10 Steps to Success in Direct Sales and Marketing For Tough Times!

Here are some straight talk about direct selling!

No one is born a salesperson, any more than one is born a doctor or born a lawyer. Sales is a profession. To be successful in any profession one must learn not only the basic techniques, but also how to apply those techniques. Success in sales makes use of all the abilities one is born with, plus all those acquired through education and experience.

If you are looking for a career opportunity or "extra income" to help with the family budget, direct selling offers you dream-fulfilling possibilities. However, you must give yourself time to learn the techniques of sales. Ask yourself. "How long does a doctor to be study? A lawyer to be study?"


Direct selling is marketing a product directly to the consumer with no middleman involved. Most reliable firms are members of the National Association of Direct Selling Companies. They bring to the public fine products that are modestly priced in order to insure mass consumption.

Most direct selling companies furnish their representatives with a starter kit and essential supplies below-cost prices. In many instances the investment is under $100.

There is an old adage which says "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Many of them were able to change their lives for the better. They took their families on nice vacations. They purchased a piano or an organ and provided music lessons for their children. They saved money for college education. They redecorated their homes, bought needed furniture. One highly successful saleslady built a new home.

The rewards of direct selling are many

1. You can be your own boss.
2. You can set your own hours.
3. You can own your own businesses with little or no investment.
4. You can pay yourself more than any boss would ever pay you.
5. You can give yourself regular raises as your business grows.

It is only fair to tell you that there are failures, too. There are people who will not work for themselves. When working for a boss, they rise early, are well-groomed, and get to the office on time. However, when they are their own boss, they are still in a bathrobe, drinking one more cup of coffee at 11:00 A.M.

If you can be your own boss and discipline yourself to do what has to be done when it has to be done, direct selling offers a most unusual earning opportunity.


Here are ten steps that will assure your success:

1. BE A GOAL SETTER. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to save for college education for your children? A new car? A new home? You can have whatever you want, but you must want it enough to do the things that have to be done to get it. Whatever your goal, write it down and set a target date for reaching it. Divide the time period into blocks of achievement that are reachable. Work consistently toward accomplishing each day, each week, each month what you set out to do. Goal-setting is a must in every area of life. Little is ever accomplished without definite goals.

2. BE A LIST MAKER. Each evening list all the things you want to get done the following day. That gives you an organized approach to each day. As each task is finished, mark it off your list. It is amazing how much gets done when one works with a "things-to-do" list. Also, have a notebook listing appointments, potential clients, repeat clients, and referrals, and keep it with you at all times. You will be adding to it constantly.

3. BE ENTHUSIASTIC. Enthusiasm is the high-octane "fuel" that salespeople run on. Enthusiasm generates its own energy. Energy and good health are synonymous with busy, happy people, people who are achieving.

4. RECOGNIZE THAT THE MAGIC WORD IN SALES IS "ASK." In direct sales we don't have to wait for business to come to us. We create our own business by asking for it. Ask for appointments, then you can do business. Ask for business, then you will close sales. Ask for referrals, then you always have a full list of potential clients. Be quietly, yet firmly aggressive.

5. EXPECT NO'S. Realize that no's are not personal. In sales, as perhaps nowhere else, the law of averages works. Every no gets you closer to a yes. Keep track of your ratio. It will help improve your techniques. Are you getting ten no's to one yes? Is your ratio five to one? Remember, the yes's are your income. Also remember that "no" does not necessarily mean "no." Often a "no" is simply a stall for more time to think. It may be a request for more information about your product or your service. What your client is actually buying is assurance. Assure here by your helpful attitude and your complete honesty, that you want what is best for her. She will most likely respect you and do business with you.

6. SCHEDULE TIME WISELY. A schedule is the roadmap by which salespeople travel. It takes the frustration out of the day. It assures that the necessary things get done and get done on time. Plan your work then work your plan.

7. BE POSITIVE IN YOUR ATTITUDE. Success in sales, as in all areas of life is 90 percent attitude and 10 percent aptitude. All of us must work at developing habits of constructive thinking. I am proud to be a salesperson. Sales make the wheels of our economy turn. Bernard Baruch, advisor to several presidents, is quoted as saying, "If every salesperson sat down and took no orders for twenty-four hours, it would bankrupt our country!" Every company that manufactures any kind of product depends upon salespeople to move that product. Without salespeople business would be paralyzed.

Remember, sales is one of the highest paid of all professions. Statistics show that good salespeople enjoy incomes far above the average.

8. HAVE AN OFFICE AREA. Most direct salespeople work from their own homes, but it is essential to have a place where you can work in a organized and efficient manner. An office plus a strict working schedule gives you dignity. Both are absolutely essential for efficient operation and accurate record keeping, so important to the success of any business.

9. BE INVOLVED. Most sales organization offer contests to stimulate production. Include winning contests as part of your business goals. Contests make your business fun as well as adding considerable dollar value to your income.

10. LEARN TO HANDLE MONEY INTELLIGENTLY. A regular nine-to-five job usually means a paycheck at the end of the second week. Direct sales "reps" handle money constantly. Direct sales is instant income and constant income. Therefore. it is absolutely necessary to become an efficient money manager.

Deposit every penny collected from clients into a checking account set up especially for its business. Since bank statements show an exact record of all monies collected, and business expenses can be verified by canceled checks, record keeping becomes simple and accurate. Everything except a few "petty cash" transactions can be directly taken from bank statements.

Money saved regularly and put at interest, soon develops a second income in addition to earned income. A long-term goal, which is realistic in direct sales, is to be able to live in retirement off the interest earned on savings.

Would financial security mean a lot to you? If so, ask yourself these questions:
* Am I honest?
* Do I really like people?
* Am I willing to learn?
* Am I willing to work?
* Am I capable of being my own boss?

If your answers are yes, to find a good product for the direct sales market, one that you like, one that fills the need of a lot of people, and go to work for yourself! .You can turn dreams into reality.

Copyright (c) 2007, 2009 Dr. Howard Haller

Recruiting Sales and Marketing Talent in a Full Employment Economy

It's no secret that the economy continues to hum along and is growing at a very nice pace. Barring any catastrophe in the Middle East or any oil shock, we expect this to continue for the next few years at least. What does this mean for companies that are trying to grow their businesses? It means it's a tough sell out there to get top sales and marketing employees to make a job change. Why? All of the good talent is already working elsewhere, and making great money!

If your company is constrained in its ability to grow its revenue because of a deficit in its employee ranks, you've got to find new ways to think about how to attract and retain employees. Retention may be tough as well. If you're a sales and marketing employer, you're going to find more turnover happening amongst your sales ranks, particularly among employees that have waited out several years at your company while the economy has been slow. They're going to start looking for and finding great opportunities for increased pay, so there's going to be more churn in your employee ranks, meaning you're going to have to focus more of your time and attention on employee retention programs.

Bad managers and bad leaders will no longer get away with driving their employees at overly aggressive levels for too few rewards. Companies need to continuously attract their current employees to stay with them by offering a combination of strong leadership, great vision, outstanding go-to-market strategy, wonderful products and services that outsell the competition and a culture and environment that fosters employee growth. If your company is trying to hire more sales and marketing talent in order to grow its business, make sure that you're doing everything you can to retain the talent that you have, because you're more vulnerable in this economy to losing key employees.

Because the job market is so tight right now and so many firms are out trying to recruit and hire sales and marketing management and frontline producers, you are competing actively against those other employers for a limited pool of talent. This means that you need to have a very aggressive recruiting process...one that will allow you to outshine your competition. Outshining your competition is not just dependent upon the wages, benefits and incentives that you're paying, but also how strong your company's growth strategy is.

Also, it's crucial to create stakeholdership amongst potential employees so that they can buy into the vision and are passionate about what they do and love where they work. This is the job senior management in sales and marketing is tasked with: retaining top talent and in order to do so, you've got to have great strategy and great vision.