Milanese
by Mark Milanese
December 4th, 2012

How to Compete with Santa

The end of the year empties homeowners’ wallets and fills up their calendars. Your potential clients are busy with shopping, travel and party plans. How can door and window dealers compete for consumers’ time and money now?

One “Old School” way to generate sales during the holiday season is to rehash old leads. Even very successful salespeople close only 60 percent of their sales calls. Many of the other 40 percent are still considering investing in new doors and windows. Revisiting that 40 percent with enticements to buy now is a great way to instigate year end sales.

As with any marketing campaign, the Holiday Rehash requires good timing, preparation, offers of real value, a legitimate deadline and contact with the target to be successful …

Good Timing

The beginning of winter is a great time to remind homeowners’ they want new doors and windows because cold weather reinforces the need for energy efficiency. Consumers are very aware of their personal finances and that tax returns are right around the corner. I start reheating leftover contracts during Thanksgiving weekend and the response can be more fulfilling than homemade turkey pot pie, but it’s still not too late for you to start this campaign to convert leads into sales.

Preparation

I am constantly preparing for Old School CRM marketing campaigns by maintaining accurate and easy to access information. Those records allow me to identify who qualifies for each campaign, how to contact them and what offer might best appeal to them. For this campaign, I filter my data to list people who received a contract but did not yet purchase and I create a phone script, text message, a series of email templates and a variety of direct mail pieces.

Offers of Real Value

Real value means different things to different people. Be creative and prepare a variety of offers. Make a request to your suppliers for special discounts and value-added options. Consider every viable credit resource to compile financing options to suit your client. Be aware of your own finances and request extended payment terms from your suppliers – you may have the ability to offer qualified clients in-house financing of final payment until their tax returns arrive.

Legitimate Deadline

A small window of opportunity between the introduction of a valuable offer and its deadline can create urgent buyer action. My Holiday Rehash program starts on Black Friday and ends December 31. Sales from this marketing effort usually spike the week preceding the deadline. This early winter deadline allows homeowners to realize energy savings right away and the end of the year expiration of manufacturers’ offers carries legitimacy.

Contact

As with any campaign, touch the target at least three times for best success. Use the phone call script, email templates and direct mail pieces prepared, but take the time to personalize your message for your individual clients.

Here are some other helpful tips to make contacting your target more successful:

• Send an updated contract reflecting the discount and deadline.

• Use your phone script when your call goes to voicemail so your retrieved message has impact.

• Make the subject line of email compelling so it is more likely to be opened

• Send mail that looks like a greeting card to avoid getting thrown in the trash

Holiday spending can give household budgets a hangover that impacts home improvement sales long after the New Year begins. The “Holiday Rehash” has earned a permanent place on my marketing calendar because I can trust this campaign to make my end of the year more profitable. That extra profit helps me get through winter and get ready for spring. Here’s wishing you and your business good sales to end your year.

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