Eight Tips to Run A Successful Sale

1. Don’t discount your best selling products, rather use them as bait. If you already know that your “Trip for two to New York” is your best selling product, instead of discounting it, bundle it with another trip you’d like to sell more of. For example: “Receive 45% off a trip for two to Calgary when you join our November trip to New York.”

2. Promote explicitly the value your shopper is receiving when he purchases one of your sale products. For example, “Receive our golf basket at 50% off, now only $40, regularly $80 – that’s a $40 savings!”

3. Use unique sale artwork to draw attention to products or services on sale. Remember, pictures draw a reader’s eye, and thus, spark more sales. By using clipart or photography consistently with sale items, shoppers can more quickly hone-in on what’s for sale. Looking at it another way – brand your sale theme. For example, all items on sale have a sign posted near them. The sign is a snowflake, with the discount written within. Customers will quickly be able to see what’s on sale, simply by looking for snowflakes throughout your store. This technique works both on and offline.

4. Include an “On Sale” link at the forefront of your home page that leads shoppers to a one-page summary of what’s on sale, followed by a dedicated page for each item with all the nitty-gritty benefit details of how fabulous your product and services are and what’s included in the sale. Remember to position as many products/services as you can as a “gift” during the fourth quarter. Even if you’re a consultant- type, package your services as a gift, i.e., “Help your hubby this holiday grow his business, give him a Finance 101 Workshop gift certificate. Makes for a great stocking stuffer!”

5. Show visually the savings with before and after pricing images. A simple, “Was $35, NOW only $21! You save $14!” Running a line through the $35 is very eye-catching, yet simple.

6. Don’t dilute your regular retail pricing. In general, the fewer products you sell, the fewer sale items you should promote at any one time. On the flip side, the more products you have, the more sale items you can promote at one time. This is not to say you can’t run a short-time promotion on all your products, say “35% off everything in my store for the next 24 hours.” However, you’ll want to give a strong celebratory reason [i.e., preholiday sale] why you’re offering such an encompassing sale.

7. Create a sale start and end date. Only then can you create urgency. Otherwise, it just looks like your sale pricing is your regular pricing. You’re far better off running short length sales, than long sales. Better to sell “all bikes at 50% off this week only” rather than “bikes 25% off for the next six weeks.” Shorten your sale timeframe and increase urgency.

8. Stagger the stages of the sales life. There are many “stages of life” that make up a sales promotion, including: pre-sale, sale, extended sale, (For example, “Our sale has been so successful; we’re extending it 3 more days!”), clearance, and close- out. Staggering the stages of the sales life enables you to extend the life of the sale, which shows movement and creates urgency. And urgency spurs sales!

You can find more online selling tips inside my report, “Create a Shopping Frenzy at Your Online Store.” Get into the selling season now! Check it out here.

Reprinted from Sharron Senter’s free monthly marketing tip, an ezine featuring profit growth strategies for small businesses who are serious about marketing and growing their business. Sign up at www.sharronsenter.com/fmt.htm