Tag Archives: sales

What Direct Sales Consultants Want You to Know

There are several things that a direct sales consultant wants their customers to know.  Here are some examples:

Tupperware home party in Sarasota, Florida

Tupperware home party in Sarasota, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

  • This is a job for us, not a hobby.  We are taking time out of lives to come to your home and present our product, and we expect you to do your part to make the party successful.
  • Please do not ignore us.  We have been doing these parties for a while so we know what steps to take to ensure that your party is a success.   Listen to our suggestions and if you do not agree with us, please ask us the reason behind it.  There is likely a good reason due to past experience.
  • If the party starts at 7 pm, please stress to your friends to be at your house by 7 pm.  It is disrespectful to me by not starting until 7:30 not to mention for those that showed up by 7 pm. If you know people tend to run late, tell them 6:30 or 6:45 so that they arrive on time.
  • Not all of us do this full time.  For this reason, do not expect us to return your phone call within 2 hours.  Please give us the courtesy of 24 hours before you look for another consultant or decide that we are not interested in helping you.  If we are at our other job, we likely cannot return your call immediately.
  • For me, a good party has to do with how many people buy.  This should be true for you as the more that buy, the more free items you get which is likely part of why you invited me.
  • Keep food and drinks to a minimum before the party.  I do not want to hang around for 3 hours because everyone is too busy eating.  I have family and friends that I have left to come do your event; I would like to get home to them.

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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Using Email for Outreach in a Business Sales Environment

The world of business has become increasingly challenging over recent years, and this means that in order to compete effectively businesses have had to utilise technology and business tools as effectively as possible. Working in a business sales environment in particular can be very difficult in the current economic and financial climate, with businesses now having to look at as many options as possible when it comes to marketing their goods and services in order to enjoy success.

English: Screenshot of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5...

English: Screenshot of Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5.10 under Ubuntu Linux 6.10, self-made. Category:Screenshots of Linux software (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While there are some methods of promotion and marketing that are pretty obvious and used by many small and larger businesses, there are others that can often be overlooked even though they are both simple and effective solutions when it comes to effective outreach in a business environment. One of these is the use of email for outreach in a business sales environment.

How this can work

In a business sales environment, huge numbers of emails are typically sent out each day to other agencies, businesses, partners, and clients. However, many businesses miss out on the opportunity to really use these emails to their advantage, as they simply send out plain emails that say little to nothing about the business or its goods and services.

By using email stationery effectively, businesses can use emails to their advantage by turning them into marketing tools that can promote and raise awareness of their services and products. Email stationery can transform every email sent into a marketing tool and is something that is extremely easy and convenient to implement.

When you use email stationery you will be able to efficiently and very easily market the goods or services you sell to everyone you send out emails to. This means that you can make the most of each email you send out, which could potentially generate increased website traffic and sales for your company. The fact that email stationery also makes your emails more eye-catching means that even more people may actually read and take notice of them – in fact, you may even get more people forwarding them on to others, which expands your marketing even further.

The key thing with business email signatures is that you can transform your emails to really reflect your business and what it is all about. This gives each recipient far more information than just a standard plain email with nothing more than a name and job title on it.

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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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Don’t Sweat the Sales Stuff

Business

Business (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

 Sales is really quite simple and not nearly as frightening as some people think.  If you’re a new business owner or just starting out in sales you may be feeling a little bit intimidated by the sales activities involved in promoting your product or service but don’t sweat the sales stuff.  You just have to get a list together of why your service or product is of value to your prospect and be willing to promote it.  Always be willing to answer this question; what’s in it for them?

Many people think about sales the same way they do about telemarketing.  Those annoying calls you get at home that can be so distracting.  I had a telemarketer call me the other day to sell me some magazines.  He was offering this and that and such and such. I said, “I’m sorry but I’m not interested”.  What he said next really cracked me up.  He said, “You don’t read”?  Rule #1, don’t insult the prospect.

Car sales are another way salespeople get a bad reputation because that whole process is exhausting.  When you walk into a showroom and ask how much a car costs you are likely going to have to answer 12 questions before they give you the price.  Many times they will sit in the back seat while you test drive the vehicle and analyze the conversation you have with your spouse.  Then they take off to go see the manager to discuss your offer without you.  I’m offended by these games and I think most people are.

You need a straight forward, honest approach.You have to be naturally confident and pull it off something like this, “Here’s what we offer.  This is what we do really well and what’s excellent about our products. Here’s the value for you and this is how much it costs.”    Don’t inject any type of attachment to the outcome and stay away from any neediness which is just creepy.  Know your value, have a positive attitude and be persistent.

Determine the potential

Is this opportunity feasible for them? This is tricky because people have an inclination to say no quicker then yes so you have to keep your questions open ended and conversational so you are able to qualify them and decide if it’s the right business opportunity for them. They won’t share too much information with you initially.That’s your job to figure it out. I like open ended questions that are conversational as they land easy on people.

Building the relationship

Once you’ve established a good fit with your prospect you must develop a rapport and build the relationship.  Be persistent and cultivate it.  It’s like planting seeds.  You’re watering them, fertilizing the soil, nurturing the seeds so that the plant becomes healthy and strong.  It’s the same with an account.  You’re making follow up calls, staying in touch, offering your value and services, thanking them for the opportunity and politely asking for their business.

Time management

Either you will run the day or the day will run you. We often get distracted throughout the day which is why it’s so important to have goals and priority lists so we can stay focused and use our time wisely. Get familiar with online tools such as conference calling, video conferencing and online meetings.  See the infographic here from InterCall that outlines time and cost wasted in traffic.

Be confident about your business knowing you have a great product or service to offer.  One final thing that many salespeople forget to do is ASK for the business.  Will you call me when you’re ready to move forward?  Will you give me an opportunity to quote next year?  Will you come in and see me when you’re ready to sit down and discuss going ahead?  That alone with make you more money than any other thing you do.  Ask.

About the author:Carrie Wynne is the author of 10 Ways to be Deliriously Happy – How to Live an Inspired Life.  She conducts personal development workshops based on the principles in her book showing others how to connect to the power within themselves and develop mental strategies to create an incredible life.  As a professional sales consultant she also offers training, coaching, and sales seminars.  Connect with Carrie on Google+,Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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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.

Arrow Up

Arrow Up (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.  If this is a method you want to explore, here are ways that you can get more parties.

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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Talent Search: Five Ways to Recognise a Superior Salesman

Not everyone has what it takes to succeed in the world of sales. For every person who can make a thousand-pound sale in one phone call, there are several people who struggle to connect with customers. Learning the five things you should look for in a salesperson will help you find the right man or woman for the job.

Tenacity

A good salesperson is someone who is tenacious and has a never-give-up attitude. When that person hears someone say no, the individual steps things up and does whatever it takes to make a sale. This might involve offering a larger discount, showcasing the benefits of one product over another, or calling that client back on a regular basis until the customer agrees to buy.

Friendly

People who are naturally friendly succeed in the retail and sales worlds more often than those who are cold or a little withdrawn. Customers want salespeople who can walk a thin line between being friendly and being a little too personable. This approach does not work for all customers, but is wonderful for many others. The salesperson has to be able to give the customer a feeling of camaraderie in a short span of time.

Outgoing

The sales world is a field dominated by extroverted and outgoing people, and there is no room in that world for introverts. No one can expect to make a sale without having an outgoing personality. These are the people who can make clients instantly feel comfortable. They can make small talk, remember names, make jokes, and make customers want to buy. Their comfort creates the client’s comfort, and thus they are much more likely to buy. They are also able to ask the questions that other people may shy from without a hitch in their step.

Self-Starter

Self-starters are the people who can make decisions on their own and work away from the office. They do not need someone standing beside them or holding their hand, and they can work in an office setting or on the go. Finding these salespeople isn’t always easy, but you can use job sites to find the right applicants. Sales Vacancies and similar sites let you search job postings and find qualified people looking for jobs when you post a listing.

Disciplined

According to Lawrence Watkins, discipline is one of the most important skills necessary in a qualified salesperson. Watkins points out that those with discipline have the ability to follow through and make sales after others would give up. It might take twelve cold calls before finding a sale, or it might take a dozen calls before a client agrees to buy, but a disciplined worker will stick with it.

The best salespeople have a variety of skills and traits at their disposal. They never give up, they follow through with clients, and they can work in a variety of different settings. Use this list to narrow your search.

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A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with her here. If you need professional training resources and staffing help for sales positions, Anica recommends you check out Sales Vacancies.

 

 

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Non Business Gifts for Direct Sellers

As a direct seller can write off any business related expenses, you may want to give them something that does not relate to their business.  Here are my suggestions of items that I would like to receive but I know that not everyone will agree.  Consider the recipient and what they may or may not like.

Pile of gorgeous gifts

Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Massage – Working as a direct seller is hard work and can cause a person to tense up.  A massage is a great way to relax and let those muscles loosen up.  If you are not sure if your recipient has had a massage before, it may be best to start with one for half an hour.  Provide a gift certificate that is good for a massage at whatever salon or business you select.

Manicure/Pedicure – For some, this is the ultimate when it comes to indulgence.  If you know that the person you are buying for has a preference of where to go, make sure you purchase this service there.  If you do not know, ask around.  Chances are someone in your circle knows of a good place they can recommend.  Depending on your budget, go with a manicure first and a pedicure second if you can afford both.  Remember that some people do not like having their feet touched.

Babysit – If the direct seller you know has kids offer to babysit them one night so that she can go out and enjoy herself.  She may already be paying a babysitter when she is doing events and cannot justify a babysitter to go out and enjoy herself.  Take this out of her hands by offering to babysit so she can spend time with whomever.

Items from Other Direct Sellers – Quite often, people will see items that they want from other direct sellers but they do not purchase them for a variety of reasons.  This can be a great way to find a gift for your friend.  Discover which companies they like and then purchase something.  Many will offer a gift list registry if requested.

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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

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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Gifts for Direct Sellers: Business Related

If you have a direct seller in your life, there are some things that they may be wishing for as a gift.   It may be something that they cannot justify for themselves or something that they have not been able to find.  Regardless of the reason, here are a few ideas to consider.

Gifts

Gifts (Photo credit: Guudmorning!)

Planner – Depending on the type of planner that someone uses, the price of them can add up.   But, once they have one, it does not have to be too pricey to buy refills each year to keep it useful.  If you know that they have been dreaming of a certain planner, the holidays may be a good excuse to get it for them.

Tote Bag – Carrying everything a person needs can be a hassle.   But with a good tote bag, it does not have to be.  One with zippers is always great as you can put items in those pockets and not have to worry about losing it.  Too many pockets can be a hassle though as you can spend a lot of time searching all the pockets to find something.

Gift Cards – If you are not sure what they may want, or are afraid you may pick the wrong thing; you cannot go wrong with a gift card.  Office supply stores can be a good choice or a general store like Wal-Mart or Target can be good as they are one stop shops for everything.

Time – Time is always a great gift to give!  It does not cost you anything except giving of some of your time.  Maybe you know your direct seller friend has a trade show coming up and they would love some assistance; volunteer to help.  You might know that they have a huge order coming in and you could offer to help sort it.  Or if they have little kids, you may offer to help by babysitting sometime.

Books – There are so many books out there that can be helpful for a direct seller – how to increase sales, how to better use your time, building a social media following or even how to relax.  What books would be helpful depends on the specific person and what they may need help figuring out.

 

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