Reduce your book sales workload

by Idea File Staff
Posted in: Marketing

Getting readers to buy your product is an important aspect of your yearbook program, but one that involves a lot of time and paperwork. Consider getting help by using SalesXpress this year.

Walsworth’s SalesXpress Program is designed to reduce the time spent on orders while increasing the contact with parents and thereby increasing actual orders. SalesXpress has two programs to choose from to fit you and your school. The Yearbook Order Day program helps you set one day at school for students and faculty to order yearbooks. The Direct to Home program provides parents with an ordering opportunity in the convenience of their home.

“I like SalesXpress because I don’t have to mess around with the money and sending out the bills. So I will do it forever,” said Andy Fuhs, adviser at New London High School, New London, Wis., who has used the Yearbook Order Day program for two years.

Increased book sales
Both SalesXpress programs are designed to contact the primary group of people who actually pay for the yearbook — the parents. With these programs, there are no lines for students to stand in to order, no money to get lost or stolen.

With the Yearbook Order Day program, ordering is done on one day at one time by all students. The forms are collected and sent to the Yearbook Order Center, which then sends invoices to parents. For the Direct to Home program, you provide the school’s database of student names and addresses to the Yearbook Order Center. Order forms are mailed directly to parents from the list.

Both programs have a Book Sales Kit, which includes an instruction manual and promotional material. Your staff promotes your sale using the posters and announcements included in the kit to remind students that invoices are going to their homes. Fuhs’ staff writes its own video announcement and presents it live to the school.

Fuhs said he likes Yearbook Order Day because it lasts one day. Prior to using SalesXpress, he was selling yearbooks all the time — in the fall, around the holidays and again in the spring.

“I have more kids buy yearbooks with SalesXpress because they fill out the form,” Fuhs said. “This way, the parents have a better handle on it, too. And it’s so easy for me.”

Deb Larsen, adviser at Greenville High School, Greenville, Mich., estimated her book sales increased a minimum of 10 to 15 percent, with the largest sales increase from the senior class.

“We saw an increase in sales and I’m just sure that’s because we got them in the parents’ hands,” Larsen said.

Stay informed
Larsen found letting someone else handle the paperwork and money was a great help.

“SalesXpress is much more efficient from the standpoint of accounting, which proved to be important,” she said. “Also, it’s a lot of money to be responsible for.”

Advisers stay fully informed of the process by checking the sales reports online at buyayearbook.com. Online sales reports include paid orders, partial payments and late payments.

“We know quicker that funds are available to pay for the book. We have a color signature, and we know earlier in the year if we can afford that. It affects the quality of the book we can produce,” she said.

Customers should enjoy the convenience of SalesXpress, too. Parents can pay by check or credit card by mail, by phone when calling the Yearbook Order Center or online. Customers can go online to change their invoice if they need to, and then pay online or print it and mail it in, if they are more comfortable with that option. The envelopes with the invoices have been designed so parents know at a glance it is a mailing involving their child’s yearbook.

Last year was Larsen’s second year with the program, and she said the second year was better because parents were more used to it. She said there was only a handful of problems that parents experienced.

“If there was a question on the parent’s part, we were able to resolve it quickly,” she said. ‘I have to be conscientious of public relations in a small community, and the program worked well.”

The purpose of SalesXpress is to reduce the time spent on orders, leaving your staff more time for work on yearbook production. Consider whether one of these programs is right for your school. To sign up, talk with your Walsworth sales representative.

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Eric S Brown Parking
September 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

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