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Coming up with giveaways and prizes is a big component of running a business for a lot of direct sellers. It’s important to get people to participate and engage with your social media content as well as during your parties, and giveaways are a sure-fire way to do that. As business people, we think it’s important to break down how and what to use as prizes so you don’t end up breaking the bank! It’s especially important to be strategic when you’re a new consultant who doesn’t have endless amounts of stock on hand. The most important thing to consider when it comes to selecting prizes is how the prize benefits you. The prize winner will likely be excited no matter what it is, because people love to win things! What we want to do is a “cost-benefit” analysis. It sounds fancy, but it really just means that you need to think about what the benefit for each prize is. The bigger the prize (read: bigger cost), the bigger you want the benefit to be for you. Let’s break it down a little further and explore some of the different prizes you could give away. Free Product People love to get free product. I mean, don’t you love getting things for free? Us too! So let’s do a little cost-benefit analysis of free product giveaways. You want to ask yourself some questions about what the cost to you is first. Are you paying for this product or did you earn it for free from your company? Are you confident that once the recipient tries this product they’ll be coming back for more? Is there an easy upsell that goes with this product, to help gain a sale from the winner? What are you hoping to achieve by giving away this free product? For example, if you want to increase engagement in a party, does the prize value correspond to the amount of engagement you’ll get (i.e., are there enough people in your party to justify the cost of this product?). Now that you’ve answered those questions, is the cost of this free product worth what you anticipate you’ll get back in return? Discounts Giving away discounts is another possibility for prizes. Discounts are an interesting option because they only cost you something if the winner uses them. With discounts, you have other things to consider. Is the benefit of an order, at a discounted cost, better than no order at all to you? Do you think your winner will place an order that they would not otherwise have placed, because they can save some money? How much of a discount are you able to offer? Will that value be seen by potential winners as worth whatever you’re asking them to do for a chance to win? Are you confident that people will be excited enough about the discount to place the order, rather than just letting it expire? Hostess Rewards Giving away hostess rewards is another potential prize. Depending on how hostess orders work within your company, perhaps you can split the rewards into prizes for a “Top 3”. One of the key benefits to giving away hostess rewards is that you can get customers to participate in a party when you don’t have a hostess. This is especially beneficial to you when you’re trying to increase your sales for the month. Are you hoping to reach an incentive goal and need a sales boost? Are you trying to qualify to be “paid as” or maybe even rank up in your company? Giving away hostess rewards for a qualifying party is a big prize that is likely to attract a lot of attention. It’s also not something that costs you anything more than your time to run the party. The drawback of a Mystery Hostess party is that you can only run them so often or people will lose interest. If you want to learn more about utilizing these kinds of parties, check out our blog post “How I Met Your Mystery Hostess”. If you time your Mystery Hostess parties strategically, they can be an incredibly powerful and lucrative part of your sales strategy. Sample Packs Do you find that once people have a chance to try your product, they can’t help but fall in love? Sample packs can be a particularly valuable prize for you. While samples are typically something people give away to anyone, you can make a real prize out of it by creating a “sample pack”. The key to this strategy is to make it look like something special! Use several samples (more than you would normally give to one person) and put it together in a little cellophane bag, or basket. Add some tissue paper, ribbon, and a nice tag and you’ve got a great little giveaway. It doesn’t have to cost much to put together and it will look like a great prize. The major benefit here is that your winner gets to try a number of your products and will likely come back looking to buy. Low cost, high return! At the end of the day, your business is just that – a business. If we want to make money, we have to evaluate what we put into our business. Sometimes the higher upfront cost of a prize is worth the benefit in the end. Other times, it costs us too much which is hard on our bottom line. Once you’ve done a basic cost-benefit analysis, you’ll get a feel for what your go-to prizes are. Your customers will also start to recognize when you have a really special giveaway, and they’ll react accordingly. Prizes sound like a part of your business that don’t require much thought, but when strategically considered, they can be a very effective and profitable part of your business strategy.