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

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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