Note: Bob is teaming up with Michigan Retailers Association to hold a daylong “Retail Boot Camp” on October 4 in Lansing. Information and Registration.
You can also view Bob’s webinar on holiday selling.
My grandfather, Steve Nibbelink, an old Dutch farmer from Pella, Iowa, always told me: “Bob, when the sun is shining, you gotta’ make hay.” Well, the Christmas season is our season to make hay.
Here are my 24 favorite ways to boost your sales and save your sanity this holiday season.
There’s no single Christmas miracle on this list, but the combined power of these tried and true ideas is truly miraculous! We guarantee it. Read on.
1. Attempt to add on to every sale. Pick an item or two with high margins and universal appeal. Then get everyone on your staff to ask every single customer if they would like one. This simple act will generate thousands of dollars in sales.
2. Load up on impulse items and display them all over your store. Think stocking stuffers.
3. Sell up. ’Tis the season to be generous, so always show your better quality merchandise.
4. Keep demonstrating – “Show, show, show until they say no.”
5. Make shopping easier by using as many signs as possible. Good signage is like having an extra salesperson on the floor.
6. Eliminate buying resistance by clearly communicating any and all guarantees any of your products might have.
7. Make the holidays easier for your customers by offering gift wrapping.
8. Get out on the selling floor. Now is the time to lead the charge, and it can’t be done from the quiet and comfort of your office.
9. Train and coach your staff! The time is now. If your staff, including seasonal help, is not well trained and coached you are probably losing thousands of dollars in sales.
10. Keep a close eye on your best sellers. Running out of your most popular items not only costs you sales, it’s bad customer service.
11. Always know the status of important orders. If that huge order of your most popular thing-a-ma-bob isn’t coming in on time and you don’t make adjustments, it’s going to cost you, and maybe cost you big. Don’t take any chances that your best sellers didn’t make it to the warehouse in time for this years’ holiday season. Be proactive!
12. Increase your store hours. During hay season my grandfather, the farmer, was out in the field at sunup and didn’t come in ’til sundown. There was moneymaking work to be done!
13. Make shopping fun. Fun sells, especially during the holidays. It doesn’t have to be hard, or fancy. Have a “guess the number of candy canes in the big glass bowl contest” or something of the sort. Let your imagination run wild; get into the spirit of the season!
14. Have lots of sales games for your employees. Sales games make the season fun for your staff. They also appreciate the chance to make a little extra cash or get merchandise they can use as gifts.
15. Put a “spiff” on high-margin, high-volume items. It’s a great way to get your staff selling what you think is important. A “spiff” is a payment for selling a particular item – for instance, $2 for every $150 turbo-charged, turquoise widget sold.
16. Mark down slow-moving merchandise on time. It’s much easier (and more profitable!) to sell slow movers at 20 percent off in December than at 50 percent off in January.
17. Use bag stuffers. Stuff bags with a schedule of events, a coupon good in January, or an invitation to your winter open house. Get your holiday shoppers back in your store after the holidays are over.
18. Collect names and addresses. Knowing who your customers are allows you to contact and sell to them during the rest of the year.
19. Decorate your store, and the bigger, the better. Get in the holiday spirit and your customers will, too.
20. Make your regular customers feel special – because they are! Don’t let them get lost in the crowd of holiday shoppers.
21. Wear good shoes.
22. Eat well and drink lots of water. Staying healthy and physically strong is a challenge this time of year. A healthy body will help you be mentally sharp.
23. Get as much sleep as you can...Zzzzzzzzz.
24. Smile. Remember, it’s Christmas!
Bob Negen is a highly acclaimed public speaker, retail expert, bestselling author and, most recently, co-creator of the acclaimed Retail Mastery System. His company, WhizBang! Training in Grand Haven, is a leader in the field of training independent retailers to run successful stores.
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