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Leveraging your Holiday Sales Volumes and Getting your Business in the Consumerís Minds.

As people hustle and bustle about trying to get those last minute gift ideas ready before the big day hits, spending is up and sales run rampant, as ... get ready for that special time of year.

As people hustle and bustle about trying to get those last
minute gift ideas ready before the big day hits, spending is
up and sales run rampant, as marketers get ready for that
special time of year. Yes, Christmas time is here again, and
every marketer drifts off to slumber with thoughts of dollar
signs running through their heads. Almost everyone wants to
increase their sales, do better than last holiday season, or
do some last minute power selling to boost this yearís sales
numbers. But what about the shoestring mom and pop companies
operating on limited budgets? How are they to compete with
the marketing gargantuan and their never-ending deep-flowing
coffers of cash? You might not believe it, but there are
closer and less expensive means to compete, and you could
find that most of the gargantuan donít even take advantage
of them, especially if you offer goods or services limited
to a geographical area.

Does the Consumer Know your Products or Services can be
Classified as a Gift?



So, you lack the large marketing budget for radio and TV
commercials, and running additional print ads are out of the
budget too, what can you do to increase your sales while
getting your company in the minds of the consumer? The first
thing I would ask you is if you have changed your ads around
to take advantage of the giving approach. It is the season
of giving isnít it? Then how have you changed your ads to
reflect the happiness of receiving your goods or services as
a gift? Have you even bothered to give the consumer the idea
that your goods or services CAN be given as a gift? If you
havenít, then maybe theyíve never thought of giving your
goods or services as a gift, or that anyone could even be
happy receiving them as a gift either. If the consumer
doesnít perceive your goods or products as a potential
ďgiftĒ, then you are going to loose out on holiday sales.
Around this time of year, most people are in ďgift buyingĒ
mode. The more you can get your goods or services perceived
as a potential ďgiftĒ, the better chances you will elevate
your sales during this giving season.

Differentiating Yourself from the Competition - Impulse
Sales, Up-Sells, Back-End Sales and Other Promotions.



Now youíve altered your ad copy to reflect your products or
services as gifts, what benefits do you offer over your
competitors? Almost every business is running some sort of
special or discount as an enticement for shoppers to buy.
Are you doing the same? At this stage of the seasonal game,
anything you can do to set yourself apart from the
competition is going to be beneficial to your goals of
increased holiday sales. Just donít be too greedy. Find a
happy medium of sales discount that will still provide
comparable profit cushion to what you usually enjoy during
the normal sales season. Look for creative ways to encourage
the impulse sales along with up-sells and back-end sales
promotions. Say for instance, you are going to offer a
coffee maker in your sales. You could discount coffee and
maybe offer free filters with a purchase. Take a close look
at how your products or services relate to one another, and
then offer freebies and discounts on other products or
services that compliment your sales item. All of these areas
will help you enjoy increased sales during the holiday
season.

Testimonials Ė Letting Past Customers Tell Others About your
Goods or Services.



Do you have customer testimonials about your goods or
services? Maybe you have testimonials about your sales or
service. These are additional tools to pull out of your
marketing arsenal, especially during this time of year. The
best ones are the ones that talk about how happy they were
when receiving your goods or services as a gift, or how
someone felt giving your goods or services as gifts, but any
others that show those goods or services in a positive way
will work. The non-solicited type of testimonial works the
best, but again, any testimonial from a previous customer to
show potential customers your goods or services values will
work. Keep these testimonials handy for sales presentations,
or you can put them out on display in your shop. Always be
sure to ask the writerís permission before showing their
written works. Believe it or not, those are copyrighted
works owned by your customers. Although any customer suing
you over using them is less than likely, itís always, better
to be safe than sorry.

Gaining Consumer Awareness the Economical Way Ė College
Campus Community Boards.



Now that you have your ad copy tweaked, and youíve planned
your up-sells, back-end sales, and impulse buys, what are
the economical ways of gaining market share? There are many
ways to get creative here. Do you live in an area where
there is a local college? Colleges are known for their
information boards. Youíll find them around eating areas,
campus office areas, and in many dorm areas. This is a no
cost way to promote and market your company to the younger
crowd looking for gifts on this holiday of gift giving. If
you can find ways to convey the value your goods or services
can offer to their friends and loved ones and the happiness
those friends or loved ones would feel from receiving your
products or services as a gift, then you will reap increased
sales from that market. Youíll find the gargantuan
competition fairly limited in this advertisement medium.
Itís a chance for you to target your sales without competing
with the deep pockets and over-flowing coffers the
gargantuan has.

Grocery Store and Other Community Boards.



What about your local grocery store? EVERYONE has to eat
donít they? Most of them have community boards where they
allow you to post index card sized ads. Prepare a few
attention getting index cards before you make your normal
store run. On your way out of your grocery store, take a few
moments to post your ad. If you have more than one grocery
store chain in your area, then you might consider spending
some additional time visiting the others too. You could
justify the time spent by shopping around and doing some
price comparisons between the other chains and your favorite
store. Not only could you gain increased holiday sales, but
you might also find a more economical grocery store for your
grocery needs. Be creative, honest, and sincere, and you
will enjoy increased sales through your marketing efforts.

However, it doesnít just stop at grocery stores. Think of
the number of places you shop for your needs. How many
others have the same type of board available to their
customers? Every one of those boards is a potential gold
mine for cheap marketing needs. And with all the shopping
Iím sure you will be doing this giving season, Iíll bet
youíll find that more places have these boards than what you
initially considered. While fulfilling your gift giving
requirements, take the time to visit shops youíve never set
foot in. If they donít have a board, you might get an idea
for another marketing type you can apply to your own
business. Keep your eyes and mind open. Look at the sales
while you shop, the ads, and the displays. Think of the
reasoning those marketers used when putting it all together
and see if you canít find new and creative ways to market
your own goods or services.

Ad Material Swap with Other Local Businesses.



Christmas is a giving time of year. Itís a time to get
together, closeness, and doing things for people you might
not usually do. Everyone knows someone who runs a business.
Why not swap ad material and promote each other? Granted, if
the person is a direct competitor, this might not be so
easily done, and maybe you shouldnít do it to begin with. If
the businesses are at different ends of the spectrum, say
one sells firewood and the other sells ice, then it might
not be so affective, but if this person runs a business that
somewhat compliments your own, then the payoff for both
businesses could be substantial. One of my brotherís runs a
Mobile DJ business. He used to team up with local caterers,
bridal shops, tuxedo rental shops, stationary shops, and the
list goes on. How many business owners do you know with
shops that compliment your own goods or services while not
directly in competition with you? Itís a win-win situation
for everyone involved. It even benefits the customers with
the names and addresses of other shops to meet their needs.
Your customers will thank you for your information to help
them meet their needs, and best of all, it requires little
effort especially if you know the other shop owner
personally.

The Joint Venture.



This next one might take some time to put together and it
relates to the swap mentioned in the last paragraph, so you
might keep this in mind for next season. Joint Ventures are
the next big marketing craze. Most often referred to as
JVís, this is similar to the swap, but itís usually more
permanent and better-targeted marketing. The joint venture
concept means taking a look at your products or services,
and then identifying other businesses that compliment those
products or services and entering into joint marketing
ventures. Itís kind of like a cooperative advertising type
deal that allows you to pool resources, but itís not just
for placing ads as an ad cooperative is. The JV is used to
leverage sales for ALL businesses involved, but the most
critical point is ensuring that your JV partners businesses
COMPLIMENT your goods or services; NOT COMPETE with them.

Take my company for instance, Sanders Consultation Group
Plus. I do business consultation, digital and print media
marketing, web site design, image/graphic creation and
editing, search engine optimization and placement, and just
about anything related to business operations and marketing.
My oldest brother runs his own computer shop where he does
computer custom builds, repairs, upgrades, virus removal and
data recovery, and even offers on site computer services.
Big brother knows what I do and knows I like doing it. He
also knows Iím good, although he is probably biased as he is
my brother . Big brother decided he wanted to offer
his customers the things I provide, and asked me if I would
be willing to JV with him to offer his customers my
services. Big brother is good, and he has a stable and
growing customer base. I jumped at the opportunity because
it was a sound business opportunity. His customer base
includes local small businesses. That alone increases my
potential for new web site design and business consultation
sales. Itís a win-win situation. My brotherís customers can
get all their services under one roof, and so can mine. If I
have a customer looking for computer related services, then
I send them off to my brother. If he has a customer needing
web site design or marketing, then he sends them off to me.
We save the customer time and they get a discount on the
other brotherís services.

The concept doesnít stop at relative business owners. We
both have a relationship with a local ISP. Iíve come to the
conclusion that there is money to be made in home based
business opportunities, since I do run one myself, and so
does my big brother. The home based business sector is
growing in leaps and bounds. Almost everyone has looked into
starting his or her own business at one time or another.
Thereís too many people unhappy with their jobs. But with
all the information readily available on home based business
opportunities, thereís allot of frauds out there taking
peopleís money and offering nothing of real substance in
return. Whatís a way to help people realize their
self-employment dreams while decreasing the danger they will
be ripped off? Offer a FREE seminar on starting your own
home based business. That is my present JV with my big
brother and our local ISP. How do our companies benefit? We
benefit by getting out there in the minds of our local
potential customers. Start-up businesses need things like
computers, web site hosting, dial up accounts, and web site
design. By giving them this seminar to show them the
different types of home based businesses, how to find a
reputable business, and how to keep from getting ripped off
in the process, we gain a pool of potential customers to
market our products to. In giving them this information
freely and keeping them from being ripped off, who do you
think they are going to come to when they need hosting and
dial up, computers and computer services, or web site design
and marketing needs? Are you getting the picture of the
power behind JV opportunities?

Summary



This is not an all-inclusive article. There are many more
ways to leverage your holiday sales goals while spending
economically. Use this article to inspire you and get your
mind turning. Use the principles provided and see how many
other ideas you can come up with. Be creative, honest, and
set yourself apart from the competition. Show them the
benefit of using your goods or services as a gift. If you
can accomplish that task, then you will assuredly benefit
from increased sales this holiday season. Now hurry up and
get going. You only have a few more days until the big day
hits. Until next article, may your holiday season be blessed
with joy and successFree Reprint Articles, and may 2005 be an even better year
for all.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


James R. Sanders is the owner of Sanders Consultation Group Plus. He has been a webmaster and web site designer since 1997, and involved in self-employment ventures since 1992. He is presently a contributing author of NewbieHangout, and has been published through WebProNews. You can email him at webmaster@sanders-consultation-group-plus.com.



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