Well, it’s official. According to a post at CNN.com:
“The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, making official what most Americans have already believed about the state of the economy.”
And yet, despite the horror stories and deep discounts, retail sales were still up 3% over last year on Black Friday.
Where’s the disconnect? And how can we apply that to Real Life Marketing?
The day after Thanksgiving in the US signals the beginning of the end – the mad shopping frenzy that beats a path to Christmas Day and leaves a trail of exhausted shoppers in it’s wake.
For most Home Party consultants, however, the holiday season is quickly winding down, and many consultants find themselves in a slump from around December 9 through the end of the year. In fact, many consultants – and some companies – close their doors for the last two weeks of the year – despite the potential for additional sales, parties and possible recruits.
Black Friday shouldn’t be a one-day-of-the-year occurrence. Retailers pin their profit dreams on the single biggest shopping day of the year – and many find their dreams dashed on the rocks if sales aren’t all they imagined.
What can you do to make your sales cycles more consistent? What can you do to make every day Black Friday – that is, more profitable?
Diversify. Don’t pin all your hopes on one show on your calendar – or one month (or day) of the year. Every day that you have a show, your office is “open for business”.
Consistency. Touch your business regularly. Have business hours – even if it’s only one hour a day. People like consistency and prefer to do business with you when they know what to expect.
Over-deliver. Rather than slash your prices to the absolute rock-bottom – or create a loss leader for yourself to pull in more sales, consider adding more value to your customer’s purchase. Perhaps free training on the proper use of a product, or a special recipe, or hand-written thank-you note. Not a coupon. Coupons are NOT value added. Coupons imply that the customer must spend money with you AGAIN in order to get the benefit. Give value, get loyalty.
Consistency. Say you’re going to do something. Do it. Then do it again, just like you said you would.
Accept nothing less than the best for your clients. Notice that many of the companies going out of business over the 2008 holiday are the low-price competitor. Price is a minor consideration in the customers eye. If the value of the offer is 10-100 times greater than the cost of the investment, the customer will buy.
Consistency. There’s nothing like getting what you expect time and time again. McDonald’s is McDonald’s is Mcdonald’s. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. Just like Krispy Kreme.
Reward your best customers. Give repeat buyers an additional incentive to continue shopping with you. It is far easier to keep a client than it is to gain new ones. Invest some of your advertising budget in client retention.
Consistency. It may be redundant, but it’s important to be consistent in your business.
Serve ALL your markets. Do you have clients that prefer to shop online or in person? Don’t ignore them. Use direct response mail and email to reach out to your customers in the way they want to be reached.
Consistency. Need I say more?
Building a profitable home party / network marketing business is a bit like dollar-cost averaging. If you do the same amount of work every day, over time you’ll see a greater return on your investment. Some days may be up, and others down, but if you’re consistent in building your business the RIGHT way, you’ll be ahead of the curve at the end of the year, and every day can be Black Friday.
© 2008 Lisa Robbin Young. All Rights Reserved.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE?
I’d be honored – so long as you include this complete blurb with it: Lisa Robbin Young is Editor and Founder of “PartyOn!”, a free newsletter for party plan professionals. A personal branding coach, Lisa is on a mission to educate consultants on big business ideas they can apply to their small business enterprise for stellar success. Get your free tips at http://www.homepartysolution.com.