If you’ve been following my series on getting started in Direct Sales then you are clearly the type of person this post is aimed at. The pre-planner. Here are some things to plan out and organize before you actually join to help hit the ground running.
You may be wondering why pre-planning these things is important. Why not just join and get started? Well, many companies offer early milestones, bonuses, and incentives to starting well; so, why not give yourself the best shot at earning them? These activities will help you make the most of the early getting-started period to help make sure you’ve given it your all.
In my company we call it the List of 100. This is a list of your warm market that you go back and update regularly. Your warm market are people who are customers, hosts, and potential recruits. You have had conversations with them and know they are Team You! When you are just starting this list is mainly friends and family. I use the acronym FRANCC’s to help newbies generate their list and tell them to include anyone they would feel confident sharing that they just joined the company. FRANCC stands for Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbors, Children’s friends parents and teachers, and Coworkers. Do not worry if your initial list is less than 100, mine was 37. The point of the exercise is to have a list of contacts to use for other business building activities.
After making your contact list it is time to use it. By now you should have a sponsor that you have been talking with. Let them know you would like to connect with your initial customer base before joining and wondered if they had any business materials (like catalogs, product sheets, flyers, or the like) that they would be willing to order for you, be sure to offer to pay. You will just need one type of material, as you will see. Take time to first reach out to everyone on your list personally and let them know that you will be soon joining your company and ask them if you can invite them to your launch and send them some information about the product. This personal communication is so much more effective than a Facebook post and helps generate interest and excitement around your launch. Then, be sure to send out those catalogs along with a handwritten note letting them know that you appreciate their support, you look forward to seeing them at your launch party, and that they can help you succeed by not just ordering but by referring their friends to you, liking and sharing your social media posts, hosting parties for you (if this element is applicable in your business line), or by joining your team. This gives your contacts a direct call to action with various ways they can help you succeed in ways that are tangible with orders and team members but also indirectly with referrals and social media engagement.
Building off the initial contact with your contacts take the time to plan how you want to follow up with people who connect with you. Every time someone orders they should be followed up with, even just a thank you card or message. This helps build a relationship with your customers and makes for repeat business. There are many options out there and it’s just about finding one that works for you.
Set Up Social Media
I use a three-page method for my social media strategy. The three pages are my personal timeline, business fan page, and a VIP group. We will discuss personal censorship and your business later. My goal is to share my journey ONLY on my personal timelines and to keep posts that share product to my business specific pages. When I learn something new I share what I learned and how I learned it on my personal and I implement it on my business pages. I like to think of it like I would with a traditional job; I’d share fun things about work on social media but I wouldn’t work my job from it. This also helps keep my friends my friends instead of pushing them to unfriend of unfollow me by being spammy. Also, it’s against Facebook’s user agreement to use your personal timeline to sell and they do delete people for violating it, especially if the get reported by their friends. So, don’t risk it.
Your Business Fan Page should be used as a public place to share you and your product. Sharing you helps make you a person to the people viewing. Being a person and not a company helps people relate to you and want to support you. So, share those cat videos you like and all the funny memes. Make sure you are following your companies compliance rules to ensure you do not get into trouble.
Lastly, your VIP group is a closed group that you ask all your customers to join. The benefit to them is usually things like first crack at specials, sneak peeks on new products, early access to things, and exclusives. Beyond that you should also include content that humanizes you. Share more of your personal life, personality, and beliefs here. This group of people will be your warm market.
Taking time before joining to get these pages set up and a plan in place for posting on them can save you time a headache later when people are already watching.
Next plan out your launch party. Due to how comprehensive a topic parties can be, I’ll leave the description here to a general checklist in planning and will plan posts around parties in the future. I usually recommend doing both online and in person parties to start because this helps you reach people local and not. You’ll first want to set dates for your parties, get events set up on Facebook, plan the posts you’ll use to get engagement, send invites both through the event and one other way (paper invites, evites, text or phone call), plan content (what you’ll say, games you’ll play), send reminders the day before, and have fun! Your sponsor should be able to help as well.
Taking the time to think about and plan out these topics can help ensure that your transition from customer to business owner is smooth and relatively seamless.