Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Plan a Successful Holiday Season

You might think I’m off my rocker already talking about the holidays, but now is the time to get a plan in place.  Planning now will avoid headaches when the busy season hits.  Here are some easy tips as you hash out your plan!

Make sure you have the products customers want when they want it. The last thing you want to do is run out of items that are moving at prime selling time.  Break out the crystal ball – kidding  - it really isn’t that hard! Pull the reports of what and how much you sold last holiday season.  Compare that with what is moving this year.  Estimate some growth based on your promotional offers.  Call your distributor and discuss your needs. A possible option is for them store some products and ship as you need.

Planning your holiday offers will help you predict inventory needs, estimate sales figures, and determine your marketing plan. Coordinate who is handling web and social media promotion, postcard printing and mailing, and changing out your retail displays. Create a promotion calendar to keep everyone on track.

Train your staff now.  Make sure they are knowledgeable on your products and focused on selling.  Reinforcing holiday offers and ask for their feedback. Gaining their buy in before it gets crazy busy is half your battle.  Remind them excellent customer service is never out of style. It can get very stressful for your team so be generous with the thank you’s, compliments, and encouragement. Create contests of who can sell the most or provide the best customer services to keep the team engaged.
Make sure your door is always open for questions or concerns. The front lines can share excellent feedback. Keep constant team communication with weekly team meetings, sales results, action plans, and reminders.  It is easy to get lost in the busy work but keeping everyone in the know will ease those stressful situations.

Provide ready-to-go-gifts. Make it easy for your customers to see you as their gift source. Offering gift bags and gift card packaging makes it a no-brainer for your clients. Be fully stocked on gift set vinyl bags, holiday bags, labels, bows, and gift card boxes. Personalize with your logo for additional advertising. This wow factor won’t go unnoticed and will help you ring up more sales.

Make this your most successful holiday season yet booking more appointments and selling more retail than ever. Start planning now and reap the rewards soon!

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