Wednesday, September 27, 2017

As a small businesses owner, moving into the fourth quarter of the year is similar to treading close to the finish line on the last leg of a long, tough race. It’s natural to feel tired, but this is not the time to rest. With a little effort, you can finish the year strong, take advantage of the coming seasonal holiday high and set the stage for entering the New Year successfully.

In order to do so, you need a sound sales and marketing strategy that will put you on target to meet or exceed your fourth quarter sales goals. Here are ten strategies that will help you prepare for a successful fourth quarter so you can begin the New Year with record numbers.

Set goals

If you haven’t already, plan out the next three months and set your goals now. Think about the strategies you will implement and add an expiration date to each. Work backward to determine how much time and resources you will need to accomplish your goals. Consider hiring additional resources, just for the season, if you've set ambitious goals.

Stay focused

Once you map out your plan of action, stay focused. You may be tempted to try another strategy or switch plans at the last minute, but this could prevent you from meeting your goals. Stick to your original plan, avoid distractions and don't fall prey to “shiny object syndrome.” 

Plan for after-holiday sales 

On December 26th, shoppers will flock to stores not only to return their unwanted gifts, but also to take advantage of holiday markdowns. Plan now for your after-holiday sale by mapping out what will go on sale, where sale products will be displayed and how much items will be marked down. Also, blast the promotion on all of your communication channels to maximize your after-holiday sales.

Create a theme

Choose a holiday theme and color palette for your store that will please your customers. For example, if you run a restaurant with high-end clientele, white crystal lights and upscale, clean décor will suffice. If you run a pet shop where dogs run free and bark to their heart’s content, the fun vibe will match well with multi-colored lights, Christmas-themed dog treats, and brightly colored trees and ribbon. 

Encourage cross-selling

If you run a physical store, display complementary items together on the shelves. This will compel shoppers to select more than one item since they will likely be gift shopping. Do the same on your online store by suggesting related items on your website pages. 

Tip: Instead of naming your related products section, “related products,” make the title more compelling. For example, Amazon’s related products section says, “Customers who bought this item also bought”

Engage with emails

The last quarter of the year is an ideal time to communicate and engage with more of your subscribers because they naturally expect a higher level of engagement during the holidays. Instead of one newsletter a week, consider sending two. But don’t focus the content on just deals; offer tips, suggestions, and any content your audience would find valuable.

Work with influencers

Influencers are people who have risen to fame in their niche and boast a loyal following on their respective social platforms. If you are looking to boost sales in preparation for the new year, find influencers in your industry who generate a lot of engagement. Ask to partner with them and collaborate on some ways they can post content mentioning your brand. Influencers with smaller communities may work with you in return for free product while others may charge a fee. 

Tip: Work with influencers who already use your products, or who will be genuinely interested in your brand. The most effective influencer content is authentic and real, and it never comes across as forced advertisement copy.

Break out the hashtags

Boost your engagement by using hashtags. People will be searching for gift ideas, so get more deliberate with your hasthtag campaigns, and include holiday-themed ones as well like #gift, #Christmas, #sistergift, #mothergift, #dadgift, #holidaycoupon. Add hashtags to your related posts for all social sites you use to promote your business.

Encourage gift card sales

Sixty-five percent of gift card users spend 38% over the face value of their gift cards. Add gift card displays to your store where customers can easily see them. On websites, add an exit pop-up that encourages gift card purchases as well. An exit pop-up is generated when a user hovers over the “x” button to close your website. Give shoppers one last chance to delight their gift recipients before they leave your store.

Save time and money with voice broadcast

Save money and time and avoid tedious manual calls by taking advantage of voice broadcast to widen your exposure and increase engagement for your fourth quarter promotions. Voice broadcast is a cost-effective technology that enables you to send custom messages to all of your customers simultaneously. Send messages in seconds, and encourage a deeper customer connection since voice messages impart a human touch to professional communication.

Voice broadcast can also help you increase sales. With CallFire’s voice broadcast solutions, Dave Shaheen, luxury shoe manager, kept in contact with his clients and notified them of upcoming sales and promotions. As a result of using voice broadcast, he led his company to record sales and the highest growth among 33 other stores in the nation.

If you would like to take advantage of CallFire's voice broadcast solutions and set up your company for a successful fourth quarter, sign up for a free account today.  


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