One: Know Your Product
It should go without saying, but you need to know your catalog forward and backward. Look at your catalog as if you’ve never seen it before. What kind of questions would a new customer ask, and what would be your best answer?
Practice clear, informative answers about your product. How is it used? What does it do? Who is its target customer? How can it be helpful to any number of different people?
At Total Life Changes, we try to supply support documents so our Life Changers are ready to discuss our full range of products. If your direct selling partners don’t offer then, you should make your own cheat sheets for each product so you’re ready to completely discuss what you’re selling.
Two: Have a Good Presentation
In addition to being able to talk about your products, plan an attractive display. Keep in mind, you may not have much space. Consider what you’d do if you only had a small table to work with.
Additionally, consider the overall effect of all your business materials. Ensure that your literature is in good shape, that you transport your direct sales materials in a professional manner, and can conduct your interactions with potential customers in a professional manner.
Three: Develop Personal Connections
Historically, direct selling and MLM had a sour reputation. People outside the industry thought direct selling was just a way for the same money to get passed around as everyone took their turn to host a candle- or container- or whatever-product-the-person-had-chosen-party. Successful direct selling entrepreneurs understand the reality is different, and that the industry provides financial opportunities for its participants and much-desired products to its customers. What that misconception gets right, however, is the importance of the person-to-person connection at the center of direct selling success stories.
You never can tell when you’ll get a chance to make a personal connection, so you always need to be ready. Every person you meet can be a future customer or a future partner. Have business cards at the ready, and be ready to talk the talk.
In the academic world, Ph.D. students practice their “elevator talk.” For them, it’s the short speech they can use to talk about their studies in the time it takes to ride an elevator. Have an elevator talk prepared for your direct selling business.
Four: Make Good Use of Technology
Technology is a great way to develop and promote your personal brand. In direct selling, in addition to your products, you’re selling you. Social Media is very useful for establishing that personal brand, and for giving current and potential customers a way to contact you.
You don’t need to be a tech wizard to establish a professional-looking Social Media site that can help your direct selling business. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are easy to use, and blog sites like WordPress and Wix have plenty of attractive blog shells that you can use to reach your customers.
In addition to using technology as a marketing platform, you can use it to reach out to customers, send updates, and drive more sales. There’s a fine line between checking up and being annoying, so direct sellers should be careful with how many emails they send to customers. A nice strategy is to create a monthly email newsletter that updates information on new or upcoming products, marketing offers, and other information. You can make it as personal as you’d like. A quick Google search can help you find lots of resources for making attractive, effective email newsletters.
Five: Close and Follow-Up
One of the secrets to direct selling success is to always be ready to close on a sale. At Total Life Changes, we’ve developed apps that let our Life Changers place orders when they’re on the go. If you’re not taking advantage of that kind of technology (and why wouldn’t you?), you’ll need to keep order forms and other documentation on hand so when someone wants your product, you’re ready to get it for them. Don’t miss out on a sale simply because you don’t know a product number, for example.
When you do close on that sale, make sure you follow up. Again, TLC uses an app to make this easy for our Life Changers, but no matter what product you’ve chosen, you’ll always want to make sure your customer got it, is satisfied, and has the opportunity to order more or move forward with an additional product.
Direct selling can be a rewarding way to earn some money and be involved in the lives of people. When you believe in your products, they don’t quite sell themselves, but all they’ll need is a little nudge from you.