Quick Tip – Grow Profits as an Independent Sales Rep

Today I bring you another quick tip.  This time it addresses how to sell as a franchise representative in today’s economy.

Question:

Do you know any sales techniques I could use that do not include pitching my brand over a competitor?  The economy in my area has been hit hard, but I believe in my products and their benefits. Please help.

Answer:

While consumers’ money is tight and the number of representatives is high, there is still a way for an independent salesperson to make a profit.  He or she must use marketing to stand out.  Use these selling tips to increase your sales today.  Let’s pretend that you are a cosmetics company rep.  While your potential customers can purchase make-up and pampering products from almost anywhere, your job is to show why buying from you is their smartest decision.  Here are a few things to consider:

1. What’s important to your customers? The key to being an effective salesperson is to know your consumer.  By understanding this person’s “pain points” or unmet needs, then you can tailor your marketing message accordingly.  For busy moms, their biggest unmet need is likely finding the time to shop for cosmetics or having enough patience to purchase them at the store with her kids in tow.  For college students, an unmet need could be figuring out how to look good on a limited budget.  Even if your target market has been hit hard by the economy, knowing that saving money is important to them is crucial, especially if these women are already buying your product elsewhere.

2. How do my products meet those needs? For each of your targets, map out how your product meets a consumer need.  The information you come up with can be used when pitching to that group.  Does your company offer a web site available 24/7 or a take-home catalog so that potential customers can browse at their convenience?  This is something your busy mom target should know.  Are there more trendy products available at lower prices?  Is there a sale going on?  Make sure you inform the college student who is pinching her pennies.  Don’t limit these benefits to the product.  There may even be something in your customer service approach that you can tailor.  Maybe you have a target that appreciates personalized attention.  Collect some information from them, such as their birthday or anniversary, and use an email auto-responder to send them a little token on those special days (with a product offer of course) or have a phone line dedicated to long-time customers.

3. Address a consumer need at every touch-point. Now comes the time to put your plan into action.  Pick your target and create a campaign that addresses her needs.  Let’s say that your target’s biggest barrier to purchase is that she believes your products are more expensive than what she currently buys at a discount store.  You’d want to make sure that every conversation, email or other literature uses messaging that point out your products’ high quality and reasonable cost.  This could include a comparison between your products and those at retail stores, highlighting current specials or making her believe that these savings are only available when purchasing from your company.  Show that she can be a smart shopper by purchasing from you directly.  It’s also important to be consistent in your approach.  Don’t share tips to save money in one promotion, and then highlight the most expensive products available in the next.

Remember, there are a variety of tactics that can be used, from coupons to joint events to ads, but before investing the time and money, make sure you have a good handle on your consumer’s needs.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, CEO of Inspired Marketing, Inc., is a small business marketing coach who shows women entrepreneurs how to use solid marketing strategies to turn their life’s passion into a profitable, service-based business. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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