Creating an End-of-the-Year Sales Increase

Dec 8, 2010 | Competing in Today's Economy, General, Increasing Customer Traffic, Low Cost Marketing

Want to create a sales increase in your business before the end of the year?  Here are four simple keys that every business owner should be doing right now, but most aren’t.

First, identify the sales increase you would like to have.  This seems obvious, but many owners can’t tell me what percentage increase they would like to achieve by this year’s end.  It’s also important to be specific about the amount of dollars you’d like to generate.  Why?  It’s impossible to achieve the sales increase you desire, if you aren’t certain what you desire. That’s not my rule; that one of those Universal laws that regularly returns to bite the unfocused, short-attention spanned among us.

Without a specific number, you won’t know if you’re on track to hit your goal, nor will you know if you have to change what you are doing to reach it.  You’re flying blind.  You’re driving without a map.  You’re considering asking someone out on who doesn’t have a photo.  Whatever the metaphor, you’re probably going to end up with a lesser result than you intended.

Second, it’s important to know how many dollars that percentage increase requires from each person entering your business.  This means that you must know your business’s Individual Average Transaction of each customer.  We call that IAT.  How much is each person spending in your business?  Again, this is simple, but ask a business owner this question and watch how many stammer and can’t tell you the amount.

Third, it’s important to quantify the additional items or services that would need to be purchased to make this happen.  For example, when I worked with gift shops and greeting card stores, the customer IAT was about $7.25 per person.  So, if the store wanted to increase sales by 25% for the month, it seemed challenging, until one realized that 25% of $7.25 was only $1.81.  The stores I worked with looked around for items that were high demand items that customers often forgot, that at least retailed for $1.81.  At Christmas, you could sell a customer a roll of Scotch tape, red ribbon, red bows, and white tissue paper, all within reach of the register.  Then, the cashier could say, “Do you have enough of these?”  And most of the time, you could create an add-on sale that way.  Your particular situation will probably not be as simple, but the implementation is the same.  Break the increase down to an attainable purchase, and plan what needs to be sold to make that increase.

Fourth, one of the most successful tactics to raise the overall sales of a business is to get a customer to come back for an additional unplanned visit.  This works especially well in December and January.  This technique is called a Bounce-Back Promotion, and you have had it practiced on you.  You were in a store, and you bought something.  Right before you walked away, you were invited to return for some special event.

Here’s how you plan a Bounce-Back Promotion:  Look at your upcoming monthly calendar and determine a day where customer traffic is traditionally low.  Plan some type of event, open house, special offer, or special occasion for that day.  Then, create a simple invitation that you can hand to customers who are in your business that invites them back to that event.  The key in making this successful is creating a compelling reason to return, and having enough time to hand the invitations to your customers who have already come one time to your business.  Best of all, a Bounce-Back Promotion works because statistically, it is easier to lure a customer to your business for a second, unplanned visit than to keep them in the business longer, spending more.

If these ideas seem simple, it’s because they are.  Unfortunately, the reason I’m writing this is because so few business owners use these simple ideas to plan for an increase.

Put these steps to work tomorrow in your business.  Curb your attention-deficit, spontaneous-owner behavior for a minute and focus!  Tell your staff what you’ve decided.  Get everyone to realize how simple it could be to reach a tangible sales increase.  Then, report your positive results to me at [email protected].

I love hearing your successes.

PS:  A Bounceback Promotion is just one of 23 Last Minute Marketing Ideas that I shared in my webinar last week that is now available in our Destination University Student Center.  For $29.95 per month (less than a buck a day), you could be learning these ideas and generating more sales.  To apply for membership, just go to