Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Offering incentives to new customers

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  • #987901
    Calcul8or
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    Hi All,

    Very interested to know if any of you offer anything above and beyond your normal products/services to attract new customers?

    I’m thinking of offering a weekend away for two people to anywhere they want within Australia, including flights and accommodation.

    From your experience, would this be a good idea? Are there any points I need to be aware of? Are there any legal impediments? Has this sort of thing ever worked for anyone?

    Regards,
    Shail

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1164788
    Natalie Khoo
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    Hi Shail. I think the answer is that it totally depends on your business
    and industry. If you’re offering a low cost product, there will obviously
    be a lot more competition and flexibility to offer two-for-one or bonus
    deals. So in these cases, offering giveaways might work. But I don’t think
    this approach works with services, as people want to know they’re getting
    access to the best advice/output based on someone’s professional
    experience. Good luck!

    #1164789
    MissSassy
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    As Natalie said, it really depends on your business,

    I offer a free 30min session so that people can see if they would like to work with me and that I would like to work with them too.
    The only cost for me is time – this is something you need to consider.

    For the majority of small business I would recommend that you only offer something that costs you time. The reality is that if you have to pay for a give away, the customer will be paying for it anyway.

    #1164790
    Calcul8or
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    I have two kinds of customers. The first kind know exactly what they want, while the second kind aren’t even aware how I can help them or that they need my help.

    The problem is that there just aren’t enough of the first kind in the world to make me rich, and there are more than I could possibly handle of the second kind that I need to “awaken” some how.

    My strategy is clear. Well to me anyway. All I have to do is test it out. But I just thought it wise to throw the question out there in case there was some dire consequence(s) I needed to be aware of before I took the plunge.

    I will approach prospects of the second type and offer them a free diagnosis of their business. I will need their financials for this, and if they’re cagey about handing that over, then I can supply the person who does their books with a tool that will produce a performance report without giving away any trade or commercial secrets. I only need the report. They can keep the tool for free and keep using it to monitor their performance if they like. So straight off the bat, they get around $500 value for free and they haven’t even engaged me yet!

    Secondly, I hone in on the areas that show up in the report as in need of “fixing” to improve performance, productivity & efficiency. I then conduct a detailed process analysis for them, once again completely free of charge, or if they like, they can use a tool available on my website to do this themselves. They thereby get another $500-$1000 worth of value for absolutely nothing before even taking me on.

    Once this part is complete, I’ll be able to show them exactly how much I can save them by implementing my solutions, and exactly how much it will cost. It’s here that I thought offering the incentive might be helpful. If for example I can save a company $50k per year if they’re willing to spend $10k, then maybe the additional enticement will help them get over the shock of the $10k, which we all know is THE only number that’s going to stick in their heads.

    So if there are no laws or codes of conduct I’ll be breaking in doing something like this, I might start putting something along these lines together. If there are, then I’d really appreciate knowing about them before some half-baked “current affairs” program from a commercial station come looking for me! lol

    Regards,
    Shail

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1164791
    Greg_M
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    I think it depends on who you’re offing the incentive to.

    If it’s the principal of the business looking at your service, it’s probably OK … if it’s a minion … sounds awfully like a secret commission.

    A free service to try something out is fine, an unrelated (and quite substantial) gift looks dodgy to me.

    I’d be suss straight up. Question I’d be asking myself is “how big is their markup, that they can afford it?”.

    Also I’ve been put in this position myself a couple of times when someone thought I had influence in selecting a supplier or contractor … felt and smelt like a bribe.

    “if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck” …

    #1164792
    Calcul8or
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    estim8, post: 191117 wrote:
    I think it depends on who you’re offing the incentive to.

    If it’s the principal of the business looking at your service, it’s probably OK … if it’s a minion … sounds awfully like a secret commission.

    A free service to try something out is fine, an unrelated (and quite substantial) gift looks dodgy to me.

    I’d be suss straight up. Question I’d be asking myself is “how big is their markup, that they can afford it?”.

    Also I’ve been put in this position myself a couple of times when someone thought I had influence in selecting a supplier or contractor … felt and smelt like a bribe.

    “if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck” …

    Thanks Estim8, this is the kind of thing I had in mind, and I hear you loud and clear!

    The markup question is absolutely legit, but could possibly be explained away by having done a deal with a travel agent in return for providing them with business perhaps?

    And the other point you make about to whom the offer is made is interesting too. Is there anything wrong with offering secret commissions? I owned a restaurant in partnership many moons ago that was way off the beaten track and hardly had any passing foot traffic. We went around to all the neighbouring businesses and offered a free lunch to the person at reception if they organised more than 5 lunches from their office on any day of the week. That was an unashamed bribe, and it worked! Our lunch trade took off without soiling a single table cloth!

    So would it be wrong to offer the receptionist (or any other lucky person from the business) a trip for two instead of the boss?

    Shail

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1164793
    Greg_M
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    Calcul8or, post: 191120 wrote:
    So would it be wrong to offer the receptionist (or any other lucky person from the business) a trip for two instead of the boss?

    Shail

    I’m no lawyer, and it’d be naive to suggest it doesn’t work, and people don’t do it, but I’m pretty sure it’s an offence under the law, just the same.

    Especially if offered to an employee of an organisation.

    You’re example, while a clever piece of marketing, did not directly effect any outcomes for the businesses where your referrer’s worked … except that they may have been promoting your business, as commission agents on their employers time (at a scale that’d probably worry no one).

    #1164794
    Calcul8or
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    estim8, post: 191123 wrote:
    I’m no lawyer, and it’d be naive to suggest it doesn’t work, and people don’t do it, but I’m pretty sure it’s an offence under the law, just the same.

    This is probably the area I need to explore more, and find out what’s allowed and what’s not. I presume Australian Commercial Law ought to be my first port of call.

    There are lots of “reward” programs about which offer incentives etc that seem to be doing it legally and without any trouble. I wonder if my idea would fall into a similar category?

    Programmer. Analyst. Nerd. Calcul8ors.com.au Custom Software & Collaboration
    #1164795
    Greg_M
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    Calcul8or, post: 191125 wrote:
    This is probably the area I need to explore more, and find out what’s allowed and what’s not. I presume Australian Commercial Law ought to be my first port of call.

    There are lots of “reward” programs about which offer incentives etc that seem to be doing it legally and without any trouble. I wonder if my idea would fall into a similar category?

    I think a rewards program is ok, cause that’s generally after the fact … they buy your service, you suck up with a present.

    Definitely need an opinion from someone that does know what they’re talking about …

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