Direct Sales – Marketing Madness

Every successful entrepreneur knows that one of the keys to having a profitable business is getting exposure for your products/services. If people don’t know about your business, your business will not grow. That is why marketing is such a critical part of any business plan. You definitely can’t overlook it. But, just as importantly, you shouldn’t overdo it.

The truth is that it is actually easy to go overboard with marketing. This is what I will refer to as marketing madness. Not only can going overboard on marketing cut into your profit, it can actually turn off your target market.

So…why do some people succumb to the dreaded Marketing Madness?

1. They are overly concerned about “cornering the market” and outdoing their competition. Yes, it is important that you try to stand out from the crowd. But if you spend all of your time (and money) trying to get rid of them, you are likely to end up broke and frustrated.

2. They operate by the “more is better” mentality. They feel that if some advertising is good that TONS of advertising must be great. So they go all out on their advertising campaign, always doing it as “big” as possible. While it is great for your name to be recognizable, oversaturation can be counterproductive as your target audience will become tired of hearing your name and what you have to offer.

3. They feel that every single change needs to be announced to the world in the biggest way possible. While introducing new products, services, and other things related to your target audience is a good thing, you don’t want to overdo it. Not everything is going to be relevant to your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself “if I were a client, would this excite me?” If it would, tell them. If not, keep it to yourself.

4. They are targeting the wrong audience. Some people waste a lot of money directing marketing towards those who are truly not interested in what you have to offer. If your marketing falls on deaf ears, you just wasted your time and money. It is critical that you know who your target audience is and where they hang out.

5. They chase after dead leads. I understand that persistence is a great quality to have if you are an entrepreneur. But there is no sense in (as they say) beating a dead horse. You have to know when to cut your losses and walk away. When it comes to leads, you want quality over quantity. If you are buying 1000 leads a month but none of them convert, you are wasting money.

6. They are not tracking the results of their campaign. If you don’t have some type of accurate marketing analysis system in place, you may as well just be throwing your money in a well. Tracking your results allows you to understand which techniques are working and which are not. If you don’t know this, you may be spending money on something that is not even getting results.

As you can see, marketing madness can cause you to lose money as well as lead to burnout. And those are two things that cause many would-be success stories to come to a crashing halt. Make sure this does not happen to you .

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Direct Sales – Paid Advertising versus Free Advertising

Advertising is one part of a successful business that you cannot overlook. You will have to make decisions about what kind of advertising you would like to utilize. Here are some things for you to consider when making that decision.

There are two types of advertising – paid and free. Obviously paid advertising requires money to be put down. However, different methods will run you different amounts. Some methods are very affordable. Others are more costly. Generally, for small businesses, the higher costs will be due to trying to reach a larger audience, and will likely involve such mediums as newspapers, television, and the having actual websites.

If you have a tighter budget or are selling personal items, you may want to pursue free advertising. This is also a great option for people who are new to owning a business. It is likely more limited as far as how far your reach will be, but it is a good way to get a feel for your target audience.

With both paid and free advertising you want to be sure you are able to track your market and your advertising results. If you have the budget for it, you could hire a professional advertising agency to do this for you, helping to ensure that you stay ahead of the market trends. However, you can learn to do this on your own if you dedicate yourself to it.

Regardless of which method you choose, the key is to do your research, have a flexible plan, and stay consistent.

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Direct Sales – Do Team Incentives Really Drive Results?

An incentive is defined as something that is designed to call people to action. It is something that lights fire in someone to do something. Direct sales companies often offer incentives to their consultants in an effort to boost sales. These incentives are often very appealing ones, such as vacations, cash, or even cars. These high-ticket incentives motivate consultants to dig deeper and really push to meet their goals.

On a smaller scale, consultants can also offer incentives to their team to help boost performance. And there is no denying that these incentives do motivate people. However, is there possibly a downside to offering incentives? In being open-minded, let us consider the possible drawbacks of incentives.

Let’s say that you offer prizes to your top 3 sellers for the month. Let’s say these prizes are $100, $50, and $25 gift certificates. At the end of the month you award the gift certificates to the top 3 sellers. They are pleased to have won, of course, but in the grand scheme of things, were those certificates really what motivated them to hit their goals? Would someone be so motivated by $100 that they would work very hard to sell $3000 worth of product. Honestly, it is not likely. Getting the extra reward is nice, but not the primary motivator.

Then we have those people who did not get into the top 3 and who had no chance of doing so. The people who are not necessarily in the company for the big paycheck. The people who work a fulltime job and don’t have as much time to dedicate to the business. The people who work hard just to keep their businesses afloat. Is it possible that perhaps these incentives may serve an adverse purpose for them. Perhaps offering the incentives just causes them to feel like they should give up. After all, they may feel as though they simply can’t compete with those people who are able to work their businesses fulltime. Perhaps offering incentives puts you ate risk of alienating some of your team.

This is just something to consider when you are motivating your team. I’m not saying to get rid of your incentives. Instead, I am suggesting that you find ways to motivate everyone on your team, and not just reward those people who already have consistently high numbers.

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Direct Sales – How to Build an Effective Sales Team

The success of your business is largely dependent upon sales. Therefore, your team’s successfulness at getting and closing sales is going to be critical. So, what qualities do you look for when you are bringing people onto your team and what can you do to help them be successful? Here are some tips for you to implement:

1. Find a Viable Candidate
Let’s face it. Not everyone is cut out for sales. If you want to find someone that will most likely succeed in this business you will want to find people with the following qualities:

A. A desire for positive change in their life—especially when it comes to their earning potential.

B. Someone that is fairly sociable and able to hold a conversation.

C. Someone who you feel comfortable with. You are going to be spending time with them. You should feel as though they are someone you want to work with long-term.

D. Someone who is persistent and determined to reach their goals, but who is not pushy. No one likes the “slick salesman” who doesn’t know when to back off.

E. Someone who is excited and energetic. Not only are these the people who stick with their businesses, their excitement can rekindle your own.

F. Someone who is confident and does not give up easily. If someone does not feel like they can do something and is always down on themselves, chances are they won’t have what it takes to make it in this tough industry.

G. Someone who is coachable and ready to learn. Find people who realize that there is always something new to learn and progress to be made. These people will be open to being trained and coached to success. You don’t want to work with someone who is adverse to learning and trying new things or someone who is convinced that they already know everything there is to know about everything. In this industry, you have to be adaptable, flexible, and willing to implement new things.

H. Although it is not a necessary prerequisite, finding people who have some sort of experience in sales is always preferable. People with experience will require less training.

2. Be up front about what they will be doing. By providing them with information beforehand, they can determine whether or not this is something that they are truly interested in and committed. That way, you don’t have to worry as much about your team diminishing.

3. Provide valuable and continuous training and support. Provide in-depth product training. Teach them everything that they need to know to go out there and replicate your success. Having a proven and replicable system already in place will help tremendously. That way you can simply plug them into it and be there to provide support and additional training as needed.

4. Provide your team with consistent motivation. This industry can be tough. There are highs and lows. And sometimes success is a long road. Because of this, it is not uncommon for people to give up. By providing consistent motivation to your team, you give them a little push to keep going. Motivation can also come in the form of incentives or recognition for hard work.

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