Our topic this month, for our newsletter and blogs, deals with answering this question: How do you finish a year strong, if that year never really started in the first place? With the pandemic, the year never really got a chance to begin, did it? Now we are all faced with trying to finish it somewhat intact, and somewhat profitably.
We are coming into the time of year in which many companies, in normal times, go ahead and position themselves for a business slowdown.
You will hear the excuse often, especially in B2B sales: “Things are slow during the holidays.” Or you will hear a common variation on this same excuse: “Unless you’re a seasonal product, you just don’t do well throughout the holidays.”
Here is a question: Why can’t you just ignore all these excuses? Why can’t you make any product a seasonal product? It is just a matter of viewpoint, isn’t it?
Let us take a quick look at commercial history. There was no such thing as Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving, which is now the busiest shopping day of the year—until retail department stores created it.
Now Black Friday is a time that shoppers virtually stampede stores. They start lining up at dawn, or even the night before, for the privilege of doing so.
According to some sources, the term “Black Friday” goes back to about 1961, signifying the busy foot traffic that would occur in shopping districts on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Retailers began “riding the wave” themselves, promoting “Black Friday” deals, and opening their stores earlier and earlier. Other commercial enterprises and businesses have since capitalized on the trend, creating days like Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
But you must realize that all these “special days” were invented in order to create sales peaks. Before that, everyone was bucking the holiday trend, weren’t they? Or at best they were simply waiting for shoppers to show up and hoping they would do so.
So why not ride the holiday wave?
The holidays are often a time when companies double or triple their marketing in an effort to “out-do” the holiday trend. They know that their customers will have their attention on the holidays and may not be concerned with purchasing a product or service such as theirs until after the new year begins.
Businesses, therefore, do everything they can to put their products or services “front of mind” for their prospects and customers, to try and out-do the holidays.
Instead, why not just “go with the flow”? Figure out a way to align your product or service with the holidays. Create promotional materials showing your product under a holiday tree.
Work holiday messages into your emails and campaigns. Work out how your products or services can be taken or given as gifts. Advertise special holiday pricing. Be creative—because even in a B2B scenario, holiday messaging can be made to work.
No matter what your product or service is, you can align it with the holidays, and you should do so. It can certainly be one of your solutions to finishing up the year strong.
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