Sometimes a sample or demonstration isn’t enough, and customers need a little more incentive to act and purchase at that time. Provide special offers and values. We always recommend “give with purchase” instead of discounting.
When sampling or demonstrating out-of-store, get them BACK to your store with a coupon for a special offer, a discount, a free item with purchase, or some other similar offer.
Keep track of these redeemed coupons and compare how many were given away vs. how many were brought back to the store. If you use coupons at different sampling events, mark on them where they were handed out. This will help you track which events give you the best results.
Sampling and demonstrations may not currently be part of your daily standard operating procedure. Or, you may find that your employees aren’t taking the time to sample properly.
It is critical that your employees understand that sampling and demos aren’t “extra” but part of the job. They aren’t a “could do” but a “must do” activity.
All that said, if you need some additional incentive, consider contests and games to make sampling and demos more fun for your employees.
Blended Beverage Bingo
A tool we developed for Starbucks years ago that is still in use around the world today (and by Seattle’s Best Coffee) was “Blended Beverage Bingo.” We created BINGO style cards, but instead of numbers, each square contained a “way” to sample. For example:
- Sample [promotional beverage] to a woman wearing a blue shirt or jacket.
- Sample [promotional beverage] to a man with a little dog
- Sample [promotional beverage] to a group of three high school students
This not only made sampling a quest, it also encouraged them to get BINGO by filling out square in a row, column, or diagonally. (Just like the normal BINGO game). Employees had a blast. Sampling of the key beverages increased and sales of the promotional beverages increased.