Friday, October 23, 2015

Master the Art of Add-On Sales

If you head out for dinner with your family, the waiter or waitress will almost always ask you, “Can I get you an appetizer to start?” Then when you finish your meal, they’ll close with, “Would you like to look at our dessert menu?” They’re not just being polite or angling for a bigger tip. They’re doing something that in big business makes for big profit; they’re working for an add-on sale.

An add-on sale is an additional item that is added to the customer’s order in addition to the main purchase. If you buy a barbeque, the man at the hardware store may ask if you need a grill brush, cover, or extra kerosene. If you buy a new car, you’re asked about an upgraded stereo, floor mats, or a luggage rack. If you buy a cruise, you’re asked about trip insurance or shore excursions. All add-on sales!
Waiters, waitresses, travel advisors, and pretty much anyone in retail knows the truth: It’s the first sale that’s the hardest. Once the customer has agreed to buy, it’s much easier to get a “yes” on any subsequent purchase. But there are some guidelines to increase the likelihood of making the add-on sale:

  1. Make it a related product. When someone buys a new car, they’re not asked if they want a bag of charcoal. When someone purchases a new sofa, they’re offered pillows or Scotch-guarding, not a new mattress. The add-on item should be complementary to the original purchase.
  2. Make it smaller. Add-ons are typically less expensive than the original purchase. Research has shown that if someone is buying a large item (like a suit), then the cost of the smaller item (like a dress shirt or tie) seems almost negligible in comparison. If someone has just bought a mascara for $7 and you ask them if they want a skin care set priced at over $100, they’re going to look at you like you’re nuts. But in the reverse order, it makes sense.
  3. Make the offer at the right time. If you offer the add-on item before the customer has decided to purchase the original item, you may be seen as too pushy and they may back out of the deal altogether. Conversely, if you offer an additional item after they’ve already paid for the original item, you’ve probably missed the boat. The sweet spot is when they’ve made up their mind to buy and they haven’t yet signed the credit card slip.
Offering a complementary item to your customers should become second nature to you. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. But each additional sale you achieve adds to your profit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Build Your Network Marketing Business - Market Constantly

In my previous posts we discussed how to find more people to convert to customers or team members. Now, I want to talk about ways to be constantly marketing yourself so the sales and prospects come to you. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll consider marketing your products as separate from the act of actually selling those products.

There are ways that you can promote your business and products without pushing your offerings down other people’s throats. In fact, the “hard sell” is rarely successful; and when it is, more often than not the customer resents being “forced” to buy. For a long-lived network marketing business, you will need happy, repeat customers and a strong, dedicated team. That’s why luring them to you in an ethical and relaxed manner is essential to your business success. Here are five ways to market your business without being pushy:

  1. Add your business tag line to every email. Most email programs make it easy to add automatic signatures. Just by adding a sentence saying, “Jane Doe, independent sales representative for XYZ Corporation,” may net you extra business. You’ll soon find people saying, “I never knew you sold XYZ!?”
  2. Distribute business cards prodigiously. Post them to public bulletin boards at libraries, bookstores, Laundromats, and gyms. Leave them with receptionists at the doctor’s office, hair salon, and barber shop. See each business card as a little bird winging its way to the person who needs it most.
  3. Talk about what you do – in a positive manner. No one wants to hear about your work troubles. Complaining is especially destructive if in the next sentence you turn around and say, “Would you ever be interested in doing what I do?” Someone would have to be crazy to say yes!
  4. Put it on your car. Mary Kay reps who are lucky enough to drive the coveted pink Cadillac almost all have a tale of someone flagging them down on the highway or following them into a parking lot to find out if they have their favorite lipstick in stock. If it works for them, it can work for you! Add a bumper sticker or window cling advertising your business.
  5. Get online. In an earlier post we talked in more detail about creating a website to sell your goods; now, I want to encourage you to find ways to promote yourself and your business online. Write articles for sites like, blog about your area of expertise, create videos, and post regularly to Facebook and other social media sites. Each one of these efforts is a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to you.
You may think that your parent company does plenty of advertising and marketing, and that may be true. While you can’t match their million-dollar budgets, you don’t need to. There are dozens of low- or no-cost options that will bring hungry customers and business opportunity seekers right to you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Build Your Network Marketing Business - Never Close the Doors to Your Business

It’s been said that if you want to be a success in network marketing, your business must always be open.  That means you’re ready to sell or recruit when you head to the supermarket, coach your son’s T-ball team, or attend a parent-teacher conference.  You are your business, so if your eyes are open, your business is open.  Here’s what this tip means when it comes to network marketing:

  1. View each person you meet as a potential customer or team member.  That means each person you meet will either buy from you, join your team, or introduce you to someone who will.  If you don’t ask, you’re missing out somewhere down the road.
  2. Find a way to break the time barriers.  Having an online presence will allow you to take sales and find prospects (and make money!) even when you’re asleep.  Even just giving your existing customers to option to order via email will save you one more phone call.
  3. Layer your activities.  If you’re holding a class or party, invite someone from your downline to attend with you.  This allows them to see how you interact with customers as well as lets them hear the product and company information another time – much more interesting than reading about it in the training materials!
  4. Be a walking advertisement for your business.  I don’t mean wearing a t-shirt that proclaims, “I lost 40 lbs. in six weeks.  Ask me how!”  Although that is an option. Instead, I mean using the products you represent, from top to bottom.  The first thing a skeptic will ask you is, “Do you use the products?”  You do NOT want to have to answer, “Well… no.”
  5. Don’t be embarrassed by what you do.  Sometimes we feel embarrassed because we’re in direct sales.  This usually occurs because we know that some network marketing companies and salespeople give our industry a bad rap.  But how are you going to change the public’s perception of this business if you don’t let them know what you do?  Never be embarrassed by your profession.   If you truly are ashamed, it’s time to find a new company – or a new profession.
Being constantly “on” can be tough and draining.  However, you don’t always have to be selling; you just need to be ready to do business.  Hopefully, these five suggestions can help you expand your business hours without burning you out.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Build Your Network Marketing Business - Go Online

The internet is one of the biggest tools you can leverage for your network marketing business success.  Where else can you have push-button access to over a billion people – and mostly for free?  The internet removes time and geographic boundaries, and allows you to reach individuals you never would have had access to.  If you’re not using the internet as a sales and lead generation channel, you’re making a huge mistake.

Many network marketing companies have already realized that the future of their business is online, and they provide tons of resources to enable web-based sales and prospecting. These resources might include:
-Consultant websites.

-Online sales materials such as order forms, digital catalogs, etc.
-A system and platform for conducting online parties or sales events.

-Capture pages to collect information from prospective team members.

If your company offers these tools, set everything else aside (including this report!) and get up and running RIGHT NOW.  Each day you are not online is a day a competitor is stealing your potential business.  Go claim your slice of the internet immediately, and then come back and finish reading.
If your network marketing company doesn’t offer a complete suite of online sales tools, it’s still possible to make this channel produce for you.  Here’s how:

  1. First, check out your company’s web-based sales and lead-generation  policy. You may find that you are not allowed to sell via a website, or that there are other restrictions.  It’s better to find those out now instead of building your own website, only to find out you’ve violated your business agreement.
  2. Start small.  You don’t have to take over the whole web in a day!  Try creating a simple site where you can take re-orders from existing customers, and let them know they can now email you their orders.   You can always build, but if you try to take on too much at once, you can easily become overwhelmed.
  3. Host a virtual party.  Your mom always said she’d hold a party for you, but has never been able to because she lives in Arkansas and you’re in Florida.  Ask her to host a virtual party.  This can be done via Skype in real time, or via a dedicated website where guests ask questions, place their orders, and interact at their convenience.  (If your company doesn’t have an online catalog, ship a box full to Aunt Ellie and ask her to distribute them for you.)
  4. Keep in contact.  A blog where you post regular tips, specials, and other information and resources related to your business is a great way to get people coming back for more.  Become an expert in your field, and you’ll be the one they turn to when they need to buy.
  5. Recruit team members.  Provide a brief overview of your company and create a contact form for anyone interested in learning more about your opportunity.
Doing business online isn’t that much different than the way you’ve been working up until now.  The same principles of customer service, integrity, and honesty work just as well – if not better – in a virtual world.  It’s just a new channel and a new opportunity, one you can’t afford to miss out on.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Build Your Network Marketing Business - Expand Beyond Your Circle

At a certain point in your network marketing career – after a week, a month, or a year or so – you will have exhausted your immediate circle.  You’ve hit up all the ladies in your church group; you’ve worked your neighbors, and your kids’ teachers tell you that though they love what you sold them, they really don’t need anything right now – nor do they want to host another party for you.  And no, they don't want to join your team.  You’re stuck.

Instead of waiting for your current customers to run out of whatever you’ve sold them or suddenly decide that yes, they want to join you, and right now!, you’ve got to break out of your small circle of influence.  You need to push through to that next level to reach people you haven’t tapped before.  There are two main ways to do this:

  1. Look for “friends of friends,” or
  2. Find “strangers.”

Let’s talk about the first method – getting referrals.
You may think that all your friends know the same people, and to a certain extent, that’s true.  The ladies at your church all know each other, your neighbors all know each other, the teachers at school all know each other.  But I bet you know at least five people they don’t… and vice-versa.

Think of the party game, “Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon.”  If everyone knew only the same people, that game wouldn’t be possible.  Either it would only take one degree to reach Mr. Footloose, or it wouldn’t be possible at all.  The same goes for the people you know, and the people THEY know.  Think about your college roommate, your next-door neighbor’s pet sitter, your spouse’s officemates.  These aren’t people in your direct circle, but they’re in that next ring.
So how do you get to these people?  You ask.  Ask your neighbor to introduce you to their pet sitter; ask your college roommate in the next town over to introduce you to her neighbors, ask your spouse’s workmates to broker an introduction with their spouses and neighbors.

Tools online like Facebook and LinkedIn make this very easy, as you can see who your connections are connected with.  On LinkedIn, you can even request an introduction to a particular person.  The key is to see each person in your current network as a bridge leading to many more circles.  All you have to do is cross that bridge!
Now, let’s talk about strangers.

When you were young, your mother probably warned you, “Never talk to strangers!”
The problem is, many of us are still holding on to that advice, twenty or thirty or forty or more years later!  With all due respect to your mom, you need to forget that advice right now.  She gave you that advice – and rightly so – when you were too young to protect yourself, or to be able to judge between “nice” strangers and “bad” strangers.

As an adult, you must talk to strangers virtually every day: The teller at the bank, the man holding the door open for you at the grocery store, the customer service person at the cable company… these are all “strangers.”  Somehow we think it’s okay to talk to them in one way or setting, but it’s not okay to speak to them about our business.  Wrong!
If you want to make more money, you have to sell more.  And to sell more, you need to talk to more people about what you sell!  It’s as simple – and as easy – as that. If you think you can’t talk to strangers about what you do, then you’re basically giving up on 99.99999 percent of the world.   Sure, it can be a little anxiety-producing.  Here are some ways to make it easier to talk to strangers:

  1. Assume the best.  It was the great Will Rogers who said, “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.”  How true!  If you approach each interaction expecting that the other person will be interested, or at least polite, your anxiety will drop tremendously. Instead of telling yourself, “
  2. Take the pressure off.  You can make any interaction scarier by convincing yourself that if the other person shuts you down, you’ll die.  Instead, minimize the encounter. Inviting them to hear more about your products or business isn’t a life or death situation; think of it as offering them a stick of gum.  They may want one; they may not. It won’t kill you either way.
  3. Play the numbers.  Most network marketing companies will give you a good sense of how many “no” answers you can expect to receive before you get a “yes.”  Each time you approach a new person, remind yourself that it’s a win either way.  If they say “yes,” hurray! If they say “no,” you’re just one step closer to your yes.
Expanding outside your limited circle doesn’t take any particular skill or talent; it just takes commitment.  Resolve to get introduced to one new person a day, and to discover another new friend on your own.  If you do that each and every day, each week you’ll add 14 people to your circle – and over the course of the year, your network will have grown by over 750 individuals!  Now that can’t help but have an impact on your bottom line.