President's Day Sales

Promotional advice from great leaders.


Promotional advice from great leaders. We commemorate George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays every February. They were inspiring leaders. Schoolchildren study them. Monuments pay tribute to them. Our currency even prominently features their images. They symbolize our country’s freedom and unity. Without them we...


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Free premiums, or what I call Freemiums, are things you give away free, like throwing in a free socket organizer if your customer steps up and buys both a set of regular and deep sockets.

On the other hand, self-liquidating premiums are not a gift, but an item your customer can buy at a discount — that he earns buying a specific product or reaching a spending goal. It’s the logoed jacket you sell them at your cost if they spend more than $300 this month. Since the customer pays for the self-liquidator, it costs you nothing.

The side benefit of choosing premiums imprinted with your brand is the added bonus of keeping your brand name in front of your customers and first in their mind. I visited a shop recently where one flag’s name was everywhere: Calendars, coffee mugs and even on one technician’s stocking cap. It’d be awkward to call on this shop if you were flying a different flag on your truck. That’s a feather in this dealer’s cap.

FREE TRIALS

The idea behind a free trial is that once a customer tries a product, they’ll buy it. It’s why the blue haired lady in aisle 7 of the Piggly Wiggly hands out samples of Limburger Lasagna.

Free trials work better with some products than others. You might hand out sample packets of hand cleaner to your customers. But how do you give away a sample of a torque wrench?

Actually, a demo can serve as a kind of free trial. When you do a demo, you may act like a teacher just showing and selling. But try asking a customer to turn a ratchet or hold a screwdriver and feel the grip. It can be very persuasive. I firmly believe once a customer holds a tool in his hands he’s more likely to buy it. That’s why it’s so important to tote and promote and do demos on a regular basis.

Washington and Lincoln may not bring to mind the idea of modern marketing. But many of these sales promotion tactics have been around for centuries. Selling is probably the world’s oldest profession. Put some of these tactics to work for you this month and over the year ahead. They’ll help you boost your bottom line by adding new customers and inspiring old customers to buy more.

Phil Sasso is president of Sasso Marketing Inc. (www.sassomarketing.com), a technical marketing agency specializing in tools and equipment. Subscribe to his free marketing tips at philsasso.com/blog.

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