Using customer incentives to close the sale

A great incentive may be the difference between a customer taking the next step in the buying process or moving on to greener pastures. Especially during economic tough times, it’s important to choose the right incentive for your sales program without going over budget.

Recently, those at MarketingProfs interviewed Mac McIntosh ( about how to provide customers with the right incentives to help customers make the big decision and close the sale.

So, when you start to think about what incentives will encourage customers to buy, but not break your budget, remember McIntosh’s simple rules:

The incentive should relate to your product or service. There are a lot of teenagers out there with iPods acquired when their parents made a business-related purchase. Instead of filling the pockets of your customers’ kids, walk though the buying process and imagine what would really affect your customers’ buying decision.

Offer incentives that make it easier for customers to get their manager’s approval. Incentives like financing programs, free training or covering travel costs add true value that can be measured in dollars.

Introduce incentives at the right time. When a person enters the buying cycle and is still gathering information, they may pay little or no attention to incentives encouraging them to buy right off the bat. Save the incentives for later in the buying cycle when the customer is closer to making their decision.

Keep it simple. The most simple incentives are the most effective and most memorable: “Buy one, get one free,” “Buy now, pay later.”

Directly address the customer’s problem. “If we don’t solve the problem, we’ll do this to fix it.” Don’t make any promises you can’t keep, but try to gain the customer’s trust.

Read the full MarketingProfs article for some more great customer incentive ideas.


One response to “Using customer incentives to close the sale

  1. All good points. Another would be to go with Pay-Per-Use Incentive Programs. They are the most cost effective way to stretch your marketing dollars, especially during tough economic times. Check out React Works at to learn more.

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