Archive for April, 2006

The Sales Incentive Program’s Rewards

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 Leave a comment

The rewards, which you plan to make available to the participants in your incentive program, should be considered under two "value" criteria:-

  • The cost to you in dollars
  • The appeal and satisfaction of your rewards, in the eyes of the potential winners.

The dollar cost: The cost of your sales incentive rewards will be an important component of your planning in the early stages, and must be included alongside the estimates you obtain for printing, trade launches, agency costs and fees, and other items of expenditure. Obviously, the cost in dollars for rewards will be different for all programs, as they will depend upon how many prizes and how many people need to be rewarded, and to what value. Each program will be different. The important need is to include the reward costs in your total budget.  The advantage of a larger number of prizes, even if they be individually of a lower value, is that there is a greater degree of all round enthusiasm and participation, when the potential participants see that the odds are more in their favour. If there are sales incentive rewards available for all sections of a unit, or distribution channel, there is total involvement and the degree of co-operation and activity is often greater. However, the competitive spirit must not be destroyed by allowing everyone to win a prize. Appeal and Satisfaction to Participants: The success or failure of an entire campaign will hinge on the potential participants' reaction to "What's in it for them?" The appropriateness and excitement offered by the type of prizes can often lift the real value of these prizes beyond their actual dollar cost. A few basic elements must be considered, in addition to the main need to consider the prizes through the eyes of the winner and not those of the promoters of the sales incentive scheme.

  • The prizes should be easy to distribute.
  • Where a wide choice is offered, you may need to prepare an attractive brochure or catalogue.
  • You must not use your own surplus or discarded stock as a low cost solution to such an important part of the program.
  • You should make sure that the timing is fair and sensible to the winners.

  • If travel is included in your prizes, you should plan it on a basis of total individual choice of time or, if arranging a group activity, plan the trip to suit the commercial pressures of the recipients. Winners should not be forced to join a group tour at a time that is very busy for them, or when they are shorthanded through staff holidays or other causes.
  • The greatest value is often attached to prizes that can be shared by both the winner and his or her family or friends. Travel prizes that include the option for two, or a family, to enjoy a holiday together have much higher value than single travel. 

Summary: You should:-

  • Make it easy for the prizes to be collected or utilised.
  • Explain clearly any conditions that may apply.
  • Follow up with your prize suppliers to ensure that they do what they have promised, both to content and time.
  • Make your communications with winners timely and friendly.
  • Treat them as special people.

No incentive program can be considered complete until the prize winners have received their prizes in the form and within the time stated and with the satisfaction promised when you first sought their participation.

Categories: Incentive Programs

Measure and review your Sales Incentive Program

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 Leave a comment

The methods you adopt for measuring your incentive programs should satisfy two requirements.

Firstly, the program must be legal and permissible under existing regulations of each State, in which the programs are being operated.

Secondly, your method of measurement must be acceptable to the incentive scheme participants, and be seen by them to be reasonable, appropriate and obtainable.

The appropriateness of the terms and conditions is the key element in the whole planning of the program. Even if they are totally within the legal requirements, you will waste a great deal of time and money unless you review your whole package of activities and rewards through the eyes of the participants. The need for participant co-operation and enthusiasm must also include your desire to award the prizes in the most appealing form. This includes recognising any tax implications under tax law.

Assigning responsibilities: Your planning will reach a stage where you have identified your objectives, who is going to participate and how you are going to make it all happen. Delegating activities and assigning responsibilities is as important in managing an incentive program as it is in any other management activity. This scheduling is even more important when engaging the services of outside agencies such as Ken MacKenzie Communications, who may be helping with such things as the production of printed material, trade release functions, travel arrangements and purchase of prizes. Even when you have allocated tasks and deadlines, you will need to find sufficient time to brief clearly each member of your team. Your cost estimates are often only as accurate as your briefings to suppliers, and if your financial planning is not sound at the outset, costs will run away from you. The use of outside suppliers will depend on the in-house facilities and whether these internal facilities can meet the standard of creativity and production essential to your program. The quality of the printed material which you release will be the participants' first object of appraisal. It is false economy to use in-house printing or design services that are not equal to those available from printers or promotional agencies.

Regular Review: Once you have chosen your team, assigned responsibilities and time and cost deadlines, you must constantly monitor the program and make adjustments as the need arises. During both your planning period and the reviews after the event, you will need to compare the costs of the incentive program with the benefits to be returned to you. Although incentive schemes based on clearly defined statistical criteria are much easier to plan, you must still be sure that your past event measurements are realistically accurate. You should review all components of your program and note the comments from your planning team's own experiences, the views of any agencies you used during the campaign and, most importantly, your participants.

Categories: Incentive Programs

Actions during and after the trade show

Monday, April 17, 2006 Leave a comment

Arrive early and stay late: The best arrival time is partially determined by the schedule of press conferences, exhibitor briefings, interviews with prospective representatives, etc. At the very minimum, allow sufficient time to make certain yout stand is in order and your equipment is working.

Keep your exhibit staffed: Empty booths sell nothing! Give visitors your full attention as they may well be your future customers. Keep your exhibit tidy. Give serious thought to security, both during the day and before leaving at night.

Take a look at other exhibitors: Whether competitors or suppliers of similar products, there is a lot you can learn from other exhibitors. Better display ideas, new product features and possible tie in arrangements are just a few benefits.

Select good overseas representatives: If possible, it's a good idea to line up a representative before the trade show. The representative can become familiar with your products and your organisation during the exhibition and, of course, will have an opportunity to meet and establish contact with prospective customers who visit your booth.

Quote price, delivery time and your terms: Many buyers prefer pricing to be on a 'delivered to them' basis including all duties, taxes and other charges. The delivery time in your quotation is tied to the terms of sale. The terms and methods used in shipping your products should be discussed with your freight forwarder. Other sales terms as warranty, repairs, replacements and packing may have to be modified to a foreign market.

Make use of business cards: You may receive many business cards during exhibitions. remember to have an adequate supply of your own cards for distribution. You might also devise a registration card for your booth. Make sure it's in their language.

 Use service representatives at the show: Often, companies that provide service to exporters and importers, such as air and ocean carriers, banks and freight forwarders, exhibit at or attend trade shows. Talk to them about your marketing needs.

Follow-up: Moer sales are recorded in the months following an exhibition thatn at the exhibition itself. The companies that get the best value for their exhibit dollar are those whose salespeople and representatives follow up on the best sales prospects as soon as possible.

Service your foreign customer: The quickest way to lose business is to fail to provide service. Once you make a sale, be prepared to provide complete service and fast delivery of spare parts. If you have a local representative, this person should agree to maintain a minimum parts stock and develop a service capacity.

Categories: Overseas Trade Shows

How to get the most from overseas trade shows

Monday, April 17, 2006 Leave a comment

An article on participating in overseas trade shows  
Before you exhibit overseas consider these valuable tips. For the most part, they are applicable whether you enter exhibitions alone or in co-operation with a government body.
Select a market with care: Study the market before you decide to enter an overseas trade show. You will find that most government agencies have publications and statistics that are helpful. Trade associations, chambers of commerce, foreign consulates also can assist you. For example, the Australian government trade commission Austrade for Australian exporters and information for companies wanting to do business with Australia is a good source to start with.

Decide your objectives: Why do you want to exhibit ? Are you looking for on-the-spot sales or new customers ? Do you want to introduce a new product or service ? Do you want to find representatives or distributors ? Are you interested in a joint venture or licensing arrangements ? Perhaps you want to exhibit in order to gain exposure or study the market. Whether you will be represented by one of your own sales people, a representative, or distributor, it is essential that you clearly establish and communicate to this individual your reasons for exhibiting and the results you expect during and after the trade show.

Learn all you can about the exhibition: If it is a trade fair, ask the organisers of the event for a catalogue of the previous event. Get the opinions of past exhibitors. Attendance figures are important and can indicate whether a trade show attracts local, national, or international business people. Make certain that no other fair is scheduled that may be better known or more appropriate for your products.

Please see the Full article at:

Categories: Overseas Trade Shows

How to motivate people in an Incentive Program

Saturday, April 15, 2006 Leave a comment

An article on Incentive Programs

There are no rules, which dictate the number of different groups of people who can be included in any one incentive program. Each additional group requires its own special treatment.

When the target group has been selected, you must:

  • Keep participation simple
  • Talk to some members of the intended group before finalising your planning and, without specifying your particular plans, seek their views, their objectives, their needs and their likely response.

Too many assumptions should not be made without crossing checking them with the target group.

It’s essential to research the size of the group and this is quite simple if it is an internal program. However, if outside your own organisation, you will need to ensure that you have the most accurate figures possible.

You should not proceed until you have carefully calculated the size of your participating audience.

The options available on how to motivate people are almost limitless, and are as varied as the imagination will allow.

Here’s a list of important criteria that are equally relevant to any group you choose:

Please see the Full article at:

Categories: Incentive Programs

The function of the exhibit is to “Spread the Word”

Saturday, April 15, 2006 Leave a comment

An article about participating in trade shows:

You must constantly bear in mind the real function of your exhibit at a trade show and weigh each idea to see how it contributes to reaching your goal. Look at the function of your exhibit. What is it trying to do? What are you trying to achieve through its use? It makes a difference in your design thinking whether you wish to demonstrate a machine in operation to the widest possible audience, or if you expect to limit attendance in your booth to a very few important customers. Will you be doing a hard sell to anybody who stops by?

Collect the facts !

It is a waste of time to go ahead with a design, never mind construction, of an exhibit whose purpose is to obtain new dealers; to be faced with a comment by senior management that what is really needed is to identify a newly acquired product or service. The Sales Manager should realise right from the beginning what the exhibit is being planned to do.

The Exhibit and the Show Visitor:

Ideally, the design should attract every individual whom the exhibitor considers a prospect. The question can be stated as simply as this: "How do you design a trade show booth so you get the best results at various trade shows?" And here results mean telling your product story to more of the people who count in closing the sale.

Here are ten rules for designing a booth: 

Please see the Full article at:

Categories: Trade shows

Determining your Trade Show Objectives

Saturday, April 15, 2006 Leave a comment

An article about participating in trade shows  

Millions of individuals attend and thousands of companies participate, but relatively few who are involved in trade shows fully understand the exhibit medium. 

 There are many reasons why a company enters a trade show, and it is important that a company spell out its objectives before making this decision. These objectives can include: to make sales; to maintain an image and continuing contact with customers; to initiate contact with new customers; to introduce a new product or service; to demonstrate equipment; to offer an opportunity for customers to bring their technical problems and obtain solutions; to obtain feedback from booth visitors; to relate to the competition; etc The most common objective, of course, is the first one: to make sales and the trade show can play a unique role in leading a prospective buyer from mild interest to the decisive act of placing an order. While making sales and sales contacts is the most common objective of an exhibit, it is certainly not the only one. Participation in a trade show is a good way to sharpen one’s sensitivity to the conditions of the marketplace. At a trade show, you can sense the general attitude of people more rapidly than any other way. 

Full article at:

Categories: Trade shows