Importance of people skills in direct selling

The key to a successful career in direct selling lies in two key points: a drive to perform and the right set of communication and people skills. A proficient sales rep is someone who has the potential to gather and disseminate information in a manner that wants people to do business with you. 

Everything from your company, products and the pricing matters only if you have the right communication and people skills. After all, direct selling is a one-on-one profession that solely relies on how successfully you can rope in potential customers. What this means is you have to be on par with your buyer’s needs, what they care about and this will help you craft your sales strategy accordingly. So before you deep dive into marketing jargon, here’s how you can sharpen your people skills to craft the perfect career in direct selling: 

Always pay attention: It’s important you are present - physically and mentally - during a client meeting or call. Showing up doesn’t always mean being available at the other end of a video call, but being attentive to the discussion at all times. You need to dedicate 100% of your attention to each call so you don’t miss crucial details from your prospective client: what they’re looking for, their budget, etc. 

Patience is key: No matter how long it takes you to get a strong foothold in direct selling, remember, patience is key. Building a network of reliable buyers and creating a steady stream of income takes time so keep working on your trade to see results. Patience will also help you create meaningful interactions with prospective customers and colleagues, so trust the process and you will see results. 

Be polite, but firm: There might be times when you might not agree with what your client says or demands. Having said that, it’s important to get your point of view across politely, but firmly. A successful sales personnel is someone who is well-aware of what their prospective and current clients do on a day-to-day basis and their challenges. This information can help you offer them products better-suited for them and this will help you be more empathetic and in turn, likeable. No doubt, this increases your chances of inking the deal at a faster pac. 

Focus on specifics: Great communication does not always translate to long, detailed conversations. Remember, not everyone enjoys such persuasive dialogues. The key lies in short, crisp meetings that deliver the message swiftly and clearly. Communicators who follow this formula are not only able to make a good impression and convince people, but have a larger buyer base. Another suggestion is to include examples and case studies, albeit in brief. People always like a personal story that they can relate to. 

There’s no room for assumptions: We all know it’s easy to fall into a routine - at work or at home. Similarly, it’s easy to fall into a routine in sales so stay clear of creating a standard buyer profile in your mind. For example, just because the first ten buyers had the same set of requirements or issues, doesn’t mean the eleventh buyer will follow suit. Unless conveyed directly by a buyer, don’t assume things or take for granted their needs or their situation. 

Work on your presentation skills: Many direct selling gigs require detailed presentations to be made to prospective clients. Now that a majority of such meetings have gone virtual owing to the pandemic, you need to brush up your software skills too. Stay up-to-date with softwares and ensure your product catalogue supports all platforms. 

Keep a check on the tone: Similar to body language, the tonality of your voice - it’s pitch, volume, speed, choice of words and phrases, to name a few - is extremely crucial during your sales pitch. More so, if it is a virtual meeting or a phone call, listen to buyer’s needs attentively, slow down or speak fast depending on their way of speaking, choose words they are using and choose to be formal or casual depending on the conversation. It’s easy to build a rapport in the first couple of minutes if you can gauge their way of speaking and match yours accordingly.

So no matter which stage of your direct selling career you’re in, these skills will help you create a niche for yourself. Always remember, people come first and great communication skills will result in successful client relationships who trust your skills and end up developing a long-term professional relationship. Word-of-mouth plays a key role too so having a great personality will lead to clients putting you on to their close circle. The more, the merrier!

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