Sell well for success

Meera Siva | Updated on October 19, 2013 Published on October 19, 2013

You must know the needs of your clients and their budgets.

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How well you sell depends on your ability to meet and connect with people and convince them to buy.

You have surely heard many pitches about raking in money with very little initial investment, by selling products from home. Want to join the bandwagon? Here are three aspects you should know about direct selling before you sign up:

Can you sell?

Direct marketing schemes earn you a commission for every item you sell. The commission could be as high as 25 to 35 per cent for some products, says Chaitanya Agarwal, Founder of Juvalia and You, a direct seller of fashion jewellery. Your income depends on how many/much you sell. For many women, selling may be a totally new skill and so, most companies offer basic training on the product as well as techniques that will help them to sell.

Beyond this, how well you sell depends on your ability to meet and connect with people, build a network and convince people to buy.

This could involve talking on the phone, visiting people, inviting people over for a chat, informal or formal party. Some women even set up kiosks in malls or stalls during events to boost sales. Others may augment it by promoting and selling online. In all these, you need to consider costs, such as travel, phone and advertisement, which may eat into your profits.

While some women may find selling to be fun, others may be feel uncomfortable. Reena Mitul, who markets Amway products in Hyderabad, advises women to try selling for three months and in this period doing everything recommended in the books. If you find that you are uneasy and not happy about pitching the product or finding ways to meet people, sales may not be your cup of tea.

While growing the number of customers is important, you must also know how to retain your existing base of buyers.

Can you keep your customer?

Loyal customers also spread your name through word of mouth and help bring in new business. For this to happen, you must know the needs of your clients and their budgets and be able to suggest a suitable product.

For instance, Rajneesh Kaur Paul, a Tupperware agent, suggests that you should first use the products that you sell to understand its features. She says that knowing simple things such as which boxes are good for liquid storage versus storing dry items helps when you make a recommendation to a customer.

You must also be prompt in delivery and follow up on orders. Ensure that any delays or issues on quality are addressed to the satisfaction of customers. Also, be upfront about the costs such as shipping and have a clear and transparent policy on passing on special discounts to avoid resentment or favouritism.

Can you hold on?

While many women start with a lot of enthusiasm, it fizzles out quickly after the first few months. “Only around 20 per cent of all the women who make a start, pursue it seriously,” says Asha Gupta, Managing Director of Tupperware India. According to Asha, for every 100 people signing up, 60 drop out. Of the rest, half take it only as a hobby and sell occasionally. However, to succeed in selling and achieve higher income, you need to understand and manage your time. You need to put in hours regularly, say around eight hours a week to sustain momentum. While you may be able to do most of the sales from your home, some amount of travel to meet people would be required and you need to budget time and resource for this. Also, in most cases, there aren’t any target pressures. So, it is mostly left to you to decide how much you want to sell.

Having other interests or business that is related to what you sell also helps sustain your sales. For instance, Bhavana Sutaria, a stylist in Ahmedabad with Juvalia and You, runs another business -- making fancy accessories, such as purses and batwas. She also has a good support network of friends and family. Her family is involved in helping her increase sales and guiding her in online sales as well. “I have a good kitty party gang who promote the products by wearing it and then we mutually do style shows,” she adds.


Published on October 19, 2013
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