Creative Ideas for Filling the Revenue Gap

By Don Farrell and Joe Creegan

B to B or B to C … whatever business you are in, you have lulls and voids, or gaps during times of the day, week, month or year when your product or service does not sell because of various factors. What are these factors?

  • Wrong time of the day for your consumer to buy from you (they are working, they are home etc).

  • Not the right season to buy. Not thinking about winter in August just yet.

  • The weather, tar balls or the devaluation of their 401K has scared them away.

Whatever the reason, you have times when you have a void or gap where selling hasn’t been an option before because customers just didn’t have a good reason to buy.     It’s time you were dedicated to re-thinking how to sell in those time periods. Accepting the current paradigm is passť. Now is a good time to explore ideas to sell stuff that hasn’t moved in the past.

Thinking tactically. When is your business slowest? What days of the week; hours of the day; times of the year? Most businesses, when analyzed closely, have dead times that can be turned into strategic opportunities. Stores once operated only 9am to 6 pm. Then came 24/7 store hours; double coupons on Thursday’s; sampling products; product usage seminars, etc. The idea of subterfuge selling is old hat, now.

  It was rumored the guy who invented the idea of subterfuge selling was an ex-auto maker employee. As the story goes, he would leave his factory job pushing a wheelbarrow full of sawdust past the guard gate every night. Each time the guard would sift through the sawdust feeling certain items were being stolen from the factory; but never found anything. After months of trying to catch the man he finally conceded and asked, “Charlie, I know you’re stealing something. What is it?”  To which the man replied “wheelbarrows.” 

Customers are people who enjoy a joke, an education, and something new. Engaging your customer in an experience goes a long way to building long term relationships. The suggestion here is:  make your customers “want” to frequent your business. Give them experience verses a chore. Think of ways to create more value for your customers and to be thought less of as a commodity.

Free seminars, for example, can create interest … provided customers aren’t suspect of a “hook” attached. Offered monthly or quarterly, they can build a following.   You can broaden your subject matter to include handouts/speakers who can talk about “Life Savers” … things consumers can do to add value to their day:

  •  How to make a nutritious meal in 15 minutes

  • How to not “over-coach” your kid’s sports activities

  • How to get your children into college

  • Health and exercise tips

  • Best ways to use coupons

  • Stress buster activities

Rules For Selling During Gap Periods: Some things to consider when planning events to drive business during slow periods:

Get creative:  What would motivate prospective buyers to move out of the norm or habit and change for you? It has to be a compelling reason and a strong message. Sometimes the most obvious is the seed of the most creative. What do you take for granted in your business? What does your customer take for granted? What can you do to make the buying of your product or service an experience:

  • Smell good

  • Taste good

  • Feel good

  • Sound good

Make your void period offers more of an experience and less of a transaction: In doing so you will be making it harder for your competition to copy you. That’s why price cutting alone won’t get it done in the long term for you. What do you want your customer to experience in using or buying your product or service? When your car is in repair, you want it fixed right? What if, while you were waiting, videos were playing that gave credibility to the dealership or mechanic working on your car? What if a person was attending to your comfort in the waiting area? What if?

Help the consumer to make it a habit by joining your club, or receiving loyalty rewards if they buy during void periods, etc. Why should your customer come back?

The world has evolved to become fragmented and, consequently, a fragmented marketplace. But the good news is, it sets businesses up for opportunities to “re-join” humanity. “Clubs” have become the venue to drive loyalty, such as:  Sam’s Club, Costco, major hotel chains and airlines. But it’s going to take more than just frequent flyer/buyer programs to earn loyalty now. Companies have to engage customers:  (And, by the way, employees, too.)  In the spirit of what made this country great, business needs to understand what customers want and give it to them.

Read other articles and learn more about Don Farrell and Joe Creegan.

[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis. Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and requirements.]

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