Tag Archives: products

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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The Power of a Re-order Label

Did you know that re-order labels have power?   Absolutely!  Can you tell me with certainty that ever product you sell to a customer stays with that customer and never goes anywhere else?  Probably not.  That is the perfect reason for reorder labels!   Let me share a few stories.

Product labels with handmade paper

Product labels with handmade paper (Photo credit: Boby Dimitrov)

Recently I ended up going to a friend’s house and noticed that he had the brand of candle that I sell on his counter.  I made a comment and he said he got it from someone else.  I said oh, okay and was looking at it (he isn’t very good at candle care!) and flipped it over.  Imagine my shock when I saw that it had MY label on it!  So I had to ask who he got it from and he told me.  She is one of my customers who orders once or twice a year and she actually cleans house for him and left him this candle.

Who knows whether he would have contacted me to order a new one but the point is, the candle did not stay with the purchaser and it travelled to a new potential customer.

Another new to me customer bought some of our cleaning products and did not have a source for more.  I believe that this had been a gift to her and there likely was no re-order label on it.  So instead, she found me through our website and placed an order.  Three hundred bucks later she is a happy customer as she has more products on the way and I am happy as I have a good sized sale.  But imagine the consultant who sold that initial bottle without a label and missed out on that awesome sale.

Do you have any stories like this that you can share?  Do you think re-order labels are a good idea or a waste of time?

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Tips for a Successful Catalogue Party

Hostess Wish List – Have your hostess create her wish list when she first decides to have her party.  Then, get the list from her and figure out the sales she needs to make in order to get that product for free.  If it takes 300 dollars, remind her it only takes 10 $30 orders or 5 $60 dollars, which depending on your product, probably is not difficult.

Guest List – There are many different lists out there that you can provide your hostess with so she remembers to talk to people.  If your company hasn’t provided one in your manual, you can create one yourself.  Just search for “guest lists” or “people to invite” and you likely will get all sorts of ideas to pass on.

Favourite Product – Have your hostess point out her favourite item to everyone that looks at a book.  Word of mouth is one of the best ways to make sales!  While she may feel a bit awkward, one of the easiest ways to do this is have her put a sticky sticking out on her favourite page, and when she hands a book off to someone; she can simply say “Do you see that sticky?  It’s on my favourite item, the X!  I have this in my house and love it!”  The sticky helps her guest to remember what it was later on as well and sales will likely increase as well.

Keep the Catalogues moving– Make sure that the hostess always has a few books out with people to look at.  This helps to keep the sales adding up so that the party will close on time with the most sales possible.

Deliver Products Yourself – Depending on where the party is, you may want to deliver the products yourself.  This way you have a chance to meet your customers and you can offer a little bit more customer service.  You can also ask if they would be okay with you calling in a few days to see if they have any questions about their products.

Offer to Make Calls – If your hostess doesn’t feel comfortable talking to some people about the products, tell her to get their phone numbers for you and you will call.  Make sure she talks to them first as you do not want to call and have them tell you they have no interest.

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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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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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Who to Recruit to Direct Sales?

When it comes to recruiting, it can be tough to know who you should approach and who you shouldn’t.  But I can tell you one method to determine this.. Ask everyone!

In the various resources I read about direct sales, this is a common theme that comes up.  A Direct sale consultant does an event and asks a variety of people if they are interested in joining, gives them information, etc but prejudges others and does not offer them the opportunity.  But in reality, this person is one of the more interested parties.  By excluding them, you have declined them the opportunity to make money for themselves and whatever else their motivation might be.  And all because you pre-judged them and felt that they would not fit.

Now, sometimes this is because a consultant is only looking for certain people to join their team.  I have heard of this especially from consultants who have larger teams and only have so much time when it comes to training.  But, there is no reason that they could not get the person’s contact information and then have someone else contact them about the opportunity.

If you do not feel comfortable asking people, try passing around a survey at the end of the event?  Keep it short and simple.  Name, what event they are at, email address, phone number, if they had fun, if they are interested in having an event of their own and if they are interested in the opportunity.  Have them hand these in to you when they order or in advance so you can discuss when they do order.   This will help to break the ice and give you somewhere to go from there.  You could even say something about how they have not marked off their interest and why is that?  Your goal at a party is always to have a few bookings as well as a recruit lead.

 

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5 Tips to Keep your Direct Sales Presentation Short

When it comes to your direct sales presentation, most people are not willing to sit there for an hour while you talk.  After about half an hour people will get restless, want to get up to use the washroom or have a smoke break.  If at all possible, you want to make sure your presentation is done by that point.   Here are a few pointers to help.

Keep Your Presentation Short

  1. Limit the Products you Discuss – Do not talk about every product you have.  Each product you discuss takes a minute or two to talk about.  Times that by 10 and you are already at 20 minutes.  You still have hostess benefits, customer specials and other items to discuss.
  2. Top 5 – One of the best ideas I have seen is to talk about the top 5 products.  Talk about why they are your favourites or why they are your customer favourites.  Do not forget the benefits and why people should order them.
  3. Tag Your Product – If your product is the type that you pass around for everyone to see, label it.  I cannot tell you how many times I have passed something around and then people ask what it is as they were not paying attention.  Tie on a label with the name, price, colours and what page it can be found in the catalogue.
  4. Be Prepared – The more prepared and ready for your presentation you are, the easier it will go and the more likely you will be done within your time.  If this means using cue cards, then go ahead and do it.  Practice ahead of time to get an idea of timing and practice for friends to help with nerves.
  5. Set a Timer – A great idea to keep you on track is to set a timer.  You can tell everyone at the party that you promise your presentation will be 20 minutes but for this to happen they have to pay attention and not interrupt.  Set a timer on the oven, on your phone or bring one along.  Set the time on it and start your presentation.  Give a small gift to the hostess and attendees if you do not make it.

Do you have other ideas that you use to make sure that you keep your direct sales presentations short and sweet?  Please share them in the comments!

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Changes in Direct Sales Over Time

When you think of direct sales, you think of a business where you are trying to convince your friends and family to join you.  You think of that you are supposed to try and get people to come to your house and spend hours on the phone or doing other work to get sales.  And before you know it, people are starting to avoid you as they know you will constantly be promoting the business and they are just not interested.  And chances are you had to buy a bunch of product that you were not able to get rid of and it is still sitting around your home taking up room.

But things have been changing and no longer do you need to spend evenings on the phone trying to get people to purchase product or mail out a tonne of letters and hope that you might get a response.

Direct sales have also changed with the times and now there are online systems that you can use to find a lot leads to help you grow your business.  You can use search engine advertising to find targeted leads that then come to your website to get the information that they need to decide if your direct sales company is going to be a good mix for them.   Of course, you will likely need to do some work with these leads as well, but your website should give them enough information for them to determine if it something they want to pursue.

Not only can you find and recruit people completely hands off with your website, but you can also receive many sales through this method.  There are those out there that do not do a single home party or a catalogue party as they are able to get enough sales from their website to keep them running and making the income that they require.

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Upselling at Direct Sales Events

upselling

upselling (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Do you try to upsell when you are at a direct sales event?  If not, why don’t you?  If you can a $10 item to every order, you could have an extra $50 to $100 or more in your pocket at the end of the night.  This earns the hostess more rewards which will make her happier and more likely to host another event with you.

Not sure how to upsell while at a direct sales party?  Here are a few ideas:

“Do you need…” – Depending on your product, there are likely some add-on’s that you can suggest.  Do you sell cookware?  Maybe you have a wonderful cloth or scrubby brush that works wonderfully on the cookware that they should have.  Usually you want to suggest a product that is complimentary to the product they have purchased.

If there are multiple items, then you may try to upsell a few things but be careful that you do not become over-bearing or become that salesperson that everyone hates trying to jam things down other people’s throats.  Focus on one or two upsell items per order or per party.

Does your company have one signature item that everyone knows and many buy?  If your customer hasn’t bought that, ask them if they require one of Y product that everyone loves and raves about.  They may tell you that they just bought it at another party, that they weren’t fond of it, or to add two to their order.  You just never know what will happen.

Not everyone will jump on this bandwagon, but it does not hurt to try and see what kind of results you get from it.  At worst, the person turns you down and the order does not increase.  At best, they end up spending more which makes everyone happy all around.

 

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Why close the direct sales party that night?

Quite often our direct sales hostess asks us to leave the party open for a few more days so that they can collect moEnglish: Screenshot taken from the video link ...re orders.  This is especially true if they did not get as many orders as they would like and they are trying to collect more hostess rewards.  Overall though, this is not worth doing and this article explains why.

1)      Product Delivery – The simple truth here is that the longer it takes for you to order, the longer it takes for customers to receive their product.  If a customer doesn’t have their order within two weeks, they start to wonder about where their product is and if the direct sales consultant that they ordered through is trustworthy.  They likely will not even consider that it is due to the friend who didn’t close their party.

2)      Penalizing those in Attendance – When you hold the party open, it looks like you do not value those that made the effort to come out and actually attend the event.   It says that you value those who could not attend more than those who actually adjusted their schedule to be there.

3)      Outside Orders – In my experience, a hostess rarely gets any orders once her party has finished.  For those of my hostesses that have, they tend to be small orders and hardly worth the time that has elapsed.

4)      Excitement – For those that leave saying, I will contact you in a day or two with my order, you are not likely to hear from them.  They are trying to leave without spending anything but getting you excited that they might.  Once they get home, your product disappears from their mind and they forget about you and the possibility of ordering.  Unless you specially call them up and remind them, you are not likely to ever hear from them again.

5)      Time – If you leave the direct sales party open, you have to find time later to get in touch with your hostess again and close it out.  If the hostess isn’t ready, you may find that they are avoiding you until they are ready which can make it very difficult.  Unfortunately, I have heard stories like this.

If you do your direct sales hostess coaching properly and keep in touch with your hostess, they should be prepared to close the night of the party.  If you have to keep it open, I recommend no more than a day and this should only be to allow the hostess time to decide what she wants.

 

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