Direct Sales : : A Beginners Checklist To Starting A Direct Sales Business
How to Start-Up a Low-Cost Home-Based Product Business, Service Business, or Network Marketing Business In Direct Sales.
Are you new to direct sales or need a refresher course to boost your current direct sales business? If so, you most likely have some or all of these unanswered questions: How do I get started in direct sales? What are the differences between direct sales and network marketing? What must I prepare before starting a direct sales business? How can I succeed in direct sales bookings?
How can I use the Internet to market my business? Drawing on their years of experience, a panel of direct sales experts provides the answers to these questions. Their expertise can help you launch or grow a successful low-cost direct sales business such as a product business, service business, or network marketing business.
“In direct sales, you want the products/services you offer and their prices to be relevant to your target market and to be things they can share with their friends and family.”
DIRECT SALES 101: GETTING STARTED
By Michael Force
When you want to get involved with a direct sales company, you are joining a process that does take some work for you to make money. In order to do this, you need to properly get started with direct sales. Here is an introduction to successful direct sales and how to make money.
How the System Works
The first part of successful direct sales involves knowing exactly how the system works. This is where a company manufactures products or services and sells them through external, individual salespeople. These people get a discount on anything that they buy, and they make a commission from the sales that they do achieve.
The company doesn’t have to have a store, so their costs are lower, and they can keep a lot of the profits. As a direct salesperson, you will work through the company selling their products and services.
Choosing a Company
To get involved with a direct sales company, you need to first go shopping. Successful direct sales starts with a successful company choice. You need to pick a company that other people will want to buy from on a regular basis to make the most money possible. There are a lot of choices out there, so take your time finding the right company.
When you choose the right company, all you have to do is contact it through a phone number or email to express your interest. You usually don’t have to do a lot to get involved with a direct sales company. You will get a starter kit with books, samples, order forms, and sometimes a few other things as well. This is what you will need to get started.
Marketing and Advertising
When you are ready to start selling, then successful direct sales involves successful marketing and advertising of your business. You need to take advantage of every advertising opportunity that you possibly can to gain as many customers as you can. Place an ad if you can afford it.
Of course, this may cost you a little bit. Use your social network to advertise. And of course, you can always tell everyone that you know that you are selling a product or service. Word of mouth is one of the oldest and most successful ways of advertising, after all.
After you get your advertising taken care of, another great tip is to throw a party to get some orders and some customers as well. Parties are always great tools of successful direct sales. You can throw a fun party with samples, games, and even a demonstration of how some of the products or services will work. Of course, you will have to buy some of the products to get a demonstration going, but you get a discount.
on the products, so whatever you buy will be at a lower price. You can then book additional parties with your customers. Succeeding in direct sales is not a hard thing to do if you know your way through the process.
Michael Force is a direct sales expert who has averaged over 7-figures a year online for the last 10 years and has trained tens of thousands on how to create profitable online businesses.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DIRECT SALES AND NETWORK MARKETING PROGRAMS
By Eddie Chase
Direct sales programs and network marketing programs have been in existence in the market for quite some time. What works better is just based on your personal preference. The following are the differences between direct sales programs and network marketing programs:
In direct sales, you are your own boss. You buy the goods as well as sell them. You can directly quote prices on your goods. This makes people come directly to you for buying goods. In this process, you buy goods directly from the wholesaler or from the branch manager for those products. You quote a higher price on the purchased goods, and you get a commission when people buy goods from you.
A direct sales program doesn’t involve any sponsors. You will earn an amount of money directly as a term of commission, in whatever business you do. You do not have to give any other person a percentage of your earnings. A direct sales program can be beneficial if you start a business of selling some goods. This can be an independent type of business where you are your own boss.
In a direct sales program, you may be asked to hold your accounts. But the companies which offer direct sales opportunities will easily hold the commodities for you. You just have to design your link or web page in such a manner that people can view the goods they are looking for with just a single question.
Network marketing is somewhat similar to affiliate marketing. The only difference between them is the number of levels from which payments can be achieved. The sponsors can offer the network marketer an equal or a higher level.
Network marketing involves a practical business method, where you will be provided good support and where you can see yourself in a complex way of payment plan. As soon as you tie up with a company, it will provide you with a sponsor who will help you in your work, and will keep you in touch with the company.
The sponsor will also provide you with all kinds of support that will be needed by you to start the business. The number of sales you make in the given period of time will be credited as a part to your sponsor. Your sponsor will get a specific percentage of your earnings.
Direct sales programs and network marketing programs are both beneficial in their own ways and terms. You have to decide which program will provide you with — your desired level of income, and will suit your requirements. Eddie Chase works online as a writer and as a merchant.
PREPARING TO START A DIRECT SALES BUSINESS
By Heather Doering
You can never be too prepared. Before starting a direct sales business, you need to do the following:
Determine Your Target Market
To whom do you intend to offer your products/services? Your target market is the group of people you’ll be targeting as customers, team members, and hosts (if you select a party plan company). This could be friends, family, neighbors, people from a particular demographic, people with similar hobbies/interests, busy families, people who live in colder climates. Without first identifying “who,” it’s hard to select “what.”
As you hone in on your target market, start to think about what products and services are used by them. Ask a few trusted people in your market their opinions of what you’re considering doing. Get feedback BEFORE you sign with a company. You want the products/services you offer and their prices to be relevant to your target market and to be things they can share with their friends and family.
Do Due Diligence
Research direct sales companies before you sign on the dotted line. Google prospective companies and see what people have to say. Check with the Better Business Bureau (bbh.org) to see if a particular company has any complaints issued against it. Check with the Direct Selling Association (DSA.org) to see if the company you’re exploring has applied for or been approved for membership.
Also visit Direaselling411.com for information on every aspect of direct sales, from the benefits of direct selling to industry regulation to avoiding fraudulent schemes. Talk to people already aligned with companies you’re considering. Go to the corporate website and request information about its business opportunity.
How much does it cost to get started?
What does that cost include?
What additional items will I need to purchase during my first couple of months, (catalogs, literature, additional products, etc.), and what are the additional costs of these items?
What is the compensation plan for your company, and when and how will I receive payment from the company?
How will I be trained?
Do I get a company website, and what’s the cost of that?
Does the company send out a monthly newsletter on my behalf, and what’s the cost of that?
What is the company’s host program (if applicable), and is it company funded?
Who pays credit card processing fees?
Are there monthly or quarterly sales requirements? What are they?
Is there an annual renewal fee, and how much is it?
What’s my favorite part of this company?
What’s the company’s party average?
What’s the party average of the person with whom I’m speaking?
How often do new catalogs come out? (This question tells you a couple of things: how frequently you may need to purchase additional catalogs and literature, and how often you may need to invest in additional products to show customers.)
Am I expected to travel for training? If so, what’s the estimated annual cost to me?
“You have to decide which direct sales or network marketing program will provide you with your desired level of income, and will suit your requirements.
Getting Started in Direct Sales
By Chris Benoit
If you want to get into direct sales and get financial freedom, there are some simple tips that you can follow:
Make a List of Contacts. Before any sales can be made, you need to have a list of people to sell to.
Advertise. Word of mouth is great, but posting signs in places like grocery stores gets attention, too. Offer discounts to a person who will host a party.
Network. Share information with people who are also doing direct sales. Others might know of leads interested in different products/services.
Be Visible. Getting a booth at fairs, local outdoor markets, and other events let people get information about the product/service and the salesperson. Advertise on the Internet.
Get a Team. Get a team of people working underneath you. The sales that those people make give them a percentage as well as give you, the recruiter, a percentage. Plus, the more people that you find to work below you, the more money you get from the direct sales company.
“Research direct sales companies before you sign on the dotted line.”
SUCCESS SECRETS TO IMPROVE YOUR DIRECT SALES BOOKINGS
By Barb Girson
One of the most important aspects of running your own direct sales or home based business is keeping your direct sales bookings up. With consistent sales appointments and successful home parties booked, your direct sales business will grow. To tackle how to keep your sales up and your calendar full of direct sales bookings, here are four success secrets:
While this statement may seem trite, the truth is that many direct sales entrepreneurs need to keep this tenet of sales in the front of both head and heart. With the multitude of obligations that they deal with on a regular basis, a system for juggling competing duties is necessary. The importance of keeping the calendar full is key. The more gaps you see in your party bookings, the harder it is to regenerate momentum.
Make Daily Contacts
When you uphold that making daily contacts and connections is vital, you will fill your slots for sales appointments and parties. Make sure to convey this professional approach to your customers through your actions and words. They will perceive you as someone who is serious about your business.
If you are lax to make daily contacts, you will suffer the stress and financial consequences of inconsistent business. Strive for 5 contacts a day; and watch your direct sales business thrive.
“When you reach out to invite someone to book a party, keep the contact focused, friendly, and on point.”
Appreciate Your Client’s Time
When you reach out to invite someone to book a party, keep the contact focused, friendly, and on point. Pre-plan what you will say, and make some notes about why you are contacting them, what is your compelling offer, and why someone would want to book a home party or schedule a sales presentation with you now.
Make sure that during your conversation, you set the stage for business, and mention that you will call later to catch up on personal matters. Don’t chat too long about topics unrelated to what you initially contacted the prospect to talk about.
While this helps to build rapport, it also undermines your effort, product/service, and profit. Further, it strips professionalism from sales and booking efforts.
Eliminate Emotion from Rejection
If you do not track aspects of your business, you will measure your successes by feeling rather than performance. This leads to an emotional sales roller coaster. When sales are up, you feel great. When you get more than a few “no” responses to asking for a direct sales booking, you feel down.
However, if you establish a system for measuring your contacts and results, you will identify a base sales closing ratio. Knowing your closing ratio allows you to chart your growth, and identify areas for improvement.
USING THE INTERNET TO MARKET YOUR DIRECT SALES BUSINESS
By Deb Bixler
How can direct sales business distributors take advantage of the Internet, a virtually free technology that is present in almost every home in America? There are a few different options.
Utilize social network sites such as MySpace, Twitter, or Facebook. Facebook is a favorite of many, as it is so easy to use. Registering for an account is free, and when you register, it allows you to connect with friends, coworkers, old school friends, and many other people. Facebook also respects your privacy and will not allow anyone you do not approve to view your information. Once you set up your account, you are ready to start networking.
Direct Sales Fan Page
It is important to remember that on Facebook, your profile is for real friends and your Fan page is for business. So take the time to set up a direct sales fan page on Facebook for marketing your direct sales business products, opportunity, and services. You will have to visit other fan pages and groups so that you can comment and develop curiosity for others to visit your fan page.
It also helps to send an invitation to your profile friends and invite them to your Fan page. This way, you are marketing to those who have an interest and not to those who are just personal friends. Post information about your product/service on your Fan page wall. Keep your fans updated by posting specials and open dates for consultations. It is even possible to post pictures and upload videos to your wall.
Tips for Direct Sales Success
By Meghann and Ryan Clements, Independent SuperStar Directors with the Scentsy, Inc., a wick-less candle company which is currently one of the fastest growing in the MLM industry.
Take total responsibility for your business. Whether you succeed or fail is up to you.
Decide exactly what you want. It is critical that you specify your goals.
Develop a burning desire for your goals. If you have a burning desire to achieve your direct sales goals, you will achieve your goals.
Have total faith that you will achieve your goals. Use the strength of your team to believe in yourself. Build and grow together.
Make a written plan, model those who have already attained your desired level of success. Chart your course for success.
Take massive consistent action. Once you have a plan and have found a mentor to model. Duplicate their success by taking consistent, and persistent, action toward your goal.
Pursue your goal with passion and enthusiasm. You need to have passion and enthusiasm in what you do in order to succeed.
Push passed your fears. Believe in yourself and your product/service and in so doing you have nothing to fear.
Embrace failure and rejection as education. Each step, or failure, is just another step in the educational process of you attaining your goal.
Never give up. Persist until you succeed. You have to be willing to commit until you achieve.
“Take the time to set up a direct sales fan page on Facebook for marketing your direct sales business products, opportunity, and services.”
Another Internet avenue you can use to generate direct sales leads and increase your revenue is email marketing. Email accounts are free and again, easy to set up. When you are at a party/consultation, make sure to gather the email addresses of the attendants, and then you can create a database of potential customers.
Direct Sales Newsletters
Many direct sales consultants make the mistakes of creating their data bases in their own computers. It is important to work online in a newsletter service so you do not get blocked as a spammer. Our everyday computers are not meant to send out 30-100 emails at a time, let alone thousands. Get a quality online service like MyNewsletterBuilder or one of the many other contact management newsletter services.
Add the email addresses of friends and family to your list. Now you can send an email to notify your customers when you get new product, when you are hosting a large event and want to invite them, or when you want to say thanks for their business. It is free, easy and a convenient way to keep in touch. When you uphold that making daily contacts and connections is vital, you will fill your slots for sales appointments and parties”.
Again, most everyone has an email account and most check their email on a regular basis. You can even send an email or update your Facebook account from most smart phones, so don’t drag your feet when it comes to leveraging technology in your direct selling business.
Direct sales business consultants who take advantage of the many creative booking opportunities will have a solid business and will never worry about where to find business again.
Direct selling may be just the right industry for you to start and operate a home-based business in. The information provided in this article by these direct sales experts can help you improve your sales and build your direct sales bookings. Implement the strategies suggested by these experts in your own direct sales business.