TOP TIP: Using Pre-Orders to Grow Your Business
TOP TIP: Are you using pre-orders to effectively grow your business long-term?
With all the success from our recent pre-order opportunities I thought it would be a good to share some of my top tips around the concept and how it can be a game-changer for your business.
While they can be a quick way to reach your goals each month, pre-orders can mean so much more for your long-term goals if used effectively. For decades, companies have offered products at reduced prices to attract new customers, build stronger relationships and to overcome one of the largest hurdles in business – getting the first “yes”.
As a Stylist, pre-orders are an incredible way for you to generate excitement in your business and gain sales – but a business built on pre-orders alone cannot sustain. Each pre-order sale is so much more than just an easy way to your goal, it’s an invitation to build a better relationship with a customer and ultimately to create a loyal network who will continue to shop with you long after the promotions and deals are done. To do so, there are several engagement opportunities you want to be sure to practice throughout the process so that all of your hard work leads to long-term growth for your business:
- Would you like fries with that? When you’re offering your customers pre-order items as part of a “free ship bulk order”, it’s an ideal time for cross-selling. Both first-time and returning customers should always be asked if they’d like to add any additional items from the website to your bulk order while they’re getting free shipping. Not only is this part of giving excellent customer service, it’s a very effective way to increase your AOV (average order value) while you already have an active purchaser right in front of you. Not everyone will want to take advantage of your offer, but they will all definitely appreciate your generosity and the convenience.
- Who, who and you? Always ask a customer how you can check other shopping needs off their list. The technique “who, who & you?” is an excellent way to always make sure you’ve given your customer opportunity to complete a comprehensive transaction. 70% of Americans make a gift purchase for someone else every month. Anticipating their needs is a sign of great customer service and can build great loyalty to your business. Ask “Who are you shopping for this month? Who else might need this soon? And which would YOU like for yourself?” If you don't continue to ask the right questions, you can leave money on the table and miss out on an opportunity to meet your customers needs - even the ones they forgot about until you asked.
- How would you rate your experience? Relationship management is the biggest indicator of a successful business. Even more important than marketing, promotions or even the product itself. When using pre-orders for your business, make sure that you’re developing a full-circle relationship with your customers. Make personal calls or texts to let them know about the product and also to thank them for doing business with you. Keep them updated on shipping, follow up at least twice after delivery to ask for feedback and to make sure that their order met their expectations. When you give a customer a luxury experience even for a $10 sale you will have customer for life.
- Got Data? I’ve always been obsessed with data. It’s important that you make note of the little things in order to grow intentionally in your business and without proper data you are rowing a boat without a paddle. With every sale you get, but even moreso with pre-orders, you should be keeping a spreadsheet, binder or similar with as much information on your customers and their buying habits as you can. What products have they purchased? What are their sizes? Jewelry metal preferences? Do they only shop with you when there’s a sale? Do they always order online, in-person or in your FB group? What do they do for fun? Do they have kids? Birthday? Etc. Having this information helps you be intentional with your outreach and with how you can best serve them in the future. They may only purchase one small item today, but if you know to remind them the next time there’s a sale, their favorite style comes back in stock, or that you can help them find a new outfit for their birthday dinner.
Every pre-order is like an invitation from a customer to engage with them. It’s opening a dozen windows to your business that can prove to be incredibly impactful in the future. While you’re planning your strategy and setting your goal for how to sell lots of pre-orders – remember the most important part of the process – How will this help me grow my business? It might only be $10 today, but it could mean $1,000 next year if you focus on the long-term approach. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gain a customer for life by being too focused on a customer for today.