Why incentives don't work in education—or the business world (Photo credit: opensourceway)
If you are looking to increase bookings and sales, you may want to consider a variety of different hostess incentives that you can offer. There are a quite a few different offers that you can make to get the bookings you want.
1) Red Hot Days – A fun way to fill your calendar is to offer red hot days to your host. This is a day that you really want to book up so you offer an extra special incentive BUT it is only good that day. You might know the only night you can get a babysitter easily is Monday night, so you offer X if someone hosts a party Monday. Red hot days are typically only in the next week or two.
2) Sales Incentives – Another great idea is to offer your hostess extra incentives as they get more orders. This is a good method to use if you are trying to increase sales. Give them something extra at the minimum to be considered a party (if you find this difficult for hostesses to attain) and then offer something extra every $150 or so, depending on your hostess plan. Not only are you giving them extra items but they are getting all the hostess rewards. It will cost you a bit, but, if they get the sales you want, the increase in commissions should outweigh the out of pocket costs.
3) Offer free product or a discount for customers – If you decide to use this offer, make it a decent amount. Is someone likely to get excited about an item for free if the amount of credit they get will not cover the majority of items in your catalogue? For instance, if you have a lot of products that are 15 dollars, you may want to offer $20 in free credit or any product worth $15 for free. Offering a 5% discount likely is not going to get people excited, but 15% off might.
4) Offer free product/discount to your hostess – Not only is giving customers a discount, but you may want to offer your hostess something even sweeter to get them to book. Maybe you are going to offer customers 10% off – you could offer your hostess something at 25% off.
5) Limit It – The purpose of offering extra incentives is to get bookings now, not three months down the road. For this reason, make the offer a limited time offer or only good until X date.
6) Original Date Only – Again, because you are likely offering this incentive to try to book up your calendar, you don’t want them to book it for next week but then have them cancel and rebook three months later and expect the same deal. Make the offer a limited time, only on the original booked date. You could choose to still honour it if they reschedule within the same month but that is up to you.
7) Only in Home Events – It is easier to get sales when you do an in home demonstration. For this reason, you want to make your offer only valid on in home parties. Still let outside orders count but there must be a home visit and demonstration involved.
A few things to remember when offering extra incentives:
Customers need to know that the incentive is only good with you – other consultants will not honour.
Make sure your incentives are not costing you money. If your commission rate is 20%, do not offer a hostess 30% off as you will lose that 10%.