Holiday Hints for Better Sales: 3 Tried-and-true Sales Strategies to Increase Holiday Transactions

The Big 3 Tips for effective holiday sales strategies.

Take advantage of the seasonal spending spike and increase your small business sales. To maximize holiday transactions, the Sloan brothers offer this series of six key strategies.

Holidays are a big gift to small businesses that know how to tap into seasonal spending spikes. Many retailers earn as much as 75 percent of profits during the annual holiday frenzy of consumerism.

Today’s consumers have many options on how and where they can spend their holiday dough, from mail order to phone, fax, cable TV, the Web, even in-home or office – not to mention traditional brick-and-mortar stores. So how can your business collect its fair share of the holiday booty? Here are three tried-and-true strategies to maximize seasonal sales.

Gift Cards: Once considered the “lazy man’s gift,” gift cards have soared in popularity with both gift givers and receivers. The third annual National Retail Federation Gift Card Survey, conducted by BIGresearch in 2005, reported that gift card sales would total $18.48 billion. The average consumer spent $88.03 on gift cards last holiday season, 15.6 percent of their holiday gift budget. The NRF expects sales of gift cards to increase another 10 percent this holiday season. Why? These cards are quick and easy to buy – stress-free shopping with a universal chance of putting a smile on someone’s face. Be sure your business taps into this rising trend.

Party Planner: The average American is invited to six to 10 parties each holiday season and hosts at least one. Do your customers have what they need to throw a party? The best food? A new set of furniture or dinnerware to dazzle their guests? Holiday decorations? Do they have what they need to attend one or more? The right outfit? Host or hostess gifts? Offer customers nick-of-time solutions to their holiday entertaining problems, and they’ll thank you with their sales and patronage.

Doomsday Scenario: Just like the big guy at the North Pole, it’s time to make your list and check it twice, and be sure that it includes preparation not just for the good, but the bad. Make a plan for the worst: bad weather, no-show seasonal help, last-minute returns, any contingency your business may encounter, anything you can think of. Bolster it with a little research to find what has happened to others and what they did about it – or wished they’d done. Good planning and preparation can be the difference between increased profits and coal in your stocking. Forewarned is forearmed, so draw up your worst-case scenario before the Grinch shows up.

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