The direct selling industry’s best asset is its people. These people can be further segmented into customers, new prospects and existing independent distributors. It is essential to develop strong interpersonal relationships through open communication with these key audiences in order to drive sales, sustainability, and growth, especially in today’s economy. Direct selling companies that build and over time, maintain long-term interpersonal relationships will flourish exponentially.
Companies need to zero in on the importance of strengthening the depth of their business relationships with their audiences in order to achieve long-term loyalty in the network marketing industry, as in other mainstream businesses.
Why Relationships Matter
A big mistake companies make is not realizing that customer satisfaction does not always translate in to loyalty. A satisfied customer is simply someone who has received what he was promised—nothing more, nothing less. Strong customer relationships, especially those customers evolving into new independent representatives, imply that you have delivered something extra or provided added value in order to gain their interest and belief in your brand. Long-term loyalty and the countless benefits that accompany it pay off in a huge way for those direct selling companies that go the extra mile for their customers, turn them into enthusiastic new distributors.
Remember the personal details. Take a mental note and remember to send a card or say congratulations at your next meeting, for example. Let the person know that the newly formed relationship means just as much—or more than—the paycheck. In doing so, you can increase loyalty and build long-term value. Be alert, pay attention and treat each new customer and/or prospect like your only customer. It may require more effort up front, but it will pay off in the long run.
Successful relationships are a two-way street. Independent distributors want to be actively invested in the relationship. Find out their short and long-term goals and how much time they will commit to getting their businesses off of the ground. When you draft a game plan for them, whether they work the business part time or full time, keep in mind that they may be juggling a lot and factor that in accordingly. Plan a brainstorm session; doing so will help build rapport and also give you an inside look at how they operate.
In addition to offering useful and relevant information, regularly solicit feedback from your independent distributors and customers. In many cases, insight from regular feedback improves relationships by highlighting problems that existed below the surface—and also because you’ll be communicating that you are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you’re meeting their needs. Feedback may also reveal ways in which the relationship can be expanded to include a greater scope of products or services. Feedback is a good gauge of how effective you are getting your message across to your prospects and distributors.
Maintain open communication channels
Healthy relationships thrive on communication and can always be strengthened. Touch base often with your distributors and inquire about their progress and to learn how you might be better able to meet their needs and expectations.
If need be, make the time and schedule a sit-down meeting to talk about goals and how you can reach them together. Facing the issues together will help to create a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. Relationship-building isn’t foolproof. Despite your best efforts, some customers may choose to abandon your company for a competitor. But, on the whole, the implementation of relationship-building strategies will yield measurable improvements in sales and lengthen the duration of relationships with your company’s most valuable resources, distributors and customers.
Get started today and check out the possibilities of what the direct selling industry can do for you. To learn about the Team National opportunity, go to www.bign.com .