Guest blogger, Melanie Parker of Party Plan 123 shares her tips with the CinchShare community to prepare for the holiday sales season:

A lot of party planners fall into the same trap when they find themselves in a situation where their hostesses start with their objections to hosting a party, cancellations and postponements – they allow themselves to be caught off guard and many of them give up entirely on doing business during the holidays!

I’m telling you right here and right now – there’s no need for that. The following three steps will not only get you through the holiday period, but will blow wind to your sails on entering the new year, and allow you to earn a stable and even greater income! They have turned all my Christmases and New Years into THE most profitable part of a year.

Step 1 – Get Ready to Sell More

We have stepped into December, which is a great time to squeeze in some promotional work and extra activities into our calendars. Take your preparation seriously and get involved.

Stock up the most popular products in your kit. People will make the purchase more quickly and in bigger volumes, if they can see your products and take them home without delay, on the same day. This makes the last-minute Christmas shopping so much easier!

You can also prepare gift vouchers that can be put in Christmas stockings. Create a sense of urgency with these vouchers and set an expiry date early in the new year. This is a neat way to start a year and get you through the Christmas selling season with record-breaking highs in your sales.

Finally, don’t allow yourself to have a gap in your bookings – have your January and February looking awesome for your bookings this year!

Step 2 – Know Where and Whom to Sell To

This Christmas season focus on some extra activities, for example, organize hostess appreciation parties. You can do it in your home and invite our hostesses from the year to come over for a special mystery hostess party. A neat touch would be for you to do prize draws and thank you gifts.

Here is a handy tip on how to make sure your parties are going ahead. I will use my example to explain – I promised my hostess a $100 in a gift voucher if she has a party with the sales reaching a certain limit. This got her attention, and she gathered a few friends in her house because she sensed it’s worth it.

Another strategy that proved efficient in my case is to stock up some of the popular products in my range that are easy to sell; call up some of my best customers and hostesses, and say something like “Hi, it’s Melanie from XYZ Company. I’m going to be in your town on Thursday afternoon. I’m just doing some drive-by visits with some Christmas gifts. Would you like to have a look at what I’ve got in case you need any extra Christmas gifts before the big Christmas day?” or “Would you like me to come on over and show you what we’ve got in stock?”

A lot them say yes, so I get into my car and go to them, instead of always waiting for them to come to me. This is also a great opportunity to introduce some brand new products, plus it’s a convenient motive for party bookings early in the new year.

So, the bottom line is – do a lot of home visits.

Next – don’t forget men! You know how husbands, fathers, brothers, male colleagues are never ready or even close to having a well-thought-out Christmas gift for women in their life until the Christmas Eve when they try to get them literally anything. This is where you come in! But, where to find these men to offer them your products as Christmas gifts? Go to the offices. Take your basket full of popular products, perhaps even gift wrap them, and say, “Hi, it’s Melanie from XYZ Company, just doing a quick little walk-around today because if any of you haven’t got gifts yet for your partners or family in your lives, I’ve got some wrapped up and ready. Who would like to come and look at what we’ve got?” Make the Christmas shopping easy, and most importantly – quick for them.

Step 3 – How to Sell More

So, you are ready – you’ve stocked up, put aside time to go and do promotional work and your gift vouchers are ready. You know where and to whom to sell your products. Now, in order to sell more, consider creating some upsells.

You can upsell by wrapping up little gift sets or offering discounts on your products. You can experiment with your ideas here! Offer free shipping on every $120 order, for example; this should do wonders for the number of your sales! Or offer free gift-wrapping for everyone who orders that day…

These are just a few suggestions, but there are tons of great ideas you can implement here. Do some social media advertising, send out emails to your mailing list, make phone calls, text messages… Text your previous customers and hostesses with your special offer. Do this preferably in the form of a question, rather than insisting on buying your products. Say something like “Would you like to get a $50 discount or a $50 voucher to use by the end of March? Please reply yes or no.” This way you’re actually interacting and engaging with your potential customers, which is likely to result in more sales.

It’s Ok to Make Mistakes – Just Take Action

In the end, know that even if you make some mistakes trying out some of these strategies – it doesn’t matter; you are taking action as much as you can and by doing little things every day, you are constantly getting better.

In the meantime, our free webinar on 24 Ways to Get Sales and Bookings before Christmas is ready for you!

~ Melanie Parker, founder of Party Plan 123

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