0:54 – Identify holidays in your country
1:15 – Provide a reason for the sale
2:04 – Example of a good reason for marketing
3:04 – Promotional rules – “before, during, after”
3:18 – Promotional rule – Before -“Make an offer”
3:54 – Promotional rule – Before -“Create a deadline”
4:26 – Promotion rule – Before – “Market the promotion”
5:17 – Promotional rule – During – “Cross sale, up sale, down sale”
7:35 – Promotional rule – After – “Ask for referrals”
8:16 – Tip of the week
Hello everybody! Welcome to the HVAC Business Growth Podcast. I’m your host, Nick Bielawski. We’ve got a great show lined up for you today. Today’s topic is on Holiday Promotions.
I think this is a great time for this podcast purely because, in my part of the world, we have Easter coming up. Easter is one of the most popular holidays in my country, which is Australia. Like I said, the topic of Holiday Promotion is really timely.
Just quickly, I want you to think about the various holidays that are in your part of the world. Easter could be one of them as well as 4th of July. Halloween is also widely celebrated, as is Christmas. And also, depending on which country you are from, we also have an end-of-financial-year sale.
In Australia, we have end-of-financial-year which is on June 30. A lot of businesses run some promotions in the month of June and they make up some excuses that they’re below their budget to the financial year and they need to have a cracking month in June. So they run promotions around the end of the financial year. And it probably leads to my next point there that you need to actually have a good reason why you’re actually going on sale. You can’t just go around putting 40% off sale or 50% off sale or whatever it is just whenever you feel like it. The customer is always going to need a reason why something is discounted. You need to include that in your marketing.
Bill Glazer Story
I’ll just share with you a quick story that I’ve heard from a marketing genius called Bill Glazer. He actually owns some men’s wear stores in the US. He ran a promotion when the trial alarm actually went off in the men’s wear store and the sprinkle system came on and, of course, did a bit of damage to the stocks that were in the store. It didn’t cause a whole lot of damage but just enough so he could, sort of, get the insurance company involved. So, instead of getting down and out about this particular circumstance that he had, he really went on the front foot and decided to make a sale out of it. He did some great marketing; put out a press release and it was basically a fair sale. He discounted his merchandise in his store quite heavily because bad weather spoiled some of the gowns that were in the store. This is a great example of reason for marketing.
Let’s go to the promotional rules. We can section the rules off into the before, during and after. Let’s go to the before promotional rules.
Make an offer
The first promotional rule is that you need to make an offer. You just can’t have a sale and people need to bring out and find out what the sale is all about. You need to get out there and make a specific offer. Whether you’re going to be discounting a particular line of air conditioners that you have or a particular heating system, that’s up to you to decide but you need to actually make a solid, concrete offer. Borrowing a line from the godfather: You need to make them an offer that they can’t refuse. The offer has to be of good quality. It can’t be anything like 5% off otherwise people just won’t bother at all.
Create a deadline
You also need to create a deadline for the sale that you’ve got. This is made really easy purely because you can use the actual holiday as the deadline. So if we use Easter as an example, where I’m from we have Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday and we also get a public Holiday on Easter Monday. You can run a promotion through to the close of your business on Monday or Tuesday if you want. You’re creating a deadline based on holiday promotion.
Then, what you need to do from there is market the promotion. Use your email list. Put it out on the internet. Create some press releases and really do your best to try and market this event and get your whole organization behind it. If you choose to do a Halloween promotion for example, get all of the staff involved.
If you have a retail side to your heating and cooling business, then put some Halloween decorations up and let the customers know that you’re going to be doing a good promotion around Halloween. Give yourself plenty of time to do this promotion as well. That’s going to give you enough time to get some customized marketing down; create some banners, flyers or whatever it is. Just make sure that you get your whole business behind it.
During the actual sales, we want to use various cross-sale, up-sale and down-sale techniques. I’ve included cross-selling in this purely because people are confused about what cross-selling is. So, right now I’m not going to add to the confusion. I’m just going to talk about up-selling and down-selling.
When somebody comes in to your business, ideally they’ve already made a decision that they’re going to buy from you. If that’s the case, then you need to do your very best, and in an ethical way, to try and up-sell them into extra products or services that you have. You might be able to package in a larger warranty in which they’ll have to pay for or you might be able to package in a particular service plan that you’ve got or you could even offer the next model up.
Say they’re going through a particular air conditioner that might cost them maybe $2,500. You might have a model that’s $3,500. You can do your best to sell on the benefits of that more expensive machine. And that’s an upsell. McDonald’s is obviously very famous for their upsells and the classic one is, “Would you like fries with that?”
Downselling is the cousin of the upsell and it just tries to leverage all of the marketing that you’ve done. If you’re a good marketer and you’ve actually spent some money on the promotion, then what can happen unfortunately is people will come in to your store and inquire about your products and services and you won’t be able to sell them on the offer that you’re making. That’s where the downsell comes in.
If you can recognize some signals that the person isn’t going to buy from you, then what you can do is use the downselling technique. So, we’re going to use that air-conditioner example from before. If the offer that you’re making is for $2,500 air conditioner, then you might be able to downsell them into a $1,500 air-conditioner or maybe a portable air-conditioner if you carry them.
You just need to be able to recognize the signals that they’re not going to buy from you or they’re not going to take you up on the original offer and use some downselling techniques. That way you’re leveraging the marketing that you’re doing and you’re making a sale. I think that’s really important.
The “after” part of the promotion is – and this happens straight after – you need to ask for referrals. Like I said, you need to leverage the entire transaction and all of the marketing that you’ve done. If you do manage to make a sale, then ask for a referral from people. They might have some family or friends who might be interested. If you fail to make the sale in this particular period, then ask for a referral from one of their friends. The person might actually know somebody—whether it’s a relative or a friend –who might be interested in what you have to offer. All you have to do is ask. Ask people to let their friends know about the particular promotion that you are running.
Tip of week
Now it’s time for another HVAC Business Growth tip of the week.
This week’s tip of the week is to get on to our favorite search engine—Google—and what I want you to do is do a search online for all of the holidays that are applicable to your country. If you’re in Australia, like I am, you go to Google and do a search for “Public Holidays Australia” and you’ll get a great list that comes back. You’ll get things there like Australia Day and Easter Day—those types of days—national or state-based. They have to be applicable to your country.
Once you’ve got this list, what I want you to do is brainstorm some promotional ideas for each of the holidays that you have. I think what you’ll find being in the heating and cooling game is that some of these promotions will actually coincide with the season.
So, if we take the fourth of July for example, it’s pretty warm this time of the year in the US. You’re probably going to sell more air-conditioners than heating systems this time of the year. If you flip the other side of the coin over, that time of year—June 30—is end of financial year in Australia and it’s winter. You’ll probably sell more heating systems than air-conditioners.
Like I said, brainstorm some promotions each holiday that’s on your calendar. Then, integrate those into your marketing and create a marketing plan.
So this is all we’ve got time for today’s show. I’m Nick Bielawski for hvacbusinessgrowth.com. If you’ve enjoyed the show, head over to the blog and leave some comments in the show notes. I’d like to hear what you guys have to say or whether you have any questions. I’d really appreciate it too if you head on over to iTunes and leave a great review for me or just leave some positive feedback. I’ll really appreciate that.
Thanks very much for listening. I’ll see you next week!