We chatted with Marilyn Denis on today about how to maximize Direct Sales.
Here’s what we had to say: Click here for the full segment.
- Find something you LOVE: It goes without saying that if you are going to sell something, you need to really, really like it. After all, your enthusiasm must be so infectious that other people get excited about the product or service.
- This is not easy money: Selling directly to customers is still sales and selling is hard, but worth it. Connecting with people to sell requires time, effort, knowledge and perseverance. Before you decide to look in this direction, determine how much time you’re willing to put in and how you will differentiate yourself.
- Note the up-front fees: Many sales channels require a substantial up front investment fee in order to have access to the product line. Do the math and determine how much you have to sell to make this investment back. Then think about how you feel making this investment and how you will explain the merits of the product to your potential customers.
- Incentive program: If you’re comfortable and can afford it, an incentive program always works wonders. Offer something exclusive to the people who refer other customers to you or make other introductions for you. Consumable products ensure that they have to come back to you.
Once you’ve decided to pursue direct selling:
- Use your digital network: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter let you contact to people you think would benefit from this service most. Write to these people and explain what you’re doing and how you think it will benefit them.
- From those people you contact digitally: Set up in person meetings to explain what you’re doing. Focus on how you think your service could benefit them.
- Use your informal networks: Do you workout regularly and see the same people at the gym? Perhaps you’re part of a mom group who you see weekly? It’s often acquaintances who have the most impact on helping us network. It’s because they are outside of your direct social circle and have a broader network of people to access. Talk to these acquaintances and see if they would be amenable to getting together a group of their contacts for you to speak to.
- Ask questions: The key to any good sales person is asking questions. Ask and then craft what you’re selling to the work with people’s responses.
- Be consistent and stick with it: If you choose to pursue direct selling recognize you may not sell anything immediately. However, by keeping people in mind (send them a birthday hello, congratulate them on promotions, etc.) you will remain in their minds and when they are ready to buy they will think of you.
- ABC: The old sales adage used to be “Always Be Closing” which has since been changed to “Always Be Connecting”. As a society who has moved more towards digital and social media we no longer buy things from people we don’t know. Instead, we buy things from people we trust. The more people you know and the more networking you’re doing-the better your chances are for success in direct sales.