Okay ladies, this is a shoutout to my direct sales girls! I love ya, and I know that you are killing it! But have you thought about all the sales you're missing?
First I feel I need to preface and say, I do not do direct sales, but I am a frequent purchaser. I use Beachbody, Monat, ColorStreet... basically I love it all. All of which came about from a friend or someone I know sharing a product on Social Media or in person. Recently I have become very frustrated with the direct sales strangers constantly sliding into my DMs. I wish that this post was born out of love for all the incredible direct sales ladies I know. But, being honest- it wasn't. It's born from all the fails that I have personal encountered recently. I have been in sales of some capacity my entire career, from retail sales, marketing sales, ad sales, social media marketing, it is all the same- so let's jump right in!
1. Why are you selling this product?
I mean usually the direct sales girls that are killing it are selling their products with their convictions. Stop making your posts so "salesy" and stop listening to your upline who encourages you to post the same CTA (call to action) on every post "Loving XXX ask me how I do it?" It wreaks of garbage and it's what every other girl selling every other widget is doing! Start sharing with your audience why you love this product, and be passionate.
I use Monat because my hair has never been more manageable. If I were selling Monat I would just post pictures about how having manageable hair has given me more time in the morning and increased my confidence in my overall look. Be authentic! The truth shall set you free! If you are selling this product for a little extra pocket money to buy your children new things, or save for a vacation- share it. People want honestly.
2. STOP the DMs
So this is a little dramatic, but hey, I am who I am... And I don't mean stop using DM's all together because it works. This can be an extremely effective way of gaining new clients. But stop sending the same message to anyone who follows you. The very reason I am writing this is because a complete stranger slide into my DMs last night about how she loves such and such product because it supports her busy Mom lifestyle. If she took one second to read my Instagram bio before copying the same pitch she has saved in notes, she would have read the first line "BLOGGING ABOUT MY CHILDFREE LIFE." I can not relate to you and why you use this product because I am not a busy Mom. Get to know your customer. In any "traditional" sales training you would find that you need to research your customer and familiarize yourself with their needs, that is how you close by offering a solution. So direct sales on Social Media is the same thing, please know who you are messaging, otherwise, sorry girl- you are just spamming and won't be heard.
3. Enough with the Stock Photos
Most of the marketing materials that are provided to you are not sized correctly for social media platforms. Taking a screenshot of half of an eblast and posting it does nothing for me. Clearly you have a phone, you can take amazing photos with just your cell! Learn a few basics of photography and start killing it by using original content! This will set you apart from everyone else selling the same products in your new client's feed. Utilize free resources like Canva.com to resize images and create your own graphics.
4. Get Professional
Websites are free on a ton of platforms- (I recommend Wix, it's the easiest to use without web experience). Start a website sharing your journey and linking to your sales page.
And hey you can show off all that original content you've been making! It's a great way to connect your products to the brand image you want to portray. It can also lend itself to longer form writing with blogging and you can provide so much more than your competition this way. This is an amazing tool to start getting new clients and convert them to sales.
This is your business, whether it's a side hustle, or your full time gig, this is what you do and you should nurture and support it!
As you grow you should be re-investing as much as you can back into your business. Whether its in samples or a better website, or social media ads, or business coaching- treat this like you would any other business, advertise and invest in yourself. If you find something in your business plan that you can not achieve, outsource it. There are people like me and others (and resources like Canva.com or Fiverr) that can help you with your marketing piece by piece.
6. Use your Friends and Clients
Like with any other business, you start with your family and friends to spread the word. You will be surprised how unreceptive many are. The longer your journey, the more you will connect and rely on total strangers to help support your successes, rather than your family and friends. But I digress, start with your friends and grow from there.
Make a targeted list of who you know that can benefit from the products you're selling, and then offer it to them as a solution. Even if you have to fund a few people at first to try the products, they will fall in love with them just like you did, and ask them for testimonials. This is the kind of content that would be great for your website and can help new customers know more about what you do and your product successes within your community, not from a before and after you took of the home site.
7. Don't Be Fake. Be a Marketer
I mean I think this is like a Golden Rule for everyone, but there is nothing a client hates more than a salesperson acting fake. It is what makes up the stereotypes of the salesman past. Don't make claims that are not true, do not claim your product works for everyone, and don't put down the competition. Stay classy and never drag yourself or your business through the mud by comparing in a negative light to competing products. Learn how to market yourself and you'll be on easy street in now time. Research traditional marketing practices and then apply to your business.
8. Know that No One is an Overnight Success
I know your upline will have you believe that the girls that got in on the ground floor were overnight sensations and driving a pink Cadalliac by the weekend. Well that is simply not true. It takes time and hard work in any business venture. You have to put the time and the work in to grow.
9. Don't Fall for the Gimmicks
Everywhere I turn there is a new "class" or "course" being offered to help you up level your business. Mind you that many of these can be great resources. But be sure you are doing your research on who is offering this course and check if there isn't a free resource guide out there in lieu of this paid offering.
I use Pinterest and Google more times a day than I can count in looking for what I need for my business. I listen to Podcasts, and subscribe to entrepreneurship blogs- many offer free guides and tips (kind of like this one) to help you along the way. Know that just because you're paying for it, doesn't mean its the best content on the subject. If you sit down with anyone that has found success in any kind of business, they will all share the same thing- time and energy.
10. Don't be afraid to Pivot
Many people I know get such a taste for entrepreneurship through direct sales that they outgrow just selling their original endeavors. Actually I see this in all types of businesses- they begin to feel like they have to start over or delete their page, or make something all new. Know that if you grew your business the right way, and have stayed connected to your clients and audience, they would of course be interested in something else you're passionate about. Don't be afraid to change your goals. I started this blog as marketing tips- and when I decided to start sharing more personal info, I deleted my old posts. Literally while writing this I could have kicked myself because I had written a lengthy post about beginner photography tips, and deleted it. Content is content, and if its original and you are authentic in creating it, or pitching it, or whatever it is you do, be proud of it and don't be afraid of change.
~ No matter our path in life, dress fabulous and let's practice some social graces.