Engagement is vital to making sales, no matter the industry. With more and more businesses jockeying for power, it is easy to overlook the importance of customer relations. Rather than focusing on getting the most amount of sales, the fastest, there are better alternatives that can help promote a consistent customer flow with returning customers, and it’s where sales incentives come into place.
Using tools to create customer and brand loyalty is an excellent way of creating a long-term and sustainable sales path. Customers like feeling valued by the businesses and companies they patronize, and you can use this innate desire to your advantage. All you need is a well-laid-out plan on how you want to encourage not just new customers, but repeat customers to come as well! And, after you’re done with this article, check out this other article covering the topic of the best customer incentives.
Sales incentives – what do they mean?
The core idea of offering sales incentives as a part of your business is very simple — all you do is offer a reward or gift to your customers for using or interacting with your business. The goal of offering a sales incentive is to build rapport and trust between you and the customer. This trust is important for you as a business!
Not only does it mean that they’re more likely to come back repeatedly in order to use your services, but it also increases word-of-mouth promotion. People trust the endorsements of someone close to them, which makes them increasingly more willing to use your services compared to your competitors. All this will not only increase your customer base but keep them within your sphere of influence and keep them coming back. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in sales over a prolonged period of time!
The best time to take advantage of sales incentives
First, you will need to categorize the kinds of interactions that you have with your customers. Isolate and identify the instances where you would like to reward the actions of the customer. The goal is to encourage these actions by rewarding them in some way! Most times, we want to look at instances where we can reward loyalty and repeated interactions with the business. It doesn’t have to be just sales-related, either. We also want customers to interact with us through feedback or filling up questionnaires so we can better tailor the experience we provide.
There are many opportunities we can leverage sales incentives to our advantage. Here are some common, widely applicable examples that you can consider implementing or modifying to suit your business best!
Encourage customer loyalty and repeat visits
Depending on your industry, there may be a slew of competitors ready to nip at your customer base. Most times, other businesses try to break into your customer base by offering competitive prices and offer promotions. It’s oftentimes difficult to compete based on prices alone, so we need to look for other options.
It is important to fortify your existing customer base by rewarding them for choosing to stay with you despite the clamoring of other competitors. If they already made the choice to shop with you, then it’s only fair we give back to them a bit, after all!
You can consider implementing a loyalty scheme that rewards customers based on how many purchases or visits they’ve made. Consider using things like discounts or gifts at different tiers, and a tantalizing reward at the end of the loyalty scheme for customers. Not only does this give them a goal to work towards, but it also disincentivizes them from considering other options, as they don’t want to waste their loyalty points with you.
Show them you care about their input
You could even take this a step further and give them rewards if they share their experience or purchase on social media, or leave a review for you on Google or other review sites. You don’t have to focus exclusively on points of sales in order to reward them. Rewarding them this way (especially for something they were likely to do anyway, like sharing on social media) will make them feel like their input is valued, and that they will get a better experience next time.
It is a great way of encouraging someone who was dissatisfied with your service to give your business another shot, especially when they have a discount burning in their wallets! It also acts as a promotion, as others will see how your existing customers feel about your business and would be more willing to give it a shot.
Word of mouth is powerful, and they deserve to be rewarded
Another potential area to reward customers is to implement a referral program for your customers! This is especially great if you’re offering services online as it’s easier to implement into existing systems, but is still a great option if you’re running a brick-and-mortar store too. By giving your customers a referral code they can use to share with others and tying it with a promotion, they will be more likely to share about your services and bring more people in. Consider tying a discount or a gift card depending on the tiers you want to have for your business.
Admit when things go wrong
Running a business is never easy, and there are bound to be times when things are not up to par and your customer is dissatisfied. It is important to apologize when they are dissatisfied with your business and not be defensive. This goes doubly so when they leave a review on a third-party site! Reply to their feedback and criticism with an apology and a promise to improve, and offer a gift card or coupon to compensate them. This will help with your image so that other customers are not put off by a customer’s dissatisfaction.
There are a ton of other ways that you can reward a customer for interacting with your business than the ones we’ve listed above. Using sales incentives is a great way to retain customers and build loyalty with your business, while also encouraging new customers to patronize your store as well. It is important to recognize the power that customers have on your business and how you can benefit from leveraging them!
Check out this link for some extra knowledge for business-to-business sales: 6 Powerful Tips for B2B SaaS Sales.