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Contest, communications, and tips for a winning holiday

Here are a few things for you to consider as you work to create a winning holiday.
A fun and productive holiday game/contest. One way to sell more to each customer is to focus on his/her holiday gift list, not the products you sell. A number of clients have supplemented this approach with a very productive Winning Holiday List contest. Itís quite simple. The goal is to make a sale that includes gifts for at least two people. One of the two people can be the customer him/herself.

Author: Doug Fleener
Date: Dec 16, 2014 - 5:13:24 AM

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Here are a few things for you to consider as you work to create a winning holiday.

A fun and productive holiday game/contest. One way to sell more to each customer is to focus on his/her holiday gift list, not the products you sell. A number of clients have supplemented this approach with a very productive Winning Holiday List contest. Itís quite simple. The goal is to make a sale that includes gifts for at least two people. One of the two people can be the customer him/herself.

To keep track, the employee must write down on a slip of paper the names of the gift recipients. This shouldnít be a challenge, since we should always know the name of the customer and the people for whom they are shopping right?

The employee scores a point for each name. For example, if a customer makes a purchase for two other people and himself, the associate scores three points.

You can run the game/contest on a daily basis or over a series of days. Even if you do multiple days, itís better to have daily winners. There are two ways to win. One winner is the person that scores the most points, and the other is the person with the highest single sale score. One client is doing it just a bit differently. Each sale with two or more recipients qualifies the associate for an entry into a drawing for a cash prize. However you do it, focusing on winning more of each customerís shopping list is a great strategy to win this holiday.

Holiday communications. Communication is important in any organization, and that's never truer than in retail during the holidays. Customers and sales are won or lost depending on how knowledgeable and well-informed the frontline staff is.

Daily Take Five meetings and the regular staff meeting are usually sufficient for in-store communication, but during the holidays too much changes throughout the day to rely only on meetings. Owners/managers will send/post a daily email or memo but again, sometimes things just change too quickly during the day to make that fully effective. Thatís why an old school communication tool is still one of the best during the holidays.

As a store manager, you can place grease boards in three key locations where each member of the staff would regularly see them as he/she moved through the day. The staff is expected to check each board every time they walked past it.

The first board is for inventory updates. While mostly use for out-of-stocks, it also informs the staff of what had is received or when hot products are coming in.

The second board is for key daily operational communication. Instead of trying to tell everyone about an issue, the board should be updated, when something comes up. Maybe credit cards taking longer to process than usual, or there is a last-minute change to that day's break schedule. This is much more efficient than trying to tell everyone something when at any given time, half of them were with customers.

The third board is the daily motivation. It would list the day's goals, tips to achieve them, any contest, etc. this board is the first thing to be done in the morning and needs to be added to it throughout the day. Separating the operational and the motivational boards is important.

For company communications, the support team needs to reduce or eliminate non-essential communications as much as possible. This is easier said than done, but it's important to keep vital information flowing without taking managers away from the floor. The suggestion is to direct the information flow through a single conduit, either an internal person or the district managers.

Tips for the staff. The three essential tips for the staff are:
1. Ask to take five minutes off the floor when you get that crazy and overwhelmed feeling. Even better, suggest a five minute breather to a co-worker who clearly needs it.
2. Don't stop the sale. It's bad for business and unfair to your customer. Never say, "Will there be anything else?" Wait until your customer says he/she is done. Until then, keep working your customer's list - and help them find gifts for themselves, too.
3. Don't skip the things that keep you centered. Whether it's church, the gym, Starbucks, or sappy holiday movies, don't be too tired to do what you like to do.

Dynamic Experiences Group, LLC, a customer experience and retail consulting company, helps retailers of all sizes to improve their customer experience and increase their sales and profits. We assess the current approach of your business and then recommend a solution based upon your organizational needs and opportunities. To know more about us, visit:

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