The pandemic has negatively impacted many sectors of the Canadian economy. Yet, for some, these difficult times have led to increases in product sales and an influx of sales consultants—an unexpected outcome for some direct sellers who normally thrive in party-type settings or rely on in-person demonstrations to sell their products. So, what are they doing differently, if anything? We asked Hatem Jahshan, CEO of Steeped Tea, a DSA Canada member, how his company has been able to successfully cope during the pandemic and here are the top 5 lessons he shared with us:
- Understand your target audiences, what their needs are and how your products fit.
As always, don’t lose site of your target audiences, make sure you evaluate their needs during this time and align/market your products to fit.
- Market your products appropriately.
This is part two of Key Lesson #1. Ensure that your products, and any marketable claims you use, can be proved. For example, if you have products that have medicinal properties that have been approved by Health Canada, then make sure to market them appropriately.
- Provide social media tools and training for your sales team.
Make sure your sales team has the tools and training necessary to help them sell online via social media. Some will resist change, but overtime and with the right tools, they too will adapt.
- Invest in online ecommerce software.
Invest in client-centric online ecommerce software, instead of sales-centric software. This will help bring in more sales and new customers, to compliment the work your sales team is already doing. Make sure to review your sales commission structure so that your sales team is not negatively impacted. The software should alleviate some of the work that they can’t or don’t want to do, such as follow-up calls, product reorders, etc.
- Less pitch, more lifestyle.
No one likes a sales pitch, but a lifestyle pitch is much easier to accept, influence and turn into sales. Also, social media has changed the way that people sell. Social influencers and Millennials have become experts at branding their lifestyles, so make sure your products align with what they believe in.