3 Tips for Running a Successful Sale

Photo courtesy of @FreelanceErik on Twitter.

Consistently increasing sales is an important part of running an effective and profitable school store. Sales not only impacts the effectiveness of your school store but is a part of everyday life.

Sales can happen when persuading a friend to come with you to a concert they’re not totally into, to advocating for an idea in a group project.

Here are three tips to propel you toward a successful sale in your school store and beyond:

1. Sell to the Right People

The advantage school stores have over other retail spaces is proximity. Your ideal customers—high school students, staff, faculty—come in close contact with the school store every day as they go about their class and work schedules. This provides DECA teams with the advantage of being able to narrow the focus and message of their marketing efforts to speak to a very particular group.

Your team can connect the store’s advertising to school events, culture, and stories, setting your store experience apart from other retailers that might sell similar products, through an extremely personalized message. This also means that your team doesn’t need to focus time and resources on reaching additional customers in other parts of the city because your ideal customers are already close by.

2. Listen Before You Sell          

Before you can demonstrate that your products will meet your customers’ needs, you must first have some idea of what those needs might be. Taking time to ask questions through surveys, focus groups, or through informal conversations can help you know how your store can provide solutions to customers’ pressing problems.

This not only demonstrates that you value your customers’ time, but it is also a more efficient use of your own time, as you are able to quickly identify what problems or inconveniences your store has the capacity to solve. And as you listen in these different forms, you can then tailor the marketing communication to anticipate customers’ common problems and questions, overcoming barriers to a sale before someone even steps in the store.

3. Keep it Simple, but Creative

It is easy to keep your sales messages simple when it comes to school store products, as customers are most likely already familiar with your inventory and therefore understand what you are selling. This is one barrier you’ve already overcome, allowing your team the opportunity to find new ways to use or view the products people are familiar with.

For example, customers probably understand that different colored pens are useful, but perhaps during exam week, your team could demonstrate their usefulness in color coding one’s planner in staying organized.  Or, your team could show how sticky notes are useful not just as task reminders, but as funny or encouraging notes on friends’ binders or lockers on the last day of class. Finding ways to reframe familiar products in a new and timely way can keep everyday inventory fresh and appealing.

What has made a difference in your school store sales? How do you usually go about selling your school store products?

This article was written by Spirit Factory, a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. Learn more about Spirit Factory and how it can help your DECA chapter here, check out the Spirit Factory Blog for more SBE tips and learn more about Spirit Box at SpiritBoxNation.com.

Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Comprehensive Learning Program, School-based Enterprises