Direct sales businesses are gaining huge traction right now. We live in an interesting time where there is a big shift in the economy with so many sales being done online. Brick and mortar stores are being forced to shut their doors and the only way to stay afloat is to shift focus to e-commerce. Direct sales fit right into this equation with sales being done over social media. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People are given an opportunity to build a business in sales without having to coming up with the product and an avenue to sell. The work is already done for them.
Direct sales and network marking are no stranger to controversy. It has gotten a bad rap in the past because a lot of people are just going about it the wrong way. There is definitely a right way and wrong way to sell!
Not all direct sales companies are created equal either that’s for sure! The one I chose was the one that I was already familiar with. I had already been using the products and I would still be using them if I hadn’t decided to join the company. But I noticed something different about Rodan + Fields. I noticed how supportive all the women were with each other. There was less competition and more collaboration between consultants. They did events together, and cheered each other on with each mile stone they achieved. So I dove right in!
With all the things I had going on already, I was able to carve out a few hours a week to devote to this new venture. Now I really wanted this business to succeed so I knew I had to be consistent and make strategic investments in the business and personal growth. In my opinion, the reason so many direct sales business don’t succeed is because they aren’t consistent with sharing the business or products. Along with sharing, you have to invest in your business so you have the tools and resources you need to grow.
Below are a few of the books I read to get me started. Let me know if you have read them and what you think. If you have any suggestions for books please let me know that too!
One thing I did to help ensure that my business became profitable is that I didn’t take a profit from my business for the first 3 months. Any profit I made in the first 3 months was immediately reinvested back into marketing, tools, and resources that would help me grow.
Now, here are a few ways to approach direct sales to ensure that you don’t come off too pushy to your friends and family.
Leverage social media
Create a separate business page and invite everyone to like it. If they choose not to, that’s ok. If you choose not to have a separate business page, make sure you have a good balance on your personal page. Your friends and family want to see YOU and what you are doing. They don’t want to be bombarded with ads everyday.
It’s not about you, it’s about them
This is the number one piece of advice that I have heard over and over about sales. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Listen to what their needs are. You can do this by asking them questions. Find out with their likes and dislikes are.
Don’t sacrifice friendships for a quick buck
Invite them to lunch or coffee, but don’t talk about the business the whole time. Your friends don’t want to be aggressively sold to every time they are with you.
Focus on the big picture
Set short-term and long-term goals. Short term goals would be to make a certain number of sales each month. Long term goals would be to build a team. Chances are if you are starting a business you want it to go the distance. You will need to create a marketing plan to reach people outside of your warm market.
Share your why
Tell people why you love the products and company. When they see your enthusiasm for your business they will be believers. Nobody wants to partner with someone who is just so so about it, share your passion!
Confidence is key
People want to see that bad ass babe that you know you are. Walk tall with your head held high and offer a firm hand shake when you meet new people. This may take some practice if you are an introvert like me, but stick with it and it will become second nature to you.
Keep your posts on social media consistent, at least every few days. Follow up with people who have shown interest in the past. Keep the lines of communication open and you never know who will want to talk to you about your business.
Make strategic investments
In order for your business to grow you will have to make a few investments that will pay off down the road. Think business cards, marketing, or vender booths. Put together samples or incentives for the fence sitters that still aren’t sure if they are ready to buy.
Direct sales can be a great option for a home business if you get in with a company you believe in and have an awesome mentor. You can even replace your full-time income and finally quit that 9-5. I personally chose Rodan + Fields because their products have worked so well for me. I saw the growth potential of the company and all the free press they get from magazines. Not to mention they are just getting started with the global market.
You can read all about how to start a Direct Sales business HERE.
Tell me, What are your experiences with direct sales?