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Panic Room

Panic Room

Hollywood Reporter had an interesting story in September regarding the new “must have” in your personal mansion. Many of the ultra- affluent have built what appears to be a secondary luxury home equipped with secret panels, bookcases and mirrors. Some are well below the earth’s surface and many are equipped with home theatres along with cigar and wine rooms. What are these new homes? They’re Panic Rooms and business is booming.

These movie stars and elitists know nothing about real panic, do they? Real panic is coming to the realization that you may have purchased way too much inventory. It’s been shipped, invoices are coming due, everything is hanging in the balance and you must have a decent holiday season because this sucker accounts for 35% of your business! Now, that’s panic.

Take a deep breath. Take a step back from the ledge. This realist thinks it’s not going to be a bad year. Is it going to be 1990? No. But, it’s not going to be 2008 either. After all, the real panic happens November 8. And then we will put away our yard signs, accept the verdict and do as good Americans always do. We overspend for the holidays.

Your job is to make sure you’ve built the proper strategy and plan for your business. If you waited until November or December to put out any message at all, then it is time to panic. A solid retail business is built on putting a message out there as consistently as possible, targeted to the areas you feel have the best return on investment. If you think it’s bridal, it’s true the holiday season is the biggest time for those purchases to take place. However, if you were remiss in sending that message out through the year, it’s tough to break through the retail clutter in a few weeks.

Here are some “panic-free” things to do (if you haven’t already):

If you haven’t sent any sort of incentive to your existing customers to visit you this holiday season, stop reading this article and get one designed and out there! And, make sure to not simply focus on your best customers. Get something out to everyone who made a purchase of $XXX or more over the previous three or four years. Not everyone makes a big purchase each and every year. That customer who hasn’t been in for four years? They might be due.

Make sure you are sending consistent emails with best sellers and pricing. Build out a page of gift ideas for the holidays on your website. Men especially need ideas during this time of year. More importantly, make sure you have a mechanism in place to capture data (be it birthdays, anniversaries or emails) during the busiest time of the year. No excuses. You’ll want these for 2017 marketing initiatives.

Speaking of data, aside from the personal thank you note you should be writing, remember to use those emails to send a thank you (after the holidays, of course) to ask for a review. Make sure the email comes from the salesperson (or owner if the salesperson sent the thank you note) with embedded links to Google reviews, Facebook or Yelp.

If you are doing any digital ads, make sure those ads include an offer. People are looking online for gift cards. Drive them directly to your site on a hidden landing page where they can print them and come in to redeem them.

Perhaps consider setting up a showcase (or an area in one showcase) featuring your best holiday picks in all price ranges. Try to show the prices! You can feature the names of your staff “Jenny’s favorite for the holiday”. Again…men. They need some help.

Consider providing small glasses of wine the entire month of December. A little holiday “cheer” goes a long way. Plus, it’s an overall stressful time of year. Who couldn’t use a little vino?

There are definitely some years you may have felt the urge to hit the panic button. If you do things right, this won’t be one of them.

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