Category Archives: Incentive Type

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6 Stellar Experiential Giveaway Ideas

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Cruise Packages, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Hotel / Resort Packages, Sports & Entertainment Tickets, Theme Park Packages | No Comments

When it comes to giving away a gift to your customers, your mind may immediately turn to the likes of gift vouchers, a money prize, a car, and so on.

While gifts such as these can be appreciated, they are ultimately things – and what many people actually prize the most in life are great experiences.

That’s why, in today’s article, I’ll be detailing six fantastic giveaway ideas that all have to do with offering customers experiences that they will appreciate and remember for years to come.

1. Cruise

In terms of experiences, many people never think to go on a cruise as a way of vacationing the world in a different way. But along with the fact that a cruise ship is essentially a massive sea-bound resort, cruises also encourage a unique way of seeing and experiencing different countries.

Whether the ship docks for a day or two, there are plenty of opportunities for all of those aboard to disembark and come back with special memories.

It doesn’t hurt that much of the food and drink on cruises are all-inclusive, too.

2. Vegas

No matter who ask, almost anyone who has been to Vegas will tell you it’s an experience. In many ways a playground for grown-ups, Vegas has evolved in many ways to also be a fun destination for families.

Whether someone wants to unwind with drinks, see how good their poker face is, visit M&M’s World with the kids or take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and enjoy the stunning views, Las Vegas is the perfect jumping off point. And that’s without mentioning the wide range of fantastic restaurants and live shows on offer day after day.

3. Theme park

While not everyone may be interested in experiencing some of the craziest roller coasters out there, theme parks are so much more than just a place to test your adrenaline mettle. Whether you send a customer off to Disneyland or a local amusement park, there’s often plenty to see and do.

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For a local theme park, it could be as simple as tickets for a one-day pass; but if you’re looking to up the ante and send them to a theme park in another state, try to opt for one that is also a resort. That way, if anyone ends up feeling a little theme parked-out, they can always relax by the resort pool with a refreshing cocktail.

4. Resorts

Speaking of resorts, sometimes what the body and mind needs is a few days of pure relaxation and disconnection from the usual day-to-day rat race – and this is what resorts are renowned for offering.

Resorts are also a great giveaway option because they provide customers with choice. They can go to the resort and stay there the whole time if they just need pure rest; or they can enjoy the resort while also heading out on daytrips to check out the surrounding areas.

It‘s a win-win.

5. A Local Escape

As wonderful as a luxury cruise or a flight to Vegas can be, for some the best vacation is a staycation.

Staycations are the perfect time to offer a local escape experience. Your customers don’t have to pack up suitcases or organize for someone to grab their mail and check up on their pets; but they can still experience the joys of unwinding and even experiencing new things in their very own backyard.

A local escape could be something as simple as a 5-day stay at a nearby hotel or providing your customers with the funds necessary to take a little break – and tickets to a few local attractions to boot.

6. Sports/events

Another great local solution is to give customers tickets to an event in their town or nearest city – think sports, concerts, etc. Or, if you’d rather provide the customer with greater choice, you can give them a product such as Odenza’s VIP Ticket Pro, which allows them to choose from thousands of events online and purchase two tickets to the one of their liking.

This variety of choice also means they can opt to attend an event in any major city across the country. For example, they could be going on vacation in another state in the near-future, and happen to realize an artist they like is doing a concert in the city they will be visiting.

Get in touch

What kind of experiential gifts have you given to customers in the past, if any? Be sure to share your experiences in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about experiential gifts such as travel incentives and how they can help you grow your business, you can reach out to us by calling 1-866-883-2968 or by simply filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

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The 3 Essential Components for Running an Exciting Social Media Contest

By | Cruise Packages, Home Improvement / HVAC, Improving Social Media Engagement, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Outstanding Marketing, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

When it comes to running a social media contest, there are a number of important factors to take into consideration, including the prize on offer, the effort and information required of entrants, the best social platforms to use, and more.

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Boosting Facebook Posts: The Fundamentals for Success

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Improving Social Media Engagement, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing | No Comments

There is a tough reality when it comes to Facebook: in spite of its 2 billion+ user base, it can be hard for businesses to stand out on the platform. No matter how big your audience is (100 fans or 100,000 fans), a lot of your organic posts are probably reaching somewhere between 2 to 10% of them. Not that many, right?

So what on earth can you do to increase your social media engagement on the platform and, as a result, get more people invested in your business and the products or services you offer? While it may not always be the most desired answer, it often comes down to paying via ads or boosted posts.

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on boosting Facebook posts, and will cover the following:

• Why you have to pay on social media;

• How much boosting a post costs;

• How to boost a Facebook post; and

• Examples of success

“Why Do I Have to Pay?”

No one wants to have to pay to reach their target audience on social media – it’s a pretty common opinion. But keep this in mind: Facebook isn’t the only social network that chooses what it does and doesn’t show in users’ main feeds.

A similar algorithm that determines a post’s visibility is used by LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Twitter nowadays. If your business is on social media, you are bound to their algorithms, whether you like it or not.

Social networks are like free-to-air TV. They’re free to use and enjoy for the average person, but they are funded by companies advertising on them. Facebook is not alone in wanting your company to invest money in them to achieve greater reach and increase your profits made through the social network.

Cost

One of the best things about boosting a Facebook post is how cheap it can be. You could spend no more than $25 to boost a post for a week, and that could result in thousands of people being reached and social engagement that numbers in the hundreds.

Just take a look at the numbers we hit for a boosted post before we had even used up half the budget. Over 5,000 people were reached, and we had almost 500 social engagements on the post.

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Boosting Facebook Posts

When it comes to paying on Facebook, one of the most affordable options is boosting a post. A boosted post is when you take any everyday post you made on your business’s Facebook page and put some money behind it so it reaches more people. There are no specific objectives to a boosted post beyond the fact that it will reach more Facebook users.

That said, you can still be strategic and opt to boost posts that could foster specific results: contest entries, visits to your site, promoting sales events, encouraging people to Like your page, etc.

You can boost the post at the time of creating it, or come back to it later down the line and boost it retroactively.

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Once you have chosen to boost your post, you’re presented with a few key options to define your audience. Your main options include boosting your post among your current fans, fans and their Facebook friends, and a custom audience (so you choose exactly who you want to reach). If you choose to create a custom audience, you will be presented with the following:

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Options include selecting gender; age range; the location/s of your ideal audience; and additional detailed targeting such as job title, interests, their behavior on Facebook, etc.

With this information on hand, Facebook will give an estimate of how many users you could potentially reach. When you choose how much you’re open to paying in total, that audience estimate will adjust accordingly. As you’d expect, the less you spend, the less people you’ll reach.

Along with the price, you will also select how long you want the boosted post to run for. There are default options of 1, 7, and 14 days, or you can choose a custom end date. Your total budget will then be taken and distributed across those number of days (e.g. $40 over 7 days equates to $5.71 per day). Facebook has further information in their help center here.

An Example of Success

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Above are the results of a boosted post we ran on our Odenza Sports Vacations page. With an investment of $40, the post reached 10,499 people and garnered 313 acts of social engagement, which included 79 clicks through to our offer page.

But what about the kind of results that most businesses are going to want the most? Do boosted posts actually lead to a profit?

The Financial Success of Boosting Facebook Posts

For Odenza’s B2C side (in this case, the Odenza Sports Vacations Facebook page), boosting posts have led to phenomenal results. To give you an indication of just how effective boosting your Facebook posts can be for overall ROI, here are some key results:

• Over the course of one month, we spent $120 on 4 boosted posts through our Odenza Sports Vacations page
• We generated 226 leads, and 16 of these leads became closed bookings
• Our cost per lead was only 53 cents

But how much money did we actually make? Well, on average each booking amounted to around $109. Within two bookings, we had already made our money back. In total, our revenue was $1,747 – that’s a whopping 1355.83% return on investment.

Now we’re not making any promises that you’re going to hit the same kind of ROI, because the success of boosting Facebook posts does depend on a wide range of factors. It goes without saying that if you want to make money off your boosted posts, you’ll want to ensure you’re boosting a post that is about an appealing limited time offer or something like a contest.

Another point worth remembering is that, in general, Facebook is a platform better suited to B2C. Most people don’t jump on Facebook to talk business, but if you’re boosting a post that is offering your average customer something really enticing and exciting, then you’ll have a far greater chance of success. Keep in mind that younger Facebook users tend to be more receptive to contests and/or promotions than older users.

Also ensure that whatever posts you boost have good design – an eye-catching image or video, for example. You’ll want this solid design to be accompanied by copy that breaks down your offer or special in a succinct, understandable manner, and comes with a link to exactly where the customer can redeem the offer.

There is power in boosting Facebook posts when approached correctly. Whether you handle this on your own or have an agency handle it for you, it’s an avenue of social media advertising that is certainly worth pursuing.

If you are looking for easy-to-use and effective prizes for a campaign on Facebook, consider the following:

• Tickets to an event
• Giveaway or cruise promotion
• A trip to Las Vegas

You can see lots of other options here: www.odenzaproducts.com; or you can fill out the below form to learn more about what we offer.

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What is a Facebook Like Actually Worth to Your Business?

By | Cruise Packages, Home Improvement / HVAC, Improving Social Media Engagement | No Comments

Facebook is huge! Nowadays, that’s just common knowledge. But a common challenge the millions of small businesses on the network face is determining just how valuable each new Like is worth to them. That’s what I will be covering in this article.

If you’ve ever asked yourself the following questions, read on to find out more:

• Why should I care about a Facebook Like?
• How much money am I actually making off every new Like?
• How can I increase the profits made off these Likes?

The Facebook Like

When it comes to your business page, we’re not talking about when someone “Likes” a post you made; we’re talking about when someone “Likes” your actual page. With each new fan you make, you are presented with a potential customer. Granted, many of your fans may already be customers, but there can be other fans who simply like the content you put out or want to learn more about what you do.

On a basic level, the more Likes your Facebook page has, the better. But determining the actual worth of every single Like does require you to keep some important points in mind.

Why You Should Care About Facebook Likes

Every Like matters, even if not all of them lead to a monetary return on investment (after all, some people may Like your page for other reasons, there might be some spam accounts here or there, and other users may be outside of your area of service – e.g. someone in the UK Liking your Page even though you only serve US customers).

But if you’ve ever asked yourself, “Do I really need to care about Facebook Likes?” – the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

With every Like:

• your social presence grows;
• you have more users who could potentially become customers (I will be looking at this in the next section);
• passionate fans can turn into brand evangelists – they will rave about your business, and word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing in the social space;
• you are now engaging with people on a platform that allows you to keep your business front-of-mind on a long-term basis; and
• your Facebook page is a place where you can build strong relationships with customers and bridge the gap between business and consumer

The worth of a Facebook Like runs deeper than just a tangible dollar value ROI. Every Like is a chance for your business to become more deeply connected with your audience.

How do You Measure the Worth of a Facebook Like?

Now I’m going to provide you with a look at how you can measure the actual monetary worth of a Facebook Like. As these approaches require you to compare a number of metrics against one another, you will need to have already generated money from your Facebook page in the past.

The site Augmo does cover three different measuring systems when it comes to calculating the value of Facebook Likes, but keep in mind that all three require a notable amount of time and effort.

A simpler means of getting a general idea of what a Facebook Like may be worth to your business is via HubSpot’s helpful “Value of a Like” calculator. It presents you with six fields that need to be filled out.

These are:

1. How many Likes your page has
2. How many people “unlike” your page each day (on average)
3. How many times a day you post to your Facebook page (on average)
4. How many clicks your Facebook posts receive (on average)
5. Your site’s conversion rate from Facebook linked posts
6. The average value of each conversion (e.g. $12 per conversion)

As an example, below is a screenshot of a hypothetical page’s performance. They have 1,000 page Likes, but– on average – lose about five followers every day (though this regularly levels out with the same number of new Likes). They post twice a day, get 20 clicks (on average) on their posts, and their conversion rate sits at a respectable 10%.

value-facebook-like-calculator

When all of these metrics are put together, HubSpot’s calculator returns an average value of $9.55 per Like. Knowing this value is essential, regardless of what your business specializes in. Because say, for example, you’re wanting to make improvements to your jewelry store’s Facebook marketing – knowing the value per Like is an integral piece of the ROI picture.

Increasing the Value of a Facebook Like

A Facebook Like, just like any other signifier of marketing success, is going to be different for all companies. You can use calculations like those mentioned above to get a better idea of the true worth of a Like relative to your business (which could be a big or small number), and then determine whether you may need to make changes in order to increase each Like’s worth.

If you do think some changes are in order, a great way to boost the value of your page Likes is to give your audience a reason to want to buy from you – such as offering a travel certificate with a purchase. An incentive such as a flight to Vegas or 7-day resort stay can help you turn more of your current fans into customers.

One such example is Carleton Refrigeration, an HVAC company that has been offering customers a cruise when they purchase one of two specific York furnace models. Not only have they been marketing this campaign brilliantly across numerous channels, but their Facebook efforts have been top-notch. Below are just some examples of the fantastic effort they have been putting in.

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A key aspect to their successful Facebook efforts has been their regular posts showing customers who have received the cruise certificate after making a qualified purchase. As you can see from the above post, the simple act of uploading this photo and keeping the the campaign front-of-mind has led to some great interaction – 17 people shared this particular post alone, thus increasing Carleton Refrigeration’s reach to hundreds, if not thousands, of more people.

In the below post, you’ll see that they gave the same valuable cruise certificate to a customer by the name of John.

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And guess what John did when he received this great reward? He left a 5-star review for the company with the eye-catching line “CRISIS TO CRUISE,” which even included him talking about the promotion they were running – this is word-of-mouth marketing at its finest. John essentially became a brand evangelist for this small, family-run business.

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Travel incentives improve the value of your Facebook Likes across the board, and can bring in new Likes and conversions, too. What this yields is an end result where each Facebook Like, current and new, is someone who is more invested in your business; which means a greater overall ROI.

Whether you use a travel incentive as part of a promotion or contest on Facebook to grow your Likes and increase their worth, we can help. Find out more about our Facebook marketing and contest services here.

To find out more about our products and how we can help you go above and beyond your competitors, feel free to contact us online, fill out the form below, or give us a call on 1-866-883-2968.


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Travel & Jewelry: a Sales Match Made in Heaven for Wisconsin Jeweler

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Jewelry Stores, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments

Wisconsin Jeweler Makes $360,000 in Sales with Travel Incentives

Who buys jewelry? Well, most of us do, but how much we buy and how often can depend on various factors. As research shows, most jewelry that is bought (whether bought by a man or a woman) is for women. Some numbers indicate up to 95% of all jewelry purchases are for women.

But the frequency and price of purchases also depend on the financial standing of the individual. As you’d likely assume, people who are better off financially and have more disposable income tend to buy more jewelry per annum.

For many jewelry stores, however, the November/December (or festive) period is when they used to make more sales. While this is still true to a degree, numbers have shown that jewelry sales are now more spread out throughout the year, and the sales boost in November and December tends to be less pronounced nowadays.

So, as a jewelry store, how do you boost your sales if you find your usual peak season is lacking? That’s what will be the focus of today’s blog, and I’ll be doing so by looking at a client of ours from Wisconsin.

A Local Wisconsin Jeweler’s Success Story

Located in southern Wisconsin, our client opened in 1992 and has stood as a much-loved jewelry store within the region. But just like any business, their General Manager, Jon, wanted to find a way to incentivize customers to invest in higher-ticket items.

To achieve this, the company decided to invest in our Vegas package, which offers qualifying customers a trip for two to Vegas. Jon was happy to try the package out, noting, “It was low risk to try it out, [and] our account executive made it clear that we would get free marketing support and the product was satisfaction guaranteed.”

Implementation

How you implement any incentive package, and how it is promoted, is critical. After all, you want people to be excited about the incentive; and you want them to understand the inherent value of the incentive when it comes to making a qualifying purchase. For the client, customers would qualify for the Vegas certificate if they purchased products amounting to $1,800 or more.

In terms of promotion, the main approach they took was through radio advertising. But these advertising efforts were also complemented by in-store marketing collateral and having all staff well-versed on the requirements for customers to qualify, and the terms and conditions of the travel certificates themselves.

By executing the promotion in such a cohesive manner, they ensured they had the best chances of success; and ultimately they were very successful in the end…

Results

Originally, the promotion ran for two straight months, and the client gave away 100 Vegas trips. Given how well those two months performed, they decided to extend the promotion by a further month and gave away another 100 trips. So, in total, they gave away 200 trips, with each trip only being given to those customers who spent at least $1,800 – a total sell value of at least $360,000.

The Takeaway

When you take a look at the overall performance of the client’s Vegas promotion, it’s hard to deny that the results were positive. By giving away 200 trips in 3 months, they managed to secure higher value purchases from customers, and the Vegas certificates even incentivized customers to pay more just so they could go on the trip, too.

But this wasn’t just a case of having a great incentive, it also came down to the effort the client put into every facet of the promotion’s execution. They ran ads that grabbed people’s attention, they had signage in their store that constantly reminded customers about the promotion, and the staff were well-trained so that they knew everything about the Vegas certificates and what customers had to do in order to qualify.

In short, the entire promotion and its ultimate success came down to the fact that it was run like a well-oiled machine. If any part of the effort had not been addressed with the care that was shown, the results could have been very different.

If you’re concerned about potential sales slumps during any period that has been historically slow for you, then offering customers travel incentives could be the right solution for you. Just remember to keep in mind why our client was so successful. It’s not a case of, “If you build it, they will come.” Once it’s built, people need to know it exists, and you and your team need to be able to relay why it exists and why they should be so excited for its existence.

At Odenza, we’ve been in the travel incentives and marketing business for 20 years. Not only do we have a wealth of travel incentives solutions to help your business, but we also provide marketing collateral so that you have everything you could ever need to run a successful promotion.

Once you’ve utilized our incentives and increased your sales, our very own in-house travel agents will help your customers plan their getaway, which they’re going on thanks to you. To find out more about our products and how we can help you go above and beyond your competitors, fill out the form below or give us a call on 1-866-883-2968.

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Building a Better Sales Comp Plan & Why it Matters

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Home Improvement / HVAC, Motivating Sales Team / Staff | No Comments

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

I think that travel incentives are a fantastic product, but they are underutilized by many organizations. Thing is, if you can wrap your head around them, you’ll soon realize that you were totally missing out. The benefits of travel inside a sales comp plan is the one-two punch of travel’s ability to inspire and rejuvenate your people.

The inspirational value of giving someone a vacation, the value of time off, time to relax, time to be with family, and time to learn something and have social contact is more important than ever.

They Say: “Show Me the Money”

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The most common reason I hear from managers as to why they don’t use a travel incentive, despite understanding the importance of motivating their team and keeping things fresh, is this: they think their team will prefer cash. Managers often make the fatal flaw of asking their team what they want.

“Announcements, meetings, vacations, gym memberships or golf trips can serve as effective motivators, as can training or educational opportunities, which are best when tied to specific, exemplary behavior on the job.” Forbes Coaches Council

Why You Shouldn’t Ask

So, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with asking your recipients what they would like before you spend thousands and thousands of dollars formulating a plan and then rewarding people with something they didn’t ask for?

The simple reason is that people don’t know what’s good for them.

As Steve Jobs famously said when asked why he doesn’t use consumer focus groups, he answered: “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

People will always say cash as what they want. And of course, you have to pay them cash. But a component of your compensation plan must be travel or vacation rewards because YOU need something to keep things fresh, interesting and fun inside your sales organization.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

The majority of people will react to what is an immediate gratification or the most immediate point of pain in their sphere. And, unfortunately for most of your sales people and most of your distribution channel, and most of your franchisees and partners, the most immediate pain point is their next Visa bill. Immediate gratification is going to be paying off part of the Visa bill, buying a TV, or some other widget.

As a leader in your organization, the problem for you is that the euphoria you created with that $1,000, $2,000, or $5,000 reward is going to be very short-lived. You will hand it out on Friday and it will be forgotten about by Tuesday – and your investment will have lasted a whopping four days!

Case Study: Thermo Pride

Thermo Pride revived their acquisition and retention program using Odenza’s incentive travel program – the incentives were promoted in newsletters, contractor publications, and throughout their sales offices across North America (you can click here to download it).

The ROI Factor

Remember ROI. The problem is that your ROI is too low on a cash incentive. As soon as that money is spent, it’s gone. There is no residual effect. For those of you into fitness, it’s like the difference between cardio and weights. When you lift weights you get a metabolic residual effect, and you continue to burn calories even after your workout is done; as opposed to cardio where you’re only going to burn calories while you’re actually in motion. The latter is simply inefficient for extended calorie burn.

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Compare that to an experiential reward like a quick trip to Las Vegas, or a family trip to Six Flags, or even two tickets to a show or a football game. When you hand that prize out, the recipient immediately gets excited, then there’s the joy and pleasure while the trip is being booked, and then the excitement continues to build in anticipation of having some time off and maybe going somewhere they’ve never been before. After that, you get the memories and the water cooler talk of how great their getaway was.

All of this is without even talking about social media! Imagine the impact as they’re snapping pictures and communicating with coworkers and partners about the fabulous reward they won. And depending on what you give them, you may get years and years of positive return on that investment.

What Options Do I Have?

There are a variety of vacation offers and incentive travel trips you can utilize, which include:

Individual incentives:

This would be a prize for a sales leader and his/her spouse. Given away for meeting pre-set target levels, it’s easy to administer and easy to deliver – cruises, Vegas, a weekend getaway, Napa Valley, or a staycation.

Group incentive travel:

Think meetings or an overall trip for the sales team – even the entire company for meeting a preset profit target. Group meetings let people reconnect; and these days where teams can be spread out, it may be the only chance people get to meet, share ideas, and build comradery.

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Conclusion

Giving a travel incentive as a reward means that you did something. It means you put some effort into thinking about your people’s well-being, and that’s important. We are all competing for talent and we may not be able to go to the extent that Google or Amazon can, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be a little bit imaginative. Be creative and give your team something that doesn’t break the bank, but at the same time delivers a memorable experience – not to mention the fantastic ROI it can offer you.

To find out more, contact us online, fill out the below form, or call us on 1-866-883-2968.

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Competing Against the Alternative: How to Finish First

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Driving Repeat Business, Gaining a Competitive Edge, Industry, Powerful Closing Tools, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

Do you remember when you had to be good at more than just one thing? You had to be good at your job but you also had to be able to change the oil in your car, switch over the winter tires, you had to be able to sew and cook; in other words, it was common to be able to do a number of things and that’s how we lived. I still remember that you couldn’t be a professional soccer player – you had to be a soccer player and do something else to make a living.

Nowadays you can make a living doing just one thing. What used to be exclusive to the realm of the artist or the professional is now available to all of us.

Specialization

An interesting thing happens when everyone is so specialized. All the specialization leads to less competition. Well, less competition by meaning of a direct competitor; but what increases are the alternatives. So when you’re a business owner, or sales and marketing professional, you’re faced with not only competing against other businesses or people that do exactly what you do, but now you’re also competing against the alternative.

What are the customers’ alternatives?

As specialization continues to increase into the world of super-specialization, what you end up with are many more alternatives for your product – but the alternative of your product may not always be obvious. For example, is your new car competing against a home renovation company? Perhaps new home furniture is competing against the down payment on a new car in your prospective customer’s mind.

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Often they will have to weigh options as to what they will invest in first: a car for the family, getting renovations to their home done, buying new furniture, going on a long-desired vacation, etc. So even if you narrow down your business’s area of specialization, you will still always be vulnerable to these entirely different alternatives. It’s an area of competition that many businesses tend to overlook – especially businesses that sell big ticket items.

The sales team

If you are in sales, you will be impacted by this in a bigger way than just about every other department in your organization. This is because speaking to the customer can’t be a rambling on about your own product. The questions you ask must be geared towards an overall understanding of the parties with whom you are talking.

This will be further complicated for those that are selling into any major decisions such as the purchase of furniture, home improvement services, or a vehicle. The complexity lies by the fact that these decisions are usually made by more than just one person in the family. You are often dealing with your customer and their spouse, and in some cases your customer and their entire family. Once again, it’s the sales department that will have to face this increased complexity right there on the frontline.

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With this in mind, it’s critical for anyone in sales management to teach your people that they’re not just competing against the other specialized competitor; but to also be aware that they are likely competing against another alternative which may not be immediately obvious. This requires a greater emphasis on creating a comfortable rapport with not just the direct person you’re selling to, but the other people that may be “coming along” with them. More time should be taken to ask the customer more questions so that you have the full picture and, as a result, can address those concerns that are within your ability to influence.

Asking the right questions and offering the best answer

Let’s take a look at an example. Say you’re trying to sell a $40,000 car to a mom and dad with two kids who are also wanting to go on a vacation soon. Depending on the financing options they have available to them, the purchase of that $40,000 car may be feasible or they may decide that the better option is to hold off for anywhere between six months to a year so that they can go on a nice summer vacation first. Even if financing, there will still be a deposit.

That’s why it is so important for a salesperson to be able to ask the right questions, to get to know the buyer and family’s financial pain points, and to understand what matters to them on a fundamental level. When you put in the effort, you not only have more opportunities to decipher and address their key concerns, but you also build a rapport and reciprocal trust. It gives you a better chance of making the sale, and removes the proverbial elephant in the room.

For the marketing department, it’s critical to be aware of the most common alternatives to your product or service. Even though you may be in a very small niche as it is, you must still outline and understand the alternatives your customers might be inclined to purchase rather than your product. That way, just like the sales team, you can address these alternatives and find ways to refine your message so that people are more drawn to your products and/or services.

If this alternative did happen to be that a family, and prospective customer, were also hoping to go on a vacation in the next year, then you could cater to this alternative by including a travel certificate as a purchase reward. That way, they end up buying your product and can still go on that much-desired vacation – thanks to you.

The below image shows a couple who experienced exactly this. As the customer, Heather Vos, said: “Our vacation to Las Vegas was amazing! We received this vacation as a gift when purchasing our Nissan.”

happy-customer-vegas-certificate

Remember that, no matter the alternative, you need to think beyond your own business. People are constantly weighing their options against their finances to determine what they can afford next. Asking enough questions will help you to establish trust, and an understanding of their needs. Then you can position your pitch, your product and your marketing appropriately and get the sale!

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