"All of our programs offer our dealers a choice of ways to qualify.This fall, I took 205 people to Paris for four days, then 'chunneled' them through the Channel Tunnel to London for two nights. To earn that trip, dealers could either buy a certain amount of the qualifying product outright or use incentive dollars.
"Our incentive dollars system, which I started about eight years ago, works this way: If a dealer specializes in vinyl, he might buy a pail of adhesive at $3 a pail. We then load $.50 onto the cost of each pail, and put that $.50 into an incentive dollar account. When a dealer reaches $100,000 in sales, he earns one trip; at $200,000, he gets two trips. If he earns a trip and a half, he can buy the second half with his incentive account, or just write a check.
"We also have a cash discount deposit plan. An account can pay his monthly bill ahead of time, and we'll put the 5 percent cash discount we offer him into his incentive dollar account.
"I put a lot of research into where we go. Our first trip in '99, in January, is to the El San Juan Resort in Puerto Rico, and in April we're using the brand-new Disney Cruises ship, with a three-night cruise and two nights in Disney World. Next November we're going to Florence. We try to offer a European destination, a sun and fun destination, and then something like San Francisco with the Napa Valley, so there's something to appeal to everybody.
"The programs are becoming more popular. Three years ago, I took 150 people to Switzerland; this year I'm taking 205 to Paris and London. We constantly try to outdo ourselves. That doesn't mean spending more money; it just means doing a better job."