Great customer service is one of the hallmarks of any successful company. The one aspect of customer service that can break a company is not delivering product in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Many companies have experienced challenges with this in the wake of a growth spurt or while facing business decline as the economic climate changes. The trick is to stay in front of the changing landscape—plan for the future, and fit your operations to handle growth and the cycles of the future.
One need only look at the growing number of brand marketers using virtual events to see the industry’s rapid growth. In 2009, The Event Marketing Institute cited 300 percent growth in this sector. In addition, a 2009 report by American Business Media and Forrester Research found that 75 percent of business decision makers said they attended three or more Web-based events during the past 12 months.
After months of internal meetings, site visits, late nights and planning, the first day of the annual convention is finally here! At the registration desk, everything is calm and organized as attendees from all over the country eagerly line up to receive their conference packet full of important information regarding general sessions, breakouts and events to be held during the convention. Behind the scenes, however, there is a different scene full of last-minute changes to scripts, finishing touches on the stage, audio-visual setup, VIP arrivals, room gifts, airport transfers, lost luggage and unimaginable organized chaos. All of these details are carefully arranged and facilitated by the meeting planner.
The use of mobile marketing is quickly growing as an effective, low-cost solution to reach an increasingly mobile world. With more than 258 million wireless users in the United States alone, there is nothing but potential for marketers. By 2013, it is estimated that every American adult and teen will have a mobile device, with marketing to these devices growing as well. In 2007, mobile marketing spending was estimated at $1.8 billion, with revenues predicted to grow to $24 billion by 2013.
The young mother was eager to help her husband with the expenses of building their first home. So she jumped at the chance to join a top, respected direct sales company. She knew nothing about selling and had zero confidence in her ability, but she loved the products and was willing to give it a try—a familiar scenario in the direct selling industry.
It’s official. Direct selling today looks little like the party planning business of the past. The digital age has brought with it powerful social networking tools, mobile technology and readily available content, all of which are ways for consumers to connect with large brands on a new level. The advent of social media alone has fashioned a different world in which we communicate. Connections can be initiated and fostered through social networks, extending our abilities to engage and enhance those into more personal relationships.
It’s simple—when the salesforce grows, your company grows. And there’s only one surefire way to make that happen: consultants sharing the opportunity. Making recruiting the foundation of the company and the culture of your business from the inside out is what will grow the company and the salesforce.
Most of my 35-plus years in direct selling have been spent building and managing new or established companies, either as a senior executive or an outside consultant. While the companies changed, one thing did not: They were almost always party plan companies.
This is an exciting time for the average direct seller to embrace new technologies and the multitude of offerings for communicating. To share a product in seconds with 1,097 Facebook friends or tweet to more than 500 prospective customers instantaneously is something none of us imagined even five years ago.
Most salespeople understand that they need to get on the phone, yet days, months, even years go by (yes, years!) without them following up with their customers. Why? The challenge is that they do not know how to do it and they do not truly understand why. As an expert in the field of sales training and having worked with CEOs and thousands of direct sellers, I believe that the answer to improving sales, decreasing attrition and increasing profits is found in an often-overlooked success recipe all great marketers implement: follow up.