Vendor Loyalty Programs
A vendor loyalty program means free samples to close a sale with a prospect or a existing customer.
Giving a customer a free sample of your work is a sure fire way to close a sale. Our experience at Northwest Custom Apparel is that when we provide a free embroidered shirt with a client’s logo on it we have about a 90% chance of closing the sale.
Some of the criticism is that giving free samples can become cost prohibitive. Our response is that it is cheaper than a sales call. A sales call generally takes a minimum of 2 hours or more depending on where the client is located. A UPS shipment costs about $6.50 for a small package. Combined with a free sample its a killer way to save time.
What about the cost of the sample. Samples are expensive if you have to purchase each one. The trick is to be loyal to a few suppliers and focus selling their products.
Many suppliers have loyalty programs based on your volume of business. For example if a supplier’s program is based on a percentage of sales for free samples it is best to stay with that supplier.
These sample dollars can be applied to sample purchases at 50% off the catalogs price. Also, your loyalty program will earn you free catalogs, showroom fixtures, and garment bags and racks.
We use San Mar which is the leader in loyalty programs and spiffs to boost distributor sales. The company also provides a rep to help us stock our show room with popular samples.
We do not hesitate to give out free samples for customers visiting our showroom. This is an excellent way to gain customer loyalty and increase sales.
In summary free samples mean increased sales.