So one of the big stigmas of direct sales is the perceived competition. You think, “There are 200,000 other people out there doing the same thing. I’m an introvert. How can I be successful with this?” Let me first start by saying that sort of thinking is NOT the way the grow a business. Yes, your subconscious may always think that way. Especially if you grew up like me in a household with INSANELY high standards (I’m 1/2 Asian, lol). So before we even get into these tips know that – know that every single person on the face of the planet that has ever started a business (Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Estee Lauder, all of them) had doubts. They had them up until the day they became rich and famous and continue to have them every single day. The way that you overcome that subconscious doubt is just to do. It’s to make it so that your action and your passion and you drive overpowers it. So that’s first.
But truly in order to succeed in the business of direct sales, you need to create an addictive brand. HOW do you do that, though? You don’t have decades of marketing expertise or sales experience… DON’T WORRY. I’m here to help. Here are just a few tips to help you create an addictive direct sales brand that will keep your customers loyal and coming back.
- Give yourself fully in all your glory.
It doesn’t matter who you are. Where you come from, where you’ve been, what you’ve done – you’re you. Genuinely and unapologetically so. People love you. Direct sales is great because it starts with your friends and family. Showcase you first. What makes direct sales so successful is that it’s all about your own journey with the products. That’s what people love to see. HOW did it work for you? WHY are you so passionate about it? It’s not about selling. It’s NEVER about selling. Know that. It’s about helping people and showing them your story. People love a story. People love characters. People love honesty. Show them that. Tell them how you found LulaRoe (or Beauty Counter or ThirtyOne), tell them why you became so addicted, show them how you use the products in your everyday life. People can’t purchase something until they can see how it fits into their life. The more of YOU you showcase, the more people identify with you, and the more they can see the products that you’re talking about fitting into their life too. Even the person with biggest stigma towards direct sales cannot deny that you’re a person if you show them that. People support individuals, particularly when you’re forthcoming about your journey. So that’s point 1. Never stop being 100% genuine in everything you do. It matters.
- Figure out why you’re doing this.
WHY are you doing this? What made you start? Was it your passion for helping people? Do you want to regain something? For so many people in life, we get to a point where we question what we’re doing. That’s whether we’re making $200,000 as a successful entrepreneur or making 0 because we’ve been laid off at a job. We question our purpose, we want to have something that means more to us. There’s a reason you chose this, out of all the different ways you could’ve made money for yourself. Find a why that’s not related to money – and tell people about it. Be passionate about it, and allow it to fuel everything. Because if you can communicate that and you use that as your driver to fueling everything you do, people will notice. They’ll identify and they’ll take hold. They’ll FEEL your passion and they’ll keep coming back to you.
- Be a storyteller.
From the time we’re tiny toddlers until we leave, we love stories. We join book clubs, we go to story time playdates, we watch movies and TV shows with ferocious loyalty. “Um. No, I’m not free on Sunday night. Because Game of Thrones.” People love stories. They allow us to feel what someone else feels, experience something that isn’t just the monotony of our own life. Whenever you can, you need to be a storyteller. It doesn’t have to be your own story (though at some point it should be), but also the stories of others. How are people finding success with what you’re doing? How are people changing lives or solving problems? What you sell is secondary, how what you’re selling is changing people’s lives is the story. Keep telling people those stories. But do it in a way that doesn’t ask for a sale. People are smart (despite how dumb they sometimes become when they’re in groups) and I promise you they can make the connection you’re selling something. Just tell the story without catering to your own bottom line and people will approach you, you just have to be patient.
- Don’t cheapen your brand.
Addictive brands don’t come cheap. People appreciate value. But when you’re constantly devaluing your brand by offering discounts and sales to get people over – it’s a race to the bottom. You think that someone else isn’t going to be willing to compromise margin MORE? MAYBE you have a loyalty program or maybe you offer a one time discount here and there – but don’t make a habit of selling items at discount. You work hard, and you deserve the margin that you’re earning on your products. Make it about the story, the brand and the success and you’ll never have to discount. If the only way that you’ve earned someone’s business is a discount, how long do you think they’ll stick around? Long enough to get that discount and then go to the next. You have to create value. You create value by being original, by showcasing YOUR brand, offering incredible customer service and educating. If you’re the authority and you’re helping, people will come to you when it’s time to buy – without asking for discounts.
Selling direct sales isn’t easy sometimes. We all have that mental block that there’s a massive stigma with direct sales. We all worry that this trend will bust. We all worry that we won’t be successful, that it won’t last. But everyone has these fears. If you continually bombard your mind with all the what if’s of failure and never consider the what if’s of success, you’ve doomed your business from the get go. Be positive. Be genuine. Tell stories. Communicate your why. Do all this with absolute passion and I PROMISE you you’ll have an incredibly addictive brand and following, no matter what it is you decide to sell.
Tell me about your struggles as a business owner in the comments and what you’ve done to overcome them.