Send Your Direct Sales Reorder Business Into Overdrive!

Do you know how many times the average customer orders from a direct seller?

1.1 times.

Does that shock you?  It should!

Is it because products from direct selling companies are inferior?

No! Direct selling companies sell some of the best products you can find.

Then why don’t people reorder from us?

Because we don’t make it easy.

Think about it…when someone runs out of a product we’ve sold them, or wants something else, what are they more likely to do?  Go and try to dig out that paper receipt you left them with that has your phone number on it? (Not likely.)  Or will they run to Target or Walmart and get something comparable (even if they like your product better?)  Of course they’re going to run to the big box store.  Why?  Because the process is easier, and predictable.  They know exactly what will happen….they’ll go to the store, pick out what they want, pay for it, and come home with it.  Even though it may be more effort than shopping with you, it’s easier mentally.  There’s no uncertainty.  If we don’t make it easier for our customers to shop from us than from the big box store, we’re going to lose to them every time.

Fortunately, social media makes it easier to provide our customers with an easier and more predictable experience that can result in more reorders for your business.  Here’s are a few ideas on how to do it:

  • Invite every customer you work with to connect with you on Facebook.  Add them to a special Friend List so that you can reach out and touch them regularly (commenting on their updates, etc. Not hitting them with sales-y stuff.)
  • Create a Page on Facebook, and invite every customer to join you there.  Offer tips on using your products, special incentives and discounts, and fun discussions.  Send out a message from this group at least once a month, letting folks know what’s been happening on the Page, and inviting them to come back and check it out.  Set up a custom URL for your group in Facebook so your customers can get there with one click (include the link in your monthly message.)  And include all your contact/reorder information in the Page info.
  • Part of your closing technique with each customer (at the point of sale) should include a description of what the reorder process looks like.  For example, “Should you need more of this, all you need to do is visit my website or give me a call – this information is all easy to access from the Facebook Page- and you can place your order right then and there.  Once you order, you’ll have the products delivered to your door within 2 weeks.  It’s easy and effortless.  And if you would like some personal shopping help, I am more than happy to talk with you about your needs, and make suggestions.  Simply give me a call or reach out to me on Facebook.  If you give me your email, I’ll make sure we’re connected there.  I want to make your process as simple for you as possible.”
  • On your customer Page, make sure you describe the reorder process on your info tab, so people understand exactly what they need to do and how long it will take.  They need to know where the products will be shipped, as well.
  • Make sure every customer gets a monthly, content-driven newsletter (not just ads) that provides them with value. Within it, have a “Need more products?” box with a link to a page (not post) on your blog that describes the reorder process, a link to your website, your email, your phone number, a link to connect on Facebook, and a way to connect with your customer Page on Facebook.

People reorder from Amazon.com and big box stores ALL THE TIME.  If they love your products (and how could they not?) then they should be reordering from you too.  But it’s up to YOU to make the process easy and predictable.  They’re NOT going to dig out the receipt. I know that it’s physically impossible to call every single customer on your list every month or two if you’ve been in this business for a while.  But that doesn’t mean that anyone should fall through the cracks.  Instead, use social media to make the reorder process easy and effortless for customers, and watch your reorder business soar!

Now these are just some of my ideas.  How have you been using social media (or face to face techniques) to increase reorders?  Would love to read your ideas below in the comments!

12 Responses to Send Your Direct Sales Reorder Business Into Overdrive!
  1. Lisa Robbin Young
    December 20, 2010 | 8:12 pm

    Jen,
    Do you have a source for that repeat biz statistic? I can’t find it anywhere.
    Thanks!

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 21, 2010 | 8:28 am

      The source is Alan Luce, my colleague in corporate direct sales consulting. I would imagine it’s a DSA statistic. I’ll see what I can dig up.

  2. Carrie MacLean
    April 27, 2010 | 8:21 pm

    I love this as a compliment to the phone calls and other follow-up methods. It is common for me to call a client, leave a voice message and they reply via email or text. I believe this is part of the new generation of communication. It is like the “manilla intra-office envelope” gave way to email, our communications are and will be in a constant state of change throughout the remainder of our careers. I think it is a matter of keep up or be left out.

    Many of my clients I meet at home parties have not reordered in the past, despite follow-up phone calls, thank you notes, and monthly newsletters. If I can use Facebook or other social media as a tool to build on that initial connection and establish a real relationship AND make the reordering process easy, it seems like a great combination to help increase client retention.

    Thanks for your ideas and insight!

  3. Mia Bella Candles Business
    April 23, 2010 | 3:15 pm

    Finding your passion for the product line does certainly help. I tend for consumable products and gifts that people buy on a constant basis. Learn how to market and grow you business every day.

  4. Kim Schmitt
    March 2, 2010 | 5:06 pm

    AND the customer is often not thanked.

    That is what SendOutCards is all about.. showing appreciation to family, to customers.. to those that make a difference in your life. So many times we spend our hard earned money with someone and they never say thank you. They never follow up. it has been said that 68% of customers you lose is from implied indifference .. they don’t know you care.

    my groomer sends a post card with a picture of the freshly groomed dog TO THE DOG in thanks. people are collecting them.

  5. Robert M Worth Jr
    March 2, 2010 | 9:30 am

    Yes, this is a great article. However, follow-up with your client is just as important if not more so. Arguments pro and con; however, that phone call twice a month to see if anything needs to be reordered is essential. It puts that “I interested in you” concept into full swing.

    Social Networking is only a tool just as web sites are tools. Neither are a panacea to solve the reorder challenge. That phone call is important and carries a higher rating then waiting for the phone to ring at your office. The top notch sales people in any industry are constantly on the phone keeping in touch. Email works too but it’s only one dimensional. You need at least two dimensional and that is where the phone comes on strong.

    “Hi, this is Mary representing bla bla bla checking to see if you need more of the products you purchased from me on (insert date). By the way, we have great sales this month, call me 888×111.5555”. The phone is your best friend, more so then a keyboard. Treat it as such.

    You’ll have to set up some kind of reminder system. Lots of ideas here. Just Google for ideas. Investment can be minimal – ball point pen and paper. How you organize it should be by follow-up date. If you have a PDA, put the follow-ups in it.

    Now, your tools are complete. Unless, you want referrals and recommendations to others from your clients. Facebook makes this really easy for you with Fan pages and Group pages. Stay with the higher volume Social Networking cycles for new business and repeat business. Learn how to use ALL the tools available to you. Your business will soar.

  6. Karen Fox
    March 1, 2010 | 10:47 pm

    Jennifer great post! I remember before such things as email and social media sites,(27 years in direct sales) it was time consuming and costly as we had to mail everything monthly to stay in close contact with our customers and hostesses. When you had a large clientele it was time consuming just stuffing envelopes and stamping brochures beside the cost involved. BUT we did it! NOW we have the opportunity to do it so much easier but we need to SET a SCHEDULE to make sure we stay in close contact or time passes by.

  7. Karen Clark
    March 1, 2010 | 9:00 pm

    This is great advice! I hadn’t thought of creating a group for customers (only my team so far) but I think I will. Most of us have products our customers LOVE and love talking about, why not encourage that in a more public way and interactive where you can even create a sense of community among them, and further foster evangelism! Love it!
    Karen

  8. Eryn Cadoff
    March 1, 2010 | 1:02 pm

    Thank you Jennifer for the great reminder of HOW and WHY it’s important to stay in touch with people. And I like some of Heather’s tips as well. I think another key thing is a lot of direct sellers forget to contact people about a week after they get their products to check in and make sure everything arrived okay – that’s a great opportunity to connect with them in a way that a store never will!

    Eryn

  9. Heather Price
    March 1, 2010 | 10:38 am

    awesome!

    I also put a reorder label on my products with my phone number and website— they don’t need to keep the receipt- they can just look at the back of the product.

    AND I contact THEM every 3 months to see what I can help them with. I don’t leave it up to them.

    AND I send customer birthday cards each year with a discount or free gift offer.

    I MUCH prefer the customers who order $50 and then reorder and reorder and reorder for YEARS than the $300 one time customer who never calls me again (and doesn’t return my calls or emails). It’s about building a relationship.

    Great info, thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks
  1. Social Media Doesn’t Exist in a Bubble | Direct Sales and Social Media
  2. uberVU - social comments
Leave a Reply


Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv badge

Trackback URL http://www.jenfongspeaks.com/send-your-direct-sales-reorder-business-into-overdrive/trackback/