How Non-Retailers Can Make Holiday Sales

poinsettia christmas holidays public domainDoes your business lack an obvious tie-in to the holiday season? Perhaps you’re B2B or you offer a service that doesn’t lend itself to being a stocking stuffer.

Don’t let yourself get depressed watching retailers cash in on this seasonal sales “hook” with their Black Fridays and door busters; there are ways for you to take advantage of this time of the year as well.

Remember the great scene at the end of When Harry Met Sally? It’s New Year’s Eve and they both realize that they need to make changes in their lives so they can spend the rest of their days together. December is not only a time of gift giving; for businesses it’s also a time to look forward to the next year and get very serious about taking steps that will lead to growth.

How can your business fit into the “improvement” plans for other businesses and perhaps even individuals as they look to their futures? Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Educate. Organize various educational outreach events for the first months of 2015 and start promoting them as 2014 winds down. These could be seminars held at your place of business, or a local community room or convention center. Maybe 2015 is when you conduct your first webinar. If so, commit to it now and get the promotional machinery going.
  • Offer a free trial or discounted introductory period. As your customers are looking toward next year, this year’s taxes are on their minds…as well as what they have spent on Christmas gifts. They desperately want discounts in January and February. Use that overwhelming desire to save money to introduce prospects to your product or service. Start the year with some discounting strategy or trial period that gets people on board.
  • Re-energize old contacts. Use holiday cards or personal visits as a way to re-establish relationships with customers and clients who have fallen off your radar screen. Just like Harry re-established his love for Sally on New Year’s Eve, your business can use this time of the year to make contact with people you haven’t heard from in a while. Dropping in personally bearing a gift is never a bad strategy.
  • Partner with a retail outlet. Does your product or service somehow relate to a segment of the retail market? For example, if you are a budding personal chef or personal trainer, find a locally owned health food store where you can hold a “clinic” or perform short demonstrations. Shoppers enjoy this added “buzz” during the holiday shopping season and you can be handing out literature with your contact information on it.

Let me give you one general idea to consider as you search for ways to leverage this final sales month of the year. Mentally put yourself in your client or customer’s position. Envision what they will need the most as 2015 gets underway. Find a way to pitch your ability to meet that need to your customers today.

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