Everyone loves to get a bargain, and that includes your customers. Offering special pricing for a limited time can be a way to get them to take action and buy.
Many business owners are wary of having a sale. They are concerned that lowering their prices, even temporarily, diminishes the value of their products or services. Or that they will lose full-price sales they would have gotten. Although each market is a little different, it is generally true that offering a sale will not have these negative effects, and will result in sales you would not have otherwise made.
Before having a sale, determine what your goals are for the sale. Do you want to get rid of excess inventory? Introduce your company to new customers? Or perhaps generate income during a traditionally slow time of the year? Your goals will determine how you structure and promote the sale. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a sale.
Will you discount only some products or services, or offer an across-the-board discount? If there are certain products you want to clear off the shelves, focus on those. Instead of a percentage discount, consider special pricing when customers buy multiples to clear the shelves faster. Do you have a service that is especially attractive or useful to new customers? Discounting that service could bring you lots of new customers who will return to buy more. Or get existing customers to bring in new customers by offering a “bring a friend” promotion, where one person pays full price and the other is free. If you simply want to make a lot of sales in a short time, offering a discount on everything may be a good choice.
How can customers qualify for the sale pricing? Do not make it too complicated. Make it automatic or at least simple, such as presenting a coupon or asking for the discount. It is fine to impose some conditions. A deadline is important. Set one and stick to it. You might also require a minimum purchase to get the sale price.
How long should the sale last? You may decide to run it for just 24 hours, or a week or longer. Much longer than a week takes away some of the sense of urgency. Giving a short time frame stresses how important it is to buy now.
What will be the presented reason for the sale? To avoid diminishing the value of your products and services, or causing people to expect the special pricing all of the time, give a reason for the sale. It could be an end of the year clearance, or an off-season special, or, “I need money to pay for my daughter’s wedding.”
How will you make people aware of the sale? If you have an email list or mailing list, send notices to everyone. Put the sale on your web site. Include it in advertising. If you have a retail location, post signs.
Having a sale can bring an infusion of cash and customers when you need them most.