Self-Generated Promotions

I’m working with my Cape Town crew at present, and residing deep in technoville, they’ve a desk filled with several old laptops in various states of dismantled ruin which they’re happily cannibalising to make enhancements to other kit.  One such gem unearthed is an internal hard drive that’d make a perfect back-up device for one of my machines, and I was told to seek out a ‘chassis’ so that it could be used as a usb drive.  They even recommended a shop close by where I could get one.  I checked the website for directions, and found that their homepage at that time was hijacked by a big promo for a brand new store opening tomorrow on the other side of Town.

The idea was that the first customers of a particular type earn a free gift.  Now, I realise that this encroaches a touch on marketing ground, yet it’s relevance to b2b reps is that within many sales teams I encounter, it is startling how the more successful sellers tend to be ones that (often randomly) make up their own promos and campaigns within their personal client segment or territory.  This idea struck me as so impressive in part because it could be so readily expanded upon, tweaked and generally adapted by individual salespeople especially when selling a new product.

The enticement is that if you fulfil any of the following criteria at the store’s  Friday 13 March opening, then you’ll be given (a teasingly as-yet unnamed) ‘gift’:

  1. You are one of the First 13 customers!
  2. You are the first customer that buy’s 13 individual items!
  3. All clients in the store at 13:13 will receive a gift
  4. First 13 year old (proof required)
  5. First client who is born on the 13th of any Month (proof required)
  6. First client who was born on the 13th of March (proof required)
  7. First customer with the name Jason
  8. First customer to name 13 brands we sell
  9. First customer to spend R1313 or more
  10. First customer to spend R13 113 or more
  11. First customer that wears a 13 on the clothing
  12. First client that can fully name 13 of our employees
  13. First customer to wear a size 13 shoe

I reckon it’s pretty easy to come up with a similar list of prize qualifiers which count at least one among its number that manages to apply to each individual possible buyer, whatever theme you use (theirs is simple using the number 13, month of March and hooks around the movie Friday 13th).  The final trick I guess is to create prizes that you don’t have to chase authorisation for around darkened corridors inside your company and just get on with it on the QT!

On another note, this story doesn’t have the happiest of endings for the creative genius behind it though, as they lost my (not insignificant) sale.  I went to their store nearest me for the two items required, and would you believe it, they were out of stock with both.  The reason?  It’d been sent over to the new shop for their opening stock.  Amazing.   The counter clerk did suggest I check out the new store, but he seemed pretty lame, without any movement to look up stock details on his computer, and I felt compelled to point out that as the store in question was 45 minutes drive away, it might as well be on the moon as I was never going to travel that far.  Particularly as their competitor that benefited immediately afterwards was around the corner…

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