I have loved the direct sales industry since attending Tupperware and Mary Kay home parties with my mom back in the 1980s.
I loved eating the snacks, seeing the products, hearing the consultant’s presentation, playing the games and helping my mom fill out her order form.
I have always been involved in at least one direct sales company for about ten years now and have hosted countless home parties for my friends and family.
I’m something of a direct sales addict.
In fact, just this month, I became a Senior Consultant with Mary Kay when I added my very first active team member!
In advising her, I got to thinking about what I’ve learned over the years and I thought I’d share it here in case it can help someone who’s just getting started, or maybe give you a new idea if you’re an old pro.
Tab’s Ten Tips for New Direct Sales Consultants
1. Determine your target customer.
Who is she? What is her age group? What phase of life is she in? What are her hobbies and interests? Where does she hang out? What does she value? What are her spending habits?
While you can’t sell to your target customer exclusively, knowing who she is will help you narrow your focus and became an expert at finding her and servicing her needs.
2. Use your catalogs.
Keep one catalog for yourself to make notes on product information and questions people ask.
Give out catalogs freely. Treat them like business cards! You can even provide people with sticky notes so they can mark the items they want to buy. Tell them “If there are more than five, you should host a party!”
Ask a few friends and family members to mark their favorite items to give you an idea of what will be popular so you can educate yourself on those first.
Ask a friend who is also in direct sales if she would give out your catalogs when she delivers orders to her customers–and do the same for her. That’s great cross-promotion!
3. Have a launch party.
Make yourself the hostess so you can reap the hostess rewards to build your collection of samples or inventory.
Invite people personally, whether over the phone or in person. Emails, Facebook event requests and e-vites don’t mean as much as hearing your voice does.
Offer incentives to them when they bring a friend.
Keep the food and drinks simple so the focus stays on the products you’re selling. And eat first so they don’t think about the food during the entire presentation!
Have door prizes and multiple ways to earn entries. People love winning prizes, even if they just cost you $1.
4. Always tell your story about WHY you chose the company you are with and what your goals are.
People will connect to your story and want to help you accomplish your goals. It could also help you attract a new team member!
5. Showcase YOUR favorite products.
People will love what you love! Plus you’ll know all about them and can answer questions people have about them.
6. Remember that YOU are your best advertisement!
Wear your company logo shirts and your name tag.
Use or wear your products as much as possible or carry a bag with clear pockets so you can insert pictures of your products. Be prepared to give your “elevator pitch” when people inquire! (P.S. If you need help with your “elevator pitch,” contact me for a consultation!)
Give your products as gifts.
Hand out samples as much as possible.
7. Find “power partners” with compatible businesses (or people who work with or for your target customer).
These are people who will refer new customers to you and vice versa. This is how you build your customer base beyond your warm market.
8. Embrace the power of social media…but establish boundaries.
Social media is important for communicating with people, offering promotions and keeping your business “top of mind” for your customers…but don’t let it take over your life. Set time limits and eliminate lengthy back-and-forth exchanges with a phone call.
9. Keep it FUN!
Don’t get so caught up in SELLING that for lose your sense of fun in the process. Remember, people are drawn to YOU first, THEN to your products.
10. Lastly, be tenacious and keep at it.
Direct sales consultants are notorious for giving up within the first year, just about the time that business would have really picked up if they had just stuck to it. It takes time for people to be sold on what you do and for you to build your business.
Outlast the competition! Remember why you got started in the first place and never lose your passion.
There is plenty of business for you out there–you just have to go get it!
Do you have questions about direct sales success? Fire away and I will do my best to answer!