Tag Archives: sales and direct sales

Making an Online Sale Personal

In the age of information, when everything is at our fingertips, it makes sense that more and more people are starting to favor shopping online versus shopping at the mall. However, a computer screen can’t replace human interaction, especially when purchasing big-ticket items like jewelry and electronics. Having the opinion of a customer service representative or personal shopper can be priceless and have a huge impact on whether or not you will make the sale. When running an online direct-to-consumer business, here are some ways to keep it personal to help out your bottom line.

Shop online

Shop online (Photo credit: Daniel*1977)

  1. Be present: Just because the sale is happening over the Internet doesn’t mean that there aren’t two parties on either end. Taking advantage of great tools like live chat, where customers can ask specific questions about a particular product or ask for advice can be the difference between a consumer buying an item online or going into a store to check it out.
  2. Have a good return policy: Your return policy is key for customer service, and often plays a direct role in whether a customer will give repeat business. If one of your clients isn’t satisfied with her purchase, having the ability to return it hassle-free will help her keep her faith with online business.
  3. Communicate often: Your website offers a wealth of information about your business, but the difference between a good and a great FAQ page can affect your bottom line. Don’t have control over you’re employer’s website? Facebook and twitter are great tools to help address customer concerns and inquiries. Think about it – if you were shelling out mucho dollars for a set of pearls with diamonds, you would want to know that you were getting great bling for your buck, and constant contact would play a big role. Focusing your store on customer service instead of sales breeds repeat customers.
  4. Socialize: Social media is a huge opportunity for consumers to interact with merchants, so keep it personal when utilizing social media. If someone airs a grievance, use discretion in determining which posts to keep or delete, and don’t be afraid to comfort a customer on a public forum. If other potential clients see that you care, they may bookmark your site.
  5. Be creative: As a business owner or operator, you are certainly creative, so put your brain-wheels to work to figure out the best way to achieve making relationships with your clientele. For some, offering the option of an interactive “dressing room,” where customers can upload an image of themselves and “try on” products may be the way to go; for others, it may mean offering a “Free Try-on Period” where you send home a few items with the understanding that the customer will get charged for the items they don’t send back within a few days of receiving them.

In the age of information, it seems like everything is done online: dating, college classes, and of course, shopping – but that doesn’t mean that these should be impersonal experiences. Keeping these tips in mind can ensure that your customers are happy with their shopping experience enough to return time and time again.

Carly Chodosh is the Social Media Manager at Pearl & Clasp, a pearl jewelry company that specializes in restringing pearls, pearl clasps and custom designed pieces.

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Hosting a Direct Sales Team Meeting

If you have started building your team, you are probably thinking about hosting team meetings.  This is a great thing to do but you may find you have difficulty getting attendance.  So what can you do to get people out and attending?

Here are some ideas to help you:

Meetings are sometimes held around conference ...

Direct Sales meeting

Have an Agenda – If everyone knows what they are coming for, they are more likely to decide if they need the information or not.

Have a Timetable – One big reason people do not attend is time.  If you can tell them approximately what and when you will be discussing and how long the meeting is, they can make a better decision.

Recognition – Make sure you recognize those who have accomplished something this month.  It could be a new recruit, personal best sales or just having a party.  You may want to use standing recognition or a different method.  Stay tuned this week for more information on team recognition.

Participation – Have others present something at the meeting.  This could be a two minute demonstration or a product or a one on one interaction.

Theme – Keep a theme to the meeting.  For instance, if you plan to discuss the new product, then you may want to keep to the topic of new or the season of the catalogue.

Training – Teach your team something new.  But do not drag it out.  Ideally you want something that can be done in 5 to 10 minutes such as a new game, maybe a different way of presenting a product or how to set up their table.

Topic List – In the interest of keeping the meeting on time, have a paper handy for ideas that come up that are not part of the night’s agenda.  You can ask the person who brought it up to stay after to discuss or it may be something that becomes a topic for another meeting.

If you can keep your meetings interesting, fun and on topic, chances are people will start attending and then encouraging others to attend.

Do you have any other tips for a successful team meeting?

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Increasing your Sales

Upselling is a great way to increase the total sales at a direct sales party, but there are also some other methods that you can use to increase sales.  Here are a few ideas and how to implement them.  See which one feels comfortable to you – it may vary depending on the party as well so be familiar with all the options.

“Did you see our specials?” – Do you have a customer special going on that the customer qualifies for?  Quite often people get caught up in making sure that they ordered the things they wanted, they forget to look for the specials.  Point them out so that they are not forgotten about.

“Is that everything?” – Another great way to get the total of the order to be higher is to ask them “is that everything?”  Quite often they will say something like, “well, I was thinking of getting this, what do you think of it?” or they will just add it to their order.

Your Own Specials – Do you offer your own specials?  Maybe you have a deal where they spend X amount of dollars and they get an item at half off.  Point out to them that if they spend just $5 more they will qualify to get the item of their choice (or of your choice if you have created a special).  Quite often, people will spend the extra money to get the incentive.  You could also entice them with a free gift once they spend Y dollars.

Another good method to increase sales is to accept credit cards.  When people can charge their purchases, they do not think about how much they are spending.  Customers who pay cash or cheque tend to be watching their money a bit closer and will stick to what they planned to spend.

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