Successful Incentive Travel Begins With Good Planning

Developing a successful incentive travel reward takes a little pre-planning and work to ensure it generates desired results. A company must first determine what business goals are to be achieved through the use of this type of program. Having a basis of what will be accomplished makes it easier to set reachable milestones and select a motivating destination. This basis also allows a company to choose an itinerary that is capable of promoting the purpose of the program. Travel packages are typically implemented to boost sales, amplify morale, promote a product, retain employees, or as a method for creating a loyal customer base. One program does not typically solve every experienced difficulty within an organization. Needs should be organized in a list fashion in order to tackle the most urgent ones at first. An incentive could target customers, employees, or a business area such as sales and should be used as a driver to reach the desired results.

Incentive Travel: Tips for Setting Reward Objectives

The set objectives should be a first priority when beginning to form an incentive travel plan. Trip packages are more capable of supplying the anticipated outcome when the necessary accomplishments are known and understood. Taking a problem and turning it into a goal makes a good approach to resolving organizational issues. An issue can include these among other scenarios:

Sales

Safety

Service

Teamwork

Morale

Attendance

The characteristics of possible realistic aims will guide the way as a company chooses what will be accomplished by a motivational program. A business or department performing this planning must remain focused on what is to be accomplished and create simple aims with a precise purpose. All objectives being achieved with an award program have to be related in order to for participants to understand what must be done. Unrelated goals should be achieved in separate packages to ensure a successful incentive travel plan. An ambiguous goal can seem like a great idea; however, it will only be a success when the objective is achievable. A planned set of objectives must be:

Realistic

Reachable

Measurable

Timed Appropriately

In Line With Company Goals

The path to an award has to be measurable in order to make the process fair and encourage continued participation. Incentive travel awards create an environment full of healthy competition and measurable progress is the only way to make this productivity fostering environment possible. Awards used on the customer side of business must also be measurable to make certain consumers know what they have to do to receive the offered incentive. Setting a high sale goal or a set number of new customer sign on during a slow time of business is not fair to participants. The purpose must match the time of the year and what is realistically possible for a program to be effective. Additionally, all chosen goals should fall in line with organizational aims and stay true to set policies. Taking the time to properly decide these elements before choosing a destination or promoting activities will greatly increase the success of this motivational endeavor.

Increase Sales With Travel Incentives

Today’s business environment has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, it can be a tough task to make a sale. Just being aggressive doesn’t cut it any longer. Sales skills alone aren’t enough to compete when so many new products and services become everyday commodities. Consumers nowadays are being smart. You’ve got to distinctively separate your business from the competition and lead each of your prospects and customers to think, ‘I would have to be a complete idiot to do business with anyone else… regardless of the price.’ They are shopping for the best bargains and they all seem to want more than what they paid for. Every industry both online or offline needs a cutting-edge cost-effective powerful marketing tool that appeals to every kind of consumer.

Vacation and travel incentives are one of the most powerful methods of attracting business, retaining profitable clientele, increasing profits, enhancing product awareness, improving employee productivity. Businesses that have used vacation travel incentives in their marketing and promotions have seen at least 30% increase in their sales on both sides of the buy and sell cycle. Companies of all sizes and virtually any type of retail, wholesale, manufacturing, internet, service, distributor or direct sales business will benefit from incentive travel programs.

Why use incentives?

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider using incentives:

·Knowledgeable and attentive employees account for 80% of the reasons consumers feel satisfied, according to a PNC Bank Corp. survey.

·Fewer than one in four American workers is working at full potential; half of all workers do no more than directly asked, and 75% of employees say they could be more effective in their jobs, according to the Public Agenda forum.

·70% of unhappy customers abandon vendors because of poor service, according to the Forum Corp.

·A 5% increase in customer retention can increase lifetime profits from a customer by 75%, according to the Loyalty Effect by Frederick Reichheld.

·’Reward and retention efforts can produce big dollar returns.’ That’s what the Incentive Federation found in a 2003 survey asking hundreds of businesses using incentive travel promotions ‘Does Incentive Travel Improve Sales Productivity and By How Much?’

What then can we conclude from these survey results?

The bottom line is loyal customers and productive employees are the foundation of a successful business. But to continuously retain and motivate people can be a difficult challenge. Vacation and travel incentives, a proven motivator, will achieve this purpose.

Do your incentives measure up?

Today’s business environment demands a new breed of incentive programs. Many companies have already discovered that standard incentives of just a few years ago just don’t cut it with the customers as well as the workers in our continuously changing economy. Your choice of incentives have to widely appeal to your clients’ and employees’ wants or desires in order to measure up and get results you are looking for.

Hundreds of promotional companies offer incentive programs that are designed to evoke an emotional response and motivate people to take a positive action. It’s obvious from industry surveys of companies using incentives that travel is the most widely appealing incentive where everyone wins. Your sales people will close more sales, your clients will enjoy an exciting vacation experience and your business will increase its profits.

Why use travel incentives?

-Travel is considered to be the most effective reward.

According to the result of an email survey conducted by CMI, 58% say travel is more effective than cash or merchandise. Survey respondents consider travel to be the most effective reward. (Incentive Travel Fact Book)

“Cash bonuses are necessary but travel is a higher perceived reward,” says Verizon’s Porterfield.

Additionally, in a recent survey of American workers, 85% said they were motivated by vacation travel incentives.

-Nothing beats travel for long-term results.

In a 2003 Incentive Survey of Buying Practices conducted by the Incentive Federation, survey respondents believe that travel and merchandise awards are remembered longer than cash payments. Specifically, 69% strongly agree with this statement. (Copyright IPC)

Porterfield added, “When people spend their money, it’s gone. But the recognition that comes from our travel incentives lives on.”

-Travel has a universal appeal and high-perceived value.

USA Today, on their recent survey, stated that “93% preferred travel over other incentives.” This is because vacation travel is something that some or most people would not be able to get for themselves.

-Travel is desirable.

Another question asked on the Wirthlin Worldwide Research 2003 survey was “Suppose your employer wanted to reward your work performance. What would you find most rewarding?”

88% – indicated a trip they plan and take with a companion to the destination of their choice

5% – indicated a trip planned for them and a companion of choice with their co-workers

5% – indicated a trip planned just for them and their co-workers

-Travel has a promotion value.

A more exciting and memorable program can be built with travel than you can with cash.

Do travel incentives work?

According to the 2003 Incentive Travel Facts survey, travel incentives increase sales by an average of 15%. In addition, half of the respondents reported that travel incentives meet 75% – 99% of their objectives. (Incentive Magazine)

Where can I use travel incentives for?

Sales Incentives – To increase sales

In a May 1998 Promo Magazine special report, it was noted that LifeUSA attracted new agents and sent sales soaring by abandoning its annual cash incentive program for a more inclusive campaign that gave out merchandise and travel. By the program’s conclusion, policy enrollments exceeded LifeUSA’s initial goal by 700%. There were 10,000 certificates issued and were more than twice what the company planned for. (Copyright IMA)

Employee Incentives – To motivate, retain and reward loyal and efficient employees

A small retail store in Maryland, Target Appliance, used travel incentives. “We introduced our first travel incentive for sales employees five years ago,” says President Daryl Gamerman, “and since then we’ve only lost staff due to retirement. I don’t ever have a problem with our sales people not working hard or volunteering for extra work, because they know it will help qualify them for a great trip.

Customer Loyalty Incentives – To build customer loyalty and trust

The Frequent Builders Program at Garco Building Systems offered travel awards to individuals. Since launching the program five years ago, Garco has experienced a 15 to 25% growth rate, compared to an industry standard of 2-3%. In 2000, the company grew a robust 37%. While it’s impossible to measure precisely the role that the Frequent Builders Program played, “there is no doubt in mind that it helps to build customer loyalty,” says Loomis.

Referral Incentives – To develop contacts or promote referrals.

‘Refer three new customers to our Tanning Salon and we will give you a free cruise to the Bahamas or Mexico.’ is one example of so many ways to use incentives to get those referrals every company needs.

Purchase Incentives – Increase cash flow and obtain money upfront.

‘Pre-pay a one year service agreement, you will get a free 7 days and 6 nights resort condo accommodation in the destination of your choice.’ is an example how incentives can be used to up sell.

Member Perks – Sell new accounts or member ships.

‘Join our golf club now and we will send you and a companion to Las Vegas with airfare and hotel for free!’
‘We will send you and a companion to a free vacation for 3 days/2 nights in over 30 destinations when you open a checking or savings account with us.’

Encourage responsiveness or trial of product or service.

‘Send back our questionnaire, we will send you and a companion to Orlando near Disney with free hotel and airfare!’

‘We will give you a free 3 day/2 night vacation to Orlando when you test drive our all new 2002 Honda Hybrid.’

Improve attendance

Create new markets

Foster teamwork

Build traffic

Set appointments

Business gifts

Consumer/User promotions

Cash vs. Travel Incentive?

Cash as a motivator is considered an unemotional award and widely over used. It seems that all human behavior stems from one of the brain’s two hemispheres: the left, which thinks in rational, linear terms; or the right, which operates in terms of images, emotions, and feelings. When companies offer money as a motivator, they are addressing performance issues from a rational, left-brain point of view. Tangible rewards, however, are often more motivating because they appeal to the right brain eliciting images. (Copyright IMA)

On a survey conducted by the Wirthlin Worldwide Research, a question “How did you spend your last cash reward?” was asked.
The following results were gathered:

29% – Bills

18% – Don’t remember

15% – Never received cash

11% – Gifts for family

11% – Household items

11% – Savings

Though its value is concrete and while it could be used to purchase a lifestyle award, most likely cash will be charged against a pile of bills or deposited into a leaky checking account where it soon ceases to exist. And with the demise of the cash award goes the memory of its origin leaving no trace of psychological branding.

Joe Devlin of Mitsubishi Fusco Truck of America Inc. quoted, “Cash goes straight into people’s pockets, and they need it to supplement their salary, but our trips give us the competitive edge. They’re a big part of how we motivate the salesperson at the dealership that has the opportunity to sell more than one product.” (Incentive Travel Fact Book)

In 1994, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company sponsored an incentive campaign to improve sales of tires. Two groups were formed; one was offered monetary rewards, and the other an equivalently priced selection of merchandise and travel – related rewards. The group receiving lifestyle and travel rewards outperformed the monetary rewards group by nearly 50%. This was the first documented evidence that cash, as a motivator, is not as effective as travel or merchandise. (Copyright IMA)

Using non-cash incentives such as travel will distinguish a company’s campaign from cash compensation packages. The programs do not become an expected part of an employee’s income. Surveys by Incentive Federation show that organizations use incentive travel because it creates lasting memories for the participants and generates positive buzz throughout the organization. Because they do not have an impact on compensation, it’s easier to use incentives as needed without creating the impression that people are getting pay cuts when no program is in gear. (Copyright IPC)

Join hundreds of other companies like:

Car Dealers

Banks

Manufacturers

Real Estate Brokers

Service Providers

Credit Card Companies

Public Speakers

Furniture Retailers

Mortgage Lenders

Sports Organization

Insurance Companies

Jewelry Stores

Non-profit organizations (fundraising, etc.)

And more…that have discovered the positive impact of incentive travel in their business.

How to Keep an Eye on Hotel Travel Performance

The hotel and travel industries face challenges posed by the competitive environment. This is why managers strive to come up with solutions that will allow them to cope with the daunting business world. Aside from the ever-changing environment, there is also a need to keep track of the competitions because they can easily attract your customers. This will of course result to a huge decrease on your profits. Since hotels are part of the hospitality industry, you should always think about your customers and their satisfaction. Meeting their requirements should not be your main goal – instead, you should go beyond them. To do this is simple: you need to monitor hotel travel performance.

The methodology in measuring hotel travel performance has evolved over the past few years but the fact remains that you should first take a look at your goals. Determining what you would like your organization to be in the future will lead you to learning the right tourism indicators that you should use. Therefore, even if you have the best piece of hotel performance software, this would not matter unless you know what you would like to accomplish. The goals and objectives of your business are exactly the things that will tell you what your company will be. Discovering what your organization’s future is will help you in selecting tourism indicators that will measure hotel travel performance.

Your customers should be your main priority but this does not stop there. There are performance dimensions that you will have to consider to be able to assess hotel travel performance well. As mentioned, the business environment here is very competitive which is why you have to keep an eye on the competitiveness of your own business. Measure the viability of your company against the performance of the other firms. You will need tourism indicators like relative market position and share, customer base measures and sales growth.

Now, we all know that in this industry every cent counts. The money that you expend might be of great help or might just prove to be a bad decision on your side. This is why financial measures should be utilized which include profitability, liquidity, market ratios and capital structure. Quality of service is next. You cannot gain more customers if you do not advance on reliability, responsiveness, appearance or aesthetics, tidiness, comfort, staff and environmental friendliness, effective communication, competence, access, security, availability and courtesy. These measures will make up the service quality dimension.

Hotel flexibility perspective uses measures such as volume, specification and delivery speed flexibility. When you monitor the hotel travel performance, you should also keep track of how the resources are being employed. Efficiency and productivity are two measures that are commonly used in this aspect. Finally, innovation should also be gauged. The growth and the development of your organization is viewed as one of the most important perspectives due to the fact that you can determine the performance of the innovation procedures as well as the performance of each innovators which carry out the processes. Your staff can either be your biggest expense or the most valuable asset which is why you should always observe their performance.