How to Grow Holiday Cheer with Events

celebrateThough there are lots of events already happening around the holidays, you can easily plan something fun and festive to get your clients in the holiday shopping mode.

This Week’s Tip – Host an event to get your clients in the spirit and mindset of buying, giving AND receiving. Now you may be thinking that it’s too late to plan a successful bash for the holidays, but I totally disagree. There is plenty of time to do something simple at your office or spa for your clients and prospects as well.

Here’s a few ideas right from some of my own past events:

  • Spread some holiday cheer by inviting your clients to a simple reception with you and your staff. Of course you’ll want to have some “event only” specials or features for retail products, gift certificates, booked appointments that are only good during the event. If you like, you can opt for a theme such as an Egg Nog Holiday Social or a Toys for Tots benefit where you ask every person to bring an unwrapped toy for a local children’s charity.
  • Take your event a step further and invite other complimentary businesses – that is people that seek and serve the same kind of clients you do – to take part. This could include any number of businesses including yoga studios,  jewelers, travel agents, chiropractors, chocolatiers, bakeries, or health food stores among many other possibilities. Have each business cross promote the event to their clients as well and have each business donate a product or gift certificate to be given away in a drawing. People can drop a business card to enter, buy raffle tickets, get a chance for every gift certificate purchased and so on.
  • If your event is one that you charge people to attend, offering deeper values or providing them with a thank you gift can make them really feel like they got their money’s worth as well. Have plenty of supplies on hand for providing whatever services you are featuring and have plenty of gift bags ready to fill up with purchases made that day.

Be creative about what you decide to do and promote for your event. Take the time to do some basic planning and organizing so everything runs smoothly. Be sure you know everyone on your team knows what the sales goals are for the party and how you will each follow up with the guests afterward. And more important than anything else, make sure you and your employees are there to do whatever it takes for everyone – including all of you – to have a great time.

 

1 Easy Tip for Improving Your Holiday Sales – Gift Certificates

giftThe holiday shopping season is almost here! With Black Friday and Thanksgiving just around the corner, holiday gift giving and buying will soon begun. With that, I’d like to arm you with a some ideas over the next few weeks to help you prepare for improving your holiday service, retail and gift certificates sales. Use these suggestions immediately, share them with your colleagues and re-cycle each gift oriented season.

This Week’s Tip – Make Gift Certificates available and easy for clients to buy! Make sure your clients are aware that you sell gift certificates in-house and online. Try to remember and ask every client that comes to your practice or business if they need to purchase gift certificates for the holidays.

Do this in the same way you would ask them if they would like to reschedule their next appointment or buy another package of sessions.This practice is very common during the holidays and your clients will most likely not be upset by the question. Think about your last visit to McDonald’s. Were you upset when they asked you if you wanted fries with your burger or if you wanted a combo meal? This is really no different and a much better gift than a Big Mac.

Here’s a sample script to use as a guide:

You: “How did you enjoy your massage today, Jennifer?”

Client: “My massage was great.”

You: “Well I am so glad! Would you like to schedule another appointment while you’re here?”

Client: “Sure. Can I get a 90 Minute Hot Stone Massage next Friday at 2 pm?”

You: Absolutely. I’ve got you down. Do you need any gift certificates today?”

Client: “Now that you mention it, I do want to give something to my daughter’s soccer coach for the holidays. Let me get a $50 gift certificate.

You: “Here is your certificate, Jennifer. Let me also give you a flyer with all of our holiday specials on it.

Client: “Wow that looks great. I’m definitely going to tell my husband about the Three  Session Massage package so that he can get it for me this year.”

When clients are unable to decide on their purchase or aren’t ready to buy a certificate at the time of checkout, let them know if they can purchase them online 24/7 or about other arrangements you can make their purchase easy such as free delivery. You can also direct clients who call about gift certificates to your web site for a complete listing of all services and packages available as well as to purchase online gift certificates.

Ho ho ho!

What is marketing, really?

If you asked a group of random people what marketing is you would probably get a variety of answers from them. Some would say that marketing is doing advertising such as print ads, direct mail and television commercials to get new clients or business. Others would say that marketing is going to networking meetings, passing out business cards or offering special promotions through their website or email newsletters. And still others would say that marketing is just what you do to get sales.

And while none of these definitions is wrong per se, through my many years in business as a massage therapist, spa owner and business/marketing coach and consultant, I’ve come to see things differently. In my mind, these definitions – alone or combined – along with other traditional descriptions of marketing, are too narrow and incomplete. In fact, over the years, the way I think about, describe and teach marketing has evolved and expanded tremendously. Would you like to know more?

Drum roll please…

goal setting cover imageI believe that marketing is much more than the things you do to promote yourself or your business to your clients and prospects. It is literally made up of EVERYTHING that “touches” your clients or prospects and causes them to want to business with you for the first time, the next time or the LAST time. And in some cases your marketing will cause people to not want to do business with you at all. This is what I call anti-marketing or being “closed for business.”

The initial and ongoing marketing touches or impressions that reach clients can make your business and balance sheet wildly successful if delivered well. But when they aren’t, the time, money and energy spent on traditional marketing and advertising efforts can be completely wasted. I don’t know anyone who would be happy with that outcome, do you?

Some quick examples of basic marketing touches that can really sway a prospect to try your business or return to it:

  • An easy to find, open and navigate website
  • A receptionist who seems unrushed or distracted while taking calls
  • Clean, well-stocked bathrooms or locker rooms
  • An invitation to reschedule

These may not seem like marketing vehicles at first glance, but as far as I am concerned, anything that makes a client happy or comfortable enough to spend money with a business is definitely a part of marketing. And believe me when I say there are plenty of prospective clients who will decide not to patronize you if one of the “touches” that matters most to them is out of whack.

To summarize, if marketing is about getting and keeping more clients, appointments or sales, then anything and everything that increases the number of clients, appointments or sales in your business should be considered part of your marketing. Simply put, I call it Every Touch Marketing and encourage you to make “every touch” positive.

I hope what you learn in this blog is positive and helpful in growing your business.