For some summer can spell a business downturn as clients and prospects head for the beach, take time off with the kids, or just sip some saki at sunset.
Logically, it’s a great time for a sale, right? Get that phone to ring! The problem is that many small businesses go about conducting a sale in a manner that’s actually harmful rather than helpful. Most people look at a sale as a way to lure in new business and promote trial of new products and services by slashing prices and screaming come and get it.
This approach however, can have the impact of penalizing the very customers that got you here in the first place – the ones that lined up and paid full price. Much better to focus a “sale” on your very best customers in an effort to get them to do more of what generates the best kind of profit. A sale, conducted in the typical manner, also trains customers to wait until everything gets marked down – effectively the real price.
- If you want to really create a powerful summer sales approach, don’t simply discount stuff, think some combination of the following offers:
- Exclusive and private members only discount sale days
- Community building events that include the entire family
- First crack at the newest stuff hours just for current customers
- Earn credit and discounts for referring and passing out gift certificates
- Promotion with your non-profit partner that donates a portion of sales during an exclusive event (you can probably find a way to work this into one of the non-profit’s events)
The net result of approaching summer this way is that you reward your best clients and give your prospects the sense that when they become clients then they get lots of unique benefits.
This may seem like a retail play, but this is true of any kind of B2B or even service business. There’s no reason you can’t use a sale in this manner as well.