Financials and Cash Flow

Managing sales during the holidays

The holidays can be a prime time to increase your sales leads and customer base. Learn how to manage the holiday rush.

Published: December 08, 2014

Managing the influx of holiday sales and customer demand can be challenging. Your sales team must maximize every opportunity to serve customers and generate holiday profits.

At the same time, how you treat your customers during the holidays will also influence if they buy from you again. If you handle holiday pressure and help harried customers, you’ll win big. They’ll remember an excellent experience and return.

Here’s how to avoid distractions, focus your team, and keep sales on track this holiday season.

Manage holiday distractions

Because the holidays can be busy, manage distractions by using your time wisely, increasing accountability, and helping your team stay focused.

List all possible distractions during the holidays, such as shopping online for your own needs or planning time off. Create two columns on a sheet of paper. In the first, list your “must-do” distractions — the ones you can’t escape. In the second, list things that won’t contribute to your production — and avoid those activities.

Ask your team to help create the list so everyone is committed. When the holiday rush hits, you and your team will be focused.

Provide refresher sales trainings

Next, train your salespeople to execute an exceptional experience — and get them to commit to it. Managers should practice handling different situations with their sales team. Discuss how to greet customers, and talk about special holiday discounts and promotions. Establish a plan and a script for resolving complaints, and develop a “whatever it takes” customer service attitude.

Committing to exceptional customer service during the holidays will set you apart. Customers may expect mediocre service, but you can impress them.

Be intentional with time

Even beyond the holidays, make the most of your time and be intentional about it. If there’s one mantra for salespeople, it is “Pay attention and be productive.” Managers must pay attention, be productive, and make sure their employees are doing the same. This leads to accountability.

If there is a slowdown after a rush, use the time to straighten merchandise and tidy the store. Accomplish things within blocks of time, or prepare for the next customer. Tell yourself, for example, “I will check in that inventory in under an hour.” Then take action.

The holidays are as busy for you as they are for your employees and customers. Create a game plan that includes staying focused and practicing possible scenarios. Make sure everyone is 100% committed to great service, do whatever it takes to please customers, and you’ll win big this holiday.