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Light Bulbs For Life is a Lousy Idea

I think I just heard a few people gasp when they read the title of this post.   Yes that is what I said, “Light bulbs for life is a lousy idea.”

For those not familiar with what Light Bulbs for Life allow me to explain. Scentsy Fragrance sells wickless candles and electric candle warmers.   Our warmers in the US and Canada use a light bulb to warm the wax, which melts and scents your home. It’s a safe alternative to wicked candles. Those candle warmers take a 15, 20 or 25-watt lightbulb, the kind that uses the smaller candelabra base.

These light bulbs can be found at many home improvement stores – yet in some areas, apparently they’re a little more difficult to find. Scentsy consultants sell these – three light bulbs for $5. Pretty good deal. Actually, that’s dirt cheap; less expensive that can be found in stores.   Some independent consultants have developed their own personal special program called Lightbulbs for Life. Essentially it means you don’t have to splurge to get the extremely inexpensive lightbulb for $1 each, but rather your consultant will GIVE you one.

Who doesn’t love free stuff, right? Let’s dissect this program a bit from a business standpoint.   Assume a customer purchased a Companion System – that includes a full size premium candle warmer, a travel size plug-in candle warmer and three candle bars of their choice. Each warmer already includes a light bulb. By purchasing this system, the customer saved $10 by bundling.

Three things here: They were happy to save the $10 and spent $60. If they wanted extra bulbs, a few extra bucks would not break the bank. Plus we already know they have a bulb, have a warmer and have wax. They’re already sold on Scentsy, they’re already using (or soon will) use the candle warmer system.

Secondly, how often do they really need new bulbs? Like any light bulbs, they can be unpredictable and blow out sooner than you’d care for, especially if they were left outside by UPS in the cool weather and you turned on the electric warmer without allowing the bulbs to come up to room temperature. However, that is not the norm. I’ve been selling Scentsy for seven years and most of my bulbs have lasted years!   A couple of my warmers went 5+ years without it becoming necessary to change the bulb.   I have seven warmers that I use in my home on a regular basis (daily) and I would be liberal if I said that I changed maybe two light bulbs a year.

Lastly, an unexpected side effect of your well-intentioned gift could be that you insult your customer. While you may think you’re being nice, it could be received that you don’t think they can afford the extra dollar. Sounds extreme, but I’ve heard more than once, of customers being offended that their consultant tried to give them charity. They meant well, but it backfired. You have to b ever so careful when it comes to others’ financial situations.

Lightbulbs for life really isn’t a grand perk for the customer. Since they already need them, and can get the best price around from you, why don’t you just sell them, on the rare occasion they need them?   If they’re happy paying $20-$60 for their wax/warmer set up, they won’t blink at paying one hundred pennies per lightbulb. You may say it’s not cutting into your profits that much. Okay, but it’s certainly not helping your business either and not encouraging additional sales.

Instead, if you really want to offer your customers an extra perk, why don’t you offer them a real special? If you don’t, you know your competitors will. I’m not suggesting you give away the farm. On the contrary, I am very cognizant of the bottom line. You’re in business. And you’re in business to make a profit; otherwise it’s just a hobby. There is nothing to be ashamed of at earning a profit – you should be proud of your business acumen.  Whenever you implement something in your business you should ask yourself if this [what you’re about to do] will positively help your bottom line. Most businesses fail due to poor management and financial troubles. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.   So ask: Will this help my business?

Lightbulbs for Life is a feel-good program. It makes the customer feel like they’re getting a splendid value and it makes you feel like you’re offering great customer service.   But does it help? Not generally. We already discussed it’s something they would purchase anyway and not that often. It’s supply and demand.   If their bulb burns out, they need a new one. Period.

However, consider this – Scentsy Fragrance carries a number of fabulous product lines in addition to the flagship wickless candles. We have laundry care products – such as scented dryer disks to help with static and make your duds smell divine. We have hanging air fresheners which are spectacular for your auto, locker, closet, gym back and even inside stinky shoes.   We have a host of other products as well but those mentioned above are low investment for the consultant to offer as a freebie perk to the customer.

The best part is they may not have been aware we carry anything other than wickless candles. Or if they were aware of it, they may not have tried them – because chances are, if they tried some of our other products they’d be hooked. Would you rather save a customer a dollar once a year? Or would you rather introduce your customer to some sleeping giants (fantastic unknown products) that they will be most happy you introduced them to – and consequently purchase more in the future and likely tell others about it? My customers love that when I deliver their order or mail their Thank You note, it includes something new for them to try.

Now “¦ do you still think Light Bulbs for Life is a good idea? Or perhaps a lousy idea but now you have an even better offering for your customers which will be win/win?

About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a Michigan work from home mom and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping men and women start and maintain a home based business in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, Ireland and the UK. To download a FREE Start Up Guide which provides more details about how to start a home business as well as to learn about our compensation plan go to http://www.thrivingcandlebusiness.com/how-to-start-a-candle-business/

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