Anyone who has ever been involved in sales knows that this particular industry operates on a totally different level than others in the business world. Where many aspects like manufacturing, customer service, and marketing benefit from automated and technological advances, successful sales initiatives still rely greatly on the individuals behind the product or service.
The Finite Factors
The direct sales profession is dependent on these finite factors that determine success.
- Knowledge: Without advanced knowledge of the item being sold, direct sales professionals won’t be able to properly inform consumers of how the product works or the benefits the services have to offer.
- Appearance: Outward appearance is critical when sparking the initial trust factor that’s key for closing a sale. Without appearing respectful, happy, and trustworthy, sales professionals have no chance at gaining the interest of consumers
- Enthusiasm: Passion for the product or service must come from the top. If CEOs and top leaders in the business express enthusiasm for the product or service, chances are this will reflect throughout the entire organization and translate positively to consumers.
In contrast to businesses operating out of a fixed retail location – which can aid sales through store design and branding initiatives – direct selling requires you to personally generate consumer interest through heightened measures of knowledge, appearance, and enthusiasm.
The Three Traits for Success
Through strategies like planned parties, one-on-one demonstrations, and other personal contact arrangements, you have the opportunity to connect with consumers on a more intimate level while also pushing a product or a service. Along with the three aforementioned factors that drive successful sales, direct sales professionals must also have these three additional traits to drive products and sell services:
The most successful direct sales professionals go above and beyond to make their customers feel valued. No matter if the individual is a current client, former client, or prospective client, successful direct sales professionals make sure they operate within the greatest realms of respect.
Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay cosmetics and one of the most successful direct sales professionals in history, established her business on the guiding philosophy of the Golden Rule: do unto others and you would have them do unto you. Mary Kay encouraged both the corporate staff and independent sales personnel to treat every person they encountered with the respect and care that made them feel truly valued and important.
- Good Listener
The most successful direct sales professionals are those who ask to hear from their clients and customers and actually listen to the response. Listening to – and understanding – what clients want, need, and desire can help you adjust your sales techniques and better connect with your target audience.
Furthermore, listening to the customer before launching a sales pitch can better aid in the approach by making it personal and direct to the point of need. You can then offer solutions to problems, help where assistance is needed, and give advice on additional products or services that might be of use. Karen Reilley, regional vice president for ASEA, an international direct selling and multi-level marketing company, has found success through listening to her clients and ensuring top-level customer quality assurance is reflected throughout every level of the company.
Though broad in context, having passion for the job and product is critical for the success of direct sales. Not only do successful independent sales professionals enjoy their job, but they also truly believe in the product or service they’re selling. Being passionate encompasses several sub-traits that also cater to the success of direct sales, including:
- Positivity: Being cheerful and having a positive attitude is perhaps the most reliable way to garner the attention of customers. Direct sellers who are excited about their product and radiate positivity are much more likely to spark interest and be approached by clients than those who are flat and appear discouraged with their job.
- Persistent: Having passion also means forging on even if when a sale falls short. Successful direct sales professionals are used to hearing the word “no” and are able to either switch gears and continue with the sale, or know when it’s time to pursue a different client.
- Confidence: You show the most passion when they are confident in their product or service. This confidence helps customers buy in to the idea driving the sale and are thus more likely to believe in the product being sold. By being able to confidently explain how the product or service will solve the customer’s problem, you have a much greater chance of closing the sale.
Founder of ASEA Verdis Norton experienced first hand how having passion influences success. After developing a strategic business planning system that he believed and was passionate about, Norton was able to confidently sell his services to a number of successful Fortune 500 companies around the globe.
Backed with respect, good listening skills, and passion, direct selling professionals can find unparalleled success in the sales market.