Not-So-Subtle Suggestions

by : 

Megy Karydes

December 21, 2015
Marketing Mondays - Not-So-Subtle Suggestions

Some customers have already celebrated their holiday, while others are counting the days. Some customers don’t celebrate any holiday, but they still want to send a thank-you gift to their clients or customers. Others are anxiously awaiting 2016 and need a gift for the host of the New Year party. Whatever the occasion your customers are shopping for right now, this is the time for not-so-subtle suggestions.

Post tent-cards and point-of-sale notices near items that would make great host and hostess gifts, gifts for your book club leader, and gifts for January birthday babies (who always seem to get forgotten, poor babies). Remind customers they might want to say thank you to their hair stylist, dog walker, and favorite barista, too.

I’ve also appreciated it when retailers hand me a little list of gift ideas with their prices. One shopkeeper handed a list to me of great "evergreen" gifts (meaning they could work for anyone and were gender neutral) based on price points. For example, if I had just $10 to spend on my postal carrier or my dry cleaner, who I see on a regular basis but don’t know really well, perhaps a gift of pretty chocolates or box of artisanal tea might work. Those same items could work for my hair stylist and dog walker, too.

As it happens, those are just two items on the list I was given, and I ended up leaving the shop with half a dozen small boxes of chocolates and boxes of tea because I have teachers, a hair stylist, mail carrier, dog walker, and dry cleaner, as well as the security personnel at my children’s school and the accounting folks where my clients work who help make sure I get paid on time … you get the picture. Total cost: around $150.

Not only do those smaller thank-you gifts add up, but it reminds your customers how easy it is to say thank you to those who make our lives easier and richer by being part of it. Could you do any of these things at this point to help with add-on sales?

Giving your customers those “not-so-subtle” gift suggestions and making it very easy for them during this time crunch will go a long way toward making those last-minute sales!

Happy holidays, everyone, and here’s to a stronger 2016!

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.