Tag Archives: Direct selling

Increasing Party Sales as Host

As a host of a direct sales party, there are some things that you can do to increase the amount of sales that you get and therefore, increasing the amount of product that you get for free or discounted.        free

Invite Everyone – Invite everyone you know to attend.  Even if you do not think that they will attend or that they have any interest in the product, invite them.  Some people will surprise you by showing up and being your biggest spenders, or even booking their own party.

Remind People – Remind people of your event.  Some people book their schedule a few weeks out but some people cannot tell you what they are doing until a few days before the event. For this reason, make sure to send a few reminders and call a couple days before the party to remind them that it is almost there.

Collect Outside Orders – If you have people who tell you that they wish that they could attend, but cannot, give them a catalogue and tell them that they can still order.    Sometimes they just tell you that they cannot attend as they do not want to attend or spend money, but by offering to show them a book, you will find out who truly wants to attend and those that are just avoiding it.  Remember, not every product works for everyone, so if they just do not want to attend, that is okay.

Give Testimonials – When you invite people to the party, make sure you tell them how much you love the product.  This gets people excited to attend and prepared to spend some money at your event.  If they need to speak to their partner before spending money, this allows them an idea of what they may want to buy and establishing a budget.

Share the Website – Even if your consultant does not give you a website for people to check out, find the companies website and share that with those you invite.  They can then see the product in advance and start planning what they may want to buy.

 

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Why do Direct Sales Consultants do Hostess Coaching?

You may wonder why the direct sales consultant that you have booked a party with keeps calling you before your event.  There are actually a few very valid reasons for doing this.  That said, it is not something that all reps do and some prefer to do hostess coaching via email or other means instead of over the telephone.

Preparation – A lot of times a hostess does not know what all to do to get maximum attendance when she has her direct sales event.  By doing hostess coaching, the consultant can help to get a maximum amount of attendees which gives the host a larger customer base which will help to get all the items that she wants for free.

Outside Orders– Quite often the hostess has people who cannot attend but want to order.  By staying in touch, the consultant is able to answer any questions these other people may have and also get the totals for the hostess.  Some hostesses are not comfortable with adding up orders themselves so this helps them out.

Reliability – While this may not seem like an obvious reason to stay in touch, when the direct sales consultant gets in touch with you on a regular basis, you know that you can trust them to show up when they are supposed to.  I have had people who told me that they booked with someone and they never heard from them as their date got closer so they found me instead.  Their loss, I once had a $1,000 party due to this!

Space – Many consultants require space when they arrive whether it is for setting up their display or a place for ordering.  When talking to the hostess beforehand, they can let her know what they require to make sure that the hostess can have it ready when they arrive.

Wish List – It is beneficial for both the hostess and the consultant if the hostess has her wish list made up in advance.  With the coaching, the direct sales consultant can make sure that she has thought about this and knows what she wants to earn free at her party.

While you may find it a bit of a hassle when the direct sales consultant calls you and wants to know how things are going and if you have any questions, they are really doing it for both of your benefits.

 

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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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Information to Help you Pick a Direct Sales Company

Chances are, if you are just getting into direct sales for the first time, you attended a party or an event, fell in love with the product, and decided to join.  While you may only be signing up for the personal discount, it is possible to make this into a profitable business where you can get your product free or you can even end up making a few dollars as well.

Information

Information (Photo credit: heathbrandon)

For some, they love the product so much that they do not care about anything specific when they join, they just want to join.  But if you are someone that needs to do some research and to make sure you are making a good decision, there are some things you want to look into.  If you considering changing from another company, then chances are these questions are even more important.

  • What kind of commissions do you make on all activities – sales, team, fundraising, website?
  • What do you get when you sign up – product, supplies, support?
  • How much does a website cost for customers to shop on?
  • Can you host parties on your website?
  • How much is shipping?
  • How do you get paid?
  • Where does the product ship from and how long does it take?
  • How do you process credit cards?
  • Do you have to carry inventory?
  • Are there any restrictions on advertising?
  • What kinds of costs are involved – catalogues, order forms, supplies?
  • How often do new catalogues come out?
  • Are there quotas you have to meet on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis?
  • Who pays for the hostess benefits and customer specials?
  • What kind of training does the company offer its consultants?

These are just some of the questions you may have about a company you are considering.  Some of these may not have any importance to you while there are others I may have missed that are very important to you.   Write them down in advance and record the answers you get from any sources you may use.  Check the company’s website as it is the most reliable site and then talk to your potential sponsor on things that you could not find an answer for.

 

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Book Review: Making Millions in Direct Sales

By Michael G. Malaghan

This book is copyrighted in 2005 and in going through it, it is more focused on the person who is a sales representative for a company.  As a result, the focus is not on party plan people but there is enough information that it is worth reviewing for the site.    making milliions

First of all, there are 8 activities that the book is based on:

  • Sell
  • Prospect
  • Hire
  • Train
  • Replicate Yourself
  • Motivate
  • Manage
  • Lead

I did like that at the end of chapter, there were a list of questions to ask yourself and book recommendations if you wanted to read more on that specific topic.

In going through the book, some of these topics caught my attention as ones that someone in a party plan might be interested in:

  • Phone appointments – 11 ideas to increase success rates
  • How to find leads as well as how to work with them
  • Tips on how to find recruits as well as how to interview them
  • Working with new sales reps as well as the veteran reps
  • How to set goals using a workshop approach (could work in a conference call or team meeting)
  • 12 career wrecking demons and how you can resolve them
  • How to be a good manager
  • 60 ways to energize your meetings (but don’t use them all at once!)

Again, due to the age of the book some of the ideas presented are no longer as relevant or practical (such as the ones on the Internet) but there are still many tried and true methods in here.

If you are someone who is struggling, this book may be good to pick up and read through to see if there are ideas you can incorporate.  Make sure to look at the books recommended as you never know what or where you are going to find the tip that makes you successful.

Buy:  Making Millions in Direct Sales

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Sales Specials for your Guests

When you are having a party, you need to get some of your friends to attend to make the event a success.  But you may be wondering if your guests will get something when they attend to make it worthwhile.  In short, the answer is most likely yes.

It is always best to ask the consultant about what guest specials are happening.  They can change from month to month and may vary in regards to what the customer gets.

Different guest options:

  • Discount – Guests may get a discount at a direct sales events when they spend a certain amount
  • Free Product – Another guest incentive is free items for spending a certain amount
  • Exclusive Items – There may be exclusive items that your guests qualify for when they spent a certain amount but these products tend to be reserved for the hostess
  • Booking Gift – Many companies offer a free gift to any guest who attends your party and decides to book their own direct sales event.
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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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Loving a Product is Important in Choosing a Direct Sales Business

When it comes to direct sales, or truly, any business, picking your product is going to be one of the most important decisions you make.  Some people know immediately what product they love and they sign up to sell it without a second thought, but for others, it is a bit more difficult.

Love ? I love love love you.

Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The first company I signed up with, I really did like the product and I knew that it would sell well.  But after a year, and a variety of reasons, I decided it was time to leave the company.  Before I left, I did some research as to what I wanted to sell.  There were a lot of products out there but nothing that really jumped out at me and said “Sell Me!”.  But I did find a few that intrigued me enough to look into them further and once I did that I found a company that I could sell for.  But due to me not being “in love” with them when I started, I have struggled more than others have in selling the product.

Why do I tell you this story?   To show you the importance of really loving the product that you sell.  Now when I present at a party, I am able to highlight the products that I have come to know and love (products that came out shortly after I started) and as a result, I get sales.

Believability – When you believe in and love the product, the excitement comes through in your voice and people want it.  People can tell when you are honest and when you are not.  Point out the negatives – people will thank you for it and it will help increase your believability factor.

Excitement – If you love the product, you want to share the product with everyone you can which will increase your bookings and potentially your recruits.  They will want that excitement in their lives as well.

Personal Use – The best way to sell a product is to use it yourself.  This way you can easily promote it to others and give examples of how to use it.  If people ask you how it works for you and you have to tell them you don’t use it yourself, it looks bad.  There are valid reasons such as a nut allergy when selling food products but for the most part, you should give it at try.

Loving a product and having that come through is one of the best ways to make sales.  It is possible to sell products that you do not love but it will likely be more difficult and more of an uphill battle.

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Book Review: The Women’s Home-Based Business Book of Answers

By Maria T Bailey

I will start off by saying that the subtitle of this book is “78 Important Questions Answered by Top Women Business Leaders” so you get an idea of the type of content you are going to find.

The book focuses more on the person starting a business entirely from scratch from finding a product/concept, to getting funding, to creating a business plan and moving forward from there.

Each section discusses a concept and then is full of personal antidotes in answer to the questions posed such as:   women home based

  • Juggling family
  • How they funded their business
  • How to be organized
  • Obstacles faced
  • Secrets to Networking
  • Daily Schedules

As I stated, the book is not geared to direct sales/party plans but there is still a lot of helpful information such as information on how to create a business plan and how you can market yourself.

The author includes some ideas on how to create a daily schedule which is more suited to someone who works from home but there are likely ideas that a person can take from that an adapt.  There is also a section on different types of advertising as well as using online marketing, but as the book is copyrighted in 2001, a lot of the information is now outdated.

She concludes the book by discussing an exit strategy if you plan to get out of the business and words of wisdom from a few people.

I did not see much in the way of interviews from direct sales companies but I did not expect to see any.

I think this could be a good book if you are looking for some inspiration and are not sure where to look.  There are multiple questions and areas that may gave you something to think about and consider in your own career.

Buy:  The Women’s Home-Based Business Book of Answers

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