Unsuccessful Sales Tactics to Avoid
Most direct sales consultants study ways to sell more and get new customers. Few, however, study what not to do. Here are some sales tactics that will not only lose sales for you, but they can truly sabotage your business if allowed free reign. Watch for them, and eliminate them from your direct sales business as quickly as you can.
• Becoming a one-size-fits-all-kind of gal. Treating every customer and prospect the same can be a big mistake in your direct sales business. You need to discover what each individual customer desires and work to fill that desire. Otherwise, you’re simply competing with other direct sales representatives who offer the same cookie-cutter approach, and with potentially hundreds of other reps in any company, being different matters.
Offering each customer or prospect specifically what she wants promotes you as the direct sales consultant who knows her customers and strives to meet their every need. That will ensure your customers keep coming back to you when they need what you have to sell.
• Failing to care for your customers. Customer care is critical to a successful business, especially a direct sales business. Direct sales is a personalized business by its nature, and it requires stronger customer-consultant relationships than standard retail businesses. That’s why it’s mandatory that your customers know you will care for their needs in any way you can.
Return phone calls promptly. Handle returns and refunds with a pleasant attitude. Work diligently to ensure they receive orders on time. Say thank you with a simple card or email. Anything you can do to let your customers know how much you value them will pay off in added sales for your business.
• Monopolizing the conversation. If you’ve ever read Dale Carnegie’s classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” you’ll know that the underlying premise of all the Carnegie teaches is to learn to listen to people.
Everyone wants to be heard. Becoming known as someone who listens will strengthen your relationships, and it will help you hear what it is your customers and prospects need. Knowing that will put you well on the way to solving their problems–and increasing your sales. The opposite, not listening or talking too much, will drive customers away quicker than you can blink.
• Not being completely honest with yourself and your customers. It’s sometimes easy to think you’re working hard when you’re really surfing the ‘Net, or when you’re daydreaming instead of making phone calls or answering email–like you know you need to be doing.
It may be easy to exaggerate the potential when you’re trying to recruit a new team member, or exaggerate a product’s capabilities when you know it can’t do what you say. It’s not that we intend to lie, we just want to make a situation sound better than it is!
But anytime you are less than 100 percent honest with yourself and your customers or prospects, you’re doing serious damage to your business. A successful direct sales business is built on honesty and trust. And without these important virtues, the foundation of your business is shaky at best. Be honest in every aspect of your business with both yourself and your customers. The results will be well worth the self-discipline in the long run.
• Wanting what you want and wanting it now. Building a strong customer base and a successful direct sales business takes time. It also requires dedication, persistent and that dreaded “P” word–patience.
Keep working at your business–contacting customers and prospects, booking parties, promoting and marketing your products, and it will pay off. Just give it time and one day you’ll realize how far you’ve come… one seemingly slow step at a time. You’ll be so glad you didn’t give up when the results weren’t immediate or instantaneous!
• Working as a lone wolf. Sometimes you may feel as if you’re totally on your own in direct sales. After all, you are the boss, and you usually work alone–making calls, following up on emails, placing orders, etc. But direct sales is about relationships and building strong ones will take your business farther than being a “lone wolf” will ever do.
Nurture your relationships. Get to know people in all areas of life. Learn to network with others naturally, through conversation and interaction. Doing so will not only enrich your personal life tremendously, but it will ensure you’re never at a loss for word of mouth referrals and sales leads from trusted friends.
Building a successful direct sales business can be challenging, but the rewards are amazing! The flexibility of working your own hours and raising your own kids while still being able to earn a good income are priceless. Do all you can to minimize the mistakes you make and your business will grow more quickly because of your efforts.