Set yourself apart by doing the little things.Learn HOW to build relationships that keep people coming back to you.
Have you ever wondered what creates a relationship that keeps a customer going back to the same store?
When you think, “I need to buy toothpaste.” What store do you think of to purchase that item?
When you think, “I need shoes, or pants, or a new dress.” What store are you going to go shopping at?
When you need makeup, skin care, candles, jewelry, children’s books, tea, vitamins, kitchen gadgets, tools for women, or a new bra for that matter, do you think, “I am going to call ____.” or, “I am going to go to _____ store.” If you sell any of these items, wouldn’t you like people to come to you first?
Essentially, this is what advertising is all about. When you advertise, you are creating awareness in people’s minds of the products or services you offer. In the advertising industry, this is called “being on their ladder!” Your goal should be that when they have a need for your product or service, they think of you first. You would be on the top rung of their ladder, or at least the top three.
How do stores get on your ladder?
• If you are a small “niche” store, you advertise the specialty products you carry. You become an expert in your niche — and you follow the suggestions below.
• The big box stores do it with branding and advertising. When they carry a large variety of products like Walmart® or Target®, they advertise as the place to shop for everything for the “best price”, “best selection,” “best service,” etc.
How do those in the party plan or direct sales professions get on people’s “ladders?”
My grandfather was in sales during the depression years and he had one of the largest sales organizations in the country for the product he sold. He brought hundreds of people, who were willing to work, into his organization. As a result he was extremely successful.
As a child growing up, I asked him once how he was so successful. He replied that he based his business on three specific principles.
“All I really needed to learn about sales I learned from grandpa.”
As I have developed The Booster over the last 30+ years, I have incorporated these concepts not only into my business plan, but by providing products to help you easily incorporate them into your business plan. Here is what grandpa taught me:
1. Sales is KING! In this he meant that he was proud of what he did because each sale he made contributed to the world. I remember him saying one day, “Do you realize that EVERYTHING begins with a sale?” Consider this, once someone makes a sale, the order is placed, the company manufactures a product, that company reorders parts or materials from other companies which in turn order materials from yet other companies, etc. People are employed manufacturing all those products and they are shipped from warehouse to warehouse. You could say this involves ‘trains, planes, and automobiles..or trucks’ and all the people involved in the processes. Of course the sales person and their company employees all take part in processing the order and getting it delivered to you. Then think of the people who work at the lunch places where these office workers buy their lunch, and the UPS guy in his brown shorts or the mail man! Grandpa said, “When you think of it, thousands of people could be involved in just one item sold!”
Be proud of your profession and the products or services you offer! Look at a sale as your contribution to the economy. Think of all the people you are putting to work as you make each sale. Let this help you have a positive attitude and put a smile on your face!
2. Sell the Sizzle! Grandpa said you need to reach people emotionally and create desire. Have you ever pulled into a mall parking lot, got out of your car, and smelled the aromas from the nearby steak house? Does your stomach rumble and your mouth water as you think, “Umm, a steak sounds good”? Your intent when offering your products should be to create that desire for your product.
How do you do that? Grandpa said you focus on what your products will DO for them, not the details of the products themselves.
For example, when selling “The Booster” products I could explain all the “stats” on our products; the sizes and shapes of stickers, what adhesive is used, the weight of the paper, the high gloss finish, etc.. But, would that get you to place an order? No, you would be bored.
I could explain that the stickers are hand-designed with eye-catching slogans and colors that pop! Would that encourage you to place an order? It might at lease pique your interest, but it may not actually get you to place the order.
But, when I share with you testimonials of how our stickers and postcards have helped people to double their sales and business because our eye-catching graphics reach out and draw people to your products, you begin to really take interest. As I explain how the stickers get your customers to ask you questions about how to earn some of your products free, about your opportunity, or how your products will benefit their lives, you become engaged in how “The Booster” products benefit you. I could further sell the sizzle to you by training you exactly where to put the stickers and how to use the postcards to be most effective in doubling your sales. By sharing how my products will benefit you, I sell the sizzle and you place an order!
This is what you need to do with your products. You need to see how they relate to your customers emotionally. The way to do that is to develop a repertoire of benefits that you can share. As you share the benefits of your products, you create that “Umm, sounds good, I want that!” reaction in people and they’ll decide to buy. The benefits can be: to solve a problem they may have, to make them look or feel better, to make their home more pleasant, or to make life easier, etc.. Then, your goal is to create the “why” they want to buy from YOU. Why should they list with you. Why should they purchase insurance from you. Why should they hire you? Set yourself apart by selling the sizzle.
3. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care — about them!” Grandpa always told me that “people” are what it is all about. If your goal is to be of service to people, your business will thrive. Yes, you are hoping to create a sale as you meet people, but if you are more concerned about meeting their needs rather than your own, they will remember and come back to you again and again. And they will send their friends to you too.
“If you take care of the people, the money will take care of itself.”
—Carl Doerfler, my German grandfather
Your “mission” needs to be to give service. When you look at people as dollar signs, they will feel that energy. They interpret your vibes and react with the feeling, “He or she wants to make a sale.” But when you genuinely look at your business as a way of giving service and benefiting others they will feel that energy and be drawn to you. The trick is to build a relationship so they are drawn to you when they need your type of products. Remember the “ladder”? Your goal is to build a relationship so that YOU are on the top of the ladder for your type of product or service.
Some people think they are in the business of selling a product or service. Well, that is true, but in direct sales, party plan, the service industry, or any business for that matter, you are more in the business of selling yourself. Your goal is to build such a relationship that when they go to one of the “box stores” they would never consider buying the products that you offer there. They would always come to you instead.
Your customers will respond and relate to you when you are confident in the profession you have chosen, have a high energy positive attitude, believe that you are offering a product or service that benefits your customers, smile, and be of service. These principles will set you apart.
What else can you do to develop “relationships” that really set you apart?
Let’s start with some simple, yet oh so effective things you can do:
• Say “Thank you” with more than just words. Put a “Thank you for your order” sticker on each customer’s invoice. Use it on the top copy of the invoice so they see it BEFORE they place their order. You are thanking them in advance and it gives them warm fuzzies.
• Put a “Thank you” sticker on their copy of the order. Have the stickers on your check-out table and actually put the sticker on it right in front of them and say, “I want you to know I really appreciate your business, thank you, and I look forward to helping you again.”
• If you are involved in the actual packing or their order, put a “Thank you” sticker on the copy of the invoice they get with their order.
• Send a “Thank you” type postcard to people you meet. Let them know you appreciate them and look forward to helping them again. Send it separately from the order. This is so effective in building relationships. Do the “box stores” send them a thank you after shopping with them? This goes a long way in building loyalty in your relationship and you will be at the top of their ladder.
• If you’ve had a meeting or interview with someone, send a “Thank You” type card or postcard. Thank them for their time and show appreciation for their input into your discussion. This shows you were paying attention to them and want to work with them again.
• When people order online you do not have a chance to do most of the above, but you can send the postcard “Thank you for your online order!” Believe me, people will not be expecting it and it will cement your relationship and keep them coming back to you!
• When you meet someone new, try to get their address, tell them you want to send them a gift. Then be sure to follow-up and send them a card telling them it was a pleasure to meet them and include a bookmark, magnet or other easily mailable gift. They will remember your meeting.
You need to let the people you meet know you are interested in building a relationship with them. The Booster offers a “Customer Care Card.” In our training for this card we suggest you use the wording, “I am so excited to meet you tonight and to share our wonderful products with you. Included in your guest folder is a Customer Care Card. I would appreciate you filling out this card so I can get to know you a little bit better and be of service to you tonight and in the future.”
This is a way for you to start the relationship. If you are not going to follow-up and work to build this relationship, then do not even start! But, I have been to hundreds of parties over the years and I have only had three consultants contact me after the party to see if there was anything else I needed!
Don’t you think I needed more makeup or skin care after that first meeting? What if I liked the prepared food products or spices I purchased, do you think I would want to order them again? Maybe I bought a children’s book for my first grandchild, is it logical that I may want to purchase more books for that child or future grandchildren? Or maybe I went to a candle or home decor party and did not purchase anything at the time. Does that mean I do not want to ever purchase a candle or home decor item?
Begin each relationship by telling them you want to be their “Romance Specialist” or “Candle Lady” or “Jewelry Lady” and getting their information, and of course giving them your contact info, so you can be of service to them. By doing this, you are setting yourself apart. They may not come to you expecting to build a relationship, but you have the opportunity to go beyond their expectations, to make a difference and enhance both of your lives.
Define what makes YOU you, then set up system to implement those features.
If building your business is your goal, then building relationships and making your connections count needs to be on the top of your list. The way to do that is to have systems in place. A good way to decide what you are going to do is to first analyze, “What makes YOU you?” What is it that YOU offer your customers that sets you apart from everyone else?
· Have you become an ‘expert’ in your field? Set up an email list where you send regular newsletters and ideas.
· When people shop from you can they earn credits toward future gifts? (Set up a “Preferred Customer Program.” Offer reward cards and mark-off circles or squares with each purchase. Include on the card the gift they earn when the card is full.)
· Do you have a “Keeping in Touch” program in place? Put your hostess or customer information into a database or on a spreadsheet. At the beginning of each month, send out 20 postcards offering a booking special or sales special. A few days later, call those 20 people. When they get the postcard, they will consider the idea, but when you call them, many will say yes.
· You can also send cards on their birthday, anniversary, etc. Offer them a discount for ordering in the month if their birthday as your gift to them. Then follow up with a call.
· If someone hosts a party with you do they receive added values after the party? We call it a “Preferred Host Program.” Set up a spreadsheet or file system to keep track of your hosts. Offer them specials for repeat bookings or repeat orders. You can even use this program to encourage them to do more to prepare for the party.
· For more information on these systems visit our website at www.TheBooster.com
· Do you have a website or blog they can go to for ideas and to place orders? Set one up and keep it updated.
· If someone joins your team, what kind of training and support do you provide? Create “You Tube” trainings they can access. Do monthly conference calls and/or meetings.
· If someone needs gifts immediately do you have “cash and carry” products they can get immediately? Take advantage of company specials to build up your supply.
· Do you have a referral program where they get rewards for sharing about you with others? Put something in you guest folders telling them what they can earn when they refer 5 ordering customers to you.
· Do you offer great overall service with integrity and honesty?
· Are authentic in your dealings with them? Do you really mean what you say and your word is your bond?
· Are you more interested in them than yourself?
· What do you offer that others in your profession do not?
· What training or expertise do you have to offer an employer or customer?
· Why do they want to have a relationship with you?
Once you formulate what makes you YOU, put systems in place to make it easy to set yourself apart. As you understand what drives customers decisions of who to do business with, you can more effectively develop the systems and “little things” you will do to set yourself apart.
Understand that people have hundreds if not thousands of choices. When you make a great first impression, show that you care, and offer great products or services, you will be at the top of their ladder. When they need the product or service you offer, they will come to you!
This is the training from MY Chapter in the Make Your Connections Count BOOK! Be sure to get your copy to get information from 19 additional authors. Go to our website for all the details.