and travel incentives, a proven motivator, will achieve this purpose.

How Can I Use Incentives in My Business?

Incentive programs can be used successfully in many ways, here are a few:

Sales and Customer Retention

Attract New Visitors to Your Store or Web Site Open More Investment Accounts
Business Gifts Promote Closeout Inventories
Close More Sales Referral Incentives
Consumer/User Promotions Sell More Products
Create New Markets Set More Appointments
Encourage Repeat Business Thank You Gifts
Improve Direct Mail Response Upgrade Sales and Purchases
Maintaining Price Integrity

Employee Improvement/Dedication

Acknowledge Milestones and Achievements Increase Employee Loyalty
Create a Successful Sales Team Motivating Sales Staff
Ensure a Safe Workplace Reward Employees
Exceed Sales Goals Reward Extraordinary Service and Top Performers
Foster Teamwork Sales Incentives
Improve Attendance Support Perfect Attendance


Fund Raising
Increase Circulation
Trade Show Giveaways

Below are a few specific case examples and ideas of the great benefits and possibilities derived from using Incentives, namely Travel Incentives. Credit - Lynne Gabriel (ArriveNet Editorials - Apr 07, 2005)

Sales Incentives - To increase sales

In a May 1998 Promo Magazine special report, it was noted that LifeUSA attracted new agents and sent sales soaring by abandoning its annual cash incentive program for a more inclusive campaign that gave out merchandise and travel. By the program's conclusion, policy enrollments exceeded LifeUSA's initial goal by 700%. There were 10,000 certificates issued and were more than twice what the company planned for. (Copyright IMA)

Employee Incentives - To motivate, retain and reward loyal and efficient employees

A small retail store in Maryland, Target Appliance, used travel incentives. "We introduced our first travel incentive for sales employees five years ago," says President Daryl Gamerman, "and since then we've only lost staff due to retirement. I don't ever have a problem with our sales people not working hard or volunteering for extra work, because they know it will help qualify them for a great trip.

Customer Loyalty Incentives - To build customer loyalty and trust

The Frequent Builders Program at Garco Building Systems offered travel awards to individuals. Since launching the program five years ago, Garco has experienced a 15 to 25% growth rate, compared to an industry standard of 2-3%. In 2000, the company grew a robust 37%. While it's impossible to measure precisely the role that the Frequent Builders Program played, "there is no doubt in mind that it helps to build customer loyalty," says Loomis.

Referral Incentives - To develop contacts or promote referrals

'Refer three new customers to our Tanning Salon and we will give you a free cruise to the Bahamas or Mexico.' is one example of so many ways to use incentives to get those referrals every company needs.

Purchase Incentives - Increase cash flow and obtain money upfront

'Pre-pay a one year service agreement, you will get a free 7 days and 6 nights resort condo accommodation in the destination of your choice.' is an example how incentives can be used to up sell.

Member Perks - Sell new accounts or memberships

'Join our golf club now and we will send you and a companion to Las Vegas with airfare and hotel for free!'

'We will send you and a companion to a free vacation for 3 days/2 nights in over 30 destinations when you open a checking or savings account with us.'

Encourage responsiveness or trial of product or service

'Send back our questionnaire, we will send you and a companion to Orlando near Disney with free hotel and airfare!'

'We will give you a free 3 day/2 night vacation to Orlando when you test drive our all new 2002 Honda Hybrid.'

These are just a few types of companies who successfully use Incentives in their businesses:

Auto Dealerships Multi-Level Marketers
Banks Non-profit organizations (fundraising, etc.)
Catalog Companies Office Supply Companies
Churches Public Speakers
Credit Card Companies Radio Stations
Distributors Real Estate Brokers
Furniture Retailers Retailers
Insurance Companies Service Providers
Jewelry Stores Sports Organizations
Manufacturers Telemarketers
Mortgage Lenders Wholesalers

By now you should appreciate the great value of using incentives in any business. And perhaps you already have some ideas flowing as to how you will use incentives in your business.

But of all the types of Incentive ideas on the market Travel takes the gold home!

Do Travel Incentives Work?