1. Maximize Your Existing Customers
2. Know Your Customers
3. Follow Up
Sales experts know that selling to repeat customers is much more time- and effort-efficient than is getting new customers. And experienced home makeup business direct sales reps know this, too. After all, what takes more effort:
Scheduling and holding a product class or party, or taking reorders from existing customers?
For some reason, though, many makeup business direct salespeople overlook existing customers as a source of sales. Sure, they’ll take any repeat orders that come in, but they don’t actively mine this list for additional opportunities. Maybe it’s because booking a new party or class seems more exciting, or maybe because they think they’d be bugging people if they called. Whatever the reason, not looking to your existing customer base for sales is like not picking up a twenty-dollar bill on your front steps.
· Ask for referrals- If you have a customer who orders from you again and again, ask for referrals. They obviously like your products and wouldn’t mind sharing their great find with their friends. Even if you have asked before, ask again. People are constantly getting introduced to new social circles, meeting new individuals, or realizing that someone they thought wouldn’t be interested now might be ready to give it a shot.
· Ask for feedback- If you have a loyal customer, leverage the relationship by asking for their opinion on your presentation, products, or competitors. You might want to offer a small discount or free product for their assistance.
· Tell them about the new stuff- Instead of just letting them put in their order every quarter for the same six items, introduce them to new products they may not have been aware of. Customers can fall into ruts, and it’s up to you to give them a jolt. Let them know what’s new, different, or better.
· Offer preferred customer status- Many makeup business direct sales companies offer programs specifically for their “preferred” or high dollar-value customers. If your company offers such a program, take advantage of it! If there is no structured program, create your own. You can send long-time customers special promotions, product announcements, and news and tips particularly for them. It will make them feel special and give you another reason to contact them every month.
Your existing beauty customers are the backbone of your business. Spend time finding ways to let them know they matter to you, and you’ll find that your efforts pay off handsomely.
One of the benefits that small businesses – including direct salespeople – have over large, big-box retailers, is the ability to get to know your customers on a more intimate level. But to really use that relationship to maximize your profits, you need to go beyond first-name basis. You need to know them as a friend, and that takes work. Here’s how you can establish a relationship that pays big dividends:
1. Make it authentic- It’s obvious when someone is being nice to you or expressing interest only to make a sale. That’s the last thing you want your customers to think, so your interest in them has to come from a place of true service. Yes, you’re hoping you’ll make money, but your real motivation needs to be one of service. Keep your eyes on their hearts, not on their wallets.
2. Start a customer information file- Whether it’s a box of index cards you jot notes on, a computer program, or a binder, have a way to track your customers, what they order, and other pertinent information. At a minimum you should know their family members’ names, their birthday, and their contact information, as well as their preferred means of contact (mail, email, phone, etc.).
3. Contact them regularly- Your customers should hear from you at a minimum of once a month. Any less, and they will forget about you. Depending on your business, you may find that a once-a-week schedule is preferable. That doesn’t mean you need to call all your customers every week!
Your schedule might look like this:
Week One – Phone call
Week Two – Emailed newsletter with tips
Week Three – Postcard reminder
Week Four – Email announcement of special sale or product
Many of these can be done in bulk and don’t require the same amount of time to send 100 as one. To make sure the information you send is welcome, make it useful. Tips, resources, savings, ways to use the products they already have… these are all wonderful options.
4. Use product delivery to increase connection- When your customer comes to pick up his or her order, or you swing by to drop it off, this is a great unstructured opportunity to further your relationship.
There’s no stress because you’re not in the middle of a sales presentation, and you already know your customer likes you because they purchased from you! Use this opportunity to find out how the customer plans on using their purchases, what additional questions they have, and how your business fits into their overall life.
If you visit their home, you may have the opportunity to meet their family and get a glimpse of their life. Take advantage of it!
Your customers are better than gold. Treat them that way, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a positive relationship, both personally and professionally.
One of the biggest mistakes home makeup business direct salespeople make is failing to follow up – with leads, with new customers, with past customers, and with inactive customers. Treating transactions as isolated events rather than a chain of interactions means you see your customers as commodities, and they will view you the same way. In this section, I’m going to address why you need to follow up with each of these categories:
1. Following up with leads- You’ve got a basket full of business cards from a promotion at a local bank. Now what? Well, if you’re like most direct salespeople, you’ll do nothing. That’s right – nothing! Most people seem to think their job is done when they have collected the names, but the names by themselves mean nothing. You need to actually sit down and call or otherwise contact the names collected to try to convert them from a lead to a customer.
2. Following up with new customers- The time when a little extra effort can make the biggest impact is right after a new customer has purchased with you. They may be feeling a little unsure of their purchase and hearing from you at this vulnerable time will definitely reassure them that they made the right decision. It’s also a perfect time to head off any problems or answer questions – and to see if they regret NOT purchasing something they were thinking about!
3. Following up with past customers- Don’t assume that your customer will contact you directly when they run out of something or want to make another purchase. Most people are lazy and will just as easily buy from a competitor or from the mall or other retail shop if you don’t make the effort to contact them. More than one direct sales rep has lost a customer to the mall because they weren’t in front of the customer when a re-order or replacement was needed!
4. Following up with inactive customers- If you haven’t heard from a previous customer for a while, don’t assume everything is okay, or that they would contact you if they needed something. Make the effort to phone them to see where they are. Do they need a new item? Are they unhappy with a previous purchase? Did they lose your number? Whatever the situation, you’re better off hearing from them directly than letting them die a slow death because you couldn’t be bothered to get back in touch.
Following up – and following up when you say you will – is a critical part of good direct sales. Many experts recommend the three days – three weeks – three months approach, following up at each of those intervals after the initial contact. While that’s a good rule of thumb, even better is working with your customers and your unique business to do what’s right for them and for you.
Making money in your home makeup business and increasing your own paycheck as a direct salesperson isn’t complicated; it’s actually quite straightforward.
But there’s a difference between “simple” and “easy.” While what you need to do is pretty simple, actually buckling down and doing it can be hard. Sometimes the fear of failure, lack of motivation, or just plain laziness can get in the way of your success.
I hope this information shows you that success can be yours – if you’re willing to work for it. And I know you are.