Some people say if you need more cash and want to sell products quickly, “Have a sale!”
Some people say, “Don’t have a sale, it will devalue your product.”
So, what’s the answer?
Here’s my 2 cents.
Do what’s best for you and your business, WITHOUT devaluing your product or service (and in some cases, your expertise).
Here are some quick tips for discounting strategically:
1. Use Sales Strategically – Meaning, don’t have a sale or promotion, just to have a sale and certainly DON’T have a sale at the lastminute just because you need some quick cash. People (a.k.a. your facebook followers) can spot desperation a mile away.
2. Use Sales Sparingly – Having a sale all the time devalues you, your product, your service and your company. If you train people to buy your products only when there’s a good deal then they’ll wait for it, because they know you’ll discount eventually. Be strategic with your sales – plan them out 12 months at a time – so that you can be sure that you are being consistent with your brand.
3. Consider ADDING Value, Instead of Offering a Discount – In the promotion space, it’s not all about discounts. You can add value for purchases. Consider the following and get creative: In retail, can you offer a free gift or discount on future purchases? If you’re selling online, can you offer free shipping? If you’re in a service based business, can you gift a complimentary product or event?
4. Create Offers for Slow Times or to Maximize Your Busy Times – Look at the last 12 months of sales, when were things slow? What kind of offers can you make to bring people in at slow times? Restaurants offer sales at slow times likes early bird specials from 4-6 PM to get people in during down time. How can you apply this to you? How can you capitalize on your best “seasons” when people already know you and love you? Buy one, get another half price? Again, be strategic and use the busy times to increase the dollar amount of your transactions.
5. Bottom line – Ask yourself this question: Does this promotion support my brand or devalue it? If you ask yourself, this question, you’ll be true to your brand and company, but you’ll also be true to yourself. See, lots of solo entrepreneurs and small business owners discount because they don’t trust what they are charging. They don’t value what they are offering, so they’re quick to discount. Trust. Value yourself first, or your customers never will.
What do you think? How have you been able to discount your offerings without discounting your brand? What are your thoughts?
Michelle McCullough is the Managing Director for Startup Princess and is also a National speaker and business consultant. Michelle recently released Marketing Mastery, a 4 disc audio program that helps entrepreneurs and small business become confident in their messages that reach the masses. Michelle became a partner in Startup Princess in 2008. She is responsible for event planning, marketing, affiliates, sponsorships and partnerships. Over the past 4 years she has coached women entrepreneurs (and even some men) and helped them grow their businesses from “dream in development” to established thriving businesses. Michelle is a speaker, strategist, success expert and a serial entrepreneur. She started Doodads Promotional Products when she was 19 and has also spent the last 12 years working in marketing and advertising. She’s worked in all aspects of the industry from production to creative and sales to management. On top of her full-time jobs, Michelle has cultivated her love for entrepreneurship by running Doodads as a successful side business. Today it continues to thrive. This year Michelle launched a coaching program called “The Life Balance Myth” to help busy entrepreneurs build thriving businesses AND meaningful personal lives. She believes that life balance is a myth, but she provides practical tools to achieve personal and professional success. Michelle has two children ages 4 and 2 and lives in Utah. You can learn more about Michelle at SpeakMichelle.com.