The holidays can be an extremely lucrative time of the year, particularly if you are in retail. Some analysts estimate that retail stores make 20 percent or more of their annual revenue during the holiday season. But what if you run a service-based business? How can you increase your revenue and avoid making mistakes that can actually kill your sales or, worse, create resentment from your existing clients?
As the founder of a global sales and sales training agency, supporting serviced-based business owners, I find that the holiday season tends to be the slowest time of year. Teams are usually slowing down while they prepare to spend the holidays with family and friends. Yet, as they say, "the show must go on."
Here are the top three mistakes I see service-based business owners make during the holiday season:
1. Provide steep discounts on existing programs or offers.
It's easy to get caught up in the sales and shopping frenzy, which can make you think it's a great idea to offer steep discounts on your existing programs or offers. The problem with that is it could easily offend your existing clients who enrolled earlier in the year and invested at a higher price point. It will also teach your community to not enroll in programs earlier and to wait for the holiday specials, which could have a serious impact to your cash flow throughout the year.
If you'd like to take advantage of the holiday sales, create an end of the year sales strategy that can reward your most loyal clients and create introductory offers for new prospects. I encourage you to think about this far enough in advance so that you can implement an effective strategy without feeling as if your only option is to discount your existing programs or services. It is more cost-effective to retain an existing client versus getting new clients. The last thing you want to do is cause your loyal buyers to feel resentment towards you and working with your company.
For example, I have a client who leverages the fourth quarter to offer a special service that she only offers at the end of the year. In comparison to her other services, it's fairly low priced, and because her existing clients know how amazing it is, they are anxiously waiting to take advantage of it every year. It's also a great way for new clients to work with her, and many of them later invest in a higher-priced program in the New Year.
2. Focusing only on low-priced offers.
I wish I could say that I've never made this mistake myself, but—not so much. One year, I had my team create low priced offers for holiday specials. I didn't stop to think that plan all the way through because my clients usually don't invest in lower-priced services. Needless to say, we spent a great deal of resources to create offers that did not sell. Facepalm!
Don't get me wrong; lower-priced offers may be a great revenue strategy for the right business. However, I've seen business owners focus only on lower priced offers during the holidays instead of offering what their audiences really want. Just because it's the end of the year and you can find great deals in the retail space doesn't mean that clients only desire those offers. Many people make some of their largest purchases during the holiday season because they've saved throughout the year to be able to spend, and they're also often looking for a last-minute tax write off.
Regardless, no matter what time of year it is, you want to make sure you are offering what your audience is excited to purchase.
To make sure you don't fall into the hyper-discount trap, keep your ear to the ground, so you know what your audience desires. How many times throughout the year do you pick up the phone to chat with current or former clients about ways that you can better serve them? You may even survey prospective clients to get their input on their most pressing issues. And definitely don't forget to pay close attention to what prospects are saying during sales conversations. These conversations are gold for structuring ideal offers. Calls like these give you valuable insight into what's exciting for your ideal clients. It's the closest you can come to legally printing your own money.
3. Throwing in the towel before the New Year.
This is probably the most common mistake I see for service-based businesses. It's never too late to make sales for your business. One of the reasons many service-based business owners fall into this trap is that they are tired, and they do not have enough support in their businesses.
The end of the year is a great time to leverage your team and automation to prevent having a lack of sales during the holidays. If you don't already have a sales team, the New Year is a good time to look at ways that you can leverage a sales team to increase your revenue and to free up your time.
On top of that, automation is an amazing tool to leverage for sales. Do you have offers that do not require a sales conversation? Maybe these are the products that you offer early on in the client journey (aka sales funnel). As you're developing your sales strategy for next year, be sure to look at the different ways you can leverage automation to impact your bottom line.
Many of my clients love to take additional time off during the holidays to travel or spend time with their families. I had one client who visited Rome, Colorado, Dallas, & Jamaica between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. During that six-week period away, her company generated over $80,000 in additional revenue. That's the power of having a sales team in place. While you are enjoying some much-needed downtime, the business is still moving full steam ahead.
It takes time to get the right team and systems in place, so you definitely want to make sure you have time to get things in place prior to the holidays.
Remember, the holidays are a great time of year for business. You have a number of options to generate massive revenue and connect with clients during the holiday season. With a little planning and proper preparation, your business can continue to thrive during the holidays.
I recently traveled to Paris to attend the International Master Course on Aging Science (IMCAS) and met with some incredible doctors from around the world to learn the latest trends in aesthetic medicine— the field of improving cosmetic appearance through medical procedures. My practice in Los Angeles serves a truly diverse and international clientele, and these conferences are a great way for me bring the latest global procedures and products back home for my patients.
Here are my three biggest global beauty takeaways from the trip! Face threads are an increasingly popular procedure to quickly and efficiently rejuvenate your look, and they can be easily tailored to your needs. The V-shape jawline contour is big in South Korea, if you're looking for something more transformative. Whereas women in Paris are embracing the art of aging naturally while still looking flawless with the help of minimally invasive threads.
Another big trend in global beauty is the process of utilizing radiofrequency therapy to heat the skin in order to reduce lines and loose skin. This incredibly advanced technology is now being used all over the body, especially on the face and vagina.
Finally, this may not be a specific global beauty trend, but the gender dynamics of beauty are majorly shifting in terms of both providers and patients. More women are entering aesthetics as providers and more men are utilizing aesthetics as patients. Italy has a quickly growing population of male patients, and in Brazil the gender breakdown is already 50/50!
Those were my major global beauty lessons from this trip, but I also spoke with several doctors directly about how their practices are shifting with the times. Here are some of the amazing doctors from all over the globe that I had the pleasure of meeting with in Paris, as well the latest products and therapies they recommend! The world of beauty is shifting, and we're going right to the source.
Dr. Bernard Peyronnet is a dermatologic surgeon whose patients include French celebrities and international royalty. He's based in the heart of Paris, working out of a gorgeous office that doubles as his home. Dr. Peyronnet revolutionized aesthetics by introducing the noninvasive chemical peel. He also loves adding subtle threads to a woman's face or body to create natural-looking improvements in contour, texture, or lift. French women never want to look like they've had work done. He calls his method the "French touch," which results in flawless results that keep everyone guessing.
As you can see, there have been some truly amazing global beauty advances in the field of aesthetic medicine, with doctors around the world continuing to innovate and refine their offerings. My time in Paris was so informative and inspiring, and I cannot wait to pass some of that knowledge on to my patients (and you!). If you would like to learn more about how the newest trends in aesthetics can help you achieve your desired look, please contact my office at doctorrahi.com to book a consultation!