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How to Find Customers for Your New Direct Sales Business


Ivette Muller - Direct Sales SuccessCongratulations on your new business!!!

Now what?  🙂

Deciding on a direct sales business was the easy part…now it’s time to market your new business and find customers.  But where do you start?  Finding new customers can be a daunting task if you start telling everybody you know and anyone you meet.  Trying to tell everyone about your business can be exhausting.

Finding Customers

Why you ask?

Everybody is not a potential customer – contrary to popular belief, you should not try to market your business to anyone that’s breathing or has a checkbook.  In order to be successful and manage your time and marketing expenses efficiently, you really need to find a “niche” of potential customers.

Finding out who really needs or can use your product is the key to finding customers quickly.  By targeting your marketing efforts to find the people who are best suited to use your products, you maximize your chances of them needing the product and therefore, buying the product or hosting a party.

For example:  let’s say you sell jewelry, what kind of jewelry do you sell?  Does it appeal to a younger generation or the successful business woman?  Is it reasonably priced or is it high fashion and it costs a little more?

Now that you have identified what kind of product you sell, who could use it?  Or a better question to ask is who doesn’t need it?  When you ask yourself “who” needs your product, you are identifying a group of people who could benefit from your products and services.

Once you’ve identified who can use your product, it’s time to start making a list of people to contact.  This will get you started on finding customers quickly.

You can start with the F.R.A.N.K. list:  friends, relatives, acquaintances, neighbors and kids associations.  Now that you have a list of the people you know, prioritize them based on who needs your product – think about how you can make things easier for them.  Identify what problem your product solves so that you can create a targeted conversation piece to introduce your new business.

Example: “Hi Sally, this is Julie.  How are you doing?   How are the kids?  I was thinking about you today because Spring Break is coming up and I know you are going to California for your brother’s wedding.  When we talked last week, you mentioned that you didn’t have any nice jewelry to wear with your dress for the dance.  I thought you might still need some jewelry to finish off your wardrobe for the different events and I just started selling xxx jewelry and we’ve got some great pieces for day wear and evening wear.  When would be a good day to stop by and drop off a catalog with some recommendations?”

Using this type of script helps you to introduce your new product in a way that will help the person you talked to.  By offering personal shopping services to help your friend get what they need, you are offering more of a service rather than just trying to sell something.

People want to do business with people they know, like and trust.  So if someone already knows you and realizes that you have taken time to listen to their needs, they will be more receptive to what you have to offer.  The key to that script is personalizing it to your style of conversation and tailoring it to each person’s needs.   Here are the 3 components you need:

  1. Introduction – if the person sounds busy, ask if it’s a good time to chat
  2. Reference – mention a previous conversation that triggered you to call, why they need your service/product
  3. Ask when you can get together – try to avoid a question with a yes or no answer because it makes it difficult to follow up.  If you ask, “Can I stop by to drop off a catalog?” and the person says , “No”, then what?  You can’t ask why not or if another day would be better.  It stops the conversation.

Just to clarify, identifying a niche of potential customers doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell people about your business when it comes up in regular conversation.  You should always mention what you’re doing because even though they might need your product or service, they might know someone who does.  This exercise is just to help you prioritize who you should contact first so that you can get your business off to a good start or when you need to “restart” your business.

Here are some other ways to find customers for your new direct sales business:

  • Networking events – check your local listings for Chamber of Commerce meetings, business events, women’s networking luncheons, etc.  Once you identify the group of people who could benefit from your service and products, it’s very beneficial to find them in “mass” so that you can talk to a lot of people at one time.
  • Craft shows, bazaars, holiday shopping events
  • Fundraisers – consider offering a percentage of your commission to donate to a non-profit organization that’s trying to raise funds.  You might earn less money but your name is getting out in the community and you’ll get lots of people to follow up with.  If they buy from you, they are already interested in your product so they are a good prospect for future purchases or your next hostess.

Now that you have some ideas of where to find customers, start checking your local listings for events and opportunities!  What other venues have you used to find new customers?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Ivette Muller and her husband have two beautiful toddler girls. She has been in the direct sales industry for 15 years with various companies and enjoys helping other moms succeed with their direct sales business. You can learn more about different opportunities to work from home on her blog, Work At Home Mom, Busy and Happy Mom.  

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