Ask Joey

QUESTION:

What can you do during to holidays to boost sales?

ANSWER:

The season is upon us and it is a super exciting time for our businesses and our brands. How do we translate all of this positive energy into our customer base? We want to make a connection that will make the customer feel excited about their dealing with us. At the same time, we are all interested in maximizing sales in the busiest quarter of the year for our industry. Everyone wants to achieve these successes, but time is tight and the pressure is on.

Holidays provide us with the chance to be more personal with our customer base. The first marketing idea is the simplest: Get your operation and staff in the spirit of the season. When your staff is festive and happy, then the customers will be responsive to that. For dine-in operators, this could be as simple as decorating the shop. The environment is illuminated and customers who come in will be energized and more comfortable. All operators can also get a low-cost holiday energy going by getting some holiday garb for their employees. A Santa hat, or a holiday pin is a cheap and effective way to get the staff in the spirit and to put a smile on the face of customers looking to patronize your business.

"Happy Holidays from La Nova, how can I help you today?" is the manner in which our staff is instructed to use the phone. Have your people keep the season in mind when answering the phone. It will be helpful in putting the customer in the mood for the next step, raising the ticket average. A customer will be more responsive to the suggestive sell if they feel there is a comfort level with your employee. Assuming you have gotten your staff and the shop in holiday order, it is time to get the money. I suggest taking your existing combinations or grouped item specials and giving them a holiday twist. Imaging your customers getting enthusiastic about buying your "Santa Spectacular Combo" or maybe the "Holiday Half Off Deal". It will allow you to bundle the items you want to, raise your ticket average and your total sales without any cost! Simple touches to get the people excited work. Without couponing or giving up profitability, it is a proven solution to raising sales, in any season.

Holidays are a time for giving. The simplest recipe for success is a gift certificate. Every sale should end with the customer being asked if they are interested in purchasing gift certificates. If you are uncomfortable asking for the hard sell, just simply make the customer aware that they are available. You will always have the opportunity to up sell the recipient, and the cash goes in that day's receipts.

Other than that, my only other suggestion is creating themes with your mailings, menus, pizza boxes, and anything else that you can get into the customers hands or homes that had some holiday flair. At La Nova, we make seasonal changes to all of these items so that they don't get stale. And again, it creates a festive environment and perception of our brand.

ASK JOEY

Got a question for Joey you would like him to address in the next issue?

Send it to askjoey@pmq.com.