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Boost Your Sales Campaigns With Social Media

using social media for sales contests

Are the regular leader boards and contest boards feeling old and stale? Try adding social media (like Facebook, Twitter, etc)

If your company or department doesn’t have a Facebook and Twitter page, you’re missing the boat!

This is a quick, easy and best of all FREE way to promote your current contest campaign. Let’s say you have XYZ campaign going on… Each time someone reaches a milestone like a completed presentation or a delivered sale, it only takes a few clicks of the mouse and typing a few words to not only promote your contest or sales campaign but most importantly provide recognition to your sales person.  This is far more important to your sales force than you may realize!

As you know, sales people thrive on positive recognition. The more positive recognition we as managers and business owners can give to our sales reps, the better. Of course, our sales men and women love to earn plaques and awards for being to “top dog” but the little things we do to show that we notice them go a long way and social media is a great way to do this without spending a single penny.

Social media is such a powerful (and again FREE) way to promote your contest and also your business!

Almost every day, one of our reps will “share” our Facebook post on their personal Facebook wall. Think about it. Of course they are… We are bragging on them! They want their friends and family to see that they are doing great things! Not only is this a plug for them, it is also a plug for your company!

You’ll know your social media efforts are worthwhile when you have days like I do. I get texts and phone calls from all over our territory telling me what they have accomplished. Yes, they want my approval but most of all, they want me to put it on Facebook. I manage a sales team of approximately 50 people but our territory has about 200 awesome people. I automatically put “my” team’s successes and contest progression on Facebook but since they whole territory knows that I manage our company Facebook page, they are sure to text me right away with what they have achieved because they know it will be on Facebook within 5 minutes, regardless of the time of day.

Funny enough, I am typing this at 7:30 at night. I am off of work. All of our sales calls are completed for the day. As I am writing, I get a text from a sales person who is in my territory but doesn’t work at our office. He got a sale. Why would he let me know that this time of day? He knows it will be on Facebook.  That’s powerful.

Even though I am at home and off the clock, I make sure to take a second and put it on the company’s Facebook page. It is totally worth it.

Try this simple, easy and free way to promote your current sales contest and let me know how it goes!

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

santa_gifts

5 Easy Trip & Tricks to Keep Your Business Thriving Through the Holidays

Five Easy Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Business Thriving Through the Holidays

Some businesses wait all year for the holiday buying season. Black Friday actually derives its name from this! It is called Black Friday because it was at that point during the fiscal year that a typical company went from the “red” (losing money) to the “black” (making money).

Other businesses are lacking at that time of year because potential customers are spending their money on gifts and decorations and travel instead of the more “boring” things like a new roof, appliances, new flooring and so forth.

Utilize the power of your customers being in the buying mood and make a ton of money while helping your customers too!

1. Customers WANT to buy during the holiday season!holiday-sale-shopping

People are in a buying mood. They are bombarded everywhere with sales and deals! Use this to your advantage! It should be obvious but so many small businesses just don’t do it! Create a Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) campaign! Have holiday specials! Give a free gift with purchase!

For a small business, your budget is limited but something as simple (and cheap!) as free gift wrap goes a long way! This can work for any product. Selling new appliances? How about a free saucepan to complement that stove?  Selling flooring,  a nice welcome mat would be a great “buy now” gift!

2. Give potential customers free gifts to just listen to your sales pitch or test out your product

The trick is to have the freebie be in sync with your product. Your clients love free gifts! It can be challenging to get customers to honor appointments this time of year but you would be surprised what they will do for something free! It’s not an accident that banks are known for giving away free blenders for opening an account. It’s marketing and it works! Own a salon? How about a free sample size shampoo with every wet cut? Does your company sell furniture? You could offer free delivery.

You can use this technique at any time, but to tie it in with the gift-giving season, call it your “Holiday Special”. It’s “your gift to them”!

2. Change your telemarketing or telemarketer phone script for the season

In order to get the most results during this time of year, cover the holiday objection before your prospect even brings it up! Try using something like this:

“Prospect, we know it is the holiday season and you are busy! We are too! What we are doing for our customers who do XYZ right now is offering THIS REALLY COOL FREEBIE! We know you could definitely use it this time of year. I have an appointment available at this DATE/TIME or this DATE/TIME. Which is better for you?”

We have used this to give away free a free ham or turkey right before Thanksgiving with HUGE results! All the prospect christmas_giftshad to do was listen to our quick 45 minute sales pitch and they got a $25.00 gift card to Wal-Mart to get their ham or turkey.

We will be doing the same thing right before Christmas as well. The only change to the phone script will be “just for taking a peek at our product, we will be bringing you out a gift card for a free ham or turkey or would you prefer a $25.00 Wal-Mart stocking stuffer card?”

It is the SAME EXACT card but it changes the potential customer from thinking whether or not they want the sales call to what free gift they want when we do our presentation.

3. Train your sales representatives to explain how having your product or service HELPS them during the holidays!

Regardless of what product or service you offer, I am sure you can find a benefit to having that product or getting that service before the holiday. For example, do you sell cars? How about taking that road trip to see grandma in a brand new model instead of that tired old one? What if you are a massage therapist? Wouldn’t a nice, relaxing massage help you unwind before you go visit your mother in-law?

Find a benefit and sell it!

4. Give back to the community!
My company typically runs a food or toy drive for charity during the holiday season. For each presentation, we allot a minimal amount to go to that charity. It all adds up by the end of the month! We then present the donation to the appropriate charity with a BIG CHECK and have their picture taken. This not only gives back to your community but it also helps your company maintain a positive reputation in your area. You may even get some publicity out of it! For Veteran’s Day, we teamed up with Sports Clips on the “Help a Hero” project. They came to the office for the big check (and the real one) and will be featuring our company as one of the contributors to their fund raising efforts. .

 

Sales is supposed to be fun! If you, as the sales manager or business owner, gets stressed out over the holidays, your sales team will too!

Plan to have a successful holiday sales campaign, put it into place and then go have fun selling!

Fun and Funny Holidays Your Company Can Celebrate

Fun and Funny Holidays Your Company Can Celebrate

People like to have fun. Sales people like to have even more fun!

What’s more fun than celebrating some obscure holiday nobody even knows about? I mean, Christmas and Easter are easy to create sales contests around but what about my personal favorite Talk Like a Pirate day? It is traditionally celebrated on September 19th. Imagine your sales people going around the office talking like a pirate! Too funny!

On a more practical note, you could encourage your guys to contact all of their sales leads that start with “arrrrr”. It’s all about having fun!

Here’s a list of some other obscure and fun holidays your sales team can have fun with:

January 19th – Popcorn Day
Have your sales guys offer a free bag of microwave popcorn to your customers to celebrate the holiday! I promise, your customers will get a kick out of it too! Plus, they get to have a snack on the house! Or how about a freshly popped bag of popcorn for every customer that comes in that day?

February 26th – National Pistachio Day (its nutty!)
Have your sales reps follow up with their “nuttiest” customers! How about getting your sales reps to “get out of the box” and do the scariest thing they can think of when it comes to sales? Maybe have them go completely “nuts” and challenge them to knock doors?

March 14th – National Pi Day
Contest your telemarketers to make 314 phone calls. Challenge the whole sales team to bring in 314 sales leads. Bonus sales that have the number 3 1 and 4 in them. The possibilities are endless! Have an actual pie at the end of the day for the sales people who rose up to the challenge. Everyone loves pie!

April 13th – Scrabble Day
Have each sales person draw a scrabble tile. Whatever letter they draw, they target prospects beginning with that letter. I pity the poor guy who draws a “Z”. If someone draws a blank tile, they get to pick whatever letter they choose! You can find extra scrabble tiles at Aamazon.com here( Scrabble Tiles (100 Letters Tiles))for less than five bucks.

May 11th – Twilight Zone Day
Twilight Zone is the “5th Demension” Use this to get your sales team to do something “weird”. Maybe you could have them go out of their “zone” and do something that makes them uncomfortable like making phone calls or go cold calling. Contest the weird activity!

June 18th – Go Fishing Day
What a fun holiday! You can use this to have your dealers go “fishing” for new leads! Each fresh “fish” could be a $5.00 prize. What if you have your sales team go “fishing” through their sales leads and each appointment set is a prize? Have your sales manager dress up in fishing attire!

July 21st – National Junk Food Day
This can be fun in so many ways! How about offering your potential customer a free bag of chips (in celebration) just for setting an appointment? You could reward each sale made that day with a big order of nachos from the nearest Mexican restaurant. How about a pot luck junk food party? Each sales person could bring their favorite junk food and everyone shares after your daily sales meeting. Definitely a winner in my book!

August 27th – Just Because Day
This is the day your guys get to do what they want… Just because! It could also be the day YOU celebrate your favorite thing “just because”! A great way to celebrate this day is to donate a certain amount (maybe 5% of the sales total) to your sales people’s favorite charity for each sale made that day “just because” you care. People are more likely to do business with your company if they know you care about charitable organizations.

September 1st – My Birthday (also the 22nd is Elephant Appreciation Day, no relation)
How about free tickets to the local zoo? What about challenging your sales personnel to take on their “biggest” client and land a big sale? A prize for the biggest sale made that day? This is one you can surely have fun with!

October 5th – Do Something Nice Day
This is a great one! Who doesn’t want to be recognized for doing something nice? This would be a great day to have your sales reps write thank you letters to their last 30 customers! You could offer a special “Do Something Nice” discount for your customer’s for that day. Another idea is to have a drawing for each sales rep that completed a sales call to be in a drawing. You draw out one sales persons name and give that person a free gift applicable to your business. What about a free tank of gas or a free dry cleaning? Little things go a long way with contests like these.

November 6th – Marooned Without A Compass Day
I am in love with this one! Have a sales meeting and have all of your guys imagine what it would be like to be stuck in a strange location without a compass and their objective would be to make sales happen in order to be to be rescued. What is the one thing they would want to have with them?? Is it fresh leads? A good phone script? A hot prospect? This makes such a good sales meeting!

December 7th – Letter Writing Day
Actual written correspondence has become a thing of the past. The benefit to us sales people is that it is now almost guaranteed to be read. Think about it. We all get those emails we just delete and that junk mail we throw away. When we get an actual hand-written piece of mail, we open it!

Have your dealers write 10 actual letters to potential or past prospects and watch them get results! Make sure you cover the postage too!

Have you had fun reading through some of the crazy holidays we have? I know I had fun researching them! Believe it or not, there are literally hundreds of more crazy fun holidays! Make the most out of all of them!

The Power of a Punch Card to Increase Sales

The Power of a Punch Card to Increase Sales

Have you ever been to a barber shop or a smoothie place and they offer you a punch card for repeat business?  I don’t know about you, but I keep quite a few of them in my wallet.  I have one for a local nail salon, another for a make-up store, yet another for an oil change spot and I keep coming back again and again to get another punch on my card so I can save a nominal amount the next time I spend money with them!

Punch cards are tangible objects that your sales force can use to measure results!  Use them!  They work!

We just recently implemented punch cards again (we discontinued them for a few years) and within two weeks we saw measurable increases in sales and sales calls!  The results were virtually instantaneous!  It was amazing to see our sales representatives doing the things they needed to do in order to earn a punch on their card.

 Make qualifications relatively easy to achieve so they will be excited about completing all of the punches!  

For our company, we had three different ways to earn a punch.  You may be surprised that NONE of them involved actually making a sale.  I am a firm believer in the theory that if you do what it takes to make the sale (generate leads, phone calls, etc) the sales will happen.  With that in mind, we concentrated on activity required to make the sale.

You may want to make your qualifications to earn a punch phone calls or appointments scheduled. 

Our particular qualifications are:

  1. 10 qualified leads gained from a prospect
  2. 10 cold calls to potential prospects
  3. 1 appointment completed that was gained from either of the above

In our case, it is just a matter of getting qualified sales leads or completing qualified appointments.  We know that these things will ultimately results in sales and revenue for the company.  Knowing that, the qualifications for earning a punch card will result in more sales and more revenue.

Our punch cards take ten punches to pay out.  The reward is roughly $25 of product they can use to sweeten the deal on sales calls or to use personally.  This makes this a win/win for us! Not only are our guys trying just a bit harder to do the things that it takes to make sales happen, they are given “free” products that help make even more sales happen!  Not only that, the customers like to help the sales people earn more punches on their cards!

 Your representatives can use the punch cards to entice our customers to help!

If done properly, your sales representatives can use the punch cards to get your customers to help them earn more credits!  Train your sales people to show your customers your punch cards.  If your sales people have made friends with their clients (lets hope they have!), your clients will want to help your sales people earn bonuses and punch cards are the perfect way for them to help!

The cards are very affordable.  You don’t have to spend a ton for them to look top-notch.  Personally, I use Vista Print for our cards at the office.  For $20 plus shipping, we have earned literally THOUSANDS in the first two weeks!

You will be surprised at how well the punch cards work and how excited your sales team will be to participate in the promotion provided that the prize they win once the punch card is complete is good enough.  You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for this to be a success!  Just think of how little the payout is for the ones you carry in your wallet (free oil change, free smoothie).  Are you as shocked as I was when I realized how much I value those cards for how little they are actually worth when cashed in?

Vista Print has a very user friendly interface to create your own cards.  Within 10 minutes, my order was completed and the cards were on the way.  Within a week, I had them in my hand (I am not affiliated with Visa Print in any way, I just highly recommend them).

Give it a try and share your results!

Good luck and have fun!

 

Pencil vs. a Porche – Finding the Middle Ground

Pencil vs. a Porche  – Finding the Middle Ground

You’re probably wondering what in the world I mean when I say a pencil versus a Porche.  The concept is this:  How hard would your sales team work to earn a pencil?  How hard would they work to earn a Porche?  Well, we all know they are not going to do Jack to earn a pencil and they would think the Porche was unreachable.  Neither of those contests would be effective.  What’s the middle ground?

 That middle ground is where sales are made and your team develops into winners!

It is going to take a bit of experimenting but you need to find out how much money you need to spend in order to motivate your people.  The good news is, you have to spend less money than you  probably think!

 Before you even start to analyze this, you must remember to have fun. 

Sales are supposed to be fun!  If  YOU as the leader are not  having fun, your sales team will quit having fun also.  That is really bad for business since when they quit having a good time making sales (and doing all the things that lead up to a sale), they quit selling.

In order to properly test what the budget needs to be to motivate your sales team, start out with two contests.  Make one a cheap sales contest and one that is almost too expensive.  For example, you could have a weekly contest to win a free company tee shirt or a couple of tickets to the movies and then put up a monthly contest to win a trip for two to Paris.  Make sure that your “big” contest isn’t too over budget that you couldn’t pay out on it if someone actually won it.

You will be shocked to see more people trying to win the “easy” contest than the big one! 

This is a huge insight into the minds of salespeople!  Use it to their (and ultimately your) advantage!  You don’t have to give away the sun and moon in order to motivate your people!  The sweet spot is somewhere in between.

During the next week, up the ante on the “cheap” contest.  Make it a bit harder to achieve.  Make it more worth it too!  The goal of any contest is to motivate and propel your sales force into action.  See how much more productivity you gain by making the pot a bit sweeter.

Continue over the course of a few weeks to make the “easy” contest a bit harder and a bit more expensive.  You will come to a point when you see that they no longer are very excited or enthusiastic about the contest and just don’t think that it is something they can achieve.

 This is the magic spot you have been aiming for!  You have found the perfect middle ground!

Whatever your budget is for that sweet spot is your ideal budget for your contests.   Now just find prizes that your sales people would like to win that is in that budget.  I have found that $20-$50 is enough for a daily contest, $200-$300 is good for a weekly contest and $800-$1,000 does it for a monthly contest.

Those are my numbers that are specific to my industry and the local economy.  It has taken quite a few months of testing and doing it all wrong to discover what works for my company but the knowledge and insight has paid for itself time and again with happy, productive sales people who have a goal in mind.

Just remember, happy sales people make sales!

Have fun!