Looking for a way to grow your company’s revenues and diversify your offerings? Barb Hendrickson of Visible Communication, for one, believes the best way to do that today is through corporate gifts and incentive programs. “You have clients that are already using merchandise for incentive programs, but they’re not always getting them from you,” Hendrickson told her distributor attendees during her session at ASI Chicago yesterday titled “Incentive Opportunities: Diversify Your Business and Grown Your Bottom Line.” “Many companies that you’re already selling promotional products to go to retail for their incentives, so there’s a huge opportunity here for you.”
In her session, Hendrickson highlighted some statistics from recent studies that highlight the opportunity that promotional products companies are missing if they’re not currently selling incentive programs and corporate gifts to their clients. A recent report from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) shows that 74% of U.S. businesses use incentives, and 59% use sales contests that include reward merchandise as a way to improve their organization’s performance. Additionally, the report found that award recipients perform at higher levels when rewarded with merchandise than when offered cash.
“High-end brand-name products are a proven driver of performance,” Hendrickson said. “And this is something you should be talking to your customers about. Somewhere in their organizations, people are purchasing these items for their incentive programs. You can help them do it in a cheaper and more systematic way.”
Hendrickson went on to share her top steps for designing effective incentive programs, which distributors can use to help their clients. The first two, she said, are probably the most important: determine objectives and analyze the audience. “You – and your clients – need to know exactly what they’re trying to achieve before designing a program or picking out reward items,” she said. “The key to a successful program is knowing what your client’s goals are and then identifying items that will drive the behavior they’re trying to achieve.”