Over the last three months, I have seen a change in my business. After talking to other direct sellers, a lot are seeing the same thing. Many in direct sales are seeing their business move to more online sales/ parties and less “home parties”. I LOVE home parties. I love connecting with women and getting to know them. I love seeing them smile as they spend time with friends, reconnect and relax. That is what makes me smile. So I need to learn how to do the same thing online. Is it possible???
You can imagine how I struggled when I found my calendar empty with the exception of some Facebook/ online parties and a few vendors events. Those inner gremlins began to jump for joy as they saw the perfect opportunity to play the “negative” mantras and the comparison game. It was tough squashing them but I had to give it a try.
I went on the hunt to find new ways to connect with people on Facebook or to engage my customer base from the last 6 1/2 years. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew I would try things which would flop while other things would be a success. I was willing to commit to it because I wanted to continue working my business full-time and make a difference in the lives of others. Even tougher because I am a little tech challenged.
I tried Facebook parties before. Some were successful while others flopped. I looked at the differences. Hostess coaching played a huge factor in those which were successful. Hostesses who wanted to earn FREE product and were willing to at least do a little bit to help make the party a success. Flops were usually associated with no participation from the hostess or I was using other people’s scripts and not making them mine. Admit it, you have done the same thing!
I looked for people who were successful in running their direct sales business solely online. I looked for tips and tricks from other direct sellers. I was bound and determined to make it work. Here is actually a blog post I wrote almost 4 years ago which talks about this exact subject:
As Jason Dorsey says – you need to communicate with different people differently. In Inc. Magazine there was an article on “4 Tips for Using Social Media to Sell“. I love that Matt Heinz talks about “social selling” instead of “social media”. Here is a link to his book “Successful Social Selling” Here are the 4 key principles shared in the article:
- Getting more “followers’ in not a goal. “There is no connection between the number of followers or likes and your amount of sales.” So true! I have been doing this through my blog but now I have ventured into the social media realm to do the same thing. Sharing products and information by offering people an opportunity to experience Thirty One products without the HARD sell.
- Connection is not engagement. Selling comes from interaction and not just pushing my message or expertise. I am learning to respond to each person who comments on a post, especially the engagement ones. You need to INTERACT with people to build a relationship with them whether online or in person.
- Buyers signal by declaring problems. I am still working on this one. LISTENING for signals when you are face to face is one thing but I find it so much more difficult online. I worry about giving a “sales pitch” or “being pushy” when I “think” I hear those signals.
- You are not in control. This is so tough for those like to be in control! “If you tweet, blog, or post about a solution, idea, or product a person doesn’t need, they won’t necessarily connect with you. If you are listening to the social Web and hear someone declare a problem you can solve or a question you can answer, giving you an opportunity to send a relevant response, then you are truly engaging.”
It has only been three months of consistently trying things online and it is working. I will admit, I stress at the first of the month when the calendar looks light BUT then I get busy. Over the last 3 months, I have met my personal sales goals and my team has met theirs and almost ALL of us do just do things online. Consistency is the key.
So, what are your thoughts on social selling ON social media? If you use Social Meda, what platforms do you use and are they creating business opportunities for you? Please share your thoughts…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.