As we swing into the fall and winter selling season, I wanted to publish a post NOW about how to approach sales over the holidays. Too often advice comes your way when you’re in the thick of things and don’t have the time or energy to re-set. This way, you can be thinking one step ahead as the holiday and New Year seasons arrive.
In the last couple of months of the year, most entrepreneurs are focused on driving holiday sales. Indeed this season is a great time to persuade individuals that your product or service is the perfect gift item. However, for many vegan business owners the holiday selling season doesn’t have to end on December 31st. As the New Year kicks off many consumers become focused on self-improvement, striving to be better, and meeting their New Year’s resolutions. If your business is one that supports this message, make sure you don’t heave a big sigh of relief at the end of December and miss the opportunity to extend your selling season with a New Year’s resolution offering.
I find many new entrepreneurs will prepare for big events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, but fall short once January shows up. While they obviously still intend to offer their products/services, there isn’t the same dedication, focus and planning in place for this month, and it’s a missed opportunity. If this is where you’re at and you don’t have a plan for January, it isn’t too late. Squeeze in a few weekend planning sessions this month, and you will be set to go come the New Year. Still, there are a few things to consider when you’re doing your planning:
What’s Different About a New Year’s Campaign
During the traditional holiday season, customers are focused on items. They have a general idea of what they need and their main goal is trying to determine who offers the best value for the items they are interested in. However, January is often a time when people are making changes and setting goals, and it is not uncommon for the product or service they need to be somewhat undefined and unclear in their minds. In this situation the burden falls on you to truly sell your offering, explaining how your service or product helps people achieve specific goals. In terms of a marketing strategy, it is important to have a few blog posts and newsletters ready for January that specifically address New Year’s resolutions, how they work, how to be successful at keeping them, and ultimately how your product or service can help with that plan. If you have testimonials from one or more people who have been able to make lasting changes due to your product or service, this is the time to feature them in a post, podcast or article. Consider hosting a conference call with some targeted prospects with a previous customer as a guest speaker.In January, the burden falls on you to explain how YOUR product can help people meet their goal. Click To Tweet
It’s All About the Services
Keep in mind, this advice is especially pertinent for service-based offerings. When people want to change, they often need support. They need someone to call, and coaching or training that will be with them throughout the process. If you are a health-, vegan-, food- or fitness-coach, for example, this is your time to shine. The key is making sure you offer a plan or program that will help people through their transition period, so a 4-week or 8-week program is an ideal offering at this time of year.
Thinking Outside the Box
Another thing I love about sales in the New Year is that it’s a great time to develop limited-time deals. For example, if you are cookbook author you might consider a combination offer: for anyone who purchases your book in the month of January, you could offer group support for 30 days via a Facebook group. This is a way to help people achieve their goal of clean eating or going vegan. At the same time this value-add benefits you as it encourages people who may have waited to make the purchase to buy it now. Of course it is also a unique way to garner more interest in your book from new supporters. Since it is a limited-time offer, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a Facebook group for more than the month.
Another example: if you have a retail location you might consider hosting local events or classes to support your customers who are eager to make changes in their lives. This absolutely works for food, but don’t think it has to stop there. If you sell vegan skincare or home products, why not do a demonstration or educational workshop in January to help people understand that if they are interested in clean eating, clean living is the next step?
There are lots of ways you can use January, and a fresh start, to your business advantage. So be sure to find a bit of time in this busy month to sit down and think ahead; how do you want to hit the ground running in January? A little planning and work ahead of time will see you leaping into the New Year way ahead of the game.
This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of Vegan Lifestyle Magazine. You can download full issues of the magazine here: