Friday, August 11, 2017

Direct Sales: Should You Offer the Business Opportunity?

In the direct sales business, offering the business opportunity to every prospect is the best way to grow your business, in addition to selling products. Keep in mind offering the business opportunity from a direct sales company isn't quite the same as a regular business. First, the cost to start a home-based business with a direct sales company is so small. It's typically $99 or less depending on the company and the current promotions. It's a tiny fraction of a regular business or a franchise and not to mention all the paperwork involved in a regular business. 

With a reasonable start up cost from a direct sales company, it's one of the reasons why I'm a fan of offering the business to every prospect. Here are a few of the benefits to your prospect: 

#1 Kit value

I've often written about the value of the business kit. Nearly all of them offer more products than what you pay for the kit price. One example, a $99 business kit comes with $900 in products and business material is a tremendous value. Some companies offer more, some less. If you have a prospect that has sampled your products, love them, and thinking about becoming a customer, that's a great time to share the benefits of the business opportunity.

#2 Shop at a discount

Direct sales leaders know that having people sign up as a consultant just for the product discount isn't unusual in this business. Being a kitnapper is one way for people to join a company for the products discounts. These are people with little or zero interest in pursuing the business. I was one of them. With some companies this might not be allowed or might not even make sense so please check with the person who introduces you to the company before hand and do your diligence. 

#3 Timing

They say timing is everything in life. Sometimes those kitnappers, people who initially joined for the product discounts, could end up as a business builder. I've heard stories of women saying they decided to do the business later on because their kids were in school, or they had more time, or they wanted extra money, etc. There are many reasons why someone wants to do the business but may not initially had set out to do the business at first.

#4 Don't pre-judge

It's important to pre-screen your prospect but in my experience pre- judging whether someone will be successful in direct sales isn't always accurate for the reasons I stated above. Because there are so many reasons why people join a direct sales company. Joining for the kit value is just one of many. So when it comes to prospecting, keep an open mind. 

My philosophy is to always welcome everyone. Whether they're joining for the product discounts, buy one or two items, or serious about building a business. Whatever their reasons may be, I'm going to do my part and share with them the benefits of my company's business opportunity, and let them decide.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think.



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

3 Common Objections in Your Party Plan Business

The number one challenge I hear from direct sales consultants is how hard it is to build a team. There are so many ways to build your party plan team. The key is finding what produces the best results and keep building on it. If you're blogging commit to posting as many articles a week as you're able to and stick with it. That's how I was fortunate enough to build a large team with my previous company.

Here are a few common objections from party plan consultants and how to work through them.

#1 The products are too expensive

Whenever you hear this objection, it's normal to be a bit defensive and want to explain away why you might disagree with your prospect. You may be passionate about your company's products but keep in mind your prospect isn't.

Instead of focusing on price points, ask questions to further gauge your prospect's interest, such as what attracted you to the company? What are some products that interest you most?

I've connected with people that initially said the products were a bit pricey but ended up buying the products because the ingredients were important to them. But they didn't know that until we discussed what they were looking for in their beauty products.

#2 I don't want to bother my friends and family

I don't either and I'm sure most don't. That's why I decided early on that there's a whole country full of people that may be interested in my company's products or business. It was a matter of finding the marketing vehicles to get my business out there.

Nearly all party plan companies teach new consultants the tried and true method of contacting people you know. That's fine if you do it the right way. Think of it as if you're opening a new restaurant. You'd let your friends know but you wouldn't call them all the time to tell them to eat at your restaurant. You'd have other promotions/marketing methods otherwise you'd be out of business relying on your friends alone. If you approach your party plan business similarly you'll conditioned yourself to think like a solo business owner and figure out ways to build your business beyond friends and family.

#3 I don't like doing parties

Parties can be a lot of fun. It depends on the hostess, consultant, and camaraderie of the group. I've been to okay ones and I've been to fantastic ones with a bubbly hostess, fun people at the party, food, wine. The hardest part is getting someone to host with enthusiasm because everyone's busy. 

If parties aren't for you, how about catalog orders or online parties with someone you know?

Bottom line is trying to convince your prospect to join your company or hosting parties can be frustrating for you and her. Overcoming objections is just part of the business and knowing this before you join a party plan business goes a long way in managing your expectations.

As always, would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.



Friday, July 28, 2017

3 Direct Selling Tips for Sales and Team Building

If you're a direct sales consultant do you feel like your business has been compromised by online shopping? I've been thinking about my online shopping with Amazon and the many benefits such as convenience and better prices than some regular stores. However, as much as I love shopping online for some things, I still prefer shopping at regular stores, depending on the occasion and what I'm buying.

As a direct sales consultant, how do you compete with online shopping?

My take is that you don't try to compete with online giants like Amazon or Costco because you don't have to. These big companies are in a league of their own. Instead, find what's unique about your direct selling business and the benefits your company offer. 

Focus on what makes your company different from the other direct selling companies. What makes your company different from regular stores. With direct sales companies, there's a flexible home-based business option for people that love your products, want to use your products, and who might be interested in doing a home-based business at the same time. These are the things that set your company apart from retail businesses.

Here are a few tips for achieving more sales and growing your business:

#1 Free samples

Let's say your company sells beauty and skin care products. You can potentially earn new customers by offering free samples. If someone's local you can meet up and demonstrate a wide range of products in person. Who doesn't love those "testers" in stores? If you're able to demonstrate products in person, bring those testers to your prospect.

If someone isn't local, you can send free samples to them. That's how I built the largest team with my former direct sales company. Nearly all of my customers and team members connected with me online in various parts of the country. You can easily put a few of your favorite samples together in an envelope and mail them with a catalog to your prospect. Then follow up in 3-5 days after they've received your samples.

#2 Follow up

The following up process is the most important. Life gets busy for all of us but a simple email to reconnect with your prospect shows you care and a professional. We worry at times about being pushy by following up or assuming the prospect would contact you if she's interested. But a short, follow up email is not being pushy or salesy. As the saying goes in direct sales the fortune is in the follow up.

#3 Staying in touch

I've had prospects that didn't work out for many reasons. It's a natural part of this business. The next step is staying in touch. Always ask your prospect if it's okay to add her email to your company's monthly subscription. If your company offers monthly company products/business updates (most do), that's a great way to stay in touch with your prospect without being pushy.

When a lead isn't ready to buy or join your business it can be disappointing but reminding yourself that's part of any business puts things in perspective and allow you to focus on continuing to grow business.

As always, would love to hear your comments/thoughts.

Warm regards,