Navigating the Holiday Season
- How to make the holiday months great for business
Many in sales worry that the holiday season is a slow time for business. How do you prepare for that? Well, I know plenty of service drives that experience their best months of year during the holidays. If you are having success, great! If you are not, you are probably doing something wrong. If you truly believe that you are doing everything right, then you need not worry. Success is going to happen and here is why. The average person visits a service drive three times a year or once every four months. If, when they come in, you are doing all that you are supposed to do and most importantly, scheduling the next service, the customer is probably going to come in. They are unlikely to miss the service appointment just because it is the holiday season. One of the most important possessions a person has is their vehicle. It provides them freedom, gets their kids to school, takes them where they need to be, and gets them to their job. Without a car everything stops.
Use the following word track to be sure to set the next appointment:
“Mr./ Ms. Customer, I see that you are due to come in for your next checkup in four months. That will bring us to the month of December. Please take this preventative maintenance schedule with you and review it. It explains all the things that will be done at the next visit. It also explains the costs involved. Two weeks prior to the appointment, you will receive a post card as a reminder. I will also call you to make sure we are still on track.”
If you do this, you will not have to worry though the holidays. Your customers will come in and they are going to buy.
Once you have the customer in the door, here are a few ways to boost sales:
- Lay-a-way – If they can’t pay for it all at once, offer a holiday lay-a-way program.
- Gift cards– These are great and not hard to make. If you don’t want to have cards made, print out a gift certificate. It is inexpensive and extremely effective.
- Service package– Create a holiday package. Put something together that provides a slight discount. It makes for a great gift and something that people really need.
- Shuttle Service – During the holiday season, provide a shuttle service for your customers. When they drop off their vehicles for service, they can take a shuttle from your establishment to the local mall. They do their holiday shopping, while you service their car. You can even contact the mall and let them know that you are doing this. The mall may offer you coupon books to give to your customers. Everybody wins.
- How to impress your customers and your boss during the holidays
The holidays are not about sucking up to the boss or putting on a display of grand giving. It is a time to show others that you care and that you value what they do. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money to impress the boss or your customers. Bake cookies. Buy the slice and bake cookie dough. It is inexpensive, but it goes a long way toward showing genuine goodwill. It is personal, thoughtful, and demonstrates real effort. You will stand out.
III. How not to lose your job during the holidays
Holiday parties are a great way to network. You should absolutely attend every party you are invited to. Follow the Holiday Party Rules, especially when the party is work related:
- Don’t drink too much. Never drink more than the boss. I have seen many careers destroyed because of too much drinking. When it comes time to pass out promotions, the memory of your crazy behavior will be engraved in the mind of your boss and you will be passed over.
- Don’t bring a first date to a company holiday party. Bringing a spouse or a significant other is a great thing to do. In an effort to get to know you better and to see how you fit in with the company, a partner can be a tremendous asset. However, bringing a person that you don’t know to a company party is too risky. You can’t afford any wild cards. Your career will suffer the ill effects of a bad first date.
- Remain in control and conduct yourself appropriately. Be remembered for the right reasons.