Congratulations on starting with your new direct sales company! Are you ready to hit the ground running and really see your business takeoff?
Direct sales consultants have the unique opportunity to combine their business, marketing, and interpersonal skills to help customers find the right solutions for their needs. With the right preparation and dedication, you can build a successful career as a direct sales consultant.
Here are the secrets that every direct sales superstar has figured out.
Remember that you are Running a Business
One of the first things to remember to be a successful direct sales consultant is that direct sales is a business… and that means you need to run it as a business.
I know, running a business—goal-setting, time management, overhead, budgeting—these are things we don't think of when we think of our new direct sales business. We just want to hang out with our friends and have a good time. And goal-setting, budget setting… talk about sucking the fun right out of it. We don't want to calculate things like a Return on Investment, or Key Performance Indicators, or marketing.
But, if you're talking about becoming a superstar in your direct sales business, then these are the very things that you need to think about. These are the very things that you need to sit down and define and figure out what they mean for you, for your business, and for your ideal clients. Being a superstar means putting aside the side hustle in favor of a business.
Sure, there are plenty of people who will join a direct sales company because they wanna discount on those products, or because they want to hang out with their friends, or they just want to try something new something that's just for them and that's fine. We love those people. However, if you really want to become a direct sales superstar, you need to act like one.
Make a Business Plan to Maximize Profits.
All too often, direct sellers launch their new business focusing on their parties and their current relationships and don't spend enough time thinking about what their business actually is or what they need in order to succeed.
A business plan is one of the most important steps to becoming a successful direct sales consultant. A successful business plan lays out your vision and strategy, helping you identify potential opportunities and challenges ahead. Identify potential customers, set attainable goals, choose which products you will offer and how you will market them, create a budget that allows you to turn a profit, and develop strategies for overcoming common direct sales challenges like saturation in your market.
Make a Commitment and Draw your Line in the Sand
One of the questions I hear the most from my clients is when is it okay to quit?
WOW that's a lot to unpack, right?
Things get tough, and direct sales is definitely not for the weak. But when is it okay to quit? And here's the thing, if you are aiming to become a direct sales superstar, then the idea of quitting needs to just not even be in your vocabulary. There is no “okay to quit.”
There is okay to move onto another company, there is an okay to move onto another opportunity, there is an okay to change your plan, your strategy, there is even an okay to change your goals.
The problem is that a lot of times these questions come up because people are struggling. They come up because they are feeling burnt out, their sales are low, they can't seem to sponsor anyone, and they don't know how to turn things around and get out of this rut. So they wonder whether it's all worth it, whether they've made a mistake, and whether this is truly the right company with the right products for them.
I can tell you right now, without you even showing me a single product from your line, that this is the right company for you because you were passionate enough to join. This wasn't a decision that you made lightly. You made this decision out of a passion and love for the product. And more than likely you already know other people using this product.
But when those sales dwindle, when you reach the end of your warm market and you're not sure who to talk to or how to draw more people in, this is when it can get very easy to doubt that decision and doubt your own success. Make a commitment that when those doubts come up that you will power through them—That you will only make such changes to your opportunity, to your business, and to your goals when the time to make such changes comes. Which you're going to know, because you're going to draw that out right now before you get much further.
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Use and Love your Products
This probably comes as a bit of a no-brainer, but if you want to be able to sell your direct sales products then you need to be able to describe how they work and what the best uses are for them. Not only that, but your ideal clients need to see you using them. Which means you had better wear them, you had better use them, and you had better love them. There is nothing harder in this world than being able to sell some thing that you just don't like.
Now, this doesn't mean that you have to use your products to the exclusion of any other product. I don't know of anyone who only ever uses one single brand of make up or who only wears jewelry from one particular brand. If that is the way that you want to wear your products, then by all means be exclusive. But don't feel like you have to be.
Admitting that you wear another brand of make up from time to time doesn't mean that your make up doesn't work. On the contrary, what it means is that you are very discerning in what you wear, and that you try multiple things before making that opinion. It means that when you make a recommendation, it is an informed recommendation that is based on more than just the fact that you are being paid to sell a specific item.
And, yes, it's true. There are plenty of sales people out there who are able to sell things they do not use all the time. I don't want to give the impression that you have to use everything that your company put out in order for you to be able to sell it.
Using your company's products helps you build up your knowledge of that product and develop a personal account of that product which you can then relate to your clients.
But what happens if your company puts out a product that you are allergic to? Or a product that is the wrong color for you? Or just some things that you have no use for it all? Does this mean you can't sell those products? Of course not. It just means that you have to get creative with how you develop those personal accounts to sell to your clients.
And believe me, if your clients know just how discerning you are when it comes to choosing which products you use, they will trust you when you tell them that a particular product is not for you, but would work great for them.
Think About Who Else Uses or Needs your Products
Most of the time, when people join a direct sales company, their up line or their team leaders tell them to run out and basically tell the world about this new direct sales business. Go yelling it from the rooftops.
And yes it can be exciting to know that you were starting up this new business and it can be exciting to meet all the new people and new friends and take part in all the games and awards that we see. That's exciting stuff, so of course we want to yell it from the rooftops and we think everyone is going to want to join in on that fun.
However, what you need to do next is really dig into the people who are most likely to buy your product. I don't mean the people who love you the most are the people who support you the most, I mean sit down and create a character of the person you've never met who absolutely needs your product. Why do they need your product, what can they do with your product, what are they using now instead of your product, And what kind of problems are they facing now because they're not using your product that will be resolved the minute they start using your product. Chances are you have not met this person yet, other than yourself.
Take some time to identify who this ideal client is. The more specific you can get, the more you know about this ideal client, the more in tuned to her needs and her habits you can be so you can make sure to be in the right place at the right time. After all, sales is much more about strategy than it is luck.
Set up your Marketing Strategy
You need to develop a long-term vision and a productive marketing strategy in order to make it as a direct sales consultant. Ask yourself what sets your product apart from the competition and figure out how you will target potential customers. Develop strategies for staying up-to-date on what’s trending in the direct sales industry and incorporate it into your business plan. Additionally, set achievable goals for yourself that are measurable and have periodic deadlines so you can keep track of your progress.
Marketing is all about creating an impression, bit by bit, overtime, with your audience. Every time you post an image on Instagram, that is a piece of your marketing. Every time you publish a blog, that is a piece of your marketing. Every time you go live on Facebook, that is a piece of your marketing. It doesn't all have to be promotional, you don't even have to be actively selling something on your Live for that to be considered part of your marketing. If it helps to create an impression, then it is a piece of your marketing.
We use marketing to create a community through which we will gain our sales. I've said in the past that sales is much more about strategy than it is luck, and that is absolutely true. You are not going to start selling your new products and then immediately have a group full of people who are ready to throw credit cards at your face and buy all the things. No matter how excited you are, that's just not a realistic expectation.
It takes time to build a community, to build up your name and your reputation enough to bring people to you. Sure, it starts with your friends and your family. However, when they start bringing their friends and family in, you have to start earning their trust all over again. People aren't going to join your group and Immediately be ready to purchase something simply because they had a friend in there.
In order to bring a continuous stream of clients and potential clients into your community, you were going to need a solid marketing strategy that allows you to show up where they are at right when they need you most.
Remember, Social Media is Social
Hate to say it, but there is a reason why direct sales has a little bit of a reputation of being predatory and spammy.
And part of that reputation comes from consultants who did not know any better about social media marketing. They were not trained in marketing, they were not trained in running a business, they were not even really trained in sales. They were told to go ask everyone they know, and that's what they did.
Yes, you can use social media to make sales. You can use social media to find clients, find leads, sell your products, and build your groups. But more than anything, you need to remember that social media is all about hanging out with your friends. It's about being social, building a community of people who know, like, and trust you. Bringing friends together into something fun and entertaining.
It's not about the sales.
So, as you put together your social media marketing strategy, as you build your group, and as you begin to attract potential clients over to you, remember to stay social. Remember to talk to them, hang out with them, and just be there in general. No one is expecting you to be able to respond to every single question or every single comment on every single photo. But make a concerted effort early on when you are new, and your community will understand when you can't get to them. They will still feel grateful and appreciated and they know that you will feel the same.
Stop Going for No – Aim for YES!
When is the biggest pieces of advice floating around the Internet nowadays is to tell direct sellers to go for no. Not even just go for no, but go for 100 noes. Ask 100 people to buy your product, join your group, join your team, and get those noes. Rack up all of those noes because the more noes you go through, the more likely you are to get to a yes.
Why not just go for the yes in the first place?
Think of the mental energy you could save if you just asked the person that you knew was ready to say yes instead of going through 99 people that you might not know, hoping that they say no so you can get to the yes.
This is what a solid marketing strategy does for you. This is what identifying your ideal client does for you. It allows you to identify that person who is ready to say yes, so you can focus your time and energy on that person instead of wasting it on the people who aren't ready and who are just going to say no. Don't worry about collecting noes, go for yes.
Figure Out What Sets You Apart
Think about a time that you went to go shopping for a car, and the first sales person approached you and said something along the lines of good day or good afternoon or hello, and immediately you did not want to do business with this person. Doesn't matter why, maybe you didn't like the look of them, maybe you didn't like the cologne they were wearing, or maybe they just approached you all too fast. But for whatever reason you nodded your head politely and said, “I'm just looking, thanks.”
And later on, when you were ready to buy, you went looking for someone else to help you buy this new car.
It didn't matter that the first sales person was the first person to come to you. It didn't matter how many other sales people were all there at the time you were ready. The one you approached was the one who got the commission. And there was something about that one that stood out to you. Maybe they had a nicer smile, or maybe you like the way they walked, or maybe you just liked their shoes. For whatever reason, when you were ready to buy, that's the person you went to.
That's the one you want to be.
Have you ever had to ask the question, why should people buy from me when there are 1000 other consultants out there who sell the exact same thing I do? Or maybe you've thought that the market was completely saturated because there were so many consultants in your company. Maybe not even in the same company, maybe just in the same industry. After all, how many direct sales companies sell make up and skin care right now?
I do not believe in a saturated market. I don't believe they exist. However, I do believe that there are hundreds and even thousands of consultant who also think the same thing. And thanks to the internet and social media, it almost doesn't even matter where those consultants are: they can sell in your area.
So, how can you stand out when there are so many other consultants selling the same products or similar products as what you sell? Why should someone buy from you instead of buying from one of those other consultants?
Think of the car lot: there are so many sales people at every single car dealership. And having that many sales people doesn't cut down on their commissions. It doesn't make it so that someone isn't able to sell some thing. But rather, it increases customer service. It make sure that there is someone for everyone. The same is true for direct sales. The fact that there are so many consultants out there is good—it means that there is someone for everyone. It means that no one is going to be hurting for sales and customers are going to be taken care of.
What you need to do is figure out is why the customers are going to come to you. After they have turned down other consultants, why do they go to you? Do they like your shoes? Your sense of humor? Do you answer their questions? What special quality do you have that you can bring to your clients that maybe other consultants might not have?
Define that special something and then lean into it. That's how you're going to stand out and succeed in direct sales.
Set up a System
Last but not least, you are going to need a system for just about everything you do in this new business of yours.
There are so many hats that you are about to wear as a new direct sales business owner. There are so many tasks they need to get done:
- social media marketing
- email list building
- newsletter writing
- inventory tracking
- party tracking
- hostess coaching
- team training
- client follow-up
That's a lot of stuff filling up your to-do list!
The only way to get through it all is to build up a system for each piece. Build a system for your social media marketing that will help you streamline that process so that you can do it quickly and efficiently without cutting corners or missing steps.
Same thing with your list building, newsletter writing, hostess coaching…right on down the list. Each of these primary tasks can be broken down into a process that you can systemize. And once you systemize a process, once you have built out that work flow and you know exactly how it's all going to work together, then you can even start to automate certain parts to save even more time.
The real superstars in direct sales, those people you see walking stages in earning every incentive and quitting their day jobs to be able to do this full-time and more, they have systems for everything. Every time they made a new client, that new client is put into their follow-up system. Nothing gets missed because there is a system for it.
Is there a specific task management app anyone has used with success?
We use (this is an affiliate link) Nifty for all our project and task management.