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You Can’t Sell Snow Shovels in May

 

It’s Spring! The birds are chirping, daffodils and other bulbs are exploding out of the formerly frozen earth, snow shovels and snow throwers have wended their way to the back of the storage area, and thought of warm, sunny breezes have replaced memories of snowmen and snowballs.

The biblical passage (and the song that honors it) says, “There’s a time for every purpose under Heaven.” Our lives are defined by these “times for every purpose”. The earth revolves, and the seasons change in cycles as our lives change through school years, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, the annual report, the tax season, the baseball season, etc.

No matter what you sell, there are busy and slow seasons. Knowing the sales cycles of your products and services translates into promoting at the most opportune times – when your marketplace needs (or wants) it. We get hungry three times a day, the average roof lasts 15 to 20 years, the average male head requires a haircut every month, the average household moves every 5 to 7 years, grass grows faster in Spring than in Fall.

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While it is possible to sell snow shovels in May, many more will sell with the first snowfall of season and, if promoted properly (in a First Snowfall sale for instance), lots of ice melter, windshield scrapers, and lock de-icer will sell in large quantities also because of a rapidly expanding (but temporary) market.

Obviously now it’s time to promote products and services that have a 2nd Quarter demand, but… have you properly prepared? Sadly, many businesses are playing catch-up… the Spring Trade Show or Tulip Festival or Mother’s Day are around the corner, and I know that many businesses are scrambling to have their marketing, advertising, and inventory ready for the influx of customers who want what they sell. Sadly, many have missed the season. Yes, they will get a spike in sales volume, but because they haven’t worked on this season months ago, sales will not be nearly as good as possible. And there are people who are thinking, “I’ll do it better next year.”

Whatever the product or service, your customers go through cycles of desires and needs. Marketing to take advantage of these cycles takes planning and discipline but can pay off with a better return on the budget and increased sales. Plan ahead to promote your products in volume when your customers need or want them.

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