Let's talk about Chuck E. Cheese for a minute. Network marketers should take note of how business is done at Charlie's place. I've started affectionately calling him Charles Edward Cheese III lately, just to be silly. After all, isn't that how all super-rich bluebloods should be addressed?
These people have the best racket in town. And the funny thing is, we LOVE them for it.
I took my son last night, as a reward for being so well-behaved and performing exemplary with his choir at our local children's museum. I'd tell you that the place gave my sticker shock, but I'm not so shocked anymore. We've been going there for over 10 years - heck, I even went there as a child with my aunt and cousins. Back then, though, it was called Showbiz Pizza, and the star of the show was a purple gorilla, not a mouse.
I went to the counter, ordered my “small" pizza and the obligatory tokens. I opted for the “deal" where I saved $6.25 because they gave me 29 bonus tokens for buying 80 tokens all at one time.
So I paid $20 for this little cup full of jingly coins. But like I said, we love it. Because there's nothing else quite like it. Our kids love it, and because of that we're willing to pay for it. . . . and PAY for it.
The idea behind tokens is clever. You're trading value, so you don't really think about how much money you're actually pouring into the machines at this place. The token machines even take credit cards these days. And when you go to cash in those tickets, they are only worth about a penny a piece.
Did you just see what happened?
They traded your value down. And our kids jump up and down and celebrate! Because in trading down value, they offer a little bit of entertainment along the way. So my $20 turned into about 270 tickets - or about $2.70. Plus a little “entertainment" on the side.
As a network marketer, if you can find a way to convert value like Chuck, you're in luck. Creating a perceived value that's higher than your actual cost is what creating a profit is all about, but in this case, not only are you making a profit, you're virtually gouging your clients AND they're saying “thanks, we had a great time, see you soon!"
How can you convert value by adding no or low cost entertainment features to your product line?
And before I get cards and letters, I know that there are overhead expenses for a place like that, but I also know that if they're SELLING those prizes, there's already a mark up on them, so to reduce the value even further with tickets only validates my point.
In network marketing, offering preferred customer cards, punch cards, or special host-only type events can increase your perceived value without raising the cost of doing business much, if at all. Loyalty products go along way toward building perceived value. Not only that, by doing home parties the entertainment value causes a customer to feel as if they got more for their money when they purchase the products. It's part of the herd mentality I've written about in previous articles. When everyone is feeling good, having a good time, and generally being entertained, they are far more likely to plunk down excessive amounts of money for what may be a trivial return on their investment.
The second lesson in Network Marketing is that if you can go the OTHER way and provide even MORE value for your clients, you'll reap an even greater reward. Chuck did this after months of customer complaints regarding the “price" of the games. Now, all single player games only “cost" one token. And they advertise the heck out of that value.
What can you do to lower perceived cost and increase perceived value at the same time? As an MLM sales rep, you might be limited to the product sizes that your company offers, but are they making larger, family sized packaging now? Boast about it. Can you bundle products for “bulk" savings? Market that like crazy. Tell people when they're getting a deal, so they can appreciate it, feel good about it, and spend even more with you.
And watch the thank-you notes come pouring in.
Tired of trading hours for money, Lisa Young gave up her 8 to 5 for a direct sales career that now spans over 10 years. Lisa's blog, Real Life Marketing, reveals the realities of what it takes to be successful in the eyes of your customer, using real-life examples you can learn from today. You can visit Real Life Marketing at http://lisamrobbin.blogspot.com
Unlike other industry writers, who left direct sales to pursue speaking careers, Lisa is still in the trenches, running her direct sales business and leading her teams to success. Her book, Home Party Solution is a step-by-step method to harness the internet to boost bookings, sales and recruits. Read the first chapter free and subscribe to the monthly business boosting e-zine, “PartyOn!" at http://www.homepartysolution.com