Whether you run a seasonal lobster shack off the coast of Maine or a year-round surf & turf restaurant in Hawaii, you are bound to experience a short period when your bottom line fluctuates.
Sales slumps can happen because of new competition, off-season demand, or a slew of other simple problems, the thing to remember if you have to push forward. The best tool in your arsenal as a business is consistency. Stay focused on the long-term goals of your company and do your best to be proactive about any short-term slumps, and you will have a successful strategy.
In the meantime, here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your sales flow moving forward even during the worst of times.
Engage with Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. It offers a direct line of communication to your customers in fun, engaging, and attractive visual posts. Keep the pedal pushed down on your social media marketing to ensure your viewership and follower base do not dip into dangerously low levels. Host a social media contest with a unique Hashtag. There are currently 3.78 billion social media users globally, which is about half of the entire population. That means there are bound to be people who will appreciate your business.
If you’re a grooming business. Put on a promotion for funny pet photos with the tag #myfunnypet and watch your numbers go back up as everyone from our local target market to the toy poodle owners in Siberia begins celebrating their goofy four-legged friends.
Too often, the knee-jerk reaction to lower sales is to immediately seek new marketing channels for lead acquisition. While this isn’t a bad idea, don’t go deep into that end of the campaign pool and neglect your loyal customers. Around 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. That means the people helping you keep the lights on the most are the ones you’ve already built a working relationship with. Reward them with updated news, exciting early offers, and coupons to encourage them to purchase during an off-season.
Streamline and Perfect
A sales slump is a great time to reevaluate your business process, customer journey, and sales funnels. It gives you the ability to do some quality A-B testing and review all the touchpoints of your customer experience. You can also get a breath of fresh air long enough to poke your head up and see what your competitors are offering.
This could be the chance to rebrand your company or update essential online visuals for your website, social media, and more. Think of the classic ice cream shop that closes for the winter months. When they open back up, they create a lot of buzz with new flavors or some kind of comfortable outdoor seating area that signals to customers they are strong, growing, and ready to engage.
It costs 5 times as much to acquire a new customer as to keep a current loyal client. The easiest way to maintain your existing customer base is to continually offer them value in the form of communication. Minor updates via email or social media show you’re still there and preparing for the next wave of orders. This is a great time to get customer feedback and develop your brand story. A compelling story with an emotional trigger alters our brain chemistry, making us more trusting and willing to engage with new ideas.
Airbnb is a master class in brand storytelling. The name alone conjures images of A-Frame forest getaways built by individual hosts creating unique local places to stay for your next adventure. Attaching a high-quality story to your brand identity goes a long way to maintaining communication and loyalty with your current and on the fence customers.
Market or Die
A sales slump means you have fewer leads. Now is the time to engage in some quality lead magnets. These are low-cost trade-offs for encouraging higher sales that you and your team can quickly create. Consider writing a short guide for your product or service that you offer for fre...