Typically, sales tend to become quiet over the holiday period when your customers take time off, unless of course you work in an area that relies on the holiday times. In this blog we will give some tips on what you can do to generate more sales even when it’s quiet.
1. Pre-season planning
Firstly, generating new sales doesn’t just mean over the holidays. It actually means generating new sales over the whole course of the year too. It’s very similar to the pre-season in many sports. This is actually a very important time for the athletes to get prepared for the next season. They do this by getting fit, preparing their game plans, studying their opposition and evaluating their performance from the previous year to correct any areas that need attention. Take this time to do this for your business too by:
- Reviewing your business, marketing and sales plans for the new period
- Set your strategies, activities and metrics for success
- Check out your competitors
2. Re-connect with past customers
This is a great time to review all of your past customers that may have purchased one of your products or services from you in the past. Go back a period of 3 years and look at what they had purchased against all the things you actually sell. Ask yourself the question, are there any additional products or services they may have needed that you could offer them now? Could they do with a refresh of the product or service of the past item they purchased. Would it still suit their needs, or could they need a better version? Could they upgrade the product or service they have now?
3. Offer ‘mate’s rates’ for their circle of influence
Many of your customers have a network of people they know that could also need your product or service. Did you know that every person knows at least 50 other people in their personal networks? If you have 300 customers spanning over 3 years, this is potentially 15000 new customers you could make contact with. Follow this process. Get a blank sheet of paper for each customer and draw who they may know in the following categories.
- Family – immediate and extended
- Work – their work colleagues
- Sporting – any sporting groups they may play for or help in any way
- Community – any lifestyle, special interest or community groups they may belong too.
4. Your local trading zone
Define your current trading zone in terms of geographical reach of your business. Look at all the major centres of influence within your zone, such things as business parks, industrial centres, shopping precincts and local hubs. Define a specific area within this zone and scope out if there any potential customers that fit your ideal customer profile. Take your business cards and perhaps a ‘special offer’ flyer and drop it into any of those businesses that like you, may still be working during the holiday period. Make sure you note any potential clients for future follow up too.
5. Get active on social media
Many of your customers are still very active on social media during their break times. This is a great time to offer some education, knowledge and checks on their current situation. The best way to do this is to post interesting and informative material that gets them thinking and by highlighting to them that this is actually a great time to review all their needs.
6. Create a compelling EDM campaign
You will probably find when you are doing your customer reviews that many of your clients may not have been contacted for some time. Create campaigns that target customers in various groups of last contact. I would group them by:
- Greater than 2 years
- 1 year to 2 years
- Less than 1 year
Create a compelling offer and call-to-action. Also link this to their circle of influence and give them an incentive to send to people on their list as well as give those new potential customers a reason to buy from you now.
7. Target those customers who use the holiday period to sort out their lives
Believe it or not many customers get bored over the holiday period and use this slow time to sort out their lives. For example, teachers, who are busy during the school-terms use this time to manage their own lives. Many businesses do the same – by evaluating what they need to do to be better in the next period. Ask yourself these two questions. ‘Are there any potential customers who take this time off and how could I reach out to them and what could I offer? What could I offer to help any of these businesses do better next year?’
8. Workshops and Webinars
What a great time to offer either a face to face worship or digital workshop (webinar) to help educate and inform your existing clients and anyone they know. They are quiet during the holidays or may be even taking the time off. Spending say 30min to 40 mins learning something that could help them in the future may trigger additional sales opportunities. Get them to invite any others in their circle of influence to extend your opportunities.
9. Finally, take the time to go through any of your lost prospects
Create a list of all those customers who you may have had some contact with in the past 3 years. People you may have pitched too or may have downloaded something but for whatever reason they didn’t proceed with you. Create a mini survey of how satisfied they are with the solution they may have gone with and seek to offer them a new comparison from you to check what they have against what be currently available in the market today.
10. Reach out to possible business partners that share similar customers
This is a great time to reach out to any potential business partners and see how you can work together helping each other’s customers. They may have customers who also need your product or service. Offer to do a collaborative workshop together to showcase things the customers may need support on. Target 5 potential business partners from various different industry segments but who may also touch your ideal customers.
We hope this has been of value to you. The opportunities are only limited by 3 things;
- Your imagination
- Your desire
- Your need
You will be surprised how many opportunities you can access over these quiet times if you give it due consideration, planning and effort. There are a few tricks and nuances in some of these ideas so don’t hesitate to reach out to us to get some further guidance and help.