Why Marketing and Sales Are Important in Nework Marketing

Peanut Vendor at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ. Cubs versus Diamond Backs game

Peanut Vendor at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ. Cubs versus Diamond Backs game

I have said before that selling will keep you broke. What I really meant to say was that trying to sell huge amounts of product to customers will keep you broke. Instead, you need help. You need other distributors below you to help you reach more customers, rather than doing it all yourself. That way you do not spend all your time looking for the next customer and instead spend more time building your business. A distributor under you selling product means more to you because you do not have to handle product, talk to the customer, ship or deliver, etc. You just help the distributor figure out ways to reach a couple more customers and grow their group.

So why are marketing and sales important then? Building your business with independent distributors is all about marketing and sales. Start with sales. What are you selling to the prospect? You are selling a lifestyle. You are selling freedom from worry because of a residual income. Whose lifestyle are you selling? Your own. And if you look worried, if you are constantly having problems, if you are pushing for that next customer, it is a lifestyle nobody wants. Instead, you have to be the person your prospect wants to be, or at least that seems to have it all. No, it is not about lying to the prospect. It is about being professional, calm, not pushy, consultative, and perhaps most of all, happy. All of these elements can be seen personally and heard over the phone. You also have to act as if you are okay if the prospect joins or does not join.  It is not the end of the world if they do not join. If you seem needy it is not attractive.

Alright, so what about marketing? First of all, marketing and sales are not the same thing. Think about marketing as the software that runs the company based on the needs of the customer. Who is the customer? It could be a retail customer or could be one of your distributors. So sales is like hardware, a technical skill, and marketing is like software, a management-type skill. With marketing, you start by finding a target market for your product, which will likely be a demographic or a subset of the general population. Not everyone will or should be interested in your opportunity. Who is? That is the group we should be directing our advertising and networking towards… our target demographic. We can also change our business practices based on the needs of our target market. Perhaps they expect a money-back guarantee. Perhaps they expect exceptional customer service. Maybe they expect tons of support. Whatever it is, you should consider incorporating these elements into your company.

You can see that marketing directs all parts of the business to support a target market or demographic. Marketing also influences sales. For instance, we may know what a prospect needs to hear based on what demographic they belong to. So we make sure our sales presentation says this. Again, this is not about lying. If we are lying to the prospect we will ultimately lose them as a partner, so we want to build a relationship of trust. So whatever we are saying must be the truth.

I really like selling to customers. But more and more retail selling without help will keep you broke. Better to market and sell to distributor prospects.

What do you think?

Multi-Level Marketing Shortcuts

Multi-level marketing companies usually provide training and materials needed for the new distributor to begin making sales. Often the material is not well tested but it is usually professionally created so that it does help to create a professional image for the distributor. Materials provided can be used to sell the product and or recruit new distributors, and is compliant with company policies. It would cost quite a bit to produce your own materials and you would still have to make sure the company would approve of them, so using the company’s printed material is preferable.

When you make the move to the internet, you won’t have an option to take web pages directly from the company so you will be designing your own. The nice thing is that you can use the copy from the company’s printed material, you just have to include the trademark and copyright symbols. You probably also have to identify yourself as an independent business person. You can check with the company or your upline for requirements of doing business on the internet. But using the copy, or the words, makes it a little simpler than trying to write your website from scratch.

It is possible that the company has a distributor marketing plan already created that can be put to use in your business. Be careful taking a pre-packaged marketing plan though, because if everyone is doing the same thing it may not be a good way to go. It is always best to market in a way nobody else is doing to get the best response.

This brings up a good point about selling a multi-level marketing product: When you are the only one selling an item there is no worry about competition, but selling amongst a group of other distributors might make it difficult to market the product. Always remember to sell yourself and find benefits of doing business with you. Avoid competing head-to-head with other distributors when possible.

How To Write A Website That Sells

So you want to write your own website? I would suggest a good web page designer and a lot of practice before moving on to a hosted web site with your own URL. What is a URL? It is a website name like SplashPlan.net. But I digress. The technical aspects of your web site are important, but there are many sources for this information. What I want to talk about is the general design of a web site to sell a product, an opportunity, and to support your customers and your distributors’ needs on your website.

The basic design of your website should have a menu of links near the upper-left-hand corner of the page, either along the left side or along the top. The menu will be jumps to various places on your website, major categories. Your home page should begin selling the product, opportunity, or both. The presentations on the website should be kept at a high level with links to more detail should the visitor want to see it. Under the individual page’s presentation should be three links, with the most logical next step first, one where the user will request more information by mail, and one where they can place an order.

Graphics should be kept to a minimum to speed up each page load. Links can be text rather than graphic links. Pictures should be relevant and not frivolous. For instance, a product picture is a good idea but pictures just to support the idea being discussed are not really needed. People use the internet for the information and not the pictures. The text, though, should be well presented and readable. At the bottom of each page I usually include a copyright notice and webmaster email address.

Contact information, frequently asked questions (FAQ), and other information can be presented in major categories. Information to include should be anything that supports the business and its functions, such as providing information that somebody might call to ask. Information about the company’s founders or history should only be included if relevant to supporting the business’s functions.

Having said all of this, most of this represents my own personal preferences. Today most people have high speed internet; however, there are some people that still have dial up, as incredible as this sounds. Including graphics, videos, or other media that takes a while to download may or may not be an issue for your customers. It is important to know who your customers are to make this determination. For instance, we learned that many people shopped our web site over lunch at work, that they typically paid well, and that they were suspicious of paying with their credit card on the web site (in a lot of cases). We gathered a lot of information about our customers and made our overall marketing plan support our customers’ needs.

I am a technology professional by trade, but when it comes to creating a web site, I am an artist first, a salesman second, and a techie third. I pour over my website making little changes here and there on a daily basis. I test all the links over and over again. I create test orders to make sure everything is working. I read and reread my web pages over and over again to make sure there are no spelling errors and that I am getting across the meaning I intend. I get feedback directly from customers by telephone about their experiences. I test with several different browsers to make sure the web site looks and acts right with each one.

After our e-commerce site was in its final condition, I rewrote the pages in perl (a computer language) so I could do various things that maybe someday we’ll talk about.

I don’t think I would ever expect a business person to do the kinds of things I did. Still, writing a web site is easy; making it effective as a sales and business support tool is the hard part.

Elements of a Good Sales Presentation

We give a sales presentation to our warm prospects who respond to our mini-marketing message. Our mini marketing message was given during our networking calls or through our advertising. These mini marketing messages are meant to get our prospect asking for more and our sales presentation is the more that they will get. Sales presentations are typically used to get the prospect to the point of buying the product or service, though they may still have questions or objections after the sales presentation. A good salesperson will be able to handle any questions or objections the prospect may have, as unusual as they may be.

There are many ways to present a product sales presentation. You can give a stand up speech with slide show, you can give the prospect a video or brochure, or you can have a web site that gives your product demonstration. The easier on the prospect is usually the best, as their time is valuable to them. In my opinion, a web site is usually the easiest on a prospect.

A good sales presentation will provide product features and benefits, reasons to buy over competitive products, common questions and answers, and reasons to buy from your company over others. You can tailor your presentation to the prospect, giving them a quicker presentation unless they ask for more detail. You can also build on your presentation by getting feedback from your prospects and using their suggestions to improve the presentation.

On a web site, keep the presentation concise but give the visitor the option of looking deeper into the details. The more details you can offer online, the more the prospect will feel comfortable buying the product. You can give technical details on how the product was invented, who the inventors were and their biographies, and details about the company that manufactures it. You can show the product label, the packaging, and the raw product. You can give testimonials and show people using the product. Feel free to use your imagination to provide your potential customer with anything you think may be relevant.

At the end of your sales presentation, you must give your customer a way to buy. The easier it is for them to buy the product the better. We used to take orders from our website, by 800 number, and by fax. We allowed the customer to pay with credit card or send in a check. Again, the easier you can make it the better. If you are doing a personal product demonstration, you can simply ask for an order.

Sometimes your customer will continue to have doubts about purchasing your product. If this is the case, you can give your prospect samples or offer a trial discount on the product, if the product is consumable. You could also offer a guarantee or free trial on the product, which could work even if the product is not consumable.

Our goal for the sales presentation is to provide enough information to the potential customer so that they can make a buying decision. The better we can make our presentation fit this goal, the easier it will be to make the sale.