Hello? Anyone Listening?…

What you may think and what you actually know – are two very different things.

Take incentive travel programs. Some decision-makers think they know what an audience wants and doesn’t want.

Short flights – one hundred percent!

Stopovers – absolutely not!

With all due respect: Do they know this to be true? Or could it be that they’re letting their own personal preferences override their decisions?

Does any of this sound familiar?

Emerging incentive markets: Rwanda or Slovenia

  • Decision-maker thinks: “I am not too familiar with Rwanda or Slovenia. Are they safe?” “Is there anything to do there?” “I don’t think the audience will know where they are” or “Not for us. Our group wants Michelin star restaurants.”
  • Audience actually wants: “Rwanda!? Slovenia?! Cool! I’ve always wanted to go somewhere off the beaten path, but not sure how I would travel there myself.”

Accessible only after a long-haul flight: Australia, South Africa, Asia

  • Decision-maker thinks: “Our achievers won’t fly that far “or “It’ll never fit in the budget”
  • Audience actually wants: Far-flung destinations are an amazing incentive award, and probably the only way I would ever see that part of the world. If my company is using South Africa as a carrot, not only will I bite – I’ll bite hard! I’ll work steadily to achieve it, I’ll tell all my friends and family about this great opportunity. And – if I get it, I’m going to tack on time for pleasure before or after this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”

Let’s give our decision-makers the benefit of the doubt for a second. Let’s say they survey their achievers, as many corporations do, about destinations that would motivate them the most to achieve higher targets and inspire them to earn a spot on an incentive trip.

That’s a good start. But we’d like to suggest that it can be better. Instead of limiting the survey to just the achievers, consider including the entire audience – achievers and non-achievers. Why? Because taking a macro approach will give you a better picture as to what will motivate en masse, and involving the whole team will amp up engagement. More people generate more energy and excitement, and that means more potential for better bottom-line performance.

At this point in the article you may (correctly) be asking: “So, how do YOU know this?” Good question. We know because we’ve seen it play out, numerous times in the last 30 years.  Decision-makers who ask – rather than assume – and then listen carefully without letting their own biases get in the way, always end up with the best results: an invigorated audience and a surge in sales.

Who wouldn’t want that?!… Well?… Hello?!

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