Top Three Ways to Increase Your Sales During Slow Seasons
It doesn’t matter if you are selling apparel, jewelry or footwear, every business’ sales eventually will slow down or come to a halt. You might be freaking out because you think you have done something wrong but the thing is that this is the ideal time to: reflect on areas you kicked ass, think of things you can improve and of course create new ways to make more money (aka-sales).
But...you’re probably thinking, “seriously what buyer is still buying when it’s slow?” Well, you’d be surprised by the number of buyers who place “at once” orders.
Let’s review three things you can do right now to keep sales rolling.
Update Your Account List
No one dislikes admin work as much as a designer and sales reps but the truth is that to stay ahead of the numbers game we must buckle down and get it done. Updating your account list is essential to growing your sales. No buyer information = No one to sell to.
By the way, if you are thinking, “what in the heck is an account list?” it’s just a simple term that refers to a list that contains pertinent information on your existing and potential customers.
I. Every day for one to two hours spend time updating information for your current clients. For example, update the buyer’s name, direct email and phone number (since certain companies have high turnover rates be sure to update as soon as a new buyer comes on board).
The Benefit: Current contact information.
II. Within your account list include columns to specify: adjacent brands, average MSRP and total store number of units in “x” (fill in “x” with the product you are selling- for example hats).
The Benefit: Quickly pinpoint which item(s) from your collection sits well within the store’s current assortment.
III. Add potential customers to your prospect list.
The Benefit: By doing so you’ll always know the stores in your territory and when it’s time to market/approach a store you’ll know exactly where to go.
Create a Marketing Tool
The quickest way to make noise in the market is through great marketing. During slow seasons take the time to take a look at your sale figures.
Note which styles, colors, and sizes sold the best. Once you've analyzed these figures create a “Must Have” online look book (based on the items that sold/reordered the best) then email it to buyers.
The next step is to phone the buyer and mention how you’ve noticed she didn’t purchase any of the best-selling styles! Emphasize that you do not want them to miss out and ask for an at once order.
Remember, do not feel as if you are just trying to sell them another thing or that you are inconveniencing them.
Buyers love this kind of stuff! Because they love making money $$ too.
The key thing is to verbalize your intention when speaking with the buyer because like the most of us they live busy lives so saying exactly what you want takes the guessing work out and allows them to provide you with a clear answer.
To lure a hard to crack prospect, use the “Must Have” online look book. Generally, buyers are typically on the fence when bringing in a new brand so this tool will come in handy to open/lead your selling conversation.
Now, let’s say that you are a new brand and haven’t seen results from any styles yet. Not to worry, this is where your forecasting skills kick into high gear. Based on your expertise in the industry create a “Must Have” online look book based on the styles that you believe will perform well.
Here are a few keywords to use when speaking to a buyer when using the “Must Have” look book:
Host an event
There is no better way to gather a group of buyers into one room filled with your collection than a fashion show.
If you want to create buzz and your budget allows, this is an awesome opportunity to showcase next season’s collection and of course “must haves” (for those at once orders).
However, to ensure the house is jam packed pre-show outreach is imperative.
Whether it is visiting stores, sending teaser pictures of the latest collection or promoting via social media, building relationships before market is essential. If these relationships are cultivated the right way, buyers will make the extra effort to see the collection and buy.
Since fashion shows can cost a fortune you can also consider hosting a private viewing with a small group of buyers. Intimate settings can be just as or even more successful as a glitz and glam runway show.
So, you may be thinking...hmmm who should you invite?
Depending on the available space, invite your 20/80. Meaning your 20% of your customers that make up 80% of your annual sales. Then hand select buyers from dream accounts and warm leads.
If the guest list is curated then some buyers might even know one another and this could be a great thing! Think about it, if one of your loyal customers brags about your line to someone you’ve been trying to sell to for ages then that just might be your ticket in!
Moral of the story? Just because business has slowed down doesn’t mean your sales orders should too.
Just keep in mind to:
Always update your account list
Create jaw-dropping marketing material and
Showcase your latest collection along with your “Must Haves”
By doing so you’ll keep the sales rolling in.