Monthly Archives: January 2014

Using Your Smartphone for Direct Sales

These days, more and more people have a smartphone.  And while there really is nothing that can replace talking to a person, people are definitely trying.  Email and texting are very common these days, I find more and more of my customers prefer to text and I am leaning that way too.  My email does not always come through in a timely manner which makes it somewhat useless and I always have my phone for texting.

Audiovox SMT5600 with the new Qtek Smartphone

Audiovox SMT5600 with the new Qtek Smartphone (Photo credit: Josh Bancroft)

But there are other things that you can do with your smartphone to help you with your direct sales business and allow you to get rid of other items.  That said, for them to work their best, you need to know how to use these various tools properly and you have to remember to look at your phone.

Calendar/Scheduling

There is a good chance whatever smartphone you have, has a calendar on it.  You can use this to schedule your parties, events, meetings, whatever.  You can set reminders to come up in advance to remind me.  The great thing about this is that you can add notes and you probably have more room than in a paper planner for these.   A quick glance at your phone will let you know if you are free or not.

Notes

I know the ability to add notes into my phone can be a real lifesaver.  There are times I am somewhere and I do not have a pen and paper to make a note about something.  You can create a note or what I tend to do, email myself as a reminder for later.  It may be a customer question that I need to look into or an order that I need to check the status of.

Tracking

Speaking of orders, you can login to your backoffice while you are out and about and check the status of an order or shipping.  How easily you can navigate on your phone will be determined by whether your company has optimized their website for mobile devices.

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Four Promotional Items Your Customers Can Carry In Their Pockets

A company’s promotional products should be both meaningful and useful. These promotional products can be imprinted with your company’s logo and contact details so every time they are used by current and potential customers, you gain marketing exposure. Offered at various special events, they should serve as a reminder of the company so customers will continue coming back to do business, and they should also be gifts that customers can conveniently use with fondness and appreciation.   Promotional Items

Key chains

Custom key chains are a popular item for everyday use or for a spare set of keys at home. Few things are more obnoxious than loose keys. Promo key chains come in all sizes and designs, along with a full range of colors. A flashlight fob add-on comes in handy and can be imprinted with the company name and contact information for easy reference.

Flash drives

Computer flash drives are a terrific memento that almost everyone can use nowadays. They provide a great way to transfer information from one device to another. With your company’s logo and name imprinted on them, they will serve as a constant reminder of your generosity and thoughtfulness. Many custom flash drives come with a folding insert key that provides convenient pocket storage and carrying. Frequent usage means your company will often be remembered with appreciation.

Loyalty cards

Your company’s discount or rewards card, perhaps good for a 10-percent or 15-percent discount, will be a constant companion in your customers’ wallets. In addition to offering regular discounts, your company loyalty card could be used to offer an additional discount during special sales events and to rack up points for eventual redemption. Many large businesses like supermarkets and banks use them routinely, so customers are beginning to expect them and appreciate the companies that offer them.

Pocket calendars

Pocket calendars with attractive, colorful designs are easy to find and use in a wallet. Checking dates from time to time will give customers added exposure to your company’s contact information and keep your business in the forefront of their awareness. Plus, the calendars can become a quick reference point for future appointments and meetings. Combined with pocket planners, they can take the place of, or work in conjunction with, an electronic reminder on customers’ smart phones. Some people prefer a printed planner to the electronic version. A calendar or planner provides a convenient way to check dates, schedule appointments and record contact information. If you are going to order calendars, be sure your product is the best by using the promo product leader.

Mementos and gifts like these are inexpensive to purchase for customer giveaways. Offer them at commemorative events, company celebrations, anniversary parties and other community programs where they are sure to be a hit. Consumers tend to remember and do business with companies that give promotional gifts that include contact information as a handy reference. Get yours ordered now and start building customer loyalty.

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Going the Extra Mile: 4 Ways to Impress Your Potential Clients

Whether you are in business for yourself or work for someone else, you probably spend considerable amounts of time trying to build relationships with clients. And as everyone who has ever sold anything to others knows, products and services can be bought anywhere. It’s the relationship and related trust between a customer and his client that makes the difference. For this reason you are probably constantly trying to impress your clients. This article will serve as a primer for doing just that.   Going the Extra Mile

Be Professional

It might go without saying, but it’s still often forgotten that image is everything. Let’s say two people come to your office for business. One is unshaven and with clothes that are dirty and disheveled. He takes notes on a cheap note pad with a sharpie pen. The other is clean cut and dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit. His paperwork is neatly organized in a leather portfolio and he takes notes on an electronic device using a stylus pen. With whom would you do business?

Mention your VIPs

If a salesperson entered your office and told you that you were his first-ever prospective customer, you wouldn’t be very impressed, would you? On the other hand, if he told you about other clients who used his services with good results, you would be more tempted to buy what he’s selling, wouldn’t you?

People Love Free Stuff

Giving gifts is a great way to impress customers. And the gift doesn’t need to be expensive either. That’s what makes promotional products so effective. Not only are they inexpensive, but they can be personalized in any way you wish. Custom keychains and other personalized items can be imprinted with your company’s logo and contact details so every time they are used by current and potential customers, you gain marketing exposure.  Promotional products like these act as walking billboards, ensuring that you gain repeated marketing exposure every time they are used by recipients.

Over-Deliver

Everybody remembers the instances when someone went an extra mile and came through when it wasn’t expected. Even better is the fact that these little gestures often don’t cost anything to deliver. Go the extra mile. Over-deliver and under-promise. Make the client feel that he is special and that you went out of your way to give him something extra. Chances are good that your actions will be rewarded and probably even reciprocated.

If you’re looking to expand your client base, it is worth it to strive to impress those who could be potential customers. And remember, in many industries, anyone could be a potential customer—so every aspect of your business needs to run smoothly and be ready to impress. You never know when a potential customer is watching!

 

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Party Cancelled? Use that Time for Business

Have you ever had a party cancel at the last minute and you cannot rebook that time?   All is not lost, you can use that time to get other things done for your business.

Newgate Wall Clock - Brixton

Newgate Wall Clock – Brixton (Photo credits: West Elm)

Customer Care Calls

Take some time to call customers and see if they have any issues with the product or any questions.   Many times, people cannot be bothered to let you know they had a problem, they just decide to shop elsewhere.   Be pro-active and find out before that happens and you will likely retain the customer.

Advertising

Chances are, you could spend more time advertising but you never get to it.  Use this time to do that.  Place ads online on various social media, look for classifieds or other sites that will let you put up an advertisement.  If you always use the same ads, take a look at them and see if they are still current and relevant.  Update whatever needs to be changed.

Social Media

Have you meant to start social media accounts and keep putting it off?   Why not do it now?  Or maybe you have accounts that have been neglected?  Do some updating.  Maybe you can find a partner that you can work with to make sure you stay updated in the future.  I have a friend who will update my Facebook page with images and new catalogue information when it comes out for me.  It is greatly appreciated as I never seem to remember!

Clean Your Samples

Take a look at the items that you take with you to your parties.   Do they need to be wiped down?  Are they still in good shape or could they stand to be replaced?  If you aren’t sure, err on the side of caution and replace them.   If you can’t afford to replace them, do what you can to make them look better.

Organize Paperwork

Most people could always stand to deal with paperwork so try and at least track down your paperwork and get it organized.  You can deal with it another day if it will be too time consuming but if you find it now, it will be ready to go.

You already had this time set aside for business; you may as well still use it.  And just think, you won’t have to find time to do these tasks on another day!

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Giving Away Some Products Can Gain You Much

When it comes to running your own business, whether it is direct selling or not, it can be scary.  Your income is not guaranteed and you are careful about spending your earnings so that it will go further.   But when you are approached to donate or give away a product, it can send your heart into palpations due to the lost revenue.  Fear not, there are many valid and good reasons for giving something away.

Lucky Door Prizes

Lucky Door Prizes (Photo credit: Mosman Library)

Cheap Advertising

By giving something away, you are getting your name out there.  Chances are your name is going to be mentioned at least half a dozen times.  Make sure you give them many business cards to put out with your item so that if people are interested in purchasing one if they don’t win, that they can contact you.

New Customer

If the person who wins your product is not familiar with what you sell, they will be now.  Hopefully they use it and are able to tell people about how they like it and then they will buy more.  Even if they do not like it, they may know people that would and will make sure to inform them.

Customer Conversion

You may have a customer that is on the fence about your product.  Maybe they have heard about it and want to try it but are not willing to spend the money.  If they have a chance to try it, it may be enough to push them over the edge to make the purchase.

Potential Customers

If you are doing a door prize, people are going to enter.  People see free and they want it. On your entry slip, you want to make sure to get a phone number and an email address.   You can then add them to your email list and hopefully convert them to customers.  By letting people know you are giving something away, they are more likely to stop at your table and check things out.

An item for giveaway does not have to be expensive.  It could be something that you won from your company, a discontinued product or something that you ordered for demonstration.   The business you gain should offset the cost and you will be ahead in the long run.

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Methods to Increase Sales

There are many different things that you can do to increase the amount of sales that you are submitting each month.  I have discussed these methods over the last two years so feel free to peek at some of the past articles to see what you have been missing or you could improve.

Arrow Up

Arrow Up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Offering free shipping?  You may be better off to offer free product instead!  Read more here

Are you telling your customers about all the different ways that they can use a product?  Do you ask them if they can come up with more ideas?  The more ways to use something, the more likely someone will buy it.

How about upselling?  Don’t know what that is?  Learn about upselling and more simple methods to increase your sales.  Increasing sales with simple methods

Have a hard time remembering all these things? What to upsell together, what ways to use a product?  Use cue cards to make some notes and tell people its so you don’t forget all the wonderful information about a product!

Another great method to increase sales is to put packages together and discount them.  You don’t need to discount them by much, just enough to make people think that they are getting a great deal.  Sometimes just making the decision for the customer is enough, as it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Of course, having more parties will increase your sales.  If this is a method you want to explore, here are ways that you can get more parties.

How about shopping clubs?  These are popular with a lot of people.  Get a set amount of people to commit to a certain amount in purchase each month and you are set.  More about shopping clubs.

Here are a few other articles that you may find helpful when it comes to taking steps to increase your sales.

Increasing your Sales
Offering Party Perks on your Own
Why Discounts can Be Dangerous in Direct SalesReferral Program
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Increase Your Sales by Improving Your Social Skills

When I was growing up, never in my wildest dreams did I think of becoming a writer. I knew how to write a basic sentence when I was I kid but I did not really thought about it that much. I did not realized at that time how important it was to improve one’s writing and social skills. People do not realize how important it is to interact with the people that matter to you. It is only where they are required do a sales pitch to their prospective clients that a lot of marketing professionals begin to notice how crucial improving ones social skills is in their business and in their success.  Increase Sales

Some salespeople are not very good at communicating their thought and ideas through speech and through their writing. A lot of times they do not know how to translate those ideas in a good way. Here are some tips that salespeople can do to improve their social skills and increase their sales:

1. Read and Learn

Reading can give the information that you need when you are writing a sales campaign.Reading important information about your product, customers and the market you are in can help you make the sales pitch or the article that you need to make a lasting impression in the minds of your customers. You also need to be updated with the latest trends in your society so that you are not left behind and so that you can gather important information for your sales pitch. The key to becoming success in direct marketing in making the connection with your customers and that is why it is important to learn more about their attitudes and lifestyle.

2. Practice Your Social Skills

There are no shortcuts to success. The key in improving your social skills is to take the time and energy to work on your networking abilities. It does not happen overnight. It is not easy but if you put in the effort you can succeed at it. There are times when you will fail but the important thing is to never give up.

3. Write down Your Goals

Goal setting is an important factor to becoming a better marketer. It can help you monitor your progress and see how far you have come. Goals are important when you are trying to achieve something important. It can give you the inspiration to work for something useful and meaningful not just in your business but more importantly in your life.
Those are some tips that salespeople can do to increase their sales by improving their social skills. It is important to be patient for the rewards will be worthwhile.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Terry works as an essay writer online to help people work better. She also participates in different charitable causes to help other people live better lives.

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What is a Basket Party?

Basket or sample parties are becoming more popular.  Instead of the traditional party where the direct sales consultant comes into the home and does a presentation, a basket is given to the hostess and then passed around to her guests.  This gives them a chance to try the product and make their own decisions.  Depending on what you sell, this can be a bit time consuming but it should also be higher sales as people have experience with the product already.

Basket full of toys...

Basket full of toys… (Photo credit: lorises)

Having a Basket Party

There are a couple different ways to do this and how you do the basket will be determined by the type of product you sell.  For those that sell candles, a basket that goes from home to home is likely easiest.  If you sell a consumable, the basket also goes from home to home but a few could get together and try it out.  In that situation, encourage your hostess to have a get together with a few people and do some cooking/baking to try things out.

Put together some of your best selling items and put it in an attractive and easy to carry container.  It can be a basket or it can be a bag.  Whatever works for you and your product.   Include order forms, information on how to fill out the order, and any specials that are going on.

Include a notebook and encourage people to make notes or comments about the products they tested.  Offer an incentive for writing something – a chance to win something, a discount on orders, whatever you think will entice them.  If they have questions, have them indicate that and make sure you go through the book and call them with answers before placing your order.

Set a deadline for the party.  Depending on how many people the host is planning to pass the basket to will help determine this.  Typically, you never want a party to last more than two weeks as those who had it first start to wonder about the status of the party and when their product is going to show up.

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An Online-Only Direct Sales Business – Is It Do-able?

As more and more people are online, and are more comfortable with online shopping, people are looking for ways to run their direct sales business online.   I had someone email me through this page asking if I knew of any direct sales company that could be done entirely online.

Computers Monitor

Computers Monitor (Photo credit: yum9me)

The quick and simple answer is no. 

The more complicated answer is below:

Many direct sales companies have made changes to their business mode and how they operate that you are able to offer a website where customers can shop.  Some websites do allow online parties so that if people want to shop who do not live near the host, they can and the host gets credit.  If you do not have that ability, you may have the option to input a party manually and have the product ship directly (probably a bit more in freight costs) to the customer.  This still allows the host to benefit.

Once you have established a customer base, it is possible to continue running your business strictly online.  Personally, I have not done an in home party for well over a year.  All of my customers are repeat customers who shop via email or through my website.   But that said, the majority of them were already customers (not necessarily mine) and then they found me and shopped with me.  Several actually started their email with “I don’t want to have a party but can I still order?”

That said, you can advertise in many places online to get business.  You can setup ads on classified sites, local buy and sell, social media or anywhere else.  If you do a good job, you will get shoppers who will come to your site and buy.  They may start small at first to determine if they like the product or they may contact you to try and get a sample before committing more funds, just in case.

As you build up, you can get more sales through this method and potential change all your business here.  But there will always be those who will not shop online and will want to see the product in person.

Do you disagree?

 

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How to Host a Party

No matter your reason for throwing a party, it is important to be a proper host. Take the time out of your schedule to plan the perfect party for your situation. It will depend greatly on the reason for hosting the party, and the space you have available. Take this into account before starting the process.

A birthday party in Oregon. Taken by me.

Party in Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Direct sales

One common reason to host a party comes from a form of direct sales. The party plan is when a party is hosted from the home or other place with the intention of selling a product. This can be helpful for both the host and party goers to get the most from their party experience. This can be any product from kitchen appliances to makeup and other facial accessories.

The important thing to remember about planning this type of party is to not focus the entire thing on the product. Although it will be the focal point, make sure there are other elements. Set up the party in a space where guests can talk and get to know each other. Have food and beverages available whether it is simple snacks or a full on meal. These elements will keep your guests happy.

Being a good host

For those who get nervous about hosting a party, there are many different options to ensure your event is a success. The first and potentially most important is to give yourself plenty of time. Start planning the party as early as possible by putting it together one piece at a time until the actual date. This will keep you from frantically running around at the last minute and make it an allover success. Don’t try and do it all on your own, but get the help of your family and friends whenever possible.

The first thing to decide on is why you are throwing a party. Is it for a direct sale, a birthday party, the holidays, or something else entirely? Make the theme correspond with the reason for the party. From there you can plan the games and activities that will fit in with the plans the best. Choose those that your guests will enjoy, and that will work best for your own situation.

One of the biggest mistakes a host can make is not letting others know about their event far enough in advance. Send out invites at least a full week before the party is scheduled to take place. If you send it out too far in advance, some may forget about the event by the time the date rolls around. If you have guests that are coming from far away, be sure to send the invites far in advance, but also send a follow up reminder. This reminder can be a text or an email, something simple to reiterate your plans.

There are many aspects of being a good host. Make sure that you start out planning your party right. No matter your reason for throwing the event, be prepared and organized way beforehand to ensure everything will run smoothly on the actual event.

By +Cassie Costner

Cassie writes for www.eventrentalutah.com, a company dealing with tent rentals in Salt Lake City. She has written on the best methods for party planning, and how to get the most for your ideas.

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