Making More Money with Your Direct Sales Business

By Belinda Ellsworth

Part of Direct Selling For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Most people get into direct sales to earn an income, of course. There are many ways in which you can work your business and many different opportunities to generate sales. You can utilize all of the following suggestions or focus on just two or three services:

  • Home parties: When people get to attend a party and interact with other guests, they experience that great energy that comes from having a good time together. The right balance of fun, the excitement of seeing friends make similar purchases, the information provided in the brief presentation, and the added bonus of expert advice all combine to create social proof (the strength of personal recommendations). Social proof can create stronger sales, result in more bookings, and even make recruiting new team members easier.

    Follow the elements of a successful party: Always create desire for the product, hosting a party, and the opportunity. Greet guests as they come in and get them excited for the evening ahead. Do an opening talk where you introduce yourself and plant opportunity and hosting seeds. Present products and you focus on selling their benefits, not the details. Give a booking talk where you make the hosting opportunity sound fun and appealing to other guests. Deliver a recruiting talk where you build the desire for joining the company and earning an income. Always do a full-service checkout where you review their products with them to make sure they aren’t missing anything and offer the hosting and joining opportunities.

  • One-on-one appointments: One‐on‐one selling is an excellent way to gain new clients, party hosts, and recruits. It gives you the opportunity to discover your prospects’ needs and cater your presentation to offer them a specific solution. This personal experience is the perfect situation for relationship‐building, so it also helps set you up for re‐servicing. It’s also an excellent time to sit with someone one-on-one to discuss the business opportunity.

  • Trade shows and vendor events: Trade shows can help you reach out into your community and meet people you may not have met otherwise. Note that smaller, less expensive events tend to provide a bigger return on your investment. Decide on your purpose for that particular event and don’t get distracted by anything else. If your focus is to get bookings, then don’t focus on selling product. Concentrate on engaging people so that you get bookings. If your goal is to earn enough to pay for your booth as you expand your contacts, focus on selling product you have on hand. If your goal is recruiting, make sure all your conversations include the message “I’m looking for people to join me.”

  • Out and about: Meeting new people — or networking — is important because you never know where you will find business. Always be prepared to talk to the people around you. Being prepared means being ready mentally and physically. You want to look professional, have your 30‐second commercial prepared and rehearsed, and be sure your marketing items are on hand. If someone asks you what you do, you want to be able to follow up with marketing materials such as promo cards, catalogs, and business cards.

  • Online: When it comes to doing a great online party, you use exactly the same skills as an in‐home party. The difference is in how you utilize those skills. To succeed with virtual parties, you need to engage guests, make it fun, and show them how your product really answers a need they have. Successful online parties also demonstrate why hosting a party is exciting and rewarding and how becoming a representative meets a need that each guest has. There’s no question that online parties can be a great boost to your business. They allow you to reach people outside your general vicinity and offer the best fit for both you and your hosts. You don’t have to leave your house, you can put the kids in bed, and you can sit down and do your virtual party.

  • Fundraisers: Fundraising is a $19 billion market. The great part of fundraising programs is that people want to support their community. Fundraising can introduce you and your products to an entirely different crowd. Many companies offer a fundraising program that divides your normal profit so that the bulk of it goes to your school or organization or whatever beneficiary you have chosen. Or you can develop your own program. Focus on offering about a dozen top items on a flyer rather than using the entire catalog. Make sure the receipt offers an opt‐out option for future contact and that the products are delivered with your contact information included. People who come from a long‐term corporate background find this model of doing business very successful and appealing.

  • Re-servicing: This is a piece of the business that many people leave out, and that’s a huge amount of cash to leave on the table. Re‐servicing is more than simply posting on Facebook “I’m putting in an order, does anyone want anything?” Re‐servicing is true customer care, meaning it involves contacting customers by phone with a simple, short conversation to ensure that they’re doing well and like the products, and to determine whether they need more or would like to try the monthly special. If your company doesn’t offer a monthly special, create one for just your customers. Or look at each customer’s previous purchases and suggest something tailored just to them. Re‐servicing can turn into an independent stream of income. You can also schedule about 15–20 minutes a day for this task.

  • Personal shopping experience: Consider providing this kind of service as well as selling products. For example, those who sell food‐storage products might tell prospective customers something like, “For a fee, I will come in and organize your pantry.” The customer then pays the fee, and you come in, show them how to organize, and recommend products that should be used — and tell them they can apply their fee as a credit toward their order. Representatives who offer cooking tools can offer to streamline kitchens. Those offering clothing can also offer seasonal wardrobe‐organization services. For many companies, it’s appropriate to offer this service twice a year.

  • Show-on-the-go: Your mini show‐on‐the‐go is an excellent opportunity to sell your product one‐on‐one while you’re out running errands. An afternoon out at the mall can quickly turn into a sale, a booking, or a new recruit for your team. You can quickly create a show‐on‐the‐go kit by putting three catalogs (or mini‐catalogs or product brochures) into a tote bag with five to eight product samples, a host packet, and an opportunity packet.