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How to Make Your Sales Promotions Work for You
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By Bill Brooks

Mohammad NawazNot every sales promotion works as it is intended or as successfully as its developers believe it will. Back in 1955 Quaker Oats had one of those not so successful ventures. To entice customers to buy more cereal they made what they thought was a great offer - one square inch of Yukon Territory. The cereal manufacturers bought 21 million of these mini-plots from the Canadian government for $10,000.00. When the promotion didn't pan out, Canada took the land back for $37.00 in back taxes!What can you learn from this failure? One thing is very clear. Even large organizations with extensive sales management and marketing research can make errors.

Not every sales promotion works as it is intended or as successfully as its developers believe it will. Back in 1955 Quaker Oats had one of those not so successful ventures. To entice customers to buy more cereal they made what they thought was a great offer - one square inch of Yukon Territory. The cereal manufacturers bought 21 million of these mini-plots from the Canadian government for $10,000.00. When the promotion didn't pan out, Canada took the land back for $37.00 in back taxes!What can you learn from this failure? One thing is very clear. Even large organizations with extensive sales management and marketing research can make errors. The second lesson is an invaluable one that proves itself time after time. Here it is.You must be absolutely sure that whatever you offer as a premium or bonus with your product must, absolutely, be something that is desirable enough to be sold successfully on its own. To live and thrive on its own merit and worth! In fact, you need to be totally sure that the offer you provide is at least as valuable to your customers as your core product might be.These bonuses should be things that provide more product or more service, reduce risk or enhance the opportunity for your customer to receive greater value, reduce costs, service their customers better or help them implement your solution easier, faster or better.What about some examples that might be of some value to you? Let's take a look at a few:

* An airtight guarantee or warranty

* Enhanced service or support levels

* Free upgrades for a period of time

* Additional product for significant savings

*Special, better or more favorable terms

* Coupons, certificates or access codes for ongoing purchases

* Risk reversal with you assuming all of the risk with guaranteed refunds, rebates or additional incentives for failure to exceed customer expectations


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