Generating Leads for your Direct Sales Business

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There is one thing that any direct salesperson needs in order to grow her business… leads! Without leads, you have no potential customers and no one to sell your products to. This, of course, translates directly into no profit and pretty soon, no business.

Generating leads can seem a daunting task. No one wants to spend hours on the phone cold calling. But not to worry. Cold calling has been proven ineffective most of the time, anyway. Because you don’t really know the person you’re trying to sell to when cold calling, you can’t possibly expect to know her needs, wants, or interests.

It’s even unlikely that potential customers you call won’t stay on the phone long enough to get to know you or your product well enough to become interested in it. There has to be a better way to generate leads for your direct sales business. The good news is– there is!

When you first start out in direct sales, chances are good that your leads will be people you know and who you see or talk to on a regular basis. Typically, these will be your family and friends. The chances are good that your family and friends will be happy to buy a few products from you when you first start out because they want to support you in your new business endeavor. Your excitement about your new business will also rub off on them and they’ll be excited for you, too.

But you can’t expect your family and friends to be your sole support throughout the course of your business. Sooner, rather than later, you need to generate leads elsewhere. Thankfully, there are many ways to do so.

The most obvious place to generate leads for your direct sales business is at home parties. Here, not only will you find a roomful of people who are already interested in your products, but you can ask these customers for the names and numbers of people they know who might also be interested in your products.

Offering an incentive to current customers to entice them to hand over a list of contacts is a great way to get them involved! Ask each guest at each of your parties for a list of at least five prospect names.

Offer a special product to the guest who provides you with the longest list of names. If you still find you can’t get prospect names, hand out your business card to everyone at the party and encourage them to pass your name and number on to friends and family. You can still offer discounted products or incentives to those who refer someone to you. Just have the referral mention the name of the one who sent her to you.

Another great way to generate leads for your direct sales business is to team up with a retailer who reaches a similar market but who is not a direct competitor. For instance, if you sell makeup, try finding a clothing retailer or a hair salon that will let you set up a display in a corner of her store.

Include sample products, catalogues, and information about you and your business. Offer a drawing for potential customers to enter and take a chance on winning a free gift. On each ballot have entrants write down their names and phone numbers. People understand you’ll need this information to notify them if they win the prize. And you’ll have a full list of new, potential customers.

The key to generating leads for your direct sales business is to think creatively. Contact everyone you know, offer incentives and products to people for referring possible leads, and get the word out about your business. you’ll soon discover leads all around you. At that point, it’s up to you to identify them and contact them with your product information.

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