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Four Secrets to Selling Your Gift Baskets

You may create extraordinary gift baskets, but unless you have customers who know about them and buy them, your gift basket business will not make any money. With proper planning and focus, finding your customers does not have to be difficult, and you do not even have to be a salesperson.

Since these custom designed gifts can be purchased by many different types of customers (individuals, businesses, men, women, last-minute shoppers, etc..) the first step is to figure out the target market for your gift baskets. Who will want to buy your products? And where do they normally shop? Gift baskets can be sold online, through mail order catalogs, in retail malls, gift shops, even grocery stores. It is difficult and time-consuming to try and sell to everyone, so pick a niche and focus your efforts there.

Putting together a marketing plan actually takes less time than struggling at the last minute with trial-and-error promotions. Marketing plan templates are widely available on the internet, and you can complete a professional plan yourself without the cost of hiring someone to do it for you. A plan will also help you establish a marketing budget and timeline, so you are better able to manage your business.

So what are some of the promotional techniques that you can use to sell your gift baskets?

One option is to work with local retailers like gift shops or boutiques where salespeople can promote your products for you. Choose establishments where shoppers are likely to be looking for gifts and that the business owner does not already sell gift baskets. Think about the clients and create a custom product for their ideal client. For example, a lingerie shop would not likely sell the same type of gift basket as a florist or local bookstore.

Approach the shop owner with some samples and an attractive business proposal so that the person can quickly see a benefit to working with you. The less work they have to do, the more likely they are to do business with you.

A second option is to sell your creations directly without going through a middleman, either from your home or in your own shop. You can announce the grand opening of your business in your local paper, but instead of paying for an ad, you can submit a press release for free.

You do not have to be a professional writer to submit a press release to your local newspaper. You can get a substantial amount of free publicity simply by sharing the story of how you started your new company. Not all stories get run, so to increase your chances, include information on how your services benefit the community and submit a photo with your press release.

If you are selling to individuals, you can advertise in coupon mailers to residential neighborhoods. Displaying your items at farmers markets can also get you good exposure. Hosting a free workshop on making gifts or gift baskets can also help you reach your target market, and let them meet you face to face. Many times organizations are looking for people to present workshops, so with the right group, you can meet many potential buyers at one time without having to go find them.

If you prefer to work with businesses, it may be worth your while to drop off sample gift baskets with the appropriate office staff, including information on your services and price rates. You will want to provide professional brochures and business cards as well, as this is the first impression you will likely make on a company. Professionalism counts, especially with businesses, as they are usually sending gift baskets to clients. You can save money and still achieve professional-looking print materials by using do-it-yourself design and print companies online.

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