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November 2008
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Countdown To Christmas

The Christmas Season has officially started at all the brick and mortar stores.  I’ve been seeing Christmas stuff in Walmart and some places already, but normally the first of November the Halloween decorations come down and Christmas decorations, sales incentives and banners come out in full force.

Well, the question of the day is — why aren’t we, the work at home people, doing the same thing?????

Actually, I’ve been doing this for several years.  I put up one of those small (they’re about 36″ tall) fiber optic Christmas trees in the corner of my customer waiting area and have a fairly long flowing “tree skirt” coming down from the tree to the floor.  I then wrap a few empty boxes in Christmas gift wrapping to put under the tree.

Next comes the “sales promotion ideas”.   We’ve already talked about having a corner set aside for baby gift items, like Portable Diaper Changing Stations, Animal Pals Back Packs, etc.   Well, you can use some of those same items for children, and add in a few additional items like a Holiday Kissing Ring, Golf Club Mittens for a man’s gift or little microwave mittens as an idea for a “hostess” gift for the parties your customers will be attending. 

I have a price tag attached to every gift idea in the customer area – large enough that it draws the customers’ attention so they know that these items are for sale.  You will be helping your customers in a big way by having a wide variety of gift ideas they can be thinking about while they are waiting to see you.

As an extra note – I’ve found that whatever gift ideas I have in the customer waiting area, I need to be sure to have the one they can see, PLUS at least two extras.  If the only one you have is in the waiting area and a customer wants to buy it – you have only two choices — sell that one and you won’t have one for the next customer to see, OR just take the order for the item and say that you’ll let them know when it’s ready for them.  My idea is that if you do the second (take the order and say you’ll let them know when it’s ready), you’re taking a big chance that they may change their mind and you’ve lost the sale.  What you want is the sale TODAY and the money in your cash register!

If you’ve never done this before, I’d suggest that you get a small tree and get started on the Holiday Gift area immediately – this could mean an additional several hundred dollars in your pocket that you would not have had if you simply decorate with a little ribbon and a few bows. 

Let us know how your Christmas gift area works for you, and what all gifts you’ve made available to the customers.  We’d love to hear about the extra dollars that you’ve made!

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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