Category Archives: Consultant

Tips to Direct Sales Success

You can have success in your Direct Sales Business if you follow a few basic steps. Naturally you should pick a business that you are passionate about  with products that you have used.

Success

Success (Photo credit: baejaar)

It is important to make sure the business you choose is product centered, has great associate support, and is established. Unless you already have track record of proven success with a direct selling business, stick with established businesses. Once you make this business successful you can always try out a “start at the bottom” deal.

While a lot of people will say it does not matter, picking the right person to be sponsor or up line does matter. Especially if you’re new to running a direct sales business. You can succeed without them, but it will help.

Pick someone who is established, has been with the company for awhile,  earns their full time living via the company, and who will help you.

Yes, you are going to be new and you want new people to sign up with you, but having a great up line with experience will help you get ahead of the pack.

You should have a special place for your business. If you cannot have an actual office, then have a space that means “work” , so that you can transition easier between work and home life.  You need a work space, or desk, computer, paper, and typical office supplies and tools.

Create a business and marketing plan.  You do not have to reinvent the wheel, and in fact you should not. You should read, memorize and get to know all your training information from the company. Also, you should follow the steps suggested for the most success. These are steps that someone else followed already, and had success, use them.

Schedule your business.  It is important for your family and the health of your business to have clear working times. Yes, it is flexible, but try to carve out specific times to work whether it is one day a week, five days a week, or just a few hours a week. Schedule it, and stick to it as much as possible.

If you follow these suggestions you will be successful in your direct sales business. Do you have some tips to share about being successful with a direct sales business? Let’s hear them!

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Going from Customer to Consultant

If you host a lot of parties with a consultant, or you place a lot of orders, you may want to consider joining up yourself.  But before you switch to being a consultant instead of a customer, there are a few things that you want to consider.

Quotas – Many companies have a quota of some sort.  Would you put in enough orders to make this quota – of course, orders for friends and family would count towards this and assist you.  Make sure you ask about this quota and any conditions involved in it before you sign.

Hassle – It is definitely more work being a consultant than a customer.  Even if you are signing up just for personal use and the discount, it is a good idea to keep up on what is going on, when new catalogues come out, if items go on back order and changes in the hostess plan.

Have a Party – You never know when someone is going to approach you about doing a party for them.  Do you want to deal with this?  You can always pass these leads on to your upline if you do not want them.

Recruiting – You may also have people ask you about signing up.  Depending on what you want to know, you may want to sign them but you may prefer not to.  Again, this is something that you can pass up to your upline.  Even those who work their business to earn an income do not necessarily want to recruit.

Of course, you may sign up and then decide that you want to sell the product and make an income.  That is one of the great benefits to direct sales – you can do whatever you want with your business as long as it is in the rules of the company.

Shopping With You Versus the Mall: Customer Service

Why should someone shop with you instead of at their local mall or big box store as chances are they can buy a similar product for less money there?

The reason is customer service!  How often do you go to the store and the clerks are doing nothing and they ignore you?  Do you really want to shop there and keep them in business?  Probably not.  But if you found a store that was really helpful, brought you the products you wanted to see, suggested items they thought you might like and then contacted you later to see how they were working out, you would be impressed and likely would shop there again.

This is where you can excel in your direct sales business.  Treat your customers how you want to be treated.  If you have a favourite store, think about what they do and emulate it in your business.  If you do not have a favourite store, think about how you would like to be treated and implement that into your business.

The biggest challenge is actually following through with good customer service once the person leaves your party.  We have good intentions but life can get in the way and the follow up is neglected.   By not following up, chances are you are leaving money on the table and your business will not grow and flourish.

Give your customers a quick call after they have received their product with a few questions.  I always recommend writing them down or having a check list, as it is easy to get off track or forget what you wanted to talk about.

“Hi Sue, Its Sharon from XYZ Company.  Do you have a minute or two to talk?”

“I was wondering if had gotten your order from Jane yet?  You have?  Great!  Have you had a chance to try it out?  Wonderful!  What do you think of it?  That is a product we just came out with and I’m trying to get feedback from people.   Do you have any questions in regards to it? “

From there, you could end the call or you could try to get a booking, depending on her responses.  If she starts raving about how great everything is, she likely would be receptive to hosting.  If she seems rather lackluster, then you likely won’t have much luck and you will want to move on.

“Sue, I’m going to let you go in a second, but did you know that Product A is our hostess special next month and with a party you would get it for Free?  Does that interest you?”

It is amazing how much business you can get with only a 2 minute follow up call.  You could end up a sale, booking or even a new team member!

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Leadership Ideas: 5 Ideas to Motivate Your Team

You’re a team leader for a reason. Now that you’re in this position, it’s up to you to keep your team feeling excited and motivated about what they’re doing. There will be times when team members hit road blocks. Who do they look to for guidance? You, of course! Following are 5 ideas to keep them motivated:

found photo: business leaders

found photo: business leaders (Photo credit: squareintheteeth)

1. Get them excited: Nothing motivates more than excitement and it’s up to you to create it. If you’re excited about what you’re doing, the rest of the team will “catch” that excitement. Pull them into your frame of mind.  Offer contests, host training meetings, whatever you think will add that sparkle back into their business.

2. Keep it fun: Nothing’s worse than being miserable in your career. Consider that your team members entered into this arena to build something for themselves. Keeping things fun and active will remind them of why they wanted to do this.

3. Involve your team members: Let them see that their contributions and ideas are valued. Supporting your team members and listening to what they have to say energizes them to keep moving forward.  Ask them to come up with ideas for a team newsletter or why they love their business.  Share this with the others on your team and give them the credit for it.

4. Help out: No one can force another person to do what they need to do to be successful, but you can be a team leader and offer your support. Let them do the work but also let them know you’re interested in what they’re doing. Offer advice and suggestions.  Give them one on one time with you, send them emails with suggestions they can follow, whatever you feel that they need based on talking to them.

5. Don’t hover but be available: Be there to offer guidance and check in from time to time. But remember it’s their business. Let them run it. They’ll let you know if they need you.  It is important to learn when to back off and give them their space.  Sometimes people have things going on in their life where their business is not their first priority.  They will let you know when they are ready to come back.

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Should you join a Start Up Direct Sales Company?

When it comes to direct sales companies, there are a lot of choices which can be overwhelming.  Sometimes you will find a company that is brand new and it looks attractive as everything is wide open for you to get in and be very successful.  But, there is more to consider than just getting in on the ground floor as start-ups can be more risky.

Flower new

New business a good idea? Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Knowledge

Do these people know anything about the direct sales industry or been involved it before?  While the concept of direct sales sounds simple and easy, there are many different areas to be considered.  For instance, can consultants sell the product all over the country or are there restrictions in some areas so you cannot recruit there?  Who is responsible for paying sales taxes to the government?  How is product going to be delivered to consultants?  What type of commission will consultants make at different levels?  Will there be rewards for recruiting people?  For someone who does not know the industry, some of these considerations can be very daunting.

Financial

How is the company financed?  Have people invested their own funds or has it all come from the bank?  How long has the company been in operations?  Even if you are just hearing of it, it is possible it has been around for several years.  For instance, my company had only been in Canada for a year when I joined but had been in the States for over 10 years.

Compensation Plan

There is more to consider than just getting in on the ground floor.  Does the company offer a good compensation plan to consultants?  This would be commission on personal sales and any people that they recruit.  If they only offer you 5% of your sales in commissions, it may not be a company you want to join.  But on the other hand, if they offer 50% commission, the question is whether that is sustainable in the long term and if you will make sales at that level in order to earn the commission and keep the company operating.

Product Choice

How many options do the customers have product and is there similar product available elsewhere?  If you are selling the exact same thing that is sold at Wal-Mart, you may have difficulty selling it at parties.  But if your product is exclusive to your party plan or you have a better version of the Wal-Mart product, then you should not have a problem.  You want to know if consultants have any say about new product that the company makes available in the future.

Know the Story

It is always nice to know why the company started and sometimes that can make the difference to people considering signing up.  There are many people that like to support the little guy and will join a company that was a Mom and Pop operation before they will join a company that was started by a big corporation to get bigger.

The biggest factor when joining a direct ales company is finding one that fits your needs, whether they are new or old.  Do your research and find out the answers to your key questions and concerns before making any decisions.

 

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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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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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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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