Once upon a time, salespeople relied a great deal on paper brochure mailings, phone calls, and radio, TV and newspaper ads to get the word out about products and services. With the emergence of the digital age, though, successful sales reps are turning increasingly to online technology tools.
According to the latest statistics available from the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2015, among all households, 78 percent owned a desktop or laptop, 75 percent had a handheld computer such a smartphone or wireless tablet, and 77 percent had a broadband Internet subscription. Undoubtedly, those numbers have only grown higher by now.
Here’s how independent business owners (IBOs) for direct marketing companies are using social media, video, email, and other tech tools to reach this huge and burgeoning audience.
Facebook has only been around for 15 years, yet amazingly has 2.38 billion subscribers worldwide. WhatsApp has garnered another 1.8 billion, while Instagram has 1.1 billion, for instance, according to Statista.
To do the best possible job of selling through social media, many sales reps focus not just on broadcasting information over channels like Facebook and Instagram, but in getting customers engaged in their social media content through interactive communications.
Not so long ago, the word “video” was pretty much associated with one-to-many types of mass media broadcasts such as TV commercials and infomercials. Now, however, special social media and content marketing channels have grown up online in which content focuses on video. These Internet channels include Vimeo, Wistia, and most famously, YouTube, with its 1.8 billion subscribers.
IBOs for direct sales companies can take advantage of these online video channels, as well as use company-produced videos, during meetings with customers to help explain products in a streamlined and professional way. This approach can give reps more time to get to know customers and concentrate on selling products of particular interest to individuals.
Moreover, while paper brochures still have their place, it can be a lot simpler to take along your tablet or phone on a sales visit than to lug heavy and cumbersome stacks of paper.
Although it’s an older technology, email is popular among even more customers than social media. While there are 3.4 billion social media users worldwide, this total is exceeded by the amount of email users, at 3.8 billion. By the way, the average social media user has 5.5 accounts, according to current statistics compiled by OptInMonster.com.
Like social media and video channels, email works very well both for broadcasting messages and interacting with customers on a one-to-one basis to spark interest, answer questions, and respond to any concerns.
Moreover, email can be a particularly effective way of reaching customers over 45 years of age. Only 37 percent of Internet users aged 65 and up participate in social media, versus 88 percent of users aged 15 to 24. In comparison, almost as many Internet users in the oldest age bracket – 88.5 percent – use email as 15-to-24-year-olds, an age bracket in which 91 percent use email.
Direct Sales Apps
Direct selling companies like Amway have developed new web and mobile apps that let sales reps conduct all of their business online, including reporting sales and downloading videos, animated brochures, and other cool assets to share with customers through social networks, video channels, and email. With these assets in hand, it’s a quick, easy, and fun process to explain to customers what Amway’s business is all about.
Although traditional approaches to direct sales remain very productive, savvy sales reps today are also becoming expert at using social media, video, email, and direct selling apps to engage with customers, broaden their reach, garner more sales, and earn greater commissions.