Sunday, June 29, 2008

Five Tips To Help You Succeed in Direct Sales

I get emails quite often that say something along the lines of “if you could offer just one piece of advice to me what would it be?” Businesses are not built on one secret or on one magical theory. Businesses are built on consistency and hard work. What I’d like to do is share some of my tips that I hope will help you succeed in your own direct sales business:

1. Use whatever materials your company supplies. If your company offers a recruiting flyer, use it. Don’t invest your time reinventing the wheel. Use the company offered flyer instead. If your company offers samples, buy them. As consumers, we all like samples and we all like to try new things. Offer samples to both existing customers and potential customers. If your company offers training, take advantage, whether it’s on the phone, or online. I’ve found company training to be invaluable.

2 Talk to strangers. We all grew up learning never talk to strangers. My two kids will tell you that I’ve always spoken to strangers. I will talk about the weather, a local news story, an item in their grocery cart, a book they are holding, the car they are driving or I’ll even just smile and say hello. Every single person out there either wants what you have to offer or they don’t. They only way to know if they want what you offer is to start a conversation and see where it leads. I am in no way suggesting a sales pitch to everyone you meet, I’m merely suggesting starting conversations and seeing where they lead.

3. After you’ve spoken, it’s now time to listen. Often I find that folks are so anxious to say “want to join my business”, or “want to buy my products” that they don’t really listen to the person they’ve just started the conversation with. Listening is key to finding out if you have what this person wants. Each person we meet will say either yes, no, or not right now. It’s up to us to hear what is being said to us. Just yesterday I said to someone “I’m sorry I can’t speak with you right now” and this person continued to speak for about 6 minutes until I finally said “I really do have to hang up now, bye” and then hung up. They didn’t listen to me. If you concentrate on listening more than speaking, you’ll gather a wealth of information from the person you are speaking with. Really listen to what they are telling you.

4. Have supplies ready. I always have catalogs, opportunity flyers, fundraising information and more. When someone asks for information, we want to have the information available for them. Keep supplies in your home and in your car. Have a couple of folders or envelopes in your car so that if someone wants information, you can hand them a ready made packet.

5. Make a plan and continue to update and work that plan. We all work differently. Some of us need our time accounted for hour to hour, while others can create a list for the day and work from that. Find the system that works best for you and then use it. I very often have folks tell me that life got in the way of their plan. Make your plan and then fit life in. When you try to fit your plan into your life, you won’t always have the time for your plan. If you are in a direct sales business, you must spend time each day returning calls, answering emails and marketing. These are just not negotiable areas. Everything else needs to be worked around these 3 activities.

There really is not just one secret to running a successful direct sales business. Work your business every single day and remember that every person is either a yes, a no, or a not right now.

Audrey :)

1 comment:

lynn48 said...

Very good advice, especially the listening part. Every one in sales, direct or others, can learn from this.