Did your business see a major sales slow-down during the summer months? If so, you’re not alone. With customers on holiday in July and August, the ‘summer sales slump’ is a reality for many businesses.
This means the pressure to make up sales in the fourth quarter of the year is especially high. In fact the fourth quarter of the year is the busiest time of year for many businesses, with the National Retail Federation reporting that many small and medium-sized retail businesses do between 20 and 40% of their annual sales in the last two months of the year.
With this in mind, here are 5 easy ways you can overcome the summer sales slump and boost sales and profits in the fourth quarter of the year.
1. Get Seasonal
Seasonality matters when it comes to consumer behaviour. Shoppers are much more inclined to engage with brands and retailers who consistently update their website and social media to match seasons and holidays. Indeed 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in their purchasing decisions.
In last Friday’s article I shared 5 different ways you can run an Autumn campaign like The White Company. But you can also look to your favourite brands for ideas and inspiration.
2. Uplevel Your Customer Service
Make sure you retain the customers you’ve worked so hard to get by delivering excellent customer service. Consumer Reports found that nearly 91% of customers won’t do business with you a second time if you mess up the first encounter. And that two-thirds of customers have walked out of a store when they felt the service was substandard.
Very few people will tell you they’re unhappy with your customer service. Interestingly the White House Office of Consumer Affairs revealed a startling statistic which explains how poor customer service can silently affect your bottom line: for every customer who bothers to complain, nearly 26 other customers will remain silent.
Customer service is often all in the ‘small details.’ How would you want to be treated as a potential customer? How can you make your customer service better than that of your competitors?
3. Increase The Life Time Value Of your Customers
Did you know that a customer’s fifth purchase is on average 40% larger than their first? And that their tenth purchase is 80% larger than their first? There are many ways you can encourage the kind of customer loyalty behaviours that lead to repeat business, for example:
- Introducing a customer loyalty programme.
- Using text or email to remind customers to order again with you.
- Sending a card or gift to a new customer to say thank you.
Rather than chasing after new customers, how can you increase the life time value of the ones you already have? What can you do to encourage loyalty behaviours in your customers?
4. Increase Your Average Order Value
Your store’s average order value is the average amount of money each customer ends up spending per transaction. You can calculate your average order value using this simple formula:
Total revenue / number of orders = average order value
You could increase your average order value by:
- Bundling products or creating packages.
- Setting order minimums for free shipping or a gift.
- Recommending another complimentary product which other customers have purchased.
5. Improve Your Sales Conversion Rate
What percentage of sales do you win? You can work out your conversion using this simple formula:
Number of new customers won / number of leads multiplied by 100 = sales conversion rate (expressed as a percentage)
Now break down your sales process, and think about how you could make some simple tweaks to improve it.
- Could you call instead of email a prospect?
- Do you respond to every new enquiry within 24 hours?
- Do you get quotes out promptly?
- Do you keep prospects informed when you can’t get back to them as quickly as you’d like e.g. you’re waiting on information to complete a quote.
Some simple tweaks to your sales process will improve your conversion rate. And that’s before you’ve improved the quality of your ‘sales conversations.’
The fourth quarter of the year is a really important one for many of us in business. These five strategies will help you to finish the year strong.
Join The Conversation
Question: What has helped you to get over a summer sales slump? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share in the comments box below.
Explore These Additional Resources
Did you miss?
- How To Run An Autumn Sales Campaign Like The White Company
- How To Build Brand Admiration Like The White Company
- The Story Of How I Started My Business – Part 1
- The Story Of How I Started My Business – Part 2
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I’m Denyse Whillier, a Sussex and London based business coach and consultant. I work with responsible business leaders to build profitable and successful brands that do good, make money and help to change the world. I draw on Built To Succeed™, my proven success system, developed during my 8 years in the trenches as a CEO, to help my clients to achieve their goals.
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