There are many reasons to host holiday events. They're great ways to drive your best customers into the store and best of all, most of them arrive intending to make a purchase. Events are going to be key for a lot of independent specialty retailers this holiday.
If you go BIG and follow these tips you'll not only deliver a better customer experience, you're also more likely to sell more, a lot more, at your event.
1. Go BIG - even overboard - with your event. I've been to a lot of store events in my life and the ones that stand out the most are the ones that exceeded my expectations at the time. If you're going to go to the hard work and expense of hosting an event for your customers, by all means spend the extra money to impress your guests.
Surprise people by taking your food and drink up a level. Use higher quality plates, utensils and serving pieces. Give out gifts and prizes that people will remember. Do something that you know will wow your guests. Although you may not see the extra effort and expense pay off at the event itself, the impression it makes on your customers will pay long-term dividends.
2. Make a BIG effort to get your best customers to the event. You can't leave the important subject of which customers attend your event up to chance. You need those top 10-25-50-100 customers to show up. You also want those customers who spent big at last year's event to come back this year.
Take time right now, before you get too busy, and create a customer wish list for your event. You know, the customers you want to attend. Right before the event these customers should be sent handwritten invitations and called. You may need to take an employee off the floor to do this, or bring in a temp. The owner or manager should consider personally calling the top five or ten customers on the wish list.
3. Go BIG on staffing by bringing people in for non-selling activities. This is especially important for holiday events. I once attended a men's night at a boutique where it seemed the staff was doing everything except selling. Use temporary staff such as family members and friends of the staff to serve food and drinks, gift wrap, and take care of any other non-selling activities. You want sales people selling BIG.
4. Offer BIG incentives for your staff the night of the event. Not only do you want sales people selling, you want them to maximize every customer opportunity. Consider having progressive payouts and prizes for higher levels of performance. If you can, make an even bigger impact by paying out the incentives at the end of the night.
5. Have a HUGE sales goals for your event. If you're going big with everything else, then you should be able to put up huge sales numbers at a holiday event. Aim high!
So let me ask, are you going BIG enough for your upcoming holiday events?
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit our website or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create extraordinary results.