Christmas season is here again and this week I want to share something financially reputable to boost your sales and profits. Irrespective of all the advertisements, bonuses and incentives shared, you can also grow your income in Ghana and beyond.
Once the Christmas holiday season is underway, there’s a lot you can do to land more sales and bank as much profit as possible, no matter what the economic and or politicalchange. The key is to be proactive. Don’t sit back and let the Christmas holiday season unfold before you. If you want the most sales possible, it’s up to you to take charge and make it happen irrespective of whatever business sector you are in.
Now allow me to show you how to sell more product, pocket more profit and grow your business into next year. From visual merchandisers with decades of experience designing high-impact displays for big shops and kiosks, to retailers who have been through every economic up and down and know how to sell in any environment, to the retail consultants who know how to conceptualize, launch and grow a successful specialty retail business-here’s what Ihave to share about maximizing your sales this holiday season.
Have enough product on hand.
You’ll want to have four to five times as much product as you expect in sales for the season. Keep your back stock handy and your display fully stocked. Create the desire to buy with an abundance of product choices so your customers can each find something to buy that speaks to them.
Demonstrate, demonstrate, and demonstrate!
Most products can be demonstrated and demonstrations do increase sales-if they’re done right. Train your employees on how to run a proper demonstration. Don’t leave it up to them to develop a strong demo pitch. If you want the most sales possible, you need to give your employees a selling road map to follow.
Focus on upselling and add-on sales.
Determine which products can be paired up for sale together, to increase the value of any given sale (add-on selling) and which products have more expensive or upgraded models that salespeople can suggest customers consider (upselling). Train your sales staff on how to increase their sales using these two methods, then reinforce that training throughout the holidays as buying trends might change.
Pair up slow-moving items with complementary products and repackage as a special buy to get your slow movers out the door.
Never stop hiring.
Experienced retailers hire throughout the entire holiday season. They know that to keep your employee pipeline humming, you must be continually hiring. Use an employee-referral system that rewards your current employees for referring anyone subsequently hired. New employees who already have a connection at your company through a friend or family member tend to be more loyal and dependable over the course of the holiday season-just the kind of employees you’ll need to make the most sales possible.
Increase your location’s visibility.
Consider adopting a signature color scheme that makes you stand out from your retail neighbors and other distractions that might be around your location. Choosing a color scheme helps tell the story of your product and is distinctive. If your product relates to the ocean, you might choose turquoise and sandy tan. If your product is for teens, the latest bright fashion-forward color will catch their eyes.
Use pay incentives to motivate.
Make sure your salespeople can earn a commission or SPIFFS (Special Pay Incentives For Fast Sales) to encourage higher sales. Set specific sales goals and track salesperson performance.
Don’t settle for mediocre employees.
Uninspired, unmotivated salespeople will cost you sales every day throughout the season. This year there’s good news for retailers on the hiring front: more candidates than usual are looking for seasonal work, so resist the temptation to hire “a warm body.” Once you have your team in place, determine who your top performers are by looking at your store’s daily sales figures. Keep only the employees who are landing the most sales.
One of the top reasons that consumers shop at the malland some specific places in Accra and other regions is because they carry unique products. Even if your core product is mainstream, you can highlight the most unique aspects of your merchandise with the right professional signage, or you can fill-in your offerings with some new and unique products that can’t be found elsewhere. Give your customers the chance to find something new and delightful at your store!
Make your store/office a “happy place” to encourage sales.
First, set the tone for your business by staying positive and focused throughout the season. Second, give your salespeople proper care and feeding. When your guests (customers) approach your store/office, your salespeople need to be relatively content, meaning they’ve had their breaks, have had time to eat when appropriate and are pleased to see your customers.
Keep your displays and cash wrap area tidy and dust/clean regularly (make a schedule). Replace any blown lightbulbs promptly to keep your location bright and cheery.
Want to hire enthusiastic salespeople who have a passion for your product?
Talk to the people already in love with your product: your best customers. Their passion for your product will show in your sales. Your best customers just might be interested in receiving an employee discount, earning some extra money during the holiday season and spreading the good news about your fabulous merchandise. But you won’t know until you ask.
Give your products some visual dynamism
Give your products some visual dynamism by adding strong background color with low-cost temporary backboards that give your products a color contrast so they pop! You can rearrange and switch-out the backboards easily as the season progresses to keep your display looking fresh.
Get rid of any handwritten signs.
Only professionally printed, framed signs help boost your sales. Handwritten signs hurt your image and credibility. A hand-written, flimsy sign awkwardly taped to a cart post is the surest way to put a crimp in your sales.
Collect all the customer data you can.
Capture each customer’s name, mailing address, phone number and email address. On a regular basis email your customer base to offer incentives and specials to entice them to come back and purchase again. Start an email newsletter for your customers. Include up-to-date information about your products, announcements of new lines and special promotions or discounts. The more you communicate with your customers, the more they will come back to buy again.
Track your customers’ purchases. Knowing what your customers are buying (or not) will help you spot which products are trending up and which are losing steam, so you can focus your selling efforts where it really matters.
Understand who your customers are.
Know the demographics of the shopping venue you’re in and choose your products accordingly. Don’t imagine yourself as the first retailer who’s going to make a million cedis selling your products to consumers. Instead, focus on your most-likely buyers.
Take advantage of all marketing co-ops.
Work with your retail venue’s marketing department and they’ll work with you to drive sales to your business. If your center doesn’t offer marketing co-ops, create your own with the retailers around you.
Of course, the buyers of sports merchandise aren’t usually the same as buyers of hair irons, but you’re retailing during the holiday season when customers are buying for a wide range of people on their lists. If a guy buys a sports item from your shop for his teen son, he might be very interested in a 20%-off coupon to buy a hair iron for his wife. Don’t discount the power of teaming up!
Give the impression of permanence.
As a holiday retailer, it’s especially important that you take steps to position your business as a permanent entity within the venue.
An air of permanence will increase traffic as you start to become a “destination” as well as an “impulse” merchant. When successful, you will increase shoppers’ confidence that you’ll be there to serve their ongoing needs, including repeat purchases, product service and returns. Broadly speaking, a permanent retailer has a strong merchandising plan, fully stocked displays, product-specific quality signage and messaging. Take a look at your location objectively, or better yet: Ask for unvarnished feedback from other merchants, shoppers or mall staff regarding your location’s first impressions.
Make product knowledge a priority.
Make sure your salespeople know your products’ features and benefits inside out. Teach them strategies for being assertive but not aggressive in their sales approach. Review how different types of customers view your products and what features and benefits appeal most to each group, so your sales-people can tailor their selling approach to individual customers as needed.
Train your staff to do a housecleaning check each morning, noon and night, tidying, dusting and restocking as necessary to keep your location looking ready for sales.
Arrange your merchandise so it’s easily shopable.
People like to buy from stores that are easy to shop, so have your products arranged appropriately, grouping items as necessary. Signage should be clear so customers understand what’s on sale, what’s not, and what the price is of each item.
Don’t overdo sale stickers by putting a bright orange sticker on every item; it diminishes the impact of your entire display.
Improve your customer service.
It’s a proven fact that if customers walk away from their buying experience impressed, they will tell their friends and they will likely return for future purchases. Train your sales staff in proper sales etiquette, have uniforms and name tags for all employees, offer unique gift wrapping and gift cards, offer a generous return policy and offer comment/feedback cards to customers. Consider a customer-service contest among the sales staff (who can get the best feedback from customers).
Invite customers to touch your products.
The reason shoppers still go to the mall rather than online for the vast majority of their purchases is because they want to feel and try the products before buying them. Put yourself in the shoes of your would-be customer: Does your visual merchandising plan help facilitate product interaction and education? Does it support a selling process or sequence? Are your product samples clean, accessible and presented in an inviting fashion? If you can help shoppers “self-select” through effective merchandising and position your staff as the consultant/product specialist, your sales will benefit.
Prohibit eating at your location.
Customers will steer clear of salespeople who are eating-or sitting on chairs looking bored. If your salespeople don’t look like they want customers to stop to learn more about your products, shoppers might decide they really don’t need your merchandise that badly after all.
Plan for the last-minute rush.
This Christmas will be your busiest time, when you’ll bring in a significant portion of your holiday sales. If you don’t have enough product to keep up with demand during this time, you’ll be sending your sales to your competitors. You can’t sell the most product possible, if you don’t stock enough product in the first place. Schedule employees to take advantage of the last-minute rush. You will close more sales if you have additional employees working the two busiest weeks of the season.
Manage your finances to last the season.
Shoppers are buying later and later every year, making it crucial that you have enough capital on hand to get you through slower sales periods early in the season-or you won’t be around to land those mega sales in December. Secure trade credit whenever possible. Take a look at all of your expenses line by line. Are there reoccurring costs you can decrease? A five percent decrease in certain costs can have a huge impact on your profits.
Pre-wrap a few best sellers for quick sale.
Attractively pre-wrapped gifts can make great supports and help set the holiday mood for your display, in addition to being a handy selling tool. If the pre-wrapped gifts don’t sell, they still served you well as supports. And don’t forget: Shoppers spent more than GHS 50,000 on their needful products last year, the majority of which were redeemed between the day after Christmas and the end of January, so don’t make the mistake of thinking your holiday selling season is over the day after Santa visits. Unwrap those pre-wrapped gifts and sell, sell, sell!
Be an involved and active owner in your business.
If you want the most sales possible, talk to your customers often and listen closely to what they say, so your merchandise will be in sync with their needs and you can spot emerging trends. Spend time training your staff about your products: how to sell and how to take care of your customers. Get their input on sales trends they observe as the season progresses.
Ask them what they’re hearing from customers with regard to price, product features, your display or signage-any feedback is good feedback. In the end, the more you’re involved in your business, the more you talk with and listen to your staff and your customers, the better your sales will be.
Price your merchandise according to prevailing economic trends: Be value-oriented while making your customers feel as if they’re doing something special for themselves when they purchase your product.
No matter what your product, no matter where you’re located, there’s no question that if you follow thesemeans you’ll have a more successful holiday selling season. If you’d like to add your own selling means to it,I will welcome your input.
Wishing you your best season ever! Ahehyia pa ooo!
Author: Gabriel Ofori Yeboah
MBA-Accounting & Taxation
Email:email@example.com Tel: 0203748854