Inventive entrepreneurs will always look for effective ways to reach out to the consumer. Direct selling is a simple yet effective way to sell goods and services. According to an excerpt on the Balance, direct selling is the act of selling products directly to consumers. The technique is hugely popular with home-based businesses and often takes place in a non-retail setting. One of the most outstanding features of direct selling is the absence of middlemen in the distribution curve. The sellers usually go by many names, including presenters, distributors, and consultants.
Some of the products that may be sold directly to consumers include essential oils and beauty and care products. When entering into a direct selling arrangement, the seller is often given a starter kit product that is sold for a small fee. The success of the product on the market normally depends on factors such as product line, market demand, and marketing model. Popular, low-risk products often provide the best opportunity to make steady income and rake high profits.
Quickbooks strategies to execute direct selling
Giving free offers – small businesses with little or no brand recognition often find it difficult to attract customers. The situation may be compounded by a high marketing budget. The easiest way out is to find a cost-effective, selling strategy. Businesses can offer free samples to give prospects an opportunity to test products. Offering free samples can also help sensitize the audience about the company offerings and encourage referrals.
Deploy email marketing – the internet has greatly changed the way direct selling is executed. One such strategy is the low-cost of email marketing, which offers a wider reach. The sales pitch used in email marketing should be short and concise to help drive the message home. Remember, the goal of email marketing is to strengthen connections rather than a short-sighted approach to sell a specific product.
Use social media to get social – the growth of social media over the last few years makes it a critical component in formulating an effective marketing strategy. Social media presents a fertile ground for consultants to sell products to family members, friends, and acquaintances. An entrepreneur can also use a platform like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to post promotional materials and offer business and product updates.
Reduce cost with cross-promotion – using cross-promotion grounded on strategic partnership, entrepreneurs can defray high marketing and advertising cost. Businesses can implement cross-promotion by partnering with influential personalities and making joint media appearance. The strategy is highly effective in attracting prospects.
Give extras – successful businesses often use direct selling to attract and retain customers. Businesses can easily succeed in creating a loyal base by providing free gifts or extras such as value-added services and an array of product and service discounts. The other strategy is supporting charitable organizations and sponsoring local clubs.
How to succeed as a direct seller
If you are an entrepreneur or an individual interested in direct selling, there are several important things to remember. According to the Forbes magazine, here are 5 top tips for direct sellers:
- Sell and work hard behind the scenes
Although the lifestyle benefits of direct selling can be enticing, there is a lot more to it. First, a direct seller should find it easy to talk and selling products to family and friends. Secondly, direct sellers must also work hard to ensure they attend regular training and recruit the right distributors. Lastly, the paperwork must be filled accurately and submitted on time.
- Bet on the right company
Always take time to choose the right company and merchandise to sell. The key pointers to look for when analyzing a company include a good reputation, an exhaustive training program and a comprehensive compensation plan that promises attractive rewards. To learn more about direct selling, you can visit the resource-rich, Direct Selling Association (DSA) website.
- Take time to read the fine print
The contractual obligations included in a direct selling agreement must be read carefully. This will help you decipher the initial start-up cost for the kit, membership fees, and recurring expenses. It is also important to know the level of sales you need to maintain to remain an active seller. Also, be sure to get the compensation plan and refund policy in print or hard copy.
- When you are in doubt, ask!
If there is anything you do not understand about the direct selling, ask the initiators of the program. If for some reason, the answers you get are unconvincing or inadequate, then direct selling may not be the right business for you. Here is a list of pertinent issues to probe:
- How much did the company make in the past year? (turnover, sales, bonuses, and profit)
- What percentage of sales do you offer product distributors?
- How much money do you spend on product acquisition and training?
- What is the number of recruits working for the company?
- How much time will I spend on the business?
About Direct Sales Champion, Chrissy Weems
Chrissy Weems is the CEO and Co-Founder of Origami Owl, a jewelry outfit that has grown from zero to a $250 million business in a space of 4 years. The business was born out of a passion for jewelry making. The vision to start Origami Owl came from Chrissy’s daughter. Bella Weems was 14 years old at the time and wanted to buy a car. She took up a babysitting role to help raise money, but the idea proved futile. Bella then decided to start a jewelry business with her mom.
The idea to start a business helped her realize the dream of owning a car at 16. Chrissy Weems attended a TEDx Talks event at Davenport, Iowa to share the story. She revealed that the success of the company was hinged on direct selling and specifically the social selling concepts that target family and close circle of friends. The company has a community of 30,000 designers. For her success, Chrissy is today recognized as one of the most influential personalities in Direct Selling.