This is my first experience of being a parish rep for CTS and I have to admit that interest in our regular stall is disappointingly minimal. I decided that a possible way to encourage participation might be to capitalize on Christmas and try selling children’s Christmas books. A major consideration was demand and cost – the parish could not even contemplate buying stock up front and I realised that sales just from a catalogue would be sparse to say the least.
During my initial contact with CTS to sort out administrative details, they had offered to help in any way they could.
Well, I decided to take them up on their offer!!!
With advice and guidance from Greg, the Sales and Customer Services Manager, we came up with the plan whereby the parish bought one copy of each book which I selected and these books would be for display purposes only and then people could order the books.
It was the ideal solution giving people the opportunity to see and handle the books, read the text, look at the illustrations and it wasn’t costing the parish a fortune.
Our initiative is now up and running and it could not have started without Father Deeley, our Parish Priest, who has listened with infinite patience to my plans and suggestions and whose encouragement has been so important.
Two other parishioners, Margaret and Isobel, agreed to help and so we are able to have our stall in place after the Saturday Vigil Mass and the Sunday morning Mass. Our church building is small with limited space and does not afford great opportunities for a prominent setting for any stalls so we have had to be pro-active in pointing out to the parishioners that we are open for business.
We realise that we will have to do some assertive marketing to turn pleasant comments into actual sales but the initial response from parishioners has been positive. Having started before most people have embarked with zeal and vigour on their Christmas shopping we’re hopeful that we’ll have sown the seed in our favour.
Our marketing strategy is to identify the stocking filler niche for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and with that in mind we were careful to have books within a very affordable price range. The most expensive book is £9.95, which is psychologically a good price because it only involves handing over one note.
Time will tell how successful our initiative has been but we feel that we have made a start and we will have learned valuable lessons for future events.
Have you already taken a look at our Children’s Titles?
From Saints’s lives, to first prayers, without forgetting the beautiful stories for Christmas!