Tag Archives: Business card

Making Sure Customers Can Find You

Once you have a customer, you want to make sure that you continue to get their orders in the future.   There are a variety of different methods you can employ to ensure that your customer will always have your contact information handy.

business card

business card (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Reorder Labels

The first thing I recommend is that you have re-order labels that you put on your product.  Depending on what you sell, this may not always be possible, but try to locate a place where you can put your name and contact information on your products.  I recently was looking for a consultant I had ordered from in the past, but as she didn’t use re-order labels on her product, I couldn’t find her.  I even went through my emails but there was nothing.

Catalogues

A catalogue is an obvious location to put your information but people may not always keep them.  But due to the small cost of the label, make sure you put one on every catalogue that you hand out.  I have had people contact me a year later with their catalogue and wanting to place an order.

Business Cards

Another no brainer is to give out business cards to everyone you meet.  I always put three business cards in every order I deliver.  It does not matter if it is the person’s first order with me or their tenth, they still get cards.  You never know when they are going to want to contact you for something or a friend will want your contact information.  Women tend to hold onto cards for a very long time, so you should be giving these out to everyone.

Invoices

I suggest that you place your contact information on your invoices.  Whether you use a stamp or a sticker is your choice.  Not only does that allow them to contact you if they need to make a change with their order but chances are they will keep that invoice around and will have your information for the future.

Magnets

Magnets are a great option as your customer can put it up on their fridge and they will likely never lose it.  I do not know about you, but the magnets on my fridge have been there for years.  They are useful for holding things in place even if they are not places I have patronized for a long time.  But if I need to contact those places, the information is right there.

Regardless, it is important that you customers have a way to contact you whether it is a week since they last saw you or a year.  Make it easier for them by giving them your information multiple times and hopefully they will hold onto one to use later.

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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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Pack in Advance for Events

I don’t know about you, but when I have an event or a party, I always tend to forget something.  While many things stay in my bag between events, some come out as I need those items in other parts of my life.    That said, I have made a list to try and prevent this from happening in the future.  Packing for an event a day or two early helps with this as you will run into things and realize that you should take it with you.   I am a huge fan of lists, so I created one to remind me what I need to take and wanted to share it.

Suitcase

Suitcase (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To Pack:

  • Pens/Pencils
  • Order Forms
  • Catalogues
  • Pens
  • Business Cards
  • Stapler or Paperclips
  • Specials
  • Products (Do you have everything you want to show packed?)
  • Samples
  • Money bag/change
  • Hostess Packages
  • Recruit Packages
  • Props for any games such as a hostess game – dice, envelopes, music, whatever you require

If you are doing trade shows or vendor events, you will pretty much need everything above.  Depending on if you are able to sell off your table or not will determine what you bring for products.

Product to sell – If allowed, check with company if you are not sure.

Cannot sell – Bring samples and product to show to people and entice for bookings.

Product to sell, if your company allows you to.  If you aren’t sure, check with your upline or company

  • Expired catalogues to hand out
  • Notebook to write down any questions you need to research and phone numbers/email to let customer know
  • Sign up list for email newsletter if you have one
  • Table cloth
  • Table decorations

Regardless of the event, consider putting your hostess and recruit packages into fun bags to tempt people to want them.

Consider putting specials, order forms, a catalogue and a pen into a folder for each guest.

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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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Bartering Products for Services

Whether you are looking for someone to help you with your advertising, a person to help you with your bookwork or someone to assist you with running your business, it takes money.  But if you are just starting out and do not have a lot of money to pay for services, consider bartering.  Bartering is making a comeback with a lot of people.  Even if you do not think that you have something to barter with, there is a good chance you do. 

Bartering your Product – If it’s a service for your direct sales business, see if you can pay with your product.  Trade at retail cost so that you have the savings associated with buying it at wholesale.  Not only is this cheaper for you in the long run but you benefit as it will help to increase your buying for the month and may help you achieve a bonus or extra commission.  You also can claim it the purchase an expense and use it as a write off come tax time.

Bartering Other Product – Maybe the person who is providing a service for you does not have a need for your product.  This does not mean that you are stuck paying cash for their services.  See what else they may need.  Maybe you enjoy doing design work and they need new business cards; maybe you don’t mind cleaning house and they would love someone to take that chore off their hands.  Have a discussion about how you could help each other out.

The most important thing when it comes to bartering is to discuss the offer before engaging the other person’s services.  Do not assume that when the bill is presented that the provider will be willing to barter, you need to establish up front how you are paying.  If you cannot work out a deal, then you do not owe anything and you can move on to the next provider who you can hopefully find a deal with.

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Get the Word Out: Fun Ways to Advertise Your New Business

One of the biggest challenges new businesses owners have is just getting the initial name recognition. One of the best ways to get people to remember the name of your business is to make sure they see your name as much as possible. Research has shown the human brain needs repetition to remember. You can use this piece of knowledge to your advantage by making sure you creatively marketing your business name in as many prominent places as possible.  

A great way to spread name recognition is through promotional marketing. By partnering with a professional printer, you can create plenty of products with your business name. Compiled here is a list of some of the most fun ways to advertise your business using promotional products:

Window clings

Window clings are great exposure, especially on vehicles. Just think about your own experience, when you are following a car on the road, do you read their window clings? Of course you do. You can’t help it. If you have lots of cars riding around with window clings of your business, people will recognize the name. Name recognition is half the battle.

Banners

Banners are a classic, but can be used in fun and inventive ways. For example, spice up your store front with a different banner for each holiday. You can also use banners as advertisements. Contact a local youth sports league and ask to sponsor them in exchange for hanging your banner in their gym or field.

Business cards

Just because business cards have been around for a long time does not mean they have to be boring. It’s still necessary to always carry business cards to present to anyone who might be interested in your business. Make your stand out by using fresh graphics. Another way to stand out is to incorporate a catch phrase from your business onto the card. It gives people a fun way to remember you against all the other similar cards they see.

Flyers

A well made flyer can really capture your target audiences attention. Make sure the flyer contains all the key information and a way to contact your business if the reader needs more. To grab attention, find a striking image related to your business or the event you would like to promote. For example, do you have a special sale going on for the rest of the week? Find an image of the item on sale and make that the focus of your flyer.

Author Bio: Annette Hazard is a blogger that is promoting booklet printing services. She enjoys writing about business related issues and is also an avid cyclist and traveler.

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11 Quick and Easy Ways to Advertise your Direct Sales Business

Advertising your business does not have to be an expensive and drawn out affair.  Here are some ideas that do not require a lot of time or effort but will help you get your name out there.

Business Cards – These are a necessity.  There are a lot of different places to purchase cards.  Vistaprint is a great option and they have a lot of great designs for very little money.

Newspaper – This is one you have to be careful with.  Many ads charge by the word so it can be easy to get carried away and have an expensive advertisement.  Choose carefully.

Have an Open House – Invite everyone you know to come check it out.  Make it casual, come and go and let people just check things out.  No pressure.

Announcement – Send a letter or announcement to everyone you know that you have started this business.  Maybe it could go out with the invitations to the open house!

Fundraiser – If your company offers a fundraiser program, offer to do one for a group or organization you are involved in.  If they do not offer one, create your own using the hostess program.

Flyers – See where you can place flyers and put them up.  Make sure you go by once in a while to see if a new one needs to be put up.

Donations – Offer a donation of products in exchange for advertising.  You could talk to the local radio station, your favourite charity or anywhere else you can think of.

Schools – If you have children, visit their school and see if you can ut flyers or samples out for the teachers.

Offices – Visit offices and see if you can leave them a basket of product for a week to try out.  Offer to come back and have a lunch time ordering session if anyone is interested or has questions.

Website/Blog/Facebook – If your company does not offer a website, you will want to create one (check any company rules first).  If they offer one, get it setup!

Newsletter – Start collecting address for a newsletter.  Offer specials that are only for those who are signed up on this list.

 

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Three Networking Tips for Startups

By: Danielle Buffard

Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your startup is everything to you: It gets the best of your efforts and the most of your attention. Therefore, when you decide to mingle and promote your startup, networking with integrity will always be your best option — and that means focusing your networking efforts on being genuinely helpful to those you meet, rather than shamelessly promoting your business or services.

Here are three networking tips you should always keep in mind:

1. Be Yourself

The key to turning people onto your business is that you want them to invest in you and your product or service. The only way that they’ll feel that way is if they trust you — because you are an extension of your business and your services.

At whatever networking events you frequent, you’ll do best if you’re genuine, trustworthy, and authentic. And the best way for potential clientele to see that is to let your startup and its product or service speak for you.

If you’re running a trustworthy and reliable business, then there will be nothing that you have to hide. In turn, not only will you gain loyal clientele but you’ll also achieve favorable word of mouth. They’ll think nothing of recommending you and your product to their friends and family, and you’ll inadvertently become a top contender in your product’s arena amongst competitors.

Being genuine and sharing your knowledge with others will only heighten your business’ reputation in the long run and build up the trust between your clients and your business.

2. Always Follow Up

When you’re out there networking, don’t be afraid to ask for contact information.

Since we’re in the age of all things digital, people are far more apt to give out their email rather than their phone number, and that’s fine. Email marketing is something that has been on the rise in the virtual marketing sphere for quite some time.

It’s always wise to carry business cards with you and to hand them out whenever you talk to someone about your startup and what it’s offering. And if you’re a freelancer like me, there’s no better way to lead people to what it is you do than by having professional business cards on hand to give out to potential clientele.

This way, when you send out a thank-you email or card, the recipient will have a clear recognition of who it is, and they’ll immediately recall what you can do for them and how your product can fit into their business plan.

3. Be Everywhere

When you decide to network yourself and your business, make it a point to get involved not only within your local community, but also in the online marketplace as well. You should always be growing and branching out in every way you can to ensure your business and its product thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

This means keeping your website updated, keeping your social media pages current, and always being available to your current and potential clients when they reach out to you. The more available, authentic, and current you and your business are, the greater chance you have to turn new clients onto your offerings.

Danielle Buffardi is a freelance business journalist who writes for Vistaprint, a leading provider of custom business cards and other marketing products to small businesses all over the world. Danielle has been a professional writer covering entrepreneurship and small business news and trends for over 14 years.

 

 

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Putting your Direct Sales Business Cards to Work

Chances are you have business cards for your direct sales business.  But are they working as hard for you as you as they could be?  If you are not sure, read on to determine what types of jobs your business cards can do for you beyond the obvious of sharing your information.  If your card is not doing any of these jobs, it’s not working hard enough and you may want to re-consider how you use your cards.

business-card-front

Use your business card for many different purposes

Promotion Sticker – This is a great method to use your cards as you can create whatever you want to stick onto the back of your business card.  You may want to use a single time discount at a trade show – instead of having to tell everyone what it is, write it out, print it on an address sticker and put it on the back.  Tell everyone who stops at your booth to make sure to check the back of the cards.  Maybe you want to promote a monthly special, you could write something like “This months special: Buy X, and get Y for free!” or whatever it is.  The benefit here is that you can use a box of 500 business cards for multiple different promotions without having to buy a new box each time.

Referral Card – One way to get your card working harder is convert it into a referral card as well.  On the front, you would have the usual contact information but then you put the back to work.  The back would state something like, “Do you know someone who would love this product and want to purchase or sell?  Fill in your name in the blank provided and pass the card on.  If they make a purchase/sign up, you will get a free gift.”   Of course, this implies that you have some type of referral program which is easy enough to do.  Note:  At a party, give every guest 3 cards.  Tell them to put them in their purse right away (or pocket or bra).  One is for them to keep and the other two are for them to give away.

Loyalty Card – Chances are you have a loyalty card from somewhere.  Buy X amount and get something free or get a discount on next purchase.  Why not offer one yourself?  Many printing companies have a standard one they can print on the back of your business cards.  You just have to decide what the program is.  Do they have to spend so much to get X amount in credit or a free product?  Do they have to buy 12 of Y product and then they get the 13th free?  There are a lot of different options available to you.

No matter how you use your business cards, you have a lot of prime real estate on the back that you should be putting to work for you!  Do you do something else with the back of your cards that works great for you?  Please share!

 

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Why Discounts can Be Dangerous in Direct Sales

Everyone loves a discount, except the person selling the product.  But, keep in mind that depending on where you are shopping, their markup could be at least double their cost, making a 50% markdown equivalent to their cost.  Unless you are receiving that much in commission or you enjoy losing money, you cannot afford to give that type of discount within your direct sales business.

De-valuing Product – One of the biggest arguments against giving a discount to customer is the fact that they will come to expect it in the future.  This is especially true if you offer the discount to a hostess and her customers in order to get them to book a party.  Once you do this, it will be expected the next time and they likely will not even book until you promise them the same incentive.  You may even have to increase the discount to the point that you are losing money on the party.  Not only will this hurt your business but it will hurt other direct sales consultants as the customer will approach others in the same business expecting the same deal.  They may even try approaching consultants with other companies to get the same benefit.

That said, there are times that a discount is appropriate such as clearing out older inventory that is no longer in season or that there is an issue with such as a crack or tear which does not affect performance.

If you feel the need to give a discount, you may want to consider offering a bonus or gift with the purchase instead as an incentive.  One good reason to support this is that if they try something else, they may like it and purchase that in the future as well.  This can be a great way to increase your sales instead of decreasing them with a discount.

 

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