Testimonies, blog posts and videos can only go so far in convincing your prospects they should reach into their checkbooks and buy your product. The ultimate sales force is one of two things: someone they trust convincing them your product is worthwhile, or them convincing themselves after trying it out.
Both of these powerful purchasing persuaders can be generated through free or low cost introductory packages. So is a tactic like Groupon, Living Social or other discount deals sites worth while?
If the goal is simply exposure, yes. You will get exposure, lots of it. Maybe too much! While 66% of Rice University’s survey group said they made a profit from a Groupon venture, that stills leaves 34% struggling with the cost and added work of handling a sudden rush of deal-buyers.
What should definitely be taken into consideration is that discount site deals are NOT a bandaid to a low-prospect problem. They can be a tool in your arsenal, but if you aren’t prepared for the boost in activity, the results could be catastrophic. Slow, overworked staff may deteriorate your service, get negative reviews and actually harm your business instead of helping it.
Yes, you should also be prepared for those who bought your deal just for that single use and then will never return. However, if you have planned out how to handle the load and build a great experience, even if they don’t go again, they might spread word of the amazing service to another prospect.
For instance, I haven’t gone back since I finished my Groupon for horse-riding lessons, but I hope to one day – and I’ve referred three people to the business who were looking for a place where their kids could learn to ride telling them about my very positive experience.
So in many ways, jumping into big discount deals is a gamble that requires a lot of consideration as to the volume, weight and length of any offer you want to make. It can be used as a tool, but should never been considered a magic bullet that will make customers flock to your business and turn it suddenly profitable.