A Time To Give Thanks


Advertisers.  It seems like they never met a sale they didn’t like.  Need a reason for a sale? You name it – they’ve thought of it.  President having a birthday?  Sounds like a good time for a sale. Independence day? Perfect! Let’s have a sale! Going out of Business?  SALE!  Feeling bloated and groggy from a tryptophan induced coma because you over ate on Thursday? That, my friend, is an excellent time for a sale.  We’ll call it, ‘Black Friday.’ It’ll work – trust me.

I have many reasons to be thankful – a great job, wonderful family; the Seahawks, Cougars and Huskies are all playing meaningful games in November. I even give thanks for Black Friday – but not for the reason you’d expect. I am thankful for the leverage Black Friday provides.

That’s right, leverage.

Urban legend surrounds the day after Thanksgiving as the moment in the fiscal year that businesses begin operating in the black, or in other words, they begin to turn a profit.  It took a little creativity, a willingness to think outside the box, and a vision for what ‘could be’ for Black Friday to become the annual, national shopping extravaganza we know today. 

In the early years, Black Friday customers would line up outside stores several hours before opening in order to secure the perfect gift item.  To take advantage of these early risers, stores would begin opening their doors earlier, and earlier, and earlier. Businesses leveraged this moment and created an opportunity to increase sales and serve customers better at the same time.  Rather than leave them waiting in the cold, businesses adapted to the needs of their customers and the rest is history.

Black Friday has spawned an entire weekend long shop-a-palooza. Don’t just patronize the big box stores, help out the little guy! Small Business Saturday will keep your dollars in the local community. Don’t like crowds? Cyber Monday will allow you the privilege of emptying your bank account in the comfort of your own home, while wearing fluffy bunny slippers and your lucky bathrobe. Now, Black Friday Deals are available throughout the month of November.  All of these opportunities were created by leveraging the success of Black Friday.

Leverage is our friend.

In your business there is a little-known opportunity that you can leverage to increase sales and serve your customers better at the same time.  That is the moment you place a caller on hold. You now have a captive audience that wants to do business with you.  Introduce them to other goods and services.  Reward them for waiting by offering special deals exclusive to customers who took the time to call.

This is positive leverage that benefits everyone.  You create engaged & informed callers while redeeming their most precious commodity - time.  That’s a win-win.

On-hold advertising is a powerful tool to grow your business, but only if you have the foresight to take advantage of it.  Know going in that it will take a little creativity, a willingness to think outside the box, and a vision for what ‘could be’ to leverage this time effectively. 

Rather than leave your callers out in the cold while they wait, adapt to the needs of your customers who have taken the time to call you. They will be thankful and you will reap the benefits. And you, my friend, just might find yourself giving thanks all year round...

For leverage.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius

Tom McTee