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    Money From Thin Air

    John Melley - Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    In this blog post I discuss how Staples generated $15 out of thin air by selling me a card that assures repeat business and more importantly, Customer Loyalty.

    I end it with a question: How can you do the same in YOUR business?

    This morning I stopped into Staples to buy some DVD-ROMs. At the check out the cashier asked me if I buy a lot of toner and ink at Staples to which I replied "Yes."

    (Marketing Tactic Alert - She set up the sale very well by asking me a question I would most likely respond with a "Yes" to.)

    She then presented a "Savings Pass" that would guarantee 10% savings on all ink and toner purchases between now through May of 2014. All it would cost is $15.

    I did some quick calculating in my head and figured I would recoup that $15 investment pretty quickly, so I bought it. Then I congratulated her and said "Nice Up-sell."

    She smiled and said "Thanks." Though I didn't ask her, I'll bet Staples pays her a percentage of each one she sells - which would be a smart thing to do.

    What Happened Here?

    Well, Staples wound up with $15 in revenue they probably wouldn't have had from me. They increased the transaction size from $20 to $35. They also sold me money at a discount. I'll save 10% on future purchases and my savings won't really start until I've recouped the $15.

    Like I said, I'll do that, so it was worth it to me.

    Loyalty for Sale

    Here's the other thing. They "Sold me loyalty." By making me pay something to access the savings they made me put some "skin in the game." Now I'm more likely to return to Staples to buy my ink and toner, because I want the savings and I want the money back. I at least want to break even. The 10% savings I get won't really hurt Staples too much either.

    It also means I'll be walking through the door more regularly and probably buying items other than just ink and toner.

    If I don't then hey, they got $15 of my money for free so it's a win for them.

    But it's also a win for me. I basically have 14 months to recoup a relatively small investment with savings that will add up over time. I win too, so that's a great arrangement.

    Here's a Secret

    One way people/businesses get rich is by getting paid before doing the work. This is a brilliant way of getting money up front.

    How Does This Apply To You?

    Your first instinct might be to say: "John, I'm a voice over talent. I'm not in retail so this won't work for me."

    Yes it will. You just need to think about it creatively. I've got a couple of ideas already for my business. Rest assured I'll be thinking of other ways I can use it too.

    What Ideas Do You Have?

    Can you think if ways you can apply this concept in your VO business? I'd love to hear from you. This is a great opportunity to think outside the box. Let's hear them!

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