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.

A Travel Guide to Africa

Your idea of a holiday destination is usually that of an urbanized place, serene environment, a luxury hotel, shopping, eating and a lot of relaxation. Africa has it all in its excellent Western style cities. Amazingly, Africa has some parts, which do not serve all this but still are a major attraction for people around the world.

However, before getting your Africa flights you have to take some precautionary measurements to get the maximum fun out of your holidays. Some of the basic precautionary measurements are given below.

First Aid and Medical facilities:

However, most of the parts of Africa that describe the real Africa are not much developed and this fact cannot be ignored. This is what makes it important to take safety and precautionary measures before and even during trip to Africa. In the first place, all vaccinations must be complete as there are bit chances of disease specially; aids, malaria, cholera and hepatitis. Unlike the usual first aid kit, the kit to Africa needs to have some things in addition. Among these things, contraceptives, and anti-biotic course, sterilizers and sanitizers are a must keep. Although limited, medical facilities are available throughout Africa, especially those in South Africa and Zimbabwe are excellent.

Tourist Guides:

Tourist guidance is not only widely available but at times also very important. At the safaris for instance, one is compelled to take a guide along but care must be taken. A survey must be done before a guide is booked. Very cheap deals are equally ridiculous in quality and very high priced deals are usually run to get a good amount of money from the tourists, as they are considered rich.

Theft and Security:

Due to poverty, theft is a common practice in Africa especially big cities and tourists are a big target. In order to avoid losing the belongings; money belts, neck purses and leg safes are advised. All precious belongings are to be kept along at all times especially during traveling and even during sleeping as accommodations in Africa are rarely locked. Walking alone in a city during night and hitching alone is not preferred. Getting oneself registered to home embassy can be very helpful in times of trouble.

Taking Care of You:

Last but not the least, travel insurance is highly suggested especially if one has to go for adventures as they can help a great deal in times of problem during adventures. In Africa, one gets to travel a lot and has to keep many things along already so light packing is suggested. A good sun block cream is suggested to be protected from African Sunshine.

Once all the precautionary measurements are taken, the trip to Africa makes up for an unforgettable experience. There, travelers find cultures and life styles affected by ignorance and poverty, but it should not to be taken negatively, that is the beauty of Africa. The customs of tribes inspired by animals, religious rituals that are totally jungle oriented, desert all around, hitchhiking and above all, the animals, is what makes Africa a land of beauty far beyond imagination. As tourists travel in Africa, the more they get attracted to it and the more curious they become about everything in it and eventually more they end up traveling.

Time Travel – A Possibility or Just the Stuff of Science Fiction?

It’s been written about in hundreds of books, the subject of fantasy for everyone at one time or another, and the government has actually devoted research at one time or another on the subject. If you do a search on the Internet for time travel you will find millions of entries on it, and hundreds of websites fully devoted to talking about it. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could travel back in time? You could correct mistakes you’ve made in your life, study any period of time that interests you, not to mention build a financial empire on your foreknowledge of events. Beginning with H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, the concept of time travel has been one of the main staples of science fiction. Some of my favorite reads are David Gerrold’s The Man Who Folded Himself and The Light of Other Days by Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke.

So is it really possible to travel in time?

First of all we are all already time travelers in the sense that time moves forward, and at the same apparent rate of speed, for all of us. There seem to be no obstacles in physics to accelerating the forward momentum of time in one way or another. Cryogenics is a concept much written about as one method of “forward” time travel; lowering the body temperature to a little above absolute zero to nearly stop the metabolism as a way to sleep away millennia. The practical hurdles to this put any possibility of this far into the future. Although simpler organisms have been successfully frozen and returned, the human body is too complex to yet survive the process because of water crystallization and other factors. Another method of accelerating time is time differentials due to the relativistic effects of high velocity.

According to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, as an object approaches the speed of light one of the effects is time dilation. As a relativistic object’s speed increases the passage of time slows for it in relation to a non-moving object. Take for example a spacecraft traveling at 10% of the speed of light, or 18,628 miles per second. If this imaginary spacecraft maintained this speed consistently for 24 hours (according to our clocks back home), then at the end of that 24 hours only about 23 hours, 53 minutes would have passed onboard the spacecraft. Much higher speeds to within a fraction of a percent of the speed of light have to be achieved to get a really noticeable effect. Take that same spacecraft and accelerate it to .999999 light speed (or to 186,281.81 miles every second) and something really bizarre happens, achieving something more like time travel. If you take that spacecraft out on a joyride at that speed for 24 hours of your traveler’s time and return home, you will find that almost two years have past on Earth.

In actuality, this has been observed in experiments done when atomic clocks were sent on jetliners to observe the effects of time dilation. The difference was observed as predicted, helping to support Einstein’s theories. Naturally the difference was small, measured in nanoseconds. Unfortunately for any aspiring time travelers, the kind of speeds needed for relativistic effects are still well outside our technology. The fastest spacecraft yet launched were the Helios spacecraft sent to study the sun in the 70s. They achieved speeds of about 158,000mph, or about 44 miles per second; this is about .02% light-speed, still not close to relativistic speeds.

And what about the possibility of travel back in time?

This makes great material for science fiction, but the data here doesn’t seem promising. Physicists have been able to envision certain circumstances under which time travel MAY be allowable under the laws of physics, but the energy levels and exotic matter requirements seem to be well beyond anything we are likely to achieve anytime soon. Some have suggested that wormholes may be bridges to other universes, distant parts of this universe, or other times. Wormholes remain a theoretical concept, neither proven nor dis-proven to exist. It seems that for all practical purposes the universe has (at least temporarily) denied us the opportunity to revisit our past directly. So let us turn to a discussion of what the possibilities would be if time travel did exist.

First of all we must look at the fact put forward by modern physics that space and time are related aspects of the topology of our universe. In other words, our universe consists of the three observable dimensions of space and one of time. Putting together a theory that explains the existence of our universe required combining time and space into one continuum. Assuming this to be true, it follows that there should be a parallel measurement in space equivalent to measurements in time. It may seem nonsensical to talk of measuring space in seconds or time in miles, but the two are tied together through the speed of light. Therefore it follows that to convert one second of time into distance, we simply look at how far light travels in one second. That would be approximately 186,282 miles or three quarters the distance to the moon. This means that traveling one second back in time would be equivalent to traveling nearly the distance to the moon. Then there is the fact that a change in temporal position would mean having to adjust for the motion of the earth, sun and galaxy as they rotate and revolve. A lot harder than it looked, huh? Ok, let’s pretend we overcome this obstacle and achieve real, meaningful time travel. Could you go back in time and kill your grandfather early in his life, assuring that you will never be born? Time travel is full of paradoxes such as this. For the most part this can be overcome by incorporating quantum mechanics into the concept of time travel, and branching realities.

Quantum mechanics is a field of theory which developed in the first quarter of the twentieth century through the work of Niels Bohr, Pauli, Planck, Heisenberg, and Schrodinger. It’s basic tenets are that at a fundamental level matter exists as a cloud of uncertainty and probability. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that one cannot measure both the position and momentum of an elementary particle because the act of observation changes the outcome. In this branch of physics cause and effect is said to break down and one can only state the probability of something being true. The most famous example of what quantum mechanics means in the real world was given as a thought experiment by Erwin Schrodinger and is known as Schrodinger’s Cat. Here it follows:

A cat is placed in a sealed box. Attached to the box is an apparatus containing a radioactive nucleus and a canister of poison gas. This apparatus is separated from the cat in such a way that the cat can in no way interfere with it. The experiment is set up so that there is exactly a 50% chance of the nucleus decaying in one hour. If the nucleus decays, it will emit a particle that triggers the apparatus, which opens the canister and kills the cat. If the nucleus does not decay, then the cat remains alive. According to quantum mechanics the unobserved nucleus is described as a superposition (meaning it exists partly as each simultaneously) of “decayed nucleus” and “undecayed nucleus”. However, when the box is opened the experimenter sees only a “decayed nucleus/dead cat” or an “undecayed nucleus/living cat”.

The paradox of this experiment is that the cat is said to be both dead and alive until someone opens the box. (*No cats or animals of any kind were harmed in the writing of this article). This paradox can be resolved if we say that instead of both being true in one reality, that reality actually branches into two. In one universe the cat is alive and in the parallel universe it is dead. In this way our universe is constantly splitting into alternate universes in which every possibility is encompassed. This also solves the paradoxes of time travel. When our time traveler returns and makes changes in the past he would be creating an alternate universe without destroying the other. In this way, as he or she continued to make changes, our time traveler would never be able to return to their original timeline, although he could create one similar to it with the right changes. All of the possibilities and repercussions of a scenario such as this are spectacularly presented in the science fiction novel The Man Who Folded Himself, by David Gerrold.

In summary, time travel is a highly entertaining concept for science fiction, and actually holds some plausibility in certain concepts of modern physics. But as a practical application, it is not likely to become a part of our lives anytime soon. Of course, not being a time traveler myself, I cannot speak with certainty.

Time will tell.