Using Social Media to Generate Reorders for your Direct Sales Business

j0438487Did you know that the average customer of a direct seller orders from her/him 1.1 times?  Does this shock you?  It sure shocks me.  After all, those same customers shop from Target and Amazon.com over and over and over again.  Why aren’t they shopping again from YOU?  Is it that you sell 2nd rate products?  Not likely.  Direct sales products are some of the highest quality in the world.  Is it that people don’t really need what you have to sell?  Doubtful.  Chances are those same customers are heading to departments stores, big box chains, and online retailers to purchase the same type of product you sell regularly.  So why aren’t they shopping regularly with you?

The answer is that you don’t make it convenient for them.

The average consultant walks out of a party, and the customer never hears from her again.  Doesn’t that stink?  Let’s say that I absolutely love the product that I’ve purchased from you.  But then I run out.  Or I want something similar.  What is more convenient for me?  To hunt down a receipt that may or may not have the consultant’s phone number on it?  Or to run to my nearest store, or go online to an online retailer, and just purchase what I need?

NEWS FLASH: If we make them work to buy from us, they’re not going to, no matter how much they like the product.

Now to look at this from a consultant’s point of view, it takes a tremendous amount of work to follow up with every customer we’ve ever worked with, using traditional methods.  If you’ve been in business for a while, you may have hundreds or even thousands of customers to connect with.  And if you try to phone every one of them every few months to check in, you’re going to be so busy it will be hard to do anything else.

Fortunately, social media makes it MUCH easier to keep our customers plugged in.  And when customers are hearing from you regularly, and it’s very easy to connect with you when they need something, it’s a lot more likely that they’ll purchase from you over and over again.

Here are some ways you can put social media to work for your reorder business:

  1. Invest in an Autoresponder (this link is an affiliate link for my favorite autoresponder…the one I use personally after having tried several.)  Every time you sell something to a customer, you can plan follow-up emails on a regular schedule without having to think about it again.  She’ll receive an email from you every month or so with a link and information on how to order if she needs anything.  You can even personalize it with her name, and highlight campaigns you’ve planned.  An autoresponder ensures that your customer is hearing from you regularly, and it’s easy for her to find your info when she’s ready to make another purchase.
  2. Invite every customer to join your Facebook group. Set up a Facebook group for customers where you provide fun tips and ideas, interesting ways to use your products, and specials and discounts just for former customers.  The key to a successful group is to provide value and solve problems for the customers, so be sure you understand your target market. You can message all group members at once, which is another way to ensure that former customers are hearing from you regularly, and know how to contact you.  Many consultants have reported that it’s much easier to get a response from customers and hostesses using Facebook than any other medium, such as phone calls or email.  Perhaps it’s because we’re used to the instant response that we get when using this social networking tool.
  3. Invite every customer to Friend you on Facebook. Facebook is the ultimate online tool for building relationships with your customers.  Include your Facebook address and invitation on a card (or sticker attached to her receipt) so that every customer has the ability to connect with you on Facebook.  Be sure to highlight the benefits of connecting with you on Facebook during the party, including such things as new product updates, tips on how to use products, specials just for your Facebook family, and more.  Believe me, if she likes your products, she will be happy to connect with you on Facebook if there’s a chance for a discount or “inside information.”  And then spend time commenting on your customers’ posts, building relationships, and becoming a part of her everyday life.  Set up a friend list in Facebook just for customers, so that you can see just this group in your newsfeed, and interact when appropriate.  It will be much easier for customers to order from you again if they can just reach out to you through Facebook when they need something.

These are just a few ideas on ways you can use social media to remain in contact with customers, and generate reorders for your business.  I’ll bet my smart readers have even more ideas, and I hope you’ll share them with us in the comments below!

6 Responses to Using Social Media to Generate Reorders for your Direct Sales Business
  1. Sherrill Yoder
    October 19, 2009 | 3:40 pm

    Good information–love to teach my customers many ways to reach me! I also make sure my web site and phone are on each product she buys from me!

  2. Dionne Thiel
    October 12, 2009 | 11:31 pm

    I thought Facebook was just something friends and family use to keep in touch. I am going to do some work and do what the article suggests. I know most of my customer must be using Facebook, I’ll just have to get them all on.

  3. Donna Prawetz
    October 11, 2009 | 4:33 pm

    Hi Jennifer,

    This article is terrific. . .
    always wondered how to use Social Media
    to achieve success in our direct sales business!

    Thanks,

    Donna

  4. Tatyana Gann
    October 8, 2009 | 7:17 pm

    Jennifer

    Thank you for a great article.. I am also in direct sales and use social media… Thank you for simple and practical advice..

    Have a great day!

    Tatyana Gann

  5. Jill Shea
    October 8, 2009 | 11:48 am

    Great article Jennifer and SO true! People always need to know how to find you when you run a direct sales business. People will most likely lose your receipt so when it’s time to reorder how can they easily find you? When you build relationships and stay in front of your clients you can watch your business soar to new heights!

    Jill Shea

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