Are you a direct sales consultant trying to get your business off the ground? If your answer to this question is yes, then there's one thing you should know- the success of any business endeavor largely depends on your ability to build harmonious relationships with clients. Disregard to this fundamental truth is the cause of more failures in direct selling than all the others factors combined. In the business of direct selling, personal relationships are everything. You have to constantly be on your toes to ensure that you deliver top notch customer service. As Jack Welch once put it, "The best way to retain your clients is to constantly figure out how to give more for less.".
With this in mind here are a few tips to help you build lasting relationships with your clients and get them to trust you.
1. Think Win-Win
For any meaningful relationship to work out, it must be a win-win for both parties. If you have been struggling but continuously failing in direct selling, then perhaps you have not been thinking win-win. You need to shift your thinking paradigm from sales pitching to value creation. In other words, stop asking how much dollars you can get from your clients and start thinking about what it is that you can do for them. Thinking in such a framework will make you more creative and resourceful and no client will want to let go of such a person.
2. Be genuine
To convince someone else you must first convince yourself, otherwise, you won't be so "convincing". You need to genuinely believe that the product you're selling is worthwhile and offers great value to clients. If you are selling a product that is genuinely worthwhile, you will sell it with more enthusiasm and clients will prefer to do business with you than with anyone else. The amazing thing about human beings is their innate ability to tell whether a person is being sincere, that's why you should steer off of dishonesty if you are to build lasting relationships with your clients.
3. Don't sweat the small stuff
A great Greek philosopher once remarked that "There are no royal roads to physics". This knowledge is equally true for relationships, even Shakespeare agreed that the quest for true love never did run smooth. That said, you are bound to have a hard time with your clients at one point or another. For instance, you may find that they are not receptive to what you have to say at first. Do not take this to heart, chances are that they have had a bad experience before or they just don't see it from your point of view. In such instances, the best thing is to be tolerant and patient with them and to treat them equally as well as you would have had they accepted your idea. They will come around eventually, and even if they don't buy into that particular idea you will have established yourself as someone who is understanding and whose demeanor is strongly equivocal.
This point can never be overemphasized. Communication is a two-way process that involves not only telling your clients about your products but listening to their needs as well. If you listen keenly to your client's needs and suggestions, you will be more effective in matching a product with their needs. Once you do this you will have established yourself as a reliable direct sales consultant and clients will most definitely want to work with you again.
5. Go the extra mile
All successful relationships are based upon the law of reciprocity or what is better known as the golden rule- doing to others as you would have them do to you. Going the extra mile can come in very handy in direct selling as I will explain shortly. While you are listening to your client's needs, you might learn that there is something that is really important to the client but is not necessarily related to the product you are selling. If you traverse heaven and earth to get this "important" thing for them, your actions won't go unrewarded. Few things are harder to forget than a person who "goes out of his way" to do things he/she "doesn't have to do". They will definitely try to return the favor at one time or another, hopefully by buying your product or even being your lifelong clients.
6. Do things differently
Think outside the box, think differentiation. Ask yourself, "what extra value can I provide that my competitors do not offer?" Continuous delivery of superior value is indispensable to customer loyalty. You can differentiate your product by offering free local delivery or providing them with a newsletter containing tips they can use. In addition, you should recognize that a sale does not end at the exchange of the product for money. Great after-sale services could determine whether your clients are likely to do business with you again. You should be available when they need you and respond promptly to any queries that they may have if your goal is to maintain a good relationship.
7. Communicate regularly
It is important to communicate regularly with your clients in order to let them know about new products and learn whether their needs have changed. However, the communication should be more of a conversation than a sales pitch. Do not tell them why they should "buy the new product", instead focus on how the new product can "help address their needs". This will make you sound more like a person who is concerned than a person who is trying to make a sale.
These 7 tips are not meant to be exhaustive but are rather intended as a guide to help those struggling in the business of direct selling to build trust with their potential clients and give ultimate value. The successful application of these tips requires time and effort. No relationship was built on one day and no relationship always runs smoothly. If you are patient enough you will earn great rewards, not just in monetary terms but the calmness of spirit that accompanies harmonious relationships. Just as surely as the sun reaches it's zenith, so will you achieve success in direct selling by following the instructions laid out above.