Today’s business environment has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, it can be a tough task 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 nowadays are being smart. 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 all seem to want more than what they paid for. Every industry both online or offline needs a cutting-edge cost-effective powerful marketing tool that appeals to every kind of consumer.
Vacation and travel incentives are one of the most powerful methods of attracting business, retaining profitable clientele, increasing profits, enhancing product awareness, improving employee productivity. Businesses that have used vacation travel incentives in their marketing and promotions have seen at least 30% increase in their sales on both sides of the buy and sell cycle. Companies of all sizes and virtually any type of retail, wholesale, manufacturing, internet, service, distributor or direct sales business will benefit from incentive travel programs.
Why use incentives?
Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider using incentives:
·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.
·’Reward and retention efforts can produce big dollar returns.’ That’s what the Incentive Federation found in a 2003 survey asking hundreds of businesses using incentive travel promotions ‘Does Incentive Travel Improve Sales Productivity and By How Much?’
What then can we conclude from these survey results?
The bottom line is 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.
Do your incentives measure up?
Today’s business environment demands a new breed of incentive programs. Many companies have already discovered that standard incentives of just a few years ago just don’t cut it with the customers as well as the workers in our continuously changing economy. Your choice of incentives have to widely appeal to your clients’ and employees’ wants or desires in order to measure up and get results you are looking for.
Hundreds of promotional companies offer incentive programs that are designed to evoke an emotional response and motivate people to take a positive action. It’s obvious from industry surveys of companies using incentives that travel is the most widely appealing incentive where everyone wins. Your sales people will close more sales, your clients will enjoy an exciting vacation experience and your business will increase its profits.
Why use travel incentives?
-Travel is considered to be the most effective reward.
According to the result of an email survey conducted by CMI, 58% say travel is more effective than cash or merchandise. Survey respondents consider travel to be the most effective reward. (Incentive Travel Fact Book)
“Cash bonuses are necessary but travel is a higher perceived reward,” says Verizon’s Porterfield.
Additionally, in a recent survey of American workers, 85% said they were motivated by vacation travel incentives.
-Nothing beats travel for long-term results.
In a 2003 Incentive Survey of Buying Practices conducted by the Incentive Federation, survey respondents believe that travel and merchandise awards are remembered longer than cash payments. Specifically, 69% strongly agree with this statement. (Copyright IPC)
Porterfield added, “When people spend their money, it’s gone. But the recognition that comes from our travel incentives lives on.”
-Travel has a universal appeal and high-perceived value.
USA Today, on their recent survey, stated that “93% preferred travel over other incentives.” This is because vacation travel is something that some or most people would not be able to get for themselves.
-Travel is desirable.
Another question asked on the Wirthlin Worldwide Research 2003 survey was “Suppose your employer wanted to reward your work performance. What would you find most rewarding?”
88% – indicated a trip they plan and take with a companion to the destination of their choice
5% – indicated a trip planned for them and a companion of choice with their co-workers
5% – indicated a trip planned just for them and their co-workers
-Travel has a promotion value.
A more exciting and memorable program can be built with travel than you can with cash.
Do travel incentives work?
According to the 2003 Incentive Travel Facts survey, travel incentives increase sales by an average of 15%. In addition, half of the respondents reported that travel incentives meet 75% – 99% of their objectives. (Incentive Magazine)
Where can I use travel incentives for?
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 member ships.
‘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.’
Create new markets
Cash vs. Travel Incentive?
Cash as a motivator is considered an unemotional award and widely over used. It seems that all human behavior stems from one of the brain’s two hemispheres: the left, which thinks in rational, linear terms; or the right, which operates in terms of images, emotions, and feelings. When companies offer money as a motivator, they are addressing performance issues from a rational, left-brain point of view. Tangible rewards, however, are often more motivating because they appeal to the right brain eliciting images. (Copyright IMA)
On a survey conducted by the Wirthlin Worldwide Research, a question “How did you spend your last cash reward?” was asked.
The following results were gathered:
29% – Bills
18% – Don’t remember
15% – Never received cash
11% – Gifts for family
11% – Household items
11% – Savings
Though its value is concrete and while it could be used to purchase a lifestyle award, most likely cash will be charged against a pile of bills or deposited into a leaky checking account where it soon ceases to exist. And with the demise of the cash award goes the memory of its origin leaving no trace of psychological branding.
Joe Devlin of Mitsubishi Fusco Truck of America Inc. quoted, “Cash goes straight into people’s pockets, and they need it to supplement their salary, but our trips give us the competitive edge. They’re a big part of how we motivate the salesperson at the dealership that has the opportunity to sell more than one product.” (Incentive Travel Fact Book)
In 1994, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company sponsored an incentive campaign to improve sales of tires. Two groups were formed; one was offered monetary rewards, and the other an equivalently priced selection of merchandise and travel – related rewards. The group receiving lifestyle and travel rewards outperformed the monetary rewards group by nearly 50%. This was the first documented evidence that cash, as a motivator, is not as effective as travel or merchandise. (Copyright IMA)
Using non-cash incentives such as travel will distinguish a company’s campaign from cash compensation packages. The programs do not become an expected part of an employee’s income. Surveys by Incentive Federation show that organizations use incentive travel because it creates lasting memories for the participants and generates positive buzz throughout the organization. Because they do not have an impact on compensation, it’s easier to use incentives as needed without creating the impression that people are getting pay cuts when no program is in gear. (Copyright IPC)
Join hundreds of other companies like:
Real Estate Brokers
Credit Card Companies
Non-profit organizations (fundraising, etc.)
And more…that have discovered the positive impact of incentive travel in their business.