Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Direct Sales – Selling More Than Your Products

Being an article writer I have seen many authors offer a variety of items in their article bylines. There is much more to offer in direct sales than your products.

Direct sales is relationship building. What better way to build a relationship than to offer something to someone else. You can offer an e-book or e-series related to the products you sell. For example, if you sell health and wellness products, consider writing an ebook with chapters on nutrition, exercise, recipes, how to choose supplements, how to read labels etc. You can give away this ebook on your own website and you can offer it to others to give away. The ebook will have your name and your URL inside. This is a wonderful way to sell yourself without selling your products or opportunity to others.

What about offering a monthly newsletter? You can have a link to sign up for your newsletter on your website and on your blog. You can put the link to sign up in your emails, on articles you write and on signatures in online communities. Newsletters get forwarded to others all of the time. If I get a newsletter that contains an article I think one of my friends will enjoy, I send the newsletter to them.

Do you have a “title” with your direct sales company? Often companies have managers or directors or executives. Sell your title. When you write articles or when you post in communities, use that title. Let others know about the title you’ve achieved.

I was recently interviewed twice. Both interviews were placed on the interviewers’ blogs. One interview was written out and one was an audio interview. Several people have read and listened to these two interviews.

Do you write articles? If you do, consider buying a URL that links directly to all of your articles. This was an idea from Jeff Herring and I bought a domain that forwards right to each and every one of my articles.

In each example provided, I’ve offered something other than my products to others. I’ve sold others on the benefits of a relationship with me. Try offering something other than your products and see if you can grow your own business.

Audrey :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Create Your Own Flyers

One of the benefits of joining a direct sales company is that usually it’s a very turnkey business. Between your upline and the company, most training materials should already be in place.

In addition to all of the materials already provided, I also like to be unique and do some creating on my own. These small things are what will brand you and make you stick out.

You can create business cards, postcards and flyers for your business, all of which will bring others to you.

Creating flyers is very simple. I use a combination of Microsoft Word, Printshop and Microsoft Publisher. All of these programs have templates you can use and formatting already in place.

Consider creating both a product flyer and also a recruiting flyer. Your product flyers can be given to existing customers, mailed out to potential customers and hung on bulletin boards around town. Import photos of your products and keep the wording to bullet points so that the person reading can glance and not have to read. Here’s an example:

October 1st – October 31st (put this in bold)

Buy one product, get one at half price
Insert photo of product here

Now list 3 reasons why someone should buy this product. Make these 3 points bullet points.

Your name and contact information would then go on the bottom. You are creating this flyer to generate interest in your product. You only want to entice someone to contact you for more information or with an offer they can’t get directly out of the catalog.

The other flyer to create is a recruiting flyer. I’ve made quarter sheet flyers, half sheet flyers and full sheet flyers.

I always like to include a photo of a product or the company logo to let others know up front what the company and opportunity are.

A sample flyer might look like this:

Company Logo/Name (bold and centered)

I have been helping others work at home since (insert year here)

Now list 3 bullet points about your company:

Possibly price to join.
Possibly the amount of years the company has been in business.
Possibly how they can get a company website

Your contact information then goes at the bottom. Again, your goal is to entice, not make the actual sale through the flyer.

Try creating some flyers for your business and set yourself apart from the others.

Audrey :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Direct Sales For the Winter Holidays

One of the most profitable times of year to join a direct sales is in the months leading up to the winter holidays.

There are so many ways you can benefit from a direct sales business during the holiday season:

You can offer fundraisers to any organization wanting to raise money. You can offer anywhere from a 14 day fundraiser to a 30 day fundraiser. This is a great way for buyers to get holiday gifts while the non profit organization profits.

As a distributor you’ll be able to buy your own gifts at a discount. Imagine being able to save anywhere from 10% to 50% on all of your holiday gifts. (commissions will vary by company and total sales)

Many people spend more money during the winter months. You’ll earn money on all retail sales and on team sales. (commissions will vary by company and total sales) Some companies offer extra bonuses for higher sales. Make sure to check with your company to see what sales bonuses might be offered.

The winter holidays are a wonderful time to build your team. There are more people looking for income during the winter months than any other time of year. Place ads specifically stating that it’s holiday time and new members can earn income for the holidays.

The winter holidays are known as the gift giving season. You can highlight all of your products that will make great gifts. This is an ideal time to build your customer base. Offer to gift wrap and even ship for your customers. These are two extras that many distributors do not offer. Charge a small fee so you’ll break even. Your customers will love this added service.

If you’ve ever thought about joining a direct sales company, the winter months are the ideal time to turn the thought into a reality.

Audrey :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Uniqueness Versus Duplication in Direct Sales

Anyone who has been involved in direct sales over seven days has heard the term “duplication.”

Duplication has its place, such as form letters, flyers and catalogs, but that’s pretty much where duplication ends.

If you wish to succeed in direct sales, you’re going to need to be unique. If you did only what someone else did and then trained your downline to do exactly the same, pretty soon you’d all be stumbling over one another.

I’d like to give you two examples of stumbling over one another. A woman ran ads in the newspaper. She in turn taught her downline to run ads in newspaper and these women in turn taught their downlines to run ads. All of a sudden there were eight ads for the same company in the help wanted section all saying almost the same thing. What was happening is a prospect would call every phone number until they got an answer. This is tripping all over each other. Ads are great, but use another option. There are daily papers, weekly papers, shoppers, magazines, ezines, display ads on websites, text ads on websites, plug boards and more. Find an area that is not saturated with everyone duplicating the person before them.

One more example I can offer are work at home mom message boards. I do belong to a few. There are probably a hundred out there. What I’ve seen happen is that several distributors from the same company jump to answer questions and place ads on top of each other in the classified section. Message boards are great, but join theme specific boards. I belong to a crochet board. I belong to a scrapbooking board. I belong to a recipe board and I belong to a general parenting board. This gets me away from what everyone else is doing.

Each of us is different. Trying to duplicate someone else can never be successful as we are different from them. Our results will be different. I can talk to strangers all day long and love every second of it. Other people are really not comfortable talking to strangers. Trying to duplicate me would not be enjoyable. I know someone who does three or four home parties every week. That is just not me and I wouldn’t be in direct sales if I had to do those parties.

Direct sales is about sharing the business and products with others. That’s what you’ll duplicate. Where and how you’ll market will be dependent on what you enjoy and what will keep you unique.

Audrey :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fighting City Hall

I wonder if some of you can offer your opinion to me.

I write articles. My goal recently has been to write articles for those in direct sales. I've been very careful to make sure most of my titles include the words "network marketing" or "direct sales"

Those articles have all been submitted to a few directories, including www.ezinearticles.com I wrote a series on fundraising in direct sales and submitted them to the direct sales category. Ezine Articles accepted my articles but changed the category. They put the series of articles into their fundraising category.

I did write ezinearticles and said that there might be times that two categories would be appropriate and in this case I really wanted the series of articles in the network marketing category. I was refused.

Here are the 7 articles and the category I was forced to be in:

Plan Ahead For a Successful Fundraiser in Direct Sales - Fundraising
Increase Your Sales in Network Marketing With Fundraisers -Fundraising
Hosting a Direct Sales Fundraiser For a Church Or Synagogue - Fundraising
Fundraising in Direct Sales - Fundraising
Seven Tips to a Successful Fundraiser in Direct Sales - Fundraising
Choosing a Time Frame For Your Direct Sales Fundraiser - Fundraising
Creating a Packet For a Successful Fundraiser in Direct Sales - Fundraising

Unfortunately, the people these articles were written to help won't find the articles unless they do keyword searches.

Since I did write them and was refused, what do you suggest? I have put a few of the articles on my blog. I have also submitted them to other directories and each time they were accepted into the direct sales or network marketing category.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Audrey :)