One of the greatest challenges that you can ever face in direct selling is how to market your products. Given that your budget is limited, you will want to apply feasible and efficient strategies to achieve this objective. There are certain proven marketing strategies for direct selling that offer better Return On Investment (ROI) than others. This article seeks to explain some of these strategies and how you can implement them. They include email marketing, webinars, giveaways and social media
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the greatest and most cost-effective marketing strategy for your direct sales as it offers great reach and affordability.
However, without paying close attention to the best practices regarding this strategy, it might well be a waste of time. For instance, there are a few things you shouldn't do: You should not use automated emails and HTML emails. You should also avoid long sales pitches using affiliate URLS as well as the "spray and pray" strategy of SPAM marketing.
For this strategy to work effectively, first, you need to incorporate the human element into the emails by personally writing them or having them written by a real person. Under no circumstance should the email be spam-like. Ideally, you want to make the sales pitches short. You can do this by limiting the email to a few short messages at most encouraging your client to contact you by phone. In addition, the email should be personalized, ask for a brief chatting session with the client and be in plain text.
More often than not, sellers make the mistake of going for the "marry me" button during the first interaction. Needless to say, this is one of the most ineffective ways of making direct sales. The objective of the first interaction should be to establish a rapport and build trust rather than to make a sale.
The saying that first impressions last is at least true if not underrated. As such you should try to establish yourself as someone resourceful during the first interaction, that is, someone who adds value to the clients' lives. Do not worry about the sales, because they will flow naturally once the clients get to trust you.
2. Give away your product
Yes, you heard right! This might seem ironic considering the fact that you are in the business of selling, but it actually is not. A great philosopher of truth once said, "give, and it shall come back to you". You should follow this wisdom. For instance, if you are a web service, provide a free trial and if you are a coach then provide free coaching lessons (you get the idea).
In addition, you can also offer clients discounts on your product. At this point remember that your main goal is to build your reputation and not so much the number of sales.
When you are starting up on direct selling, chances are that people do not know about your product and if people are not familiar with your product, they are less likely to purchase it. By giving them the product for free, you eliminate this shortcoming and get the opportunity to ask for their feedback as well. This will help you generate ideas on to improve your product. Once you improve the product to fit the clients' needs and they are familiar with the product then you can sit back, relax and watch the sales pour in.
By giving freebies, you not only get the opportunity to convert prospects into lifelong clients but if the free trial is successful you get to reap the benefits of the best kind of advertising- word of mouth.
3. Host webinars for more interaction
Webinars are one of the most convenient and cost-effective marketing strategies for direct selling. The time and financial resources needed to produce a webinar are only a small portion as compared to those required for a live event. Webinars offer great reach by allowing you to pass your message to thousands of potential clients. In addition, you get to interact with your clients on a one on one basis and answer any questions they might have in real time. The advantage of this marketing strategy than all the others is the degree of personalization it affords.
However, for your webinar campaign to be successful, there are a few things you should consider. First, you need to come up with an actionable and compelling topic- one that the customers want to learn about. You should also create your webinar schedule in such a way that the timing allows for maximum reach. Hosting an expert guest comes in handy especially in the question and answer session where your clients may want an experts opinion.
4. Social Media
Given that we live in the 21st century it is impossible to talk about effective and cost-effective strategies without a mention of social media. Social media is a great tool if you are involved in direct sales as it offers a platform where you can create a fan page and get feedback from your clients without too much hassle.
The great advantage of social media is that people spend a lot of their time and thus the chances of your message getting to your clients on time are pretty high. Failure to establish a social media presence is akin to living in oblivion. Though it is cost effective, one shortcoming of creating a social media fan page is that it will only capture a small proportion of the audience and you actually have to pay to get maximum exposure.
You can also complement the above direct sales marketing strategies by creating a blog to let potential clients know about your products. In order for the blog to be most effective, you will need to provide information that adds value to the client such as tips to improve their experience with one thing or another. The blog should be less " salesy" and more value oriented.
Whether you are operating on a shoestring budget or your marketing budget is close to zero, the above marketing strategies have been proven to work efficiently as far as time, money and other resources are concerned. If you apply them correctly, then your return on investment (ROI) should be substantially higher than that of other marketing strategies holding everything else constant. Therefore, embrace them with an open heart and don't be afraid to try them out.