Great, you are all set up as a business and ready to go now all you need is customers. This gets down to the meat and potatoes of Direct Sales, how to generate leads. They don’t just fall into your lap no matter what the hype says, you have to go out and earn them Luckily there are 110 Million adults in the US so there is a large pool to draw from and if you have chosen a good company at least some of them need your product. Here are some of the ways you can generate leads for your business.
Networking – Go back in this blog and look up the infographic on Networking locations. I have seen many people have great success in the Networking environment since you can talk one on one with potential clients. Look for business partnerships where your product will benefit their business and the potential increases.
Social Media – It seems ever DS rep out there uses social media but most of them use it poorly. Don’t spam, don’t be annoying, have a clear message that is different than every other rep. Focus on your product and not recruiting.
Trade Shows – I have seen an increase in DS at trade shows so you need to be careful which ones you go to. Again, have a clear and unique message and seek partnerships to gain the advantage over the reps just looking to recruit.
Referrals – This is a rich source that can be some of your easiest closes but it is difficult to tap if you don’t do it properly. First, you have to have outstanding customer service, not good, not great, but approaching world class. Then you have to ask for it once you know they are not just happy customers but rabid fans. These are your advocates and will introduce you to a rich line of leads.
Online – Don’t forget your email marketing campaigns and website. Good SEO and a good email list that you have collected (don’t buy it) can produce a small steady stream of leads if you keep it maintained.
Here is a quick infographic talking about all these points.
The most important step to making your Direct Sales (DS) business a success is to treat it like a business which often means ignoring some of the advice that the DS company gives you. If you are successful then recruiting will happen so focus on the selling of the product. So let’s talk about running your DS as a business.
First, you need a business plan. Note I said plan and not a business wish, the difference is a plan is written down and a wish is in your head. There are several methods of writing business plans including the one presented in my earlier blogs and they all are fine, pick one and work through it. Without a plan, it is much less likely your business will succeed.
Develop a marketing strategy. Usually, a lot of this work is done during your business plan but if it wasn’t you need to do it. Again, write it down, this isn’t a marketing wish, its a plan on how to implement your marketing strategy.
Make sure your client research is done. It should be part of your marketing plan but I highlight it here because it is the most important part of the strategy you develop. If you don’t know your target audience you won’t know how to sell to them.
Kepp your knowledge fresh. You should become an expert in the field of your business. This comes with time and training. Keep up on trends and research in your field. As long as you stay current and find the best information to absorb you will be surprised how quickly you will become an expert on your subject.
Here is an infographic with more ways to make your DS business a success. If you need help with any of them get in touch with me.
So you found a company that didn’t throw all the red flags your way and have decided to sign up and take a crack at earning a nice income. How do you go from “I Just Signed Up” to “I’m Making Money”? Of course, that’s the hard part since it is hit or miss as to how much help you get from your upline. Lucky for you there is support outside of the company and I have helped many reps start turning a profit. The big difference is I am not concerned about how many people you recruit, I am interested purely in getting you some sales and making some money to put in your own pockets. This is a checklist of the things you need to do to start making your profit as quickly as possible. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.
If you believe all the hype then Direct Sales is a shortcut to wealth and prosperity for a small investment. The problem is that it is only part of a shortcut and then you are a business owner and the only way to succeed is to act like one. I have several successful Direct Sales clients and they all have the same attitude, they are business owners and entrepreneurs. They focus on their brand and not the spam tactics the Direct Sales companies advocate, for example, recruiting all their families and friends. Many of them work with those closes to them but only because they were approached after demonstrating the success of what they are doing. Direct Sales can be a great way to earn some money or even a living if you connect with the right company and then treat it like a proper business and not a hobby. The first step is to find the right company to work with. Here is a guide to help you navigate the tricky waters of Direct Sales and choose the right company to start with.
Just……don’t. That’s the short answer. I understand the desire to help but I see the use of charity being used as a sales tool more and more. If you want to help then help but don’t hide behind a charity to try and get more customers. It’s not good for your business and it’s bad for the charity.
In a study conducted in 2011 by marketing professor, Aradna Krishna found that people gave less money in direct donations to charities when they made cause-marketing purchases. “People may mentally assign their cause-marketing expenditure as their charitable giving,” Krishna said. She also found that cause-buying had a tendency to decrease happiness, probably because we realize that buying, say, a $40 necklace, is more self-serving than donating $40 directly.
More and more I see “10% of revenue will go to Charity X” and it is an obviously a ploy to get more clients and be seen as giving back. Studies show customers will switch brands if the brand loyalty isn’t too strong, the price is the same and one is giving to a charity and the other isn’t but those are a lot of variables. The most blatant example I have seen of trying to use charity for a business trying to benefit from charity giving was an MLM. They wanted people to buy their product then they would ship it down to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. That’s not charity, that’s commerce.
If your business wants the goodwill of giving back then do so without stipulations and want for reward. Give time, give money, give supplies but don’t sell. If you want to brand the giving go for it but that really isn’t the point. Ask yourself what the real motivation is behind what you are doing.
The numbers are in and traditional online marketing is out. There still may be a place for it in your marketing repertoire but if you aren’t looking at mobile marketing you are already behind the curve. A study by Pew Research center found that 45% of young adults do most of their internet browsing on their smartphones and ComScore found that 70% of digital media time is on mobile devices. Of course, these numbers get bigger every quarter so the trend is crystal clear, get mobile or go home.
Mobile marketing isn’t just about making websites mobile friendly anymore. Of course a mobile friendly site is the baseline and shouldn’t be overlooked but mobile marketing is so much more.
Why use email when texting is more effective? Research has shown that 98% of SMS messages are opened and they have a response rate of 45%. Email marketing has an open rate of 28-33% with a response rate of 6%. Some more people look at your message and more people respond, it’s a win win for marketers.
Mobile First Design
Most marketers are still stuck on clicking ads to get responses but phones can do so much more. Swipe to save, tilt to see more, pinch to respond, take a picture to see out filter. These are just a few of the options. What about camera enabled features in real time? People can literally find savings in your location. When you think about the phones functions over the web functionality the possibilities that open up are vast.
In App Advertising
Apps are already becoming a bit cliché but there is still potential here. In a survey of app game players, it was found that 67% of them said that they believed they should be offered a reward in return for watching or engaging with a mobile ads and videos. They also feel more positive about companies that provide these awards and the click through rate for such ads improves by 300%.
Location Based Ads
Deliver a coupon as a customer walks by your store. Direct customers to your store when they approach a competitor that had closed. Deliver an online offer when a customer walks into a competing store! Location based advertising is picking up steam. It’s been around since 2002 but marketers are just starting to get the hang of it. Make sure you aren’t left behind and are losing customers to marketing techniques you didn’t even know about.
To be honest, online marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. All of the online marketing systems I discount as inferior have their place in a properly run marketing campaign but you need to be aware the landscape is changing. Make sure you keep up with the trends.
Some of you found my site through a link on your phone. How did I do that? There is a new marketing tool out there called Asirvia which uses proximity advertising to deliver messages to people near me. It’s easy to stop such messages and isn’t intrusive but can be a huge benefit to those who network a lot (like me) or have a location they are trying to generate engagement at. Imagine if your customers got a coupon for just walking by your storefront or 30% of the people at a networking event got a link to your website even if they haven’t met you yet. It is a powerful tool and is getting results for me (and I’m not even an ideal case). Check it out for yourself. Warning, they used an MLM model for their distribution but I am not signed up for that part, I just wanted the device. The compensation looks sketchy and they have unrealistic numbers for how to get paid. My advice is to use the gadget and leave the “unlimited earning potential” alone.
We talked about power words so here are some words you want to leave out of your next marketing project. Using cliche phrases or language that doesn’t fit your brand should also be avoided. Remeber to think in your brand voice as you write your marketing campaigns.
I had an opportunity to make a video for my fellow magicians outlining “Words of Power” to use in their marketing. Since it is a nearly universal subject I put this infographic together to outline some of my thoughts on the subject. Of course, different industries have different words that are more effective than others. Do you know what words your industry uses?
The last in the series guiding you through the daily, weekly and monthly life of a blogger. There is more to it but these three guides should give you a good start and serve to steer you in the right direction. Whether you blog as part of a Content Marketing plan, part of an affiliate program, to earn extra income or just because you like it, make sure you have some fun while you plug away at that keyboard.