Category Archives: Sales Topics

Tis the Season!

Tis the Season!

Bob Kohl, Long & McQuade

It barely seems like we have had two beats rest to recover from September’s Back to School selling storm and now we must regroup and rally to prepare for the exciting and action-packed season of the Christmas Rush!  This short pause in October and early November is the perfect time to reimagine and re-merchandise the print music department to prepare for the next wave of seasonal sales.

Many of us have already been selling education-based Christmas titles for bands, choirs, and piano students through September and October, but the sales volume of those kinds of products typically subsides by mid-November.  After all, there are only six or seven weeks of music lessons to go until the winter concert and recital period begins.  Conversely, Christmas titles for PVG, easy piano, guitar, and folk instruments are just getting started and will peak in December.  These are important factors to keep in mind as we make decisions about which Christmas titles we reorder and what quantities may sell before the season truly ends in mid-December.

Since Halloween is upon us, this is the perfect opportunity to dig up any dead and dormant print music stock in our inventory and move it to the clearance area.  Although this is not the most pleasant task, it is vitally important that we identify and move out any stock that has not performed so that we can keep our browser bins and sales racks filled with current and saleable titles.  Having too much dead stock in our inventory can impede the sales of active stock by taking up too much space and making our selection look dated and stale.  This time of the year is ideal to beef up the clearance area because very soon Christmas shoppers will be upon us looking for great bargains.  The increased foot traffic over the Christmas selling season gives those clearance titles the best chance to be browsed by the largest number of customers.

Looking ahead to January, the next school term will be here before we know it and so now is the time to prepare for second-semester sales.  Our stock of methods and core repertoire have been majorly depleted by the September sales blast and now is the ideal period to assess what we have left and forecast what stock we will need for when students go back to class in the New Year.  Most suppliers offer winter stock order opportunities with perks like increased discounts and extended dating.  These special offers give retailers the incentive to prepare for the next selling season and pick up a few extra profit points along the way.

Finally, remember to keep the momentum going from your fall workshop and reading session promotions.  January will be another great chance to shine a light on the new titles that we introduced to teachers during this fall season.  Look for creative ways to re-merchandise and re-promote the titles that we recently featured.  As one of my favorite music professors used to tell me in university, “reinforcement is the key to education”.  This pearl of wisdom applies to retail sales as well.  The more times we can show our featured titles to our teacher customers, the better chance they will remember them and give them a try.  Also, keep track of any upcoming return privilege deadlines for promoted titles.  When our publisher partners offer retailers the opportunity to send back excess inventory after our promotions are over, we owe them the courtesy of getting this done on time.

I hope that all of you are having a very successful fall selling season and I wish you a very happy, healthy and profitable New Year!

Shop Small this Holiday Season

Shop Small this Holiday Season

by Jenny VanPelt, Lorenz Corporation It’s music to many of our ears when we hear that “buy local” and “shop small” are growing movements in communities around the United States, Canada, and Europe. In response to the effects of retail big box stores and online giants in the marketplace, business and community leaders are coming… Continue Reading

Your Print Music Business Social Media Checklist

Your Print Music Business Social Media Checklist

by Helen Todd, Sociality Squared Use social media marketing to amplify and build on your current assets: expertise, community, word-of-mouth, and in-store experiences. Here’s the checklist developed by Helen Todd, CEO of Sociality Squared, for this year’s RMPDA’s “Social Media Marketing Workshop.” Follow the steps and tips for the most impactful social media actions you can… Continue Reading

RPMDA Convention Best Ideas – Part 1

Below is the first installment of Best Ideas entries from the Best Ideas Session at the 2017 RPMDA Convention in Atlanta. Thanks to Tim Cose, of Hal Leonard for collecting and compiling the first installment. Wine Club for Piano Music  Krista Hart, Alfred Music Subscription box series are all the rage right now – you… Continue Reading

Educating the Tech-Savvy Student

By John Mlynczak Today’s tech-savvy student has an entire internet full of ways to learn music. From YouTube to community sharing websites and subscription services, self-learning has never been more accessible. As an added bonus, students can search for and learn music twenty-four hours a day in the comfort of their own home using up their… Continue Reading

Selling as a Customer: The Birth of an Unexpected Business Plan

By Mauricio Ramirez, Partituras MX When I first started working with the Hal catalog, back in 2013, as the manager of the recently founded section for printed music at Klavier, a piano store in Guadalajara, Mexico, I asked myself the obvious question for a first order: “What would sell the most and the fastest?” In… Continue Reading

Do Re Mi Fa, and Sol On

By Patti Cooper, Vocal Music Specialist, Senseney Music, Inc., Wichita, Kansas The Kodaly concept of music education is certainly not new! Zoltan Kodaly, the mid-twentieth century Hungarian composer, laid the groundwork with his passionate philosophy of music in the Schools.  Together with Bela Bartok, Kodaly pioneered the concept of music instruction for all children, even… Continue Reading

Surviving Back to School

by Evan Jones, Bandland LLC For us, the busy season begins in mid-July and has really ramped up as I am writing this article.  If you are correctly working the educational market, you will hopefully be busy well into the next calendar year. For many school music retailers, August and September are basically controlled chaos. … Continue Reading