If you are experiencing a lag in sales, the first thing to do is use your direct sales method to your advantage.  Because your business model relies on person-to-person interaction, emphasize your genuine concern for customer satisfaction and the relationships you have built to generate sales.  No matter what product or service you offer, here are some tips to increase your sales in everything from health food to handbags.

  • Refocus on what people are buying.  Consumers’ needs are always changing.  Consider the explosion of smartphones purchased in the last five years.  Once the major manufacturers created a product so convenient and affordable, it became nearly impossible to live without.  It’s important to always pay attention to the trends in consumer interest.  As a direct sales representative, you may not have control over the product, but you do have control over how you market that product.  For example, there is a big need right now for people to be able to add more fresh produce into their diets.  When marketing your cookware, highlight those pieces that make recipes such as summer squash casserole and broccoli rabe salad easier and more fun to make.
  • Sell the benefits of your product instead of the product itself.  Once you’ve identified what customers are buying, center your attention on marketing the benefits.  This will help them understand why it is they want the product.  For example, instead of just focusing on the aesthetics of long necklace, demonstrate that its various colors make it a versatile complement to any wardrobe; display all the different ways in which it can be worn for any occasion.  When a customer understands the benefits of a product, they will place greater value in it, and therefore want to own it.
  • Offer something free.  This is your opportunity to get creative.  Offering something free with a purchase can come in many forms: a free gift on the spot, a free sample of a brand-new product, a voucher for a gift with a future purchase, etc.  Again, the focus should be on what the customer wants.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with different offers and promotions until you find the one that works best for your product and customers’ needs.
  • Minimize risk.  Everyone can be hesitant before making a purchase, no matter how big or small.  Alleviate that fear by minimizing the buying risk.  Your company most likely has some sort of guarantee in place, but in certain cases, you can go above and beyond that if possible.  For example, say your company offers a lifetime replacement guarantee on any handbag found to have a manufacturing defect. A customer asks you about this guarantee but is disappointed to hear that she would still have to pay shipping costs to return the defective item.  Offer to foot the bill for the shipping or offer a complimentary pickup service to save her the hassle of a trip to the post office.  The less risk there is in making a purchase, the more likely the customer will be to try it out.

The direct sales industry is all about meeting your customers’ needs.  Once you can get in touch with what those are, use your strengths in customer service and your creativity in marketing to increase your sales.  Happy customers will gladly share their positive shopping experiences with their friends and family, so satisfaction certainly goes a long way.

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