Black Friday, Cyber Monday, post-Christmas and Easter are just a few of the dates that are highlighted in every big shopper’s calendar. Billions of products are sold on-line or in stores creating a massive opportunity for many businesses to not only clear out ageing stock, but make a chunk of money in just a matter of days.
In fact, breaking even is not necessarily a bad thing if your key objective is to raise awareness of your brand to a hard-core group of bargain hunters.
However, to make sure your sale delivers the goods then there are 7 simple steps of the sales process you really need to get nailed. Use these steps to get your act together to ensure you maximise profits, but still stay stress free.
Step 1 – Prepare well in advance
The sooner you can start to prepare the better. Never underestimate the amount of effort that goes into a seasonal sale. Remember that the date won’t move, so plan well in advance and diarise what needs to be done, by when and by whom. Also make sure you have some backup plans. Some offers may work better than others so you may need to adjust during the sale.
From a technical perspective think about what extra capacity you may need. The sites are going to be a lot busier than normal, so ensure your servers ready to take the extra traffic.
Step 2 – What’s your goal?
Agreeing the objectives for your promotion will not only ensure a stress-free sale, but a profitable one too. Is the aim to make money, clear old stock or as a promotional element of your marketing strategy. Never under estimate the power of SMART goal setting to ensure you achieve your objective for the sale.
Step 3 – Research and Review
What is your research telling you. Who should you target and when. Go over and review previous promotions. What happened during your last seasonal sale? What worked and what didn’t? What was it that your competitors did differently to you? Learning from previous promotions will help the next one to be a bigger and better success.
Whatever the success of the sale, make sure you carry out a thorough review whilst it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind. Dissecting the successes and failures will undoubtedly help all future promotions going forward.
Step 4 – What’s in the sale?
If you can’t afford for your loss leaders to be cut even further, then should they really be included? Think about how clear this is shown on the site and the difference between what is in the sale and what isn’t it. Confusion on what’s included in the promotion will always drive prospects in the direction of a competitor.
Step 5 – Get aligned with your client
Whether this is your sale or your clients, make sure that you are both happy with exactly what is going into the promotion. From graphics to pricing, having the decision maker’s early approval will lead to a more successful sale. Get sign off as soon as possible as you don’t want to spend the last few hours before Black Friday starts, entering your sale prices because you didn’t get approval early enough.
Also agree with the client when you will be available for assistance and update meetings, as you may need to consider charging extra for out of hours or holiday cover. During this busy period, it is always a sound idea to set expectations as to how often you will be available to talk to them. This is especially important if you have more than one client running a seasonal promotion.
Step 6 – Trial runs
Test, test and test again. Make sure your systems and technical processes are working flawlessly. Think about making them user friendly with as few unnecessary steps as you can. Once they have what they want, keep the check-out process as easy as possible.
Check that any last-minute changes to the site are working well before the promotion starts. Keep your team well away from the site during busy periods unless absolutely critical.
Don’t forget that if sales people are also going to be part of the process, make sure they have all the information they need to hit their numbers. Simply check you have plans in place for any last minute issues, whether they are technical or not.
Step 7 – Marketing Matters
Ensure there is sufficient marketing activity before, during and even after the sale ends. Making it clear when the sale starts and when it finishes along with plenty of call to actions will ensure you capitalize on every visitor to your sale.
Just do it!
Delivering a well-run seasonal campaign will always delight your clients and ensure you are awarded the next promotion. On the flip side, this 7 step sales process will also ensure your health and mental well-being will certainly thank you too!
If you want to win more client projects involving promotional and seasonal sales then get access now to my free sales training. The 9 Day Sales Challenge will show you exactly what you need to do to win more business, but without being pushy.
I’ve been using these techniques for over 30 years and sold millions, so I know they will work for you too.