By Scott Schilling
Becoming involved in direct sales has been the answer for many people, especially women, these days. Here in the DFW Metroplex alone are several companies including Mary Kay, IDLife, Evolv, Mannetec and more. Many times, ‘New Distributors’ are hoping to make enough money to augment and add to their monthly budgets. In far too many cases, they sell a little bit of product to friends and family, and their prospect list is done. They quit the business before they even have a chance to learn the basics of presenting their offerings (in other words, learn how to sell). Their internal chatter says, “I’m simply not a salesperson.” The reality is that’s not true. Shocking, but NOT true!
Everyone is in sales every minute of every day. They just may not frame it that way in their mind. The fact is that “selling” is nothing more than presenting a position or potential solution to a problem to someone else. In other words, in every conversation, a “sale” is made.
Again, a dramatic statement, so let me share some proof. Have you ever been on a date? You MADE a SALE! Have you ever put a kid to bed? You MADE a SALE! Are you married? You are BETTER at this than you think!
The Webster’s definition of sales is “the exchange of products, goods or services for an amount of money, or its equivalent.” While the interpretation of that definition could be, “the delivery of a solution that makes everyone feel great.” Most people don’t, unfortunately, look at it that way without have the awareness that was just brought up.
To help more people through my trainings, I’ve created a Heart-Centered Selling definition of sales. It is this: “Education through Communication without Manipulation!”
In other words, a true sales professional is a teacher that educates their potential customer on the features, advantages and benefits of their offering will supply. Everyone LOVES their teachers … especially the ones that take a true interest in solving a problem for them.
Some say that no one is born a salesperson any more than one is born a doctor or a lawyer. We have ALL been born with the ability to communicate a message, starting immediately at birth. When a child cries, a message has been sent!
Sales is a profession and like any profession, you must learn the basic techniques and how to apply those techniques. To be truly successful, you should use all the capabilities you’re born with plus all those that can be learned through education, study, experience and practical application.
If you are looking for a career opportunity or “extra income” to help with the family budget, direct selling offers you dream-fulfilling possibilities. However, you must give yourself time to learn the techniques of sales.
Ask yourself. “How long does a doctor study to be a doctor? How long does a lawyer study to be a lawyer?”
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves … what is direct selling?
Direct selling is the marketing of products, goods or services to a consumer in a more direct route without multiple “middlemen” (wholesalers, retailers, distribution centers, etc.). The company creates and supplies the product to you and you are the immediate conduit to the end user. The savings from this more direct route to customer can then be shared with you as commissions.
Personally, I believe everyone should be involved in a direct selling business of some sort for a variety of reasons. The benefits of having your own direct selling business include (and are not limited to):
- You can own your own business for little or no money investment.
- By definition, a business can take advantage of favorable tax laws not allowed personally
- You work for yourself and therefore are your own boss
- You can set your own hours and work when it works for you
- You can potentially experience an ever-increasing pay plan as your business continues to grow
- You can take time off as needed and still have a revenue source work for you
These are only a few; there are many more reasons to consider your own direct sales business. That being said, there are people that are very excited in the beginning, and then do not continue the activities required to running a fruitful, ever-growing business. Just as in traditional business, if you quit doing the work, the business stands the potential to falter.
To help you and your business be successful and continue to be sustainable, here are some tips, techniques and strategies to help your business prosper.
Before you enroll into any program, ask yourself these simple questions:
Am I willing to modify my life to improve my life?
Am I willing to designate a defined amount of time daily; weekly; and monthly to grow my business?
Do I genuinely like people?
Am I willing to learn what is necessary from those who know what I don’t know?
Am I willing to put in the time and effort a business requires?
Do I believe in the products; goods or services I am representing?
Do I believe in the company, management team and other associates I will be working with?
Here are 10 Steps to greater success:
- Have a Positive Attitude: Attitude not aptitude determines your altitude! Success in sales, as in all areas of life is 90 percent attitude and 10 percent aptitude. All of us must work at developing habits of constructive thinking. I am proud to be a salesperson. Sales make the wheels of our economy turn. Bernard Baruch, advisor to several presidents, is quoted as saying, “If every salesperson sat down and took no orders for twenty-four hours, it would bankrupt our country!”
Every company that manufactures any kind of product depends upon salespeople to move that product. Without salespeople, business would be paralyzed. Remember to re-frame salesperson as teacher and the sales presentation as education.
Remember, sales is one of the highest paid of all professions. Statistics show that good salespeople enjoy incomes far above the average. Truly life-changing income can be available.
- Set Goals and target achievements: What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to save for college education for your children? Buy a new car? Move into a new home? You can have whatever you want, but you must want it enough to do the things that are required to reach your goals. Whatever your goal, write it down and set a target date for reaching it. Be specific!
Chunk your goals down by dividing the time into blocks of achievement that are reachable. Work consistently toward accomplishing each day, each week, each month what you set out to do. Goal-setting is a must in every area of life. Little is ever accomplished without definite goals.
- Make To-Do Lists: Each evening list all the things you want to get done the following day. That gives you an organized approach to each day. As each task is finished, mark it off your list. It is amazing how much gets done when one works with a “things-to-do” list. Also, have a notebook listing appointments, potential clients, repeat clients, and referrals, and keep it with you always. You will be referring to it and adding to it constantly.
- Lead with Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm comes from the Latin en-thos … of God’s spirit. Every time you are enthusiastic, you are closer to your higher source! Enthusiasm is the high-octane “fuel” that salespeople run on. Enthusiasm generates its own energy. Energy and good health are synonymous with busy, happy people, people who are achieving.
- Engage fully and be involved: If you’re going to do this … DO THIS! Give yourself the best possible chance at success. Most sales organization offer contests to stimulate production. Include winning contests as part of your business goals. You are just as worthy and deserving as anyone else. Contests make your business fun as well as adding considerable dollar value to your income.
- If you don’t ASK you don’t GET! In direct sales, don’t have to wait for business to come to you. You must create our own business by asking for it. Ask for appointments, then you can do business. Ask for business, then you will close sales. Ask for referrals, then you always have a full list of potential clients. As the legendary Zig Ziglar once said, “You can typically recognize the salespeople that don’t ask for the order … they’re the ones with the skinny kids!” Be quietly, yet firmly aggressive.
- Hearing NO is part of the Process: Not everyone is going to be as excited about your products, goods, services and opportunity as you are, that’s just fine! Realize that no’s are not personal. In sales, as perhaps nowhere else, the law of averages works. Every NO gets you closer to a YES. Keep track of your ratio. It will help improve your techniques. Are you getting ten NO’s to one YES? Is your ratio five to one? Remember, the YES’s are your income. Also remember that “NO” does not necessarily mean “NO.” Often a “NO” is simply a stall for more time to think. It may be a request for more information about your product or your service. What your client is actually buying is assurance. Assure them by your helpful attitude and your complete honesty, that you want what is best for them. They will most likely respect you and do business with you.
- Create an Office in your home: Remember, this is a business not a hobby. If you want to get paid like a business, you must treat it like a business! Most direct salespeople work from their own homes, but it is essential to have a place where you can work in an organized and efficient manner. An office plus a strict working schedule shows your discipline and gives you the dignity you deserve. Both are absolutely essential for efficient operation and accurate record keeping, so important to the success of any business.
- Time is your ally, use it wisely: We all have the exact same 86,400 seconds in a day. The difference comes from how we choose to use it. A schedule is the roadmap by which salespeople travel. It takes the frustration out of the day. It assures that the necessary things get done and get done on time. Plan your work then work your plan. Make sure your activities are productive and moving your towards your goals.
- Money Management is important: Because this is your own business, money management is more critical than ever. A regular nine-to-five job usually means a paycheck at the end of the second week in most cases. Direct sales reps manage their money constantly. Direct sales can be instant income and constant income requiring a new and better level of expertise. This is a good thing, a skill that will ultimately transfer in all areas of life. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to become an efficient money manager. You’ll be glad you did.
Scott Schilling is The Significance Expert committed to providing Inspired Answers to Today’s Challenges through his TV Show, Podcasts, speaking, training, consulting and coaching. No matter where you are in your path from Survival to Success to Significance, Scott gives the guidance, direction and actions steps necessary to get from where you are to where you want to be! You can reach Scott by email at Scott@ScottSchilling.com or by phone at 972-659-8941.