What do Christmas 2018 and $1007.24 have in common?

Believe it or not, that is how much, on average, each person that you meet expects to spend during this holiday season!  That is according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

Over half of that amount will be spent on gifts for others.  The remainder will be spent on holiday items such as food and decorations, and non-gift purchases (like one for you, one for me!).

Why am I telling you this?

Because you are a retailer!  You need to know what your potential customers are going to be doing, and have a plan to capture your share of the $1000+ that each person in your community will be spending in the next 6-8 weeks!

You are a retailer, but a retailer with a heart for serving your customers – making their life easier with ideas and suggestions, making their gifts more personal and making their shopping more convenient. You have discounts and specials to offer, even free shopping when they choose to host, and a way to give gifts that give back. Shopping with you supports local business, women in business, and small business. It hits all of the hot buttons!

So how do you let people know?

  1. Promote Your Business – Regularly announce that you are open for business, booking parties and events, have an online shopping option, and are available for one-on-one personal shopping. You know how to do this!
  2. Know and Show Your Business – Become very familiar with the catalog and the Christmas supplement, and have them with you, along with your business cards, at all times. That is your store!  Use the Christmas Gift List as a freebie to give people as you talk to them about what gifts they are giving this Christmas.
  3. Create Conversations About Your Business – Engage people, all people, everyone that you see… engage them in a very intentional conversation about Christmas gifts and Christmas shopping.

Creating these conversations is what I want to spend time on with you in this post. It is actually pretty easy to do if you follow these guidelines.

1. You Go First

If you haven’t done this, do it right now. Make a list of what you are GIVING people from your Initial Outfitters catalog this Christmas. Shop your own store so that you have gift ideas and experiences to share as you strike up conversations with people.

If you don’t understand how important it is, maybe these two scenarios will help draw the picture for you.

Conversation Option #1

Friend: “I don’t know what to get my sister.”

You: “I got mine the cutest dress from the boutique downtown. Let me show you a picture.”

Friend:  “Oh, that IS cute! I’ll go see if they have another one! My sister would love that too.”

Conversation Option #2

Friend:  “I don’t know what to get my sister.”

You:  “I got mine the cutest sweater…and it’s monogrammed! Let me show you a picture.”

Friend:  “Oh, that IS cute! Where did you get that? My sister would love that too.”

You: “Actually, I can get one for you!  It comes in two colors…”

Just by shopping from your catalog, you can make sales and feel more confident helping others!  Why would you send them down the street to shop when they can do it with you?!

2. Ask Questions

Proactively ask everyone questions like: have you started your Christmas decorating/shopping? What are you excited about giving this year? Who are you still shopping for? What have you found that is amazing to give this year? Where have you found the best buys?

Asking questions usually turns into a conversation where they ask you the same question back.

Have you started your Christmas shopping? No, have you? Yes! I am getting everyone something personalized this year! Oh, that sounds nice but like a lot of work. Well, actually…

Who are you still shopping for? My sister. I never know what to get her because she has everything. Right!? Mine does too. but I got her a Journey necklace this year…

Where have you found the best buys this year? Oh! I hosted an Initial Outfitters party and got most of my shopping taken care of at 50-80% off, and a ton for free! Like literally, I got something for everyone! Really? How did you do that?

What are you excited about giving this year? My son loves soccer and I have him a xyz.  What about you? What are you excited about giving. Oh I’m glad you asked! My best friend just bought a new home, and I have a personalized throw and a farmhouse style pillow to go on her couch…and it says “Dog hair is part of our décor!” She is going to love it! That does sound great! Where did you find that…

(See how easy it is to get conversations going!)

3. Be Intentional.

For most of us, this doesn’t just come naturally. Asking the right questions is an art. But as soon as you are conscious of the fact that you should, it gets easier to do!  Just practice, practice, practice until it feels totally natural. When it is, you will find yourself doing this all year long! But for starters…you absolutely MUST Be Intentional.

Now. No more reading. It’s time to shop your Initial Outfitters catalog for your gifts this year, and go out recognizing that every single solitary person that you see IS going to shop this season. It’s your job to make sure they shop with you!

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