A large number of buyers may be incentivized to a buy a product because of the rebate but will never complete the arduous forms required to receive it. Of those who do send in the rebate, only a percentage of them will realize it is their check when it arrives in a plain, innocuous envelope in the mail. An even smaller portion of people will cash the check and claim their due.

Rebates are designed to stimulate purchases, but unlike a sale, their default rate is factored into the equation. It’s much more profitable for a store to offer 11% off everything, knowing full well that the reduction in cost won’t be realized by many buyers. The more complicated the rebate – for example, requiring people to complete a paper form, write in UPC codes and mail it –the more it is intentionally designed to discourage use.

Whether it is through a literal refund of money or a metaphorical rebate that returns value to your customer, be intentional about the kind of incentive you offer. Do you truly want to offer your clients a discount – thus reducing upfront pricing on everything or creating a package deal that automatically delivers extras – or are you just creating the illusion of a sale, hoping that they buy without any true desire to discount the price? And as a consumer, if you aren’t willing to pay full price for it, leave it behind. The system is designed for you to drop the ball somewhere in the process and pay the full rate anyway.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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