July Sales Tactics: Think Beyond the Discount

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July Sales Tactics: Think Beyond the Discount


July is the classic “shoulder season” month. It’s nestled snugly into the dwindling crowds of June and the lethargic, sweaty sales of August. It can also be your biggest % growth month of the year.

You have a choice. You can let July go by on autopilot, telling yourself that no one wants full priced product and they’re all at Disneyland anyway, and watch it stagnate at a tenth of May sales.

Or you can be aggressive. You can recharge your displays and unlock the growth potential of a month when people are hungry for fresh colour and are willing to pay for it. 

But you can’t do that if you’re as tired and stretched out as those 2 foot pansies flopped over on the bench…

Refresh Yourself

Leadership, sometimes, is knowing just how infectious your energy is. As an IGC Owner, your attitude has a moment by moment impact on your team.

It’s rare that I see an IGC that isn’t Owner-Operated. In smaller (often seasonal) operations, the owner will water the plants at dawn, build displays in mid morning, and sell all afternoon. In larger IGCs where things are delegated, the managers take their cue from the owner.

After a frenetic May, the most productive thing an IGC Owner can do in the long term is the least productive in the short term: escape. Get into the woods, the beach, anywhere that changes your context (don’t just stay at home, because you know and I know you’ll end up at work).

A little self-care later and you’ll have a new attitude. Instead of being tired and grumpy from the post-spring let down, you’ll hit the sales floor with renewed energy. You’ll clear out the old display and 2 foot high pansies.

Most importantly: you’ll have the energy to feed your team, and they’ll step up. Cleanliness, attention to detail, and revenue will follow.

This is most of us as July dawns. The dregs of spring clog our benches, but we’re often loath to throw them out. So we dive into deep discounts, devaluing our product and starting a negative feedback loop training our customers to wait for our sales. 

Throw away the bruised apples. Take the short term hit and empty displays and strike zones. Bring in fresh product that you don’t need to discount. Stock annuals, hanging baskets and containers all freshly grown. 

In July, there are fewer customers, but there’s also almost no competition. If you invest in carrying fresh inventory, you’ll sell it at full price and win. If you hang onto old bruised apples your turns will decrease, and not throwing away a few hundred bucks in worthless inventory will cost you thousands. 

Take the Loss

You have an apple cart, and it’s small. You can fit 30 apples on your shelf. The fresher the apples are, the faster they sell.

In peak season, the entire shelf turns over regularly. Then the peak slows, the 1 apple, then 3 apples, then 10 apples get old. They wrinkle and bruise from being manhandled all day. Only 20 apples turn over.   

You go into shoulder season. 20 apples are wrinkled or bruised. Only 10 have a chance of selling. But throwing away those 20 apples will cost money, so you put them at 70% off. And what happens? The best 10 apples sell. The same 20 nasties remain.[