Hockey and Amazon Gift Cards Collide!

What’s been happening in the big bad sports world? Quite a lot indeed! In the United States, Baseball season is heating up, and the Baltimore Orioles are looking red hot! Football season, both college and pro is finally underway, and lots of exciting matchups will be happening in the next few weeks. Alabama and Michigan played, which was highly anticipated, except Alabama proved why they are top dog. Certainly more people will be swarming for Alabama merchandise this season. Anyway, let’s see how we can tie sports into business. It seems that most companies seem to be addicted to a certain type of sport. At the end of their sales period anyway. The sport I’m referring to is hockey and this is because so many companies seem to survive with a sales curve like a hockey stick. Low sales at the beginning of the period with little momentum through the period and then rising rapidly at the very end of the period. It certainly is not a healthy business model, and performing well only under duress will only get businesses into trouble.

So, what’s going on with the hockey stick? The first thing to note is that a typical sales period starts with a 2 to 3 week mental break. The sales staff is worn out from trying to close as much business as they could in the previous period that they their minds are craving a quick break just to recover.

Let’s say you are a seller of Amazon e gift cards. Sales start to pick up, but not significantly and then comes the “uh oh” moment, except sometimes that’s replaced with a little stronger wording. Basically there is a realisation that the gift card quota is not on track to be made and, which leads into a period of frantic activity trying to close everything in sight, even have to do some unnatural acts, like adding a heavy discount to the online gift cards just to close business.

So, having brought deals forward and probably discounted them (resulting in lower profits) in order to clinch the deal and having worked long and hard trying to close everything in sight is it any wonder that the sales rep seems to take a mental break at the beginning of the new sales period to recover? Also, having brought deals forward there is less to close at the beginning of the sales period and therefore it gets off to a slow start and the whole cycle starts again. What’s even worse is that you have trained your customers to expect frantic activity at the end of the period accompanied by unnatural sales acts, such as discounts.

Too much work, too little profit… what’s to be done?

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