Our industry is full of innovative tools designed to enable sales and marketing efforts within the field. But, when it comes to actually making a sale, there’s nothing that can compete with the tried-and-true power of leveraging personal connections. In fact, according to Extole, people are four times more likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend.
Direct Sales has always been a high-touch industry, one that has thrived on person-to-person, belly-to-belly efforts, and that’s remained true throughout the evolution of countless sales trends. Below are three ways I recommend leveraging your personal connections to attract customers and increase overall sales.
#1: Enhance Your Customer Journey
It’s no secret that consumer expectations are higher than ever, and adding an individualized touch is one way to set yourself apart from the competition. In fact, recent data from PwC suggest that customers are willing to pay up to 16% more for products and services if it means a great customer experience.
Establishing the customer experience from the moment someone places their first order is critical. Using tools like welcome kits, rewards points for orders, or a customer portal in the back office allows you to cater to your customers’ needs and ensure their satisfaction. This experience should be based on two-way communication that will enable distributors to check in on their customers every step of the way. I’ve found that the simple act of following up in a timely fashion is an easy way not only to gain customers but to increase their average order size.
#2: Make Social Media More Social
But just because a relationship is established solely online doesn’t mean that it can’t grow into a genuine connection. Making sure to authentically engage with individual customers and provide personalized feedback and communication can help you establish brand loyalty and rapport. The bottom line is this: whether your sale came from an online acquaintance or an in-person friend, you should continue to express interest in them and their journey. Sharing personalized, interactive videos on social media is an effective way to deepen your relationship, dial in on your customer’s needs, and express your appreciation for their support. You can use these videos to share training tools and valuable tips specific to them, suggest additional products, request a meeting, or even show that you’re thinking about them.
It would also help encourage distributors to segment Facebook groups for business builders and customers. Business builders can invite their customers to join the customer group and engage, comment and post in a way that focuses solely on products. In contrast, the business builder group remains a place for distributors to discuss business growth and development strategies.
#3 Boost Retention
A McKinsey study quoted in Forbes said that sellers who engage with customers using word-of-mouth marketing have a 37% higher retention rate. That means that not only is personal connection an ideal way to create a customer out of a prospect, but it can also help to encourage repeat sales.
In our experience, appropriate and personalized follow-up is key to retaining and reactivating customers. Do you have a tool that helps business builders engage with customers who haven’t ordered in a while? Providing a behavior-driving tool that can help them engage in this way can help business builders focus on this area and lead to better engagements and retention. This will help them reach out about a new product your company has released or perhaps a monthly promotion they might be interested in. Wondering how to urge a first-time customer to take the leap to an automatic shipment? Encourage your distributors to check in with them as soon as they receive their initial order, so they can help them become more aware of the benefits they’re experiencing. As they say, the fortune is in the follow-up, and making sure your field follows up at the right time, in the right way, is one of the most effective ways to grow your business.