What NOT to do in Direct Sales (and a tip on how to gain leads)

makeup party

I’ve been happily involved in the world of Direct Sales since 2009. My first experience was with a company that had me working in an office, instead of out of your home, and I did that full time for two years. I was a top sales rep and top recruiter in Southern California most months out of the year. In this company I was lucky enough to receive a priceless amount of training in sales and downline management and training.

After two years I knew I would never work as an employee again, ever. I loved the freedom of working for myself! And working for a DS company allows the average person the opportunity to be self employed without having any experience whatsoever.

The unfortunate thing about DS is that because there are so many people involved who are brand new to the world of business ownership, the desperate acts of those with little to no training actually ends up pushing people away. At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, I wanted to provide a couple tips of what not to do when building your DS business.

  1. Do NOT send spam messages to people on Facebook

In an effort to reach out to a possible new recruit, I had someone I did not know send me a very random private message to my Facebook account today. Here’s how the conversation went:

 DS Rep:      Hello! How are you today? http://www.DScompany/repname

Me:               Um, I’m fine, thank you. Is this spam?

DS Rep:       No, no spam!  Our starter kits are on sale starting at $74 to become a consultant with                           XYZ company! Would you like more information? http://www.DScompany/repname

Me.               No, thank you.

DS Rep:       Okay! Would you be interested in hosting a party and earning free product!

Me:               No, thank you.

DS Rep:       Okay thank you have a good day! http://www.DScompany/repname

 Don’t be this person!
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This approach is not going to work for two reasons:
1) This is the equivalent of someone at the mall walking up to me and shoving a catalog in my face and saying, “It’ll cost $74 to be my recruit and make me money! Want more information?” Um…no, thank you, and please get out of my face. There is absolutely no benefit to me being presented here.
2) I have no idea what her company sells, whether or not I like their products or if I would even have a use for them. Not to mention, I don’t know HER.

People want to do business with people they know, trust, and like. I’ll elaborate on this a little later.

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   2. Do not focus on getting my money

I know that really, the number one reason most people join a DS company is to make extra money. Some people are lucky enough to be able to quit their day jobs after a while and do it full time and support their families.

I’m going to tell you a secret: Those people that make it to the top don’t focus on sales. They focus on building relationships. I’m going to say that again for effect: focus on building relationships.

Here’s another example of someone I had an interaction with on Facebook:

DS Rep posted a link on a community FB group to his distributor website with no comment or description.

I liked the post, mostly because I support direct sales, a little bit because eventually I’ll want a product in his genre.

Two seconds later he tags me in a comment and asks, “Are you interested??”

Me:              Is your product the same as this other product I can buy at the store?

DS Rep:     Yes, but ours is better. My wife used that other one years ago with no results when I                             found this company man it was the best thing. (Tip: Please use correct grammar and                           punctuation when promoting your business)

Me:             How is it different than this other competitor DS company?

DS Rep:     Just whats in the ingredients. If you want to read more info on it you’re welcome to go                         to my website. (Tip: this sentence just lost him a potential customer)

DS Rep:     Did you want to try it???

Me:            Well, I’m interested in finding something. My friend sells your competitor DS product,                        so I was wondering how yours was different.

DS Rep:    It’s just what’s in it. My wife and I use it and it’s the best.

DS Rep:    Here’s a pic of the trial:

Me:           Thanks, I’ll look at your website.

So let’s think for a second. Read through that convo one more time and try to think of why, exactly, he lost me as a potential customer.

Two reasons:
1) All he wanted was a sale. It’s obvious because twice he asks me if i want to buy his product without one time educating me on anything about it.
2) He’s LAZY. He’s lazy! Seriously, I could not believe he couldn’t tell me anything about his product, and instead just wanted me to to do the work in going to his website and comparing it to the other products I know about. News flash: Customers are too lazy to do that kind of work. As a business owner you CANNOT be lazy like that!
Let me tell you something I’ve learned in my years of Direct Sales: making a sale is about Product Knowledge. You have to scentsy-home-party-21
know your product inside and out. Know as much as you can about it. That way you can educate your customer about your product, look professional, and not resort to putting down the competition. That’s just tacky.
Okay, so let’s talk about what you should do!
I’ll give you one tip for how to reach potential customers/hosts/recruits without harassing your friends and family, or random people on the internet.
Provide a customer appreciation day for a local business!
Dress in your most professional work outfit. Find something that makes you feel like a million dollars! Do your makeup and your hair, put on your favorite jewelry and accessories, apply a brand new Jamberry manicure, and a big bright smile!
imagesGo to your local shopping mall and walk into some of the retail stores, such as Lane Bryant for example (find a store where your target market would be shopping), and ask to speak to the manager. With a bright smile, introduce yourself and let them know you are a representative for XYZ company, and one of the services you provide is a customer appreciation day.
What you would do is come in on a busy day for them and purchase a gift card for a minimum of $25 (if you’re able and willing to do more, that’s great!), you would then set up a nice little table with a bouquet of roses at their entrance, and let them know they’ll welcome all of their customers that day (this will only be for 1-2 hours max).
Welcome them to the store, and let them know you’re holding a drawing for a free gift card to that store today. Have them write down their name and number and give them a rose. Let them know a second and/or third place prize will be something from your company!
Keep this interaction with them as short and sweet as possible. You are NOT selling anything right now! You’re simply providing a warm welcome.
Once you’re done, call the winner and arrange to give them their gift card.
Go home!
The success will be in your follow up. I hope you’ve gotten some training on follow up calls. If not, I’ll definitely be doing a post on follow up calls in the future.
Tip: This could be a great way to help out your recruits who have few to no people to start hosting parties with. Proof that follow-up-callanyone can succeed in direct sales, whether or not they know anyone.
If you’d like more advice on direct selling, or on how to execute this customer appreciation service, please feel free to contact me! I don’t care what company you represent. I simply love seeing people succeed. 🙂
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2 thoughts on “What NOT to do in Direct Sales (and a tip on how to gain leads)

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