3 Common Direct Sales Business Problems with Timely Solutions
There are some common problems I hear when it comes to running a Direct Sales Business.
Most people who sign up for Direct Sales don’t think much about what they will have to do to run a successful business. It is usually a common thought that without any hard work at all, money will come pouring in. The truth is, any business that you open is full of challenges, but all of them can be overcome for you to have a successful and profitable home based business. In direct sales, there are millions of women and men running successful businesses every day. But sometimes getting started is tough. So I thought I would address 3 of the top problems that I hear most along with some solutions to get your direct sales business on the track to profits!
Common problems that consultants have in a direct sales business
1. Problem: No one is booking parties from me or I don’t get enough bookings and all the bookings are going to Jo Schmoe down the street.
Solution: One way you can do this is by offering a wide variety of party options to all of you party hosts. These options include: home parties, book (catalog) parties, Facebook parties, basket parties, trunk parties, theme parties, workplace parties, etc. Hosts are busy and they need a wide variety of party booking options. Let your potential hosts know that the party plan industry has changed and we know people are busy. They can still take part of discounted products in many different ways. Usually one of your options will work for them and they will continue to a repeat, loyal customer.
2. Problem: No one is willing to give me an order and I can’t make my minimum requirements. Why are people not buying from me?
Solution: You need to take a hard look at who you are asking to place orders with you and are they the RIGHT target market audience for the products you are trying to sell. Knowing who to target with the items you sell is an important part of your business! For example, someone who hates to cook and eats out 90% of the time isn’t going to be the best customer to purchase Tupperware or Pampered Chef products. Figure out who your target audience is and try to spend the majority of your time targeting those specific people. In addition, you need to give them a wide variety of ordering options: phone, email, mail-order, in-person, text…etc. It is all about targeting the right people to become your customers and making it easy for them to place their orders with YOU!
Also, remember to share your passion instead of using salesy or spammy lines will help to build a connection and relationship with customers. People want to do business with people they know and trust. Take a interest in your customers lives. Most of the time, people choose you because of how much you care and not because you are desperate for a sale. Share your journey and stay consistent. A great way that I keep people fully aware that I still am a consultant in my direct sales business is by using a scheduling tool called Cinchshare. Cinchshare allows me to never miss a post on my Social Media and allows them to travel on my journey with me consistently. When you become passionate and focus on who you can help, people will connect with you more and for longer.
3. Problem: Not many guests are showing up at my host’s home party show. Are people not into attending home parties anymore?
Solution: Millions of people attend a home party every year! People still love to shop from a home party and receive unique, custom and traditional products. Often times when a lot of guests don’t show up to attend a home party it is the fault of your party host. To solve this problem, practice extensive hostess coaching techniques with your party host leading up to the home party. In addition, obtain a copy of her guest list and mail out the invitations yourself and follow that mailing up with personal phone calls to each guest. If need be, offer additional incentives to get them in the door!
Some great direct sales business hostess coaching techniques I use consist of the following:
1. Book your parties within two weeks. This will give you the best results for avoiding cancellations. Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to stay in contact with your host, get her guest list and help her plan her girls night out.
2. Give each hostess a packet filled with information to help her prepare for her party. Include:
• At least 3-4 catalogs
• About 10 order forms
• A wish list. After all she needs to plan for all her discounted goodies.
• A guest list with room for complete contact information for the guests she wants to invite
•A possibility packet. Remember hostesses make the best team members. If they do well, they gain confidence and usually will want to join your team.
• Any other information you think may motivate her toward a better party
• A handwritten thank you note with a business card so she knows how much you appreciate her.
3. For best results, ask your hostess to return the guest list to you so that you can send out invitations rather than leaving the task to her. This has proven to bring much greater success and more guests in attendance at parties. Snail mail is still fun to get when it comes to being invited to a party and I always get better results when I send them myself. Oh, and don’t forget to set up a Facebook event. But….no mass inviting. Make people feel special by only inviting your important VIP’s.
4. Outside orders matter. If people can’t come, that is ok, let them know they can order through her before the party. This will increase her sales and her extra free and discounted goodies.
5. Follow-up with your hostess one week after the booking to be sure she has everything she needs and to answer any questions she may have. Also call her one to two days before the party to make sure all of her questions are answered and to check in in regards to any outside orders.
6. Make your hostess feel like a queen on the night of the party. Thank her for having everyone and definitely give her a special gift. People love to feel important and bookings are the key to our business so we want to let them know how much they mean to us.
7. A couple days after your party, be sure to follow up with your hostess. Give her more thank yous. I love to send her a handwritten note and one of my important phone numbers magnets so she has my contact information in case she needs me for anything at all, has referrals or of course wants to have another party.
8. Call your hostess after all orders have been delivered to be sure she and her guests were pleased with their products. I also highly encourage my team to call every single guest to placed an order. Check to be sure they are happy with their order and during this phone call is where you can build your relationship. Remember people book parties with those they know, like and trust. What a great way to really connect but to call and check to see if they loved everything.
9. Call your hostess again or send her a post card about four to six months after her party. Usually by this time a new catalog has come out and you have the chance to tell her about any new promotions or things going on. Don’t forget to offer her some sort of personal special if she agrees to be a hostess for you again.
Following up and making your customers special will solve many problems that I see consultants having. Most consultants make the mistake of simply selling to people one time and never following up again. People want to feel important. They want to know you care. Take the time to do the little things that will help people remember you. If you let too much time pass with out follow up, they could find another consultant. Don’t let your customers fall thru your finger tips and avoid these common direct sales business problems.