Direct sales can be a tough business. Your customers are your lifeline. Your business is entirely dependent on your ability to retain and grow your customer base. You can’t rely on a flashy website or a storefront in a busy downtown district.
One way you grow your direct sales business is through word-of-mouth and getting current customers to chat up your services to their friends and family. This is awesome and extremely effective and cheap! A downside to this is that just as customers chat about an awesome experience, they talk MUCH more about a negative one. Customers are twice more likely to talk about a negative experience than a positive one (Global Customer Service Barometer).
Here is a list of ways that you can almost guarantee you will turn off customers to your direct sale business.
- Being too Aggressive– We all know what I’m talking about here. You are at a direct-sales party and the salesperson is just overly aggressive. This is probably the main reason why people hate in-person parties. Customers do not like feeling pressured to buy something. It creates a negative experience and they will not come back or refer any friends or family.
- Being too Annoying– Social media is awesome for direct sales businesses. It provides you the ability to more easily and efficiently connect with a broader audience. Just make sure that the audience wants to be contacted by you, how, and when they want to be contacted. Make sure to ask for these preferences when signing customers up for your email list. One tip-off that this might be happening is if people continue to leave your Facebook group shortly after joining or if they unsubscribe from your email list shortly after signing up.
- Being Hard to Contact– Customers have grown accustomed to convenience when shopping. Direct sales customers are no different. Make it super easy for them to contact you. Your contact info should be on every correspondence you send, every social media page, and so on. Also, make sure that you monitor your messages. Make it a commitment to respond to all inquiries within 3-5 hours. If you are going to be any longer than that, make sure you set up an auto-reply or voicemail message that explains when they should be hearing back from you. You want it to be as easy as possible to do business with you.
- Being Unorganized– I get it, it is tough to keep up with everything. You are literally everything to your direct sales business: CEO, accountant, marketing director, social media manager, shipping supervisor, etc. It is imperative that you keep everything as organized as possible, at all times. Take some time to organize your inventory, use an inventory control system, organize all of your supplies and marketing material, keep a calendar with all party dates and deadlines, etc. Being unorganized leads to inefficiencies and huge customer problems. Which leads to our final point…
- Don’t Resolve Problems– You are your business. If a customer brings a problem to your attention, try your very best to resolve it as quickly as possible (regardless of whose fault it was). Sometimes that may come at a slight cost to you (which really stinks, I get it), but I guarantee you, it will be less than the cost of a lost customer and negative word of mouth. Consider it a cost of doing business and move on. Your time is better spent growing your business than going back and forth with an angry customer.
In conclusion, your goal should be to make it as easy and enjoyable for your customers to do business with you. If you aren’t sure how you are doing on any of these points, simply ask. Customers will give their opinions if they are asked. The feedback may be tough to hear, but essential in growing your direct sales business.
Have you had a bad experience as a customer? What mistakes have you made in your own business? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you!
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