The Christmas and Holiday season easily outshines other times of the year in sales, but it can also be the most exhausting. With proper planning and preparation, it can be not only a successful and memorable season, but in the most positive sense of the word, an enjoyable one for owners, managers, staff, and certainly customers.
LET’S START . . .
- Better Social Media. Your social media should be engaging, spread the word about your business, relevant, relate to your customer and sell when appropriate. You want to humanize your social media content more than you want to monetize it. Your social media platforms are not just to display ads, but a face-to-face conversation with your customers.
- Build your database. Use email marketing besides social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. If you haven’t done it yet — try video marketing. Keep your brand in front of your customers at all times. Your database is gold — build it during the holidays.
- Having all sales staff read company ads, catalogs, literature, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs before customers come in with questions and inquiries. An uninformed salesperson is bad for business. Also check out everything about the competition including the services offered.
- Establishing dress codes for employees and enforcing these dress codes. (If there is a uniform or apron, it should be clean, neat, etc.) Employees are the representatives of the business and should project the image the business wants to convey.
- Greeting everyone who walks through the door. Coming up with different greetings — so customers don’t hear the same greeting over and over when shopping in the store. Make it personal and inviting.
- Making it comfortable for customers to shop. Adjusting the thermostat because customers may be wearing coats and the staff can wear a sweater. Perhaps a rack for customer’s coats and a place to check their packages. Offering the customer a basket or shopping tote makes it easy for them to buy more.
A FEW MORE TIPS FROM BARBARA…
- Having employees identify themselves when answering the phone. This adds a professional touch and provides the caller with a person to identify with on the other end of the line.
- Cleaning up the cash-wrap area as-you-go and putting everything in its place. Customers are concerned about transaction accuracy and your services, i.e., shipping, if this area is a mess with clutter, drinks and food.
- Listening, really listening to customers. If you don’t really listen and show customers the wrong merchandise — they will assume you don’t have what they are looking for and leave.
- Having all cash registers open when the store is busy. An extra staff member can mingle with the customers in line — making additional suggestions.
- Getting everyone on board. Ensuring that everyone in the organization understands what the winning advantage is and what their role is in supporting it.
- Getting to know what other merchandise and services are offered around town. Keep customers shopping in your community by knowing what all is available. The customers will be thrilled, always come to you first and will let the other businesses know you sent them.
Looking for some great places to shop this holiday season? Check out the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce Member Business Directory.
© Barbara Wold, International Speaker, Author and Business Strategist