- December 3, 2018
- Posted by: Jennifer Lawson
- Category: FreshXpertise, Retail Management, Ron Pelger
by Ron Pelger
When the Christmas and New Year holidays come to a close, we usually hear this common phrase, “This is a slow period.”
Be aware that 42% of consumers hold back some money for January and February after the holidays. This should be comforting for growers, shippers, and retailers who think that consumer spending dries up at the start of a new year.
The traditional post-holiday season attitude is that consumers have had their fill in eating and spending and thus it is futile to pursue business aggressively. Instead, most produce operations are too busy counting the holiday money and cutting back on selling aggressively. This tends to result in even more severe sales slumps.
Losers play defensively. Due to past after-the-holiday habits, they usually slice labor to shreds, pull back on selling, cut down displays, downsize ad promotions and go hide in the cellar. The fact is that the worse time to operate defensively is when everyone else does.
But many companies are simply falling back on old habits. They seem to just keep doing things the way they’ve always been done in the past. It has always been habit-forming to accept a slow period after the holidays. Gloomy sales results normally follow this thinking.
The “won’t work here” attitude has to go. Don’t tolerate a dry sales period. The focus after the holidays should change at lightning speed with new sales objectives. Strategies should be considered in concentrating on further sales growth.
Produce growers, shippers and retailers should take time now to examine the myth that consumers are financially dry after the holidays and decide if that belief may be hampering business.
Even though a post-holiday sales strategy should have been planned back in September, it isn’t too late to obtain a portion of that money consumers hold back and plan to spend in the beginning of the year.
There is a multitude of sales opportunities after Christmas and New Year’s. Whether you are a grower, packer, shipper, wholesaler, distributor, sales representative or retailer, you need to be aware of how those opportunities can contribute to your business’s success.
Don’t slouch between now and the next big sales burst. Easter, Memorial Day and the summer are long off. You need to grasp the handle on big-time selling right now.
The sales force reps should be out shaking the bushes by offering retailers special promotional programs for January and February. Don’t sympathize with the retailers who cry about the post-holiday blues. Do something about it. Rev them up!
There are two choices: Cut your way to a sales decline or venture onward into the wallets of the consumers who held back some post-holiday money.
A “do-it-now” attitude will generate a “sales-now” result.
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