The Holiday season will soon be upon us and with that in mind, there are things that small businesses can do to be sure that they ring in Holiday sales success.
In order to assist with that success, we’re running a Holiday sales tip contest. We want to hear your Holiday sales tips and what techniques and strategies have worked for you. We’d like for you to share them here with other small business owners so that we can build a great list of Holiday sales tips that others can apply to their small businesses.
This article over at Business On Main identifies 4 ways to boost Holiday sales. We’re looking for off-the-beaten-track tips. Your tip can’t be the same as the tips in the referenced article, so visit the link and make sure yours is different. Then, come back here and give us yours.
Leave us your Holiday sales tip (and your Twitter username) by the end of day on November 3, 2011, in the comments section below and our team of moderators will pick the best tip.
The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Amazon just in time for the Holidays!
The owner of this site has an advertising relationship with Business on Main.
33 thoughts on “Holiday Sales Tip Contest: $100 Amazon Gift Certificate”
Include a hand-written note 🙂
For me, a lot of what the holiday season is about is giving back. I’ve always appreciated local businesses who use the season to bring awareness.
My suggestion/tip is to incorporate your giving program with your sales program. Are you donating a % of each sale towards your company charity? Put it on your website.
Are you gathering donations for Toys-for-tots or a local Foodbank? Announce it in your newsletter and let people know that when they bring in a toy or canned food, they’ll get a discount on their purchase.
As a consumer, I am more likely to put my dollars to businesses that give back to the community. And what better time to get a program like that in place than the holidays.
Take on “Thanksgiving” as the holiday you feature. Most people forget about Thanksgiving (especially retail) and go straight to Christmas. Stand out from the crowd by featuring “gratitude” centered marketing programs, messages and special gifts.
Don’t do the hard sell – any time of the year. Chat to the person and not as if you are following a script. Build a nice relationship and if they still say no then that’s no problem – be nice and positive. Helps for you to be positive starting the next call.
Partner up with another business that offers small gift ideas such as candles or something season-themed for a cross-promotion that matches a certain level of sales with a small gift.
Always sell the benefits! @isladuffy
I did this last year and it went over very well! If you bring in a canned food item for the food bank – you received a 10% coupon to use in January. People loved it and I ran it for two weeks – a little late thinking of it – and in the two weeks I had over 150 cans of food! It brought people into my store during the holiday time and it also brought them back in January during the slower months!
Every time you meet someone new at a networking event and collect their business card, send them an invitation to connect with you on LinkedIn. Once you are connected on LinkedIn you can proceed to build your relationship with them. Plus you never know who they know. Doing this with everyone you meet will greatly enhance your networking effectiveness. BTW, if you are reading this, I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn. Please send me an invite to http://linkd.in/Connect_with_Rick and reference this site. I have a large network of people that I can use to help you reach many folks you would like to reach.
Don’t offer a product or service… offer a solution!
We focus on an event that brings a lot of people to the downtown area such as the Christmas tree lighting at the center of town. It’s a Sunday evening, and we will be open for 5 hours of shopping with discounts. In addition to that, I send one of my associates down to the event to hand out gift certificates that are only good for shopping that night. We give $5 off a purchase of $5 or more. Yes, they can just spend $5 and walk away with free product, but when we have done this in the past, the average sale made to customers that redeem the certificate of about $25. Wouldn’t you spend $5 to get $25?
Send Thanksgiving cards to your clients. They will Thank You for those cards and for the Christmas cards they are sure you also sent.
People remember people – as in SERVICE.
If a small business can provide excellent service, that will be remembered. Christmas is a stressful time for any shopper, so if there is a perception of helpfulness, whether online through the website, or physically in the shop, they will more likely linger and buy.
Keep the route to sale as clean and simple as possible with plenty of emotion revokers (good quality pictures on the website, or well placed products on hangers / shelves)and be visible the whole way through.
They will not only come back, but send their friends there too!
What I love about the Christmas holiday is that it is a reason to send a card to all your clients. You can print with a message about a new promo, news, charity offering, whatever really.
I have included in the past a thank you voucher for their custom and also a discount for a referral.
It’s also a wonderful excuse to invite them out for a Christmas event. You can talk in an informal environment instead of a stuffy office meeting. Business tends to flow along with the wine ; 0 )
Twitter name: CG_OnlineM
If the holidays are your busy season, then capitalize on it by collecting the email addresses of your prospects and customers (text message opt ins is another option). Send customers an opportunity to rate/review their purchase on your yelp or kudzu profile to build up 3rd party credibility for your business. Send customers and prospects useful info and teasers throughout the year.
Talk less. Listen more. Ask Questions.
It might seem like common sense to ask your customers an exorbitant amount of questions, but most sales people don’t do it. When you meet with customers or potential customers, find out what their problems are and refrain from offering a solution at the onset of a conversation. In sales, this is probably one of the hardest practices to perfect. We want to be the person/company to provide a solution so badly that we often jump too quickly.
Instead, ask more questions. And when you think it’s time for you to give a solution… carefully consider whether there is a question that might help you better understand the needs of your customer.
In the end, not only will you know more about your customers’ needs and what drives them to make decisions, you’ll also demonstrate that you care about providing a solution that works for them.
We send thank you notes to our best clients in November, with a special offer to return in December and claim a VIP price on our top selling products. We truly are thankful to them- and we boost sales for our Holiday merchandise that needs to be moved quickly. Win, win!
Be Polite: With the busy society that we live in, it seems that people have forgotten about manners and etiquette. It is always such a pleasant surprise when people are genuinely friendly, courteous and polite. The little things really matter, remember to consistently use please, thank you and you’re welcome.
Collaborate with at least two other retailers who share your target market on an event or promotion. You’ll have more resources for advertising dollars, and can reach 3x+ the number of people.
Mine is simple and applies all year.
After I do business with you or visit you, give me a sincere, human delivered ‘Thank You.’
I don’t want to hear, ‘have a good one,’ ‘see ya later,’ ‘there ya go,’ or other non-personal insincere phrases.
I can almost promise you, when I get a sincere ‘Thank You’ I will buy again from that company.
The holidays being a season of giving. Appreciation goes a long way. People get stressed out shopping at Christmas so visiting a business that puts customer care at the top of their list and trains their staff to look after their customers and takes the strain from their day is a welcome relief. Look after the customers you already have.
Because so much Holiday cheer stems from the decorations associated with the season, we offer a Trim-A-Tree Workshop and Challenge in mid-November. Essentially, three teams are randomly chosen from those attending to compete in decorating three “undressed” trees. A selection of lights, garlands, ornaments and so on, are available for the teams to choose from in decorating the trees, all available for sale in the shoppe. After 20 minutes, the audience selects their favorite and the winners go home with some great prizes. In addition, advice and tips are given throughout the competition that the audience can apply when trimmming their own trees at home. We also extend a discount on the entire store, that evening only, to everyone attending. All in all, it’s a fun event that helps to develop relationships with our customers and allows them to see how items we sell can be adapted in their own homes, also helping to establish our shoppe as a resource to them and increase Holiday sales at the same time.
My personal favorite is to offer a “giving” program. I’d love to see more businesses do this throughout the year, but the Holidays do seem to inspire giving…Offer to donate $x to your favorite organization for every $x spent on your products/services. It’s a great way to inspire giving – and you can work w/your charitable org to potentially share your offer with their donors (e.g. on their website, banner, etc.), potentially driving new business while bring in new donations – and, of course, there may be a tax benefit.
Care about their business as if it were your own and let show in how you serve them.
During the first few years of our business, we hated holidays because we wouldn’t work, and not make any money. I then came up with the idea of offering our mailing list customers the biggest discounts of the year on holidays, (through coupon codes sent via email), but they had to order online…and it was typically a one-day only sale. Therefore, we would still be making money on days we didn’t work, driving traffic to our site and giving our customers a great deal in return (usually wholesale price). The first holiday we did this was Memorial Day a few years ago, and we ended up with almost 30 orders through our website on that day alone (we would get 1 or 2 orders on Memorial Days before that). Now, it’s standard for us to run these specials on the major holidays!
Cookies and cider. At the Zales I used to work as a sales associate, we would put out warm cider and cookies. They’d attract people into the store. Combine that with a low pressure sales approach, people convinced themselves they were obligated to buy, because we were so nice.
Oh and shawncrahan2012 is the twitter name
Have a Holiday Mobile Scavenger Hunt. Use SMS texting and/or QR codes** to host a memorable holiday sales event like no other. Partner with 5-10 non-competing local businesses, ask them to donate a prize to be awarded to the first 3 people that successfully complete the scavenger hunt. Send participants to participating local businesses by texting clues that will get them to each business(encourage businesses to offer incentives to participants so that they will return at a later date ~ i.e., gift cards, coupons, or free samples). Award the first 3 people (or whatever number you chose) that complete the hunt the prizes that were contributed by the local merchants. This will engage customers in a fun and creative way while creating visibility and awareness for all the local businesses involved. To promote the event have all local businesses advertise in their stores and online via their websites and social media sites. Also submit a press release to local media since this is a unique holiday event it’s almost guaranteed to get picked up for reporting (if the release is done right and submitted on time).Work with a third party organization to help to develop the SMS texting and/or QR codes. Share the cost of the service with the participating merchants (there are options that are very reasonably priced). Plan ahead so that the scavenger hunt runs smoothly. Have a blast with this idea it is sure to keep your business and the other involved businesses at the forefront of customers minds for a long time. If done right customers will talk about it and those that missed it will be disappointed and wonder when there will be another one.
**Not everyone has a smartphone for QR codes so be sure to include and option for those that can only receive SMS texting.
The host should also consider having the event end at their establishment(for maximum exposure) and to award the winner.
Get to know the kids!
We run a store selling to families with children. Asking parents about their kids is the quickest way to build rapport and strikes right at their heart. When they walk in the door we ask them how many kids or grandkids, ages, boys or girls, what the kids are doing in school, what sports they play, etc. We do this in a friendly, conversational way. “Welcome to The Frog Shop! Are you here shopping for your family/kids?” This time of year is the perfect time to find out what the kids asked for from Santa. Then we show them the closest thing we have in stock, or recommend the perfect complementary item!
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