Category Archives: Sales

Watching Your Status

It is important to pay attention to your status with your direct sales company especially if there are repercussions for not making certain sales levels.


SALE (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (vers l’Action de grâce))

My company has changed their criteria a few times in the last year or two so it has become that much more confusing.   This year, I almost didn’t make my quota but I got a few phone calls, post cards and email reminders to let me know that I had the possibility of losing my status.  But, one of my demonstrators was on the list to not make it and did not get any of these reminders.  She didn’t end up having the sales required and she was de-activated as a consultant.

I found all this out when she contacted me to find out why she could no longer log in.  She was able to sign back up and move on, but this could have all been avoided if she had been watching her own status and where her sales were.

I also realize that I let her down as a leader as I was not paying attention to where my tea was at in regards to their sales and their status and warning them but at the same time, everyone is adults and i should not have to.

That said, it is a good idea to make sure that you are always familiar with your companies policies in regards to maintaining your status and where you on that list.  Are you short by a few dollars or do you still need a few hundred dollars before the end of the month?  Depending on what your requirements are, it’s a good idea to start drumming up business ASAP if you will need a few orders in order to make it.

Do you really want to lose your status due to not paying attention?


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Gearing Up for Prime Time in Direct Sales

The holiday season is upon us.  If you do not already have the supplies you need to get those holiday sales, it is time to get them and get yourself prepared to party!

English: Wemyss Bay Holiday Park The reception...

Fall and Holiday Season (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make sure that you have the following:

Hostess Packages – Even if you don’t have the current catalogues, you can get everything else ready for a hostess package.  Make as many packages as you want parties and then 10% more for good measure.  It never hurts to shoot to the moon and ideally, you want to run out and need to create more.

Recruit packages – You may get recruits right now but you also want to plant the seeds for when they start seeing holiday bills so be prepared to give out information about joining your company.  Put some information about recruiting in all your hostess packages as well, quite often hostesses will roll into consultants.

Customer List – If you haven’t contacted your customers recently, get in touch.  Get them to book their party early for best selection.  Depending on the company you represent, you may get items that go onto back order quickly and may not be back in time for the holidays.

Stock Your Bag – Put a selection of business cards in your wallet or purse to have with you.  Hand them out wherever you are without being a pest.   If you have a pin, a bag, or something else with your information and to book a party with you, carry it with you and have cards ready to give to anyone who asks.

Supplies – Make sure that you have all the supplies you need.  Order forms, pens, a calculator, business cards, and stickers, whatever it takes.  Get organized and be ready to go.  You never know when someone will call and want to have you over tomorrow.  One of my best parties was due to another consultant never following up and the hostess had a dozen women coming over and no consultant.

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Increase Sales by Getting More Parties

Sometimes it can be hard to increase your sales as people only have so much money and no matter what incentives you throw at them, they are not biting. But, if you do it right, you can get bookings from your desire to increase sales and it works, because you now have another party to get sales at, right?

When you do a party, you should always have guests writing down what they want to buy. Whether you give them a checklist, a mini catalogue or a scrap paper, they should have a writing utensil and somewhere to mark items on. Tell them to mark with a star the items they really want and a check on those they are not sure of and to bring it with them to order.

When assisting them with their order, you want them to bring their list with them and give it a quick glance. If they are already ordering everything on it, you can ask them if they are interested in getting some of it cheaper/free if they have a party. Accept their answer either way and finish the process. If you see that they have a lot of items marked, but their order sheet is short, ask them if they are still interested in those other items that they weren’t able to order and discuss with them having a party. Even if they turn you down, encourage them to keep their sheet (which should have your contact information) as they may decide later that they truly want that one item.

If you can get a booking out of this method, then you have in essence increased your sales on this party as you got another party you may not have gotten otherwise.

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.   

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.

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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Healthy Habits For Success in a Sales Job

Sometimes a sales mentality has a negative connotation. People see a greasy toupee and a ruthless persona. However, to succeed in a sales job, it is essential to have a sales mentality.

 Keeping Your Pipeline Full

The first essential habit in sales is to never stop looking for prospects. Every successful salesperson puts potential customers through a sales funnel, moving through the different stages of a sale. Just like an actual funnel, the top stage should be the largest and has to keep being filled to keep closing deals in the final stage. Every person is a potential customer, whether it be a business owner, the receptionist at the doctor’s office or a couple at church. If they aren’t, they may know someone who is.

 Know Your Prospect

The next step is to determine if a person is a good prospect. As hard as it is to avoid another sales cliche of spewing deals, a good salesperson knows the first meeting is all about the prospect. You have to learn what makes your client tick. Are they just looking for the cheapest price? Do they need products/services only you can offer? What needs do they have that you can meet? Remember: don’t tell them yet!

 What’s In It For Me?

The next essential habit to use in your sales jobs comes in the pitching/presenting stage. Make sure you are letting the client know what’s in it for them and not filling your presentation with what you feel are your benefits. If our client supports only local vendors it won’t matter to him that you offer free out of town shipping, although normally that may be a great selling point for you. You should be prepared for what they need from your last meeting, but also listen to their cues and watch for hot buttons.

 Biting Your Tongue

It’s a common phrase in any sales job, but it always rings true – whoever talks first, loses. This can be very hard for some people, but you don’t have to fill every pause in the conversation. After you have presented them with your proposal, wait. This is the most important part of the entire process. You will make a sale or not. Oftentimes, when the prospect hesitates, people backtrack. They spout out more facts or benefits, give info the person doesn’t need or worse, lower their price without even knowing if cost is the issue. Just wait and stay quiet, they will let you know.

 Sometimes You Need A “No”

If you have left with a sale, congratulations! If you have left with a no, at least you know to have a full funnel to turn to now. If you have left with anything else, you need to go back to the drawing table. A clear rebuttal is okay – I need you to get this under this cost, I need this amount instead, etc. Beware if it is not clear, that they are simply blowing you off. Do not spend your days with multiple revisions, unrealistic expectations or multiple responses of “I’ll get back to you.” Sometimes, you need to hear no to know to move on.

By keeping your prospects consistently coming in and finding out just what it is they need, you can find yourself with limitless potential in a career that can’t be capped. Good luck!

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Increasing Sales: Shopping Clubs


Image via Wikipedia

These days, many people are involved with shopping or buying groups.  Have you ever considered starting one?  I know of many people that do as these are a great way to have guaranteed sales each month.

Determine Requirements

You can do this in two different ways – start with a party total and work backwards, or you can work with an individual sales total and move forwards.

For instance, maybe $250 is an awesome hostess level – free product and a half off item.  Now, if you split 250 by $25, which is reasonable, you would need 10 people.  If you think you could get people to commit to $50, then you could decrease that to 5 people.

Set Rules

Let us stick to the $25 person group and 10 “parties per year”.  When people join, they have to know that they are committing to this for 10 months of the year.  A lot of people take December off and one of the summer months as it can be hard to organize.

Depending on the product, you as the consultant might have a pre-set order, for instance each month they are going to get this one specific product which is worth that $25.  Or you may set it up that they have to have your orders to you by the 10th of the month, but they can pick their product.  If you don’t hear from them, they get the default.

Where do the hostess benefits come in?

Here is the beauty of it!  Each month, you select a different hostess to get the rewards.  I have heard some people suggest you don’t pick the person until you have all the orders in as then if someone wants to order extra this month, you still get that order.  Others recommend telling them at the beginning of the month that they are the hostess for so that they have time to have a party or collect other orders to increase their rewards.  I definitely do not recommend telling your hostesses at the beginning of the year which month they are hosting in, as it will cause problems.

This may take a bit of organization to get going but once you have it setup, you have a great method of getting orders each month without a lot of work.

Note:  I highly recommend you write up the terms and conditions of your shopping club, including that if someone is to terminate their membership, they have to find a replacement.  You may want to have a credit card on file for each person as well as if you have to go to the default order; you still want to be paid.

Have you tried something like this?  How did it work out for you?  Would you recommend it to others?

  • How to handle the “I can buy at a discount store for less” customer? (
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7 Incentives to Fill your Calendar and Increase Sales

Why incentives don't work in education—or the ...

Why incentives don't work in education—or the business world (Photo credit: opensourceway)

If you are looking to increase bookings and sales, you may want to consider a variety of different hostess incentives that you can offer.   There are a quite a few different offers that you can make to get the bookings you want.

1)      Red Hot Days – A fun way to fill your calendar is to offer red hot days to your host.  This is a day that you really want to book up so you offer an extra special incentive BUT it is only good that day.   You might know the only night you can get a babysitter easily is Monday night, so you offer X if someone hosts a party Monday.  Red hot days are typically only in the next week or two.

2)      Sales Incentives – Another great idea is to offer your hostess extra incentives as they get more orders.  This is a good method to use if you are trying to increase sales.  Give them something extra at the minimum to be considered a party (if you find this difficult for hostesses to attain) and then offer something extra every $150 or so, depending on your hostess plan.  Not only are you giving them extra items but they are getting all the hostess rewards.   It will cost you a bit, but, if they get the sales you want, the increase in commissions should outweigh the out of pocket costs.

3)      Offer free product or a discount for customers – If you decide to use this offer, make it a decent amount.  Is someone likely to get excited about an item for free if the amount of credit they get will not cover the majority of items in your catalogue?  For instance, if you have a lot of products that are 15 dollars, you may want to offer $20 in free credit or any product worth $15 for free.  Offering a 5% discount likely is not going to get people excited, but 15% off might.

4)      Offer free product/discount to your hostess – Not only is giving customers a discount, but you may want to offer your hostess something even sweeter to get them to book.  Maybe you are going to offer customers 10% off – you could offer your hostess something at 25% off.

5)      Limit It – The purpose of offering extra incentives is to get bookings now, not three months down the road.  For this reason, make the offer a limited time offer or only good until X date.

6)      Original Date Only – Again, because you are likely offering this incentive to try to book up your calendar, you don’t want them to book it for next week but then have them cancel and rebook three months later and expect the same deal.  Make the offer a limited time, only on the original booked date.  You could choose to still honour it if they reschedule within the same month but that is up to you.

7)      Only in Home Events – It is easier to get sales when you do an in home demonstration.  For this reason, you want to make your offer only valid on in home parties.  Still let outside orders count but there must be a home visit and demonstration involved.

A few things to remember when offering extra incentives:

Customers need to know that the incentive is only good with you – other consultants will not honour.

Make sure your incentives are not costing you money.  If your commission rate is 20%, do not offer a hostess 30% off as you will lose that 10%.

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5 Simple Steps for Improving Your Sales Appearance – Part 1

When you are dealing with direct sales, such as in party planning, door-to-door product pitch, or even in a brick and mortar establishment, your appearance means everything.  There is nothing that can turn a potential sale away faster than a poorly managed salesman, which is precisely the effect you want to avoid.

Here we will discuss the five simple steps that can help to improve your appearance and raise your chances of success in a sales based environment.

Dress for Your Product

Imagine a car salesperson from Ferrari walking up to you in a concert t-shirt, ripped jeans, and a pair of beat up tennis shoes.  While the cars they are selling might be top of the line, their mode of dress is not a good reflection of their product.  It is not only unprofessional, but distasteful to the majority of their potential customers.

While this concept may sound silly, it is a simple truth in sales.  Salespeople must exemplify the reputation and quality of the products they sell, or risk a lack of sales, thus cementing their own failure.  By dressing for the product they sell, they are telling potential clients how they feel about the product itself.

Know Your Product

Simply knowing the average usage information or a long list of technical terms for your product is no longer enough.  In the age of the Internet, consumers expect more from a salesperson.  If they want to know all the technical jargon they will Google, Bing, or Wiki the information themselves.

Impress your potential customers with direct knowledge of your product.  Use the product yourself.  In cases where that is not possible (we cannot all afford a Ferrari), at least test-drive the product to get a better idea of what it is capable of.  Consumers are impressed by first-hand knowledge.  Use this fact to your advantage and make a great impression.

Smile, Smile, Smile

No one wants to deal with a sour salesperson.  Remember to keep your personal life at home and your work in the workplace.  Greet your customer with a smile.  This is also a good time to mention dental hygiene.  Not everyone cares about perfect, straight, dazzling white teeth.  However, they do care about obvious yellow plaque, coffee stains, poppy seeds, and onion bagels.

Nothing conveys a bright mood better than a smile, except of course in the instances mentioned above, in which case you are going to regret smiling if you have forgotten to brush your teeth.  A smiling, cheerful, and engaging salesperson is far more likely to land a sale.

Come back Monday for Part 2!

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Kathryn Baughman is a writer for Franklin Debt Relief, a  leading debt reduction firm in Chicago, Illinois.

Increasing Sales: Package Deals

Increasing Sales: Package Deals

A lot of people suggest that to increase your sales to offer package deals.  I agree, it makes life easier for your customers as they do not have to think, but how do you offer a package deal for the best benefit?

Selection – I suggest keeping selection to a minimum.  Have a few different priced packages so that people with different spending levels have an option but do not give them a million different options.  Suggest complimentary products that go together and if there are options within that such as colour or scent, give them the option to pick between 2 or 3 of your best sellers.  If they ask if they can switch it out for a different scent, definitely let them, but the majority will go with what you suggest so they do not have to think.

Price – I have heard a few different trains of thought on how to price these packages and what you do is ultimately up to you, but this is what I believe.  Do not discount your packages, or if you do, not by much.  If your package adds up to $47.65, you may want to list it at $47 for simplicity, but I would not recommend marking it down to $35.  You are not doing yourself any favours and your customer likely is not going to bother adding the individual items up.  If you mark it as “All this for only $47!” they will think they are getting a deal and not question anything.

Price Points – As I suggested above, have a few different packages that people can buy.  Have an economy package with two or three items priced between $20 and 30.  People who feel the need to buy something but do not want to spend a lot will gravitate to this.  Create another one around $50 or 60 dollars and then a third one around $100.  By creating these packages, you may also see your average sales per person go up.

When it comes to packages, make sure your customers know there are no substitutions beyond flavor/color/ scent or you may as well not even bother with the packages.

Have you tried packages before?  Do you find they help your business?

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Top Ten Ways to Increase your Sales During a Recession

It holds true in any business; when your customers suffer, your business suffer. Especially when faced with such a slow recovery and talk of double recession in the Europe and the UK.

To keep afloat during rough times, you have to change the way you think about your business and advertising. What worked in the past does not work anymore. Businesses have to adjust to the ‘new normal’ or they will be wiped from the face of the earth.

Here are some ways to increase your sales during a recession:

  1. Offer bargains. In hard times people are looking for bargains more than before. Offer temporary price reduction to increase interest.
  2. Build up morale among your sales people. They are the front of the company and the more optimistic they are the more it instills a sense of security. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter says this is not the time to cut back on treating your team. Anxious customers need to see friendly faces. Treat morale building as an investment.
  3. Spend time on market research. If you are not busy selling, see what others are doing and think of ways to improve your outreach. Find what customers are not buying now and adjust your business model.
  4. Shift your resources and spend more on marketing. During a recession marketing is cheaper to buy and you have to reach more customers from different circles. Some of the marketing can be done online for free. Educate yourself or hire someone who knows social media.
  5. Follow up on old leads. Things might have changed. When things slow down it’s time to reach into the deep drawer and pull out all those business cards you haven’t seen in a while. Every little bit helps and few connections with old clients can expend your circle.
  6. Good customer service will make them come back. In a recession, when everyone is cutting prices, the way to excel is with customer service. Cherish your clients and be sensitive to their needs. Deliver on your promises and resolve complaints quickly.
  7. Find ways to attract new customers by offering payment plans, small orders or bulk prices, things you might have rejected in the past. Be more flexible than you have been before.
  8. Give your clients something more. Additional serviced such as warranty, telephone support or on-site visits, included in the purchase price, will make them feel supported and will cost you very little.
  9. Expend on partnerships. You are not the only one who is suffering right now, so search around to see if there’s someone you can partner with. You can share the cost of advertising, among other things.
  1. Re-negotiate. See what you can do to lower your costs. Find new and cheaper suppliers, maybe alternative shipping methods which will reduce the price per item

The way to increase your sales during a recession is to understand how important each and every client is to your bottom line. Good service, expert advice, and personal attention will make your clients want to come back and bring their friends.

About the Author:
Patrick Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges. It is one of Australia’s pioneer and leading providers of TAFE courses and business management courses. When not working, Patrick enjoys blogging about career and business. Patrick is also a photography enthusiast and is currently running a photography studio in the Philippines.

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