Thanksgiving Creates Opportunity

Here in the USA Dive Retailers have a unique opportunity at Thanksgiving. After many years in Dive Retail and many of those years spending lots of advertising dollars on sending out Christmas cards (Al Gore had not invented the Internet yet!) it finally dawned on me that my timing was off.

By the time my divers received their Christmas cards they were headfirst into the Holidays. But it took me several years and many more dollars attending business classes and seminars before I heard it loud and clear… send your customers a THANKSGIVING CARD…in other words get in front of them and remind them you are there before they get hit with the Holiday madness.

A simple thanks, will go a long way to foster greater loyalty toward you as an Instructor, store owner, travel coordinator, repair technician…starting to get the  idea! Now the second part of the equation, if you read last issue’s article about %#@*!&^#@! (Discounting) this concept will make sense if not make sure you read it before you try to apply this Holiday Sales / Promo idea.

The article about the power of "Bonus Dollars" and increased cash flow brought forward some great commentary and here is just one I will share with you that is very time appropriate. For many years those of us in the dive business have dreaded to see the first Sears Diehard Battery advertisement on our TV’s because it usually meant the slowdown of our business. Well here is a little known fact compliments of the National Sporting Goods Association, the number one sporting goods product still sold at Christmas (and it has been for years) …the baseball glove!

So I would say we have a pretty good shot at selling diving equipment, education and services as long as we plan for it.

The challenge at hand is that you are normally at odds with major retailers spending major dollars to get your customers to spend on everything but diving. So you must get the customers attention and in this day and age a 10% off sale just won’t do it.

Wild idea! Along with your Thanksgiving Card announce your Annual Holiday Sale but with a whole new spin…Bonus Dollars. Think of it as a gift to give and a gift to keep. As you will recall from the previous article (link here) it is imperative that this approach be ONLY applied to the products that give you the appropriate margins to permit this strategy.

The concept is as follows:

  • Thanksgiving Eve – Hold  a private sale by invitation only, think mass e-mail , "print out this invitation and bring it with you"…feel free to bring a friend and visiting relatives. 40% Bonus Dollars, this evening only! Refreshments are always a nice touch and keep in mind the true discount cost here is 20% if you are a "rabbit retailer" operating at keystone or 50% GP! Read the article (link here)
  • November 28th – December – 7 – 30% Bonus Dollars true discount cost here is 15%!
  • December 8th – 21st – 20% Bonus Dollars true discount cost here is 10%!
  • December 22nd – 24th – 10% Bonus Dollars true discount cost here is 5%!

Now please do understand this concept is not for everybody and chances are you will find many ways to improve it. Think it through but most important of all is to be aggressive and do something! Keep in mind now is the time to announce your travel schedule for ’09 many of your customers will need to submit for their vacations before year end! Don’t have your travel plans mapped out yet? …. Let our NEW division Scuba Travel International help you! (Check it out!)

With Thanksgiving just around the corner let me take this opportunity on behalf of each and everyone one of us at HQ to say Thank you for your continued support of our group of agencies!

Remember, Nestor invites you to share your thoughts and comment with him. And he wants you to suggest the theme for future Business of Diving Columns.

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