One of the mistakes many (myself included) direct sellers make is starting their direct sales business without the proper tools to help them be successful. For me, it was because I didn’t view Origami Owl® as a business; I was playing with jewelry, hanging out with cool chics and clearly that is not work. And that made things infinitely harder than they needed to be. Now, nearly two years into my journey, my processes and these direct sales tools make all the difference in my business.
If I could go back in time and start my business over, I would have found Brenda Ster, Sassy Suite and the Socialite Suite on day one. Brenda is a former Origami Owl designer and rock star social media coach. Her website and Facebook group offer a ton of valuable free training that’s applicable to all direct sellers and solopreneurs. She also offers group coaching and private training calls. And honestly, her Epic Facebook Parties course changed my business for the better!
Since I began my business more as a hobby, I really wasn’t prepared to provide great customer service. I had no processes in place and really wasn’t tracking my customers and providing the level of customer service that I knew I should. FIITFU (short for Fortune Is In The Follow Up) is a serious CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool that gives me reminders of when I should follow up with my customers and helps me track their orders and communication preferences. It allows me to create email templates and deploy them directly through FIITFU, so there’s a record of each time I reached out to my customer inside her profile. And it’s web-based and they have an iPhone app, so I can easily review my daily follow ups directly on my phone.
About three days before my very first vendor event, I realized I had no way to collect credit card payments. I’ve been with Square ever since. You can get a Square card reader for free and it’s so easy to use. Their processing fees are very reasonable, the money is delivered to my checking account the next business day and they have a killer referral program.
I love in-home parties and my experience has been I get better attendance when I mail out invitations. Actual invitations. Through the post office. Yes, they still do that! Since I’m a crafty kinda girl, when I started, I would make invitations with my greeting card making materials. Multi-layered affairs with card stock, cute paper, three dimensional stickers, hand addressed and lovingly delivered to the post office. It became a chore and chores don’t get done! The day I found MarGo, I literally did a happy dance. You create the event and invitation in Margo and invite your hostess. She can then upload her guest list and Margo will mail the invitations out. What’s really cool is Margo can find the address for her guests, if she doesn’t have them, by analyzing local white pages. You can also set up Margo to text, email and send voice messages to your guests at different times before the party to remind them.
I hope these direct sales tools help you start your business on the right foot. Check back in next week for my social media toolbox. And let me know if you have any questions about these tools!