Gifts and Presents


Everyone loves gifts and presents!


everyone wants delight
customer product service
come back regular regular basis
recommend word mouth
advertising powerful word-of-mouth
weapon free gift
bonus expect cherry
top sundae chocolate-fudge
sales marketing consultant
shares experience deal
dealer buy/bought purchase
receive mail along with
pass (3) regular at that time
lecture live (2) seminar
recently another dealership
actually already familiar
tactic task cold-call
advertising in fact come across
article (2) suggest send
hand handwritten regardless
anything decided try
give a try mail help
right now feel (2) feel free
future prominent (2) owner
place to place order
strange thing never
previously impressed even though
example pharmaceutical advertising
agency regularly snail
snail mail symposium disease
treat product decide
offer pocket diary
anyone attend upcoming
event draw (2) participant
without gift time
prospect premium make a difference
possibility merchandise endless
mug tape (2) golf
tool tool set key
chain luggage start
booklet white paper special
report perform seller


Gifts and Presents



Everyone wants to delight their customers with their products and services. We all want them to come back for more. On a regular basis. And we all them to recommend us to all their friends (word-of-mouth advertising).

A powerful weapon in this is “lagniappe.” Lagniappe is a free gift or bonus from a seller that customers don’t expect. It’s like a cherry on top of an chocolate fudge sundae.

Sales and marketing consultant Graham McGregor shares some of his experiences with lagniappe.

1. The Car Dealer and Movie Tickets

A few years ago, Graham brought a new car. Three weeks after the purchase, he received a thank-you letter in the mail — along with two free passes to a Batman movie.

At that time, he regularly lectured to hundreds of businesspeople a month at live seminars. Graham then told all of them about this car company and the movie tickets.

More recently he went back and bought another car from the same dealership.

2. The Advertiser and Thank-You Notes

Actually Graham was already familiar with this sales tactic. At the age of 19, he had his first sales job. His task was to cold-call businesses and ask if they would like to buy advertising. Most (in fact, about 95%) told him “No”.

Then Graham came across an article on selling that suggested you send handwritten, thank-you letters to everyone you talked to, regardless if they had bought anything.

200-Plus Letters

Graham decided to give this a try: he mailed out over 200 hand-written letters that read, “Thank you for your time. I’m sorry I can’t be of help right now. Feel free to call me if I can help you in the future.”

A few weeks later, a prominent business owner called Graham and asked him to come and talk to him about advertising. Graham did — and the business owner placed a very large order with him.

Word of Mouth

But the strange thing was that Graham had never previously met, called, or sent a thank-you letter to this person.

So Graham asked the owner why he had called him. The owner said that he was discussing advertising with a business friend — one of the people Graham had sent a thank-you letter to.

The friend was very impressed with Graham’s note. And even though he didn’t have a need for advertising himself, he told his friend about Graham.

3. Snail Mail

Another example came from Dean, a writer for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.

They would regularly (snail) mail invitations to doctors to symposia on diseases (that were treated by their products).

Pocket Diary

Dean decided to offer a free pocket diary to anyone who attended an upcoming event. Cost of the diary: a dollar.

But this mailing drew more participants than one without the free gift offer.

SIX times more!

And at the symposium, all the doctors asked for their free pocket diaries.

Examples of Lagniappe

It’s often little presents like these that make a big difference in business.

If your prospect is not a reader, use a merchandise premium. The possibilities are endless: coffee mugs, T-shirts, golf balls, tape measures, mini-tool sets, pens, key chains, luggage tags, caps, and calculators, just for starters.

If your prospect is an information seeker, a free information premium — a booklet, a white paper, a special report — can perform well.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

1. Companies and businesses want to…….

2. What is word-of-mouth advertising? Describe word-of-mouth advertising.

3. All businesses operate this way. True or false?

4. Lagniappe is a “secret weapon”. How?

5. Graham bought a new car — and that was the end. Is this correct or wrong?

6. Only he and his girlfriend knew about the Batman movie tickets. Yes or no?

7. What was Graham’s first sales job? What did he do?

8. Did his boss tell him the secret?

9. Who bought advertising from Graham?

10. Do you think Graham talks more about cars and carpets; or Batman movies and shampoos?

11. Can you only use movie tickets and shampoos as lagniappe?
A. Have you received lagniappes? What were they?

B. Do some people (children) want to buy something *because* of a lagniappe?

C. I have told my family and friends about a freebie, prize, or gift. Yes or no? If yes, what did they do?

D. Have your friends told you about a lagniappe they received?

E. My company gives freebies and goodies. True or false?

F. What are some ideas of lagniappe that your company could give away?

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