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How to Market Your Direct Sales Business During the COVID-19 Crisis

Launch safe and ethical promotions that generate sales and build your brand.

By now, you’ve heard about the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the globe. The disease has garnered a lot of media attention and has caused panic buying and market crashes. While no one knows for sure how long this will play out in the coming months, the high recovery rates and mild symptoms for the majority of those infected are promising signs that we will get through this crisis.

Government leaders and medical experts from around the world are asking citizens to stay at home and practice social distancing to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the disease. As a result, nearly everyone has experienced some type of fallout due to COVID-19. Depending on where you live, families in your area may have been ordered to shelter at home and many non-essential businesses have been ordered to temporarily shutter their doors. This means that some workers have already been laid off and others have been asked to work from home often at reduced hours.

If you have a direct sales business, you may find that you have more time to spend on your business. If you or a member of your household has experienced a layoff or other negative financial consequences as a result of the closures, you may also have an even greater need for the funds your business can generate. But you may also be at a bit of a loss as to how you should proceed with your marketing strategies. Indeed, these are tough times for everyone but there are still opportunities available for many businesses. 

Depending on your business and the products you sell there are some special considerations that you should take into account before you proceed. Let’s take a look at what you need to know and do to become a smart and effective marketer during this difficult time.

Here’s what you should do:

Help Your Customers Stay At Home

With social distancing in effect, one of the best things you can do is provide your customers with a product or service that can be delivered to their homes. This is a great area to focus your efforts. Beef up your online offerings on your website, and promote them heavily through email and social media. Understand that many of your customers may have reduced or cut their discretionary spending, so look for ways to offer your products for less if at all possible. This is a great time to move clearance merchandise.

This is also the perfect time to utilize ZenSales’ carrier pick up feature, which is available on both the Growth and Executive subscriptions. With just 2-clicks, you can arrange to have your postal service worker pick up your outgoing packages right from your doorstep.

Encourage your customers to stay at home when you share these posts on your social media channels.

download social media post for direct sellers to encourage their customers to stay at home. How to Market Your Direct Sales Business During the COVID-19
ZenSales is here to help you market your business the right way! Download these pre-made social media posts and change out the images to fit your products: https://bit.ly/3dJduLx

Host Live Updates And Virtual Parties Via Social Media Or Videoconferencing

Unfortunately, events like in-home parties or in-person sales calls are currently off-limits in most communities and should be avoided to help flatten the curve. But thanks to the power of the internet and social media you can still host these events online, and everyone can attend from the safety of their own home. Put together a fun fashion show or demo your products during a live update. Make it entertaining and use this opportunity to grow your business in new and exciting ways. Look into free tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts for simple video conferencing. You can also use FaceTime or Messenger for video calls, be sure to check with your clients first to determine which platform they prefer to use.

Become A Helpful Resource To Create Future Sales

Since many people may have more free time on their hands but limited financial resources, this is a great time to share knowledge with your customers. For instance, if you work with brands like LulaRoe, Senegence, Maverick the Collection, Chalk Couture, Color Street, or Paisley Reye you can put together a learning session on the latest make-up, manicure, home design, or fashion trends. If you work with Ring Bomb Party you can create a learning session on precious gems and the materials used in your jewelry. Java Mama reps can demonstrate fun coffee recipes and Pure Romance reps can show your customers how a little romance can help reduce stress during times like these. The possibilities are endless when you look for ways to educate your customers about the products you sell. Your goal is to simply create an individual, personalized value for your customers and use that to build a more solid relationship for future sales.

Now, let’s take a brief moment to talk about what you absolutely should not do.

Don’t Make Any False Claims 

One of the key considerations you should take into account is the FCC rules regarding truthfulness in advertising. According to the FCC “… claims in advertisements must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair, and must be evidence-based.” If you are marketing foods, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, and other health-related products, you should be extremely cautious about making any claims related to COVID-19 and its prevention and/or cure. The FCC requires all health-related advertising claims to have scientifically verified, solid proof. Since COVID-19 is a new and unknown virus, there are no scientifically-proven health claims that you can validly make concerning any type of product.

Although to most of us this seems like a no-brainer, a few well-known names have already made this mistake and are facing serious consequences as a result. When televangelist Jim Bakker began promoting his product, Silver Solution, as a coronavirus “remedy” in mid-February, he was consequently contacted by both the FCC and the FTC and given the order to “immediately cease making all such claims”. Rather than promoting questionable claims about your products, you could instead offer tips on how to avoid being infected by the virus by referencing the expert information from resources such as the CDC and WHO. This includes regular hand washing, avoiding touching the face with unwashed hands, and social distancing.

Don’t Prey On Fears  

Marketers know that fear is one of the greatest motivators for human action, however, now is not the time to fan the flames for your own personal gain. While there is nothing wrong with plainly stating any bad consequences your product may help consumers avoid, as evidenced by recent surges in hoarding and panic buying, now is simply not the time to use any fear-mongering related to COVID-19 in your marketing. Before you begin a promotion, ask yourself if it provides value to your customers and also matches the values of your business.  

In conclusion, with a little creativity and a little ingenuity, you can develop a marketing strategy that will help your business survive and thrive through the trials of this pandemic. Focus on being a helpful resource for your customers, and don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. If you don’t ask the answer is always no. Show clearly how your brand solves a problem or satisfies a need people have, especially those that are related to coping with the crisis. You may find that simply by working a little bit harder and a little bit smarter both you and your business will come out of this stronger than ever.

The ZenSales team is a remote team that works from home under normal circumstances. This means that the ZenSales platform will continue to run without interruption and we will be ready to provide support when you need it. We hope that you and your family stay safe during this difficult time.

Save and print this handy cheat sheet and get started on your marketing plan today!

develop a marketing strategy that will help your business survive and thrive through the trials of COVID-19



How to Market Your Direct Sales Business During the COVID-19

How to Market Your Direct Sales Business During the COVID-19

Meet the New ZenSales Ambassador Program

Generate Lasting, Passive Income by Referring New Members to ZenSales

Passive income is defined as “income that requires little to no effort to earn and maintain”. Well, no doubt easier said than done! But if you’ve ever dreamed about earning money without a lot of heavy lifting, the new ZenSales Ambassador Program just might be your dream come true!

ZenSales makes shipping faster and easier for direct sellers and small eCommerce retailers. ZenSales’ shipping platform has grown quickly by listening to customer feedback and rapidly adopting new problem-solving features. The platform has also thrived on word-of-mouth referrals, many of which were generated through similar referral programs. These included a general referral program that offered shipping credits to both the user and their referral and an ambassador program that offered a one-time compensation for each referral. Although the existing programs were successful, we knew we could do better. So the team at ZenSales launched a comprehensive survey designed to identify the program elements that most benefitted users.

ZenSales users are invited to join the exciting new Ambassador Program to generate a lasting stream of passive income. The new program was inspired by ZenSales’s core values, which include a dedication to helping users grow their businesses. The ZenSales Ambassador Program is built on a generous payout structure designed to help ZenSales users build a meaningful recurring income with just a small investment of time.

The goal was to create a program that resonated with ZenSales’s commitment to making small business growth simple for our users. The end result is a new ZenSales Ambassador Program that is based in-part on valuable feedback from the customer survey, combined with a multi-level payout structure that is common within the industry.

With the new ZenSales Ambassador Program, users will be able to build passive income streams by recruiting new users to the ZenSales shipping platform. ZenSales will pay you $3/month for every new shipping customer you refer to the platform with an active, paid subscription. That’s not all — when a user that you recruit refers a new paying user, you each receive $3/month for up to 24 months!

According to top consumer finance guru, Dave Ramsey, a few of the benefits of passive income include:

  • Increases your wealth-building plan
  • Creates an opportunity to retire early
  • Provides an additional source of income when you’re no longer able to work or if you outlive your retirement fund

Whether you use your passive income to pad your retirement or spend it all on a lavish vacation, it’s easy to see how you can benefit from making more money when there’s very little effort or investment required.

How it Works 

The ZenSales Ambassador Program is an exciting way for users to earn a monthly recurring revenue simply by referring new paid subscribers to ZenSales’s shipping platform! The program structure rewards you for recruiting top-level sales reps with large downlines that they in turn refer. The ZenSales Ambassador program will pay users for both First and Second Level recruits, giving you the opportunity to multiply your monthly income exponentially.

 

ZenSales New Ambassador Program

ZenSales users can visit their new ZenSales Ambassador dashboard to review and accept the ZenSales Ambassador Program Terms and Conditions. Users will become an active Ambassador upon agreeing to the program’s terms and conditions. Once your Ambassador Program is activated, we recommend that you share your referral link via social media channels, web pages, and email. With the right First Level recruits your income will add up quickly!

When a new user creates an account for a paid subscription with your link they become your First Level Recruit and you’ll be eligible for a payout. But that’s not all! When one of your First Level Recruits shares their link, any individual who creates an account for a paid subscription will become your Second Level Recruit and you’ll also be eligible for a payout!

Who Can Become an Ambassador? 

The ZenSales Ambassador Program is open to all ZenSales users with an active subscription.

Who Counts as a Recruit?

Any user who opens a paid monthly subscription after clicking on your Recruiting Link will be considered a viable recruit. At the present time, the Growth and Executive plan subscriptions will count towards your monthly total. However, the Starter subscription is not eligible. If you have a contact who wants to sign up for a Starter account go ahead and give them your referral link! If they upgrade their subscription they’ll become an active recruit and you’ll receive a payout for up to 24 months!

How Do I Get Started? 

To become a ZenSales Ambassador and begin generating passive income, visit the signup page to become a new user. Once you have established your ZenSales account, visit the Ambassador dashboard to accept the program’s terms and conditions. Next, review the Ambassador Getting Started Guide for helpful hints to begin recruiting. If you’re not a ZenSales subscriber yet, open and set up your account to get started.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please reach out to the customer support team by clicking on the chat button in the lower corner of your screen.

The Best Referral Program for Your Direct Sales Business

Referrals are the lifeblood of every multi-level company. Depending on how the company you represent is structured, you may need to generate more than one type of referral. Usually, when we think about referrals we’re thinking about a customer’s word-of-mouth or electronic recommendation for your goods or services, like a testimonial, an email, a social media post or a quote published online. However, there is additional referral in the world of direct sales which includes people who are referred to join your team and sell for you. Both are valuable and necessary for a healthy, thriving network marketing business.

You need referrals. Luckily, there are literally thousands of creative methodologies that you can employ to keep referrals heading your way. But, not every one of those methods is guaranteed to work for your business. With limited resources, how do you find the referral programs that are worthy of your time and energy? First, look at your customer journey.

What is a Customer Journey?

A customer journey is a metaphorical journey made by a hypothetical customer as they connect with your business, detailing the interactions and proposed emotions they experience along the way. Studying your customer journey will help you gain a better understanding of how your customers travel through the sales process. This information can be used to improve the results of your touch-points or future interactions. Customer journey mapping can reveal a wealth of opportunities for improving your customer experience and, to the point of this article, also help you identify the best methods for getting more referrals.

 

Find the Opportunities

There are a few really cool online tools that can help you map out your customer journey, like Milkymap. But you don’t really need a complicated tool to plot out your customer journey, a simple paper and pen — make that a pencil with an eraser 😉 — will get the job done. Customer journeys should be developed from the customer’s point-of-view, again it’s most helpful to use your “ideal” customer. If you have several customer segments you should complete a customer journey map for each one. If none of your current customers are ideal, you can even create a customer journey for the clients you want to have in the future, as opposed to the ones you’re getting now.

Organize your customer journey maps by the marketing and sales funnel stages your customers typically pass through. For instance, every business is unique, but most customers go through the following stages:

  1. Discovery
  2. Exploration
  3. Comparison
  4. Evaluation
  5. Purchase
  6. Retention
  7. Referrals

You can also build a customer profile to better define the target audiences for your referral messages. You can use this free customer profile template to help identify the most important characteristics of your ideal buyer persona. This information can help you understand your customers’ needs and how you can help them solve them, which can lead to more referrals. Completing a customer profile can help you identify new opportunities to connect with your target audience. See the example below and then build your own.

Customer Profile Template Example

Customer Profile example

Create a Plan to Maximize Your Opportunities

Let’s circle back on the sales and marketing funnel and make note of the final step: Referrals. Referrals don’t happen until the very end?! Yes, and there’s a good reason why. Imagine if you walked into a business and before you could make a purchase they asked you for a referral. Your response might be “For what?”, and your customers will feel the same way. It’s difficult to recommend a business before they have completed your service or provided a product. We usually wait until the end of the transaction to form our opinion.

For this reason, businesses must strive to leave a positive impression during each phase of the customer journey. If you fail to delight your customers you will most likely not receive a referral. If you wait until the end of your customer journey to think about referrals, you’ve most likely waited too long.

Automate as Much as Possible

After you have plotted your customer journey look for ways to improve your customer experience to ensure that your service is worthy of recommending. Next, look for opportunities to ask for referrals, but try to automate the process as much as possible. When you create automated referral requests you will receive more referrals because you will consistently ask every customer.

How and where you ask for referrals matters as well. After a purchase has been made you should plan multiple automated calls-to-action to generate the most referrals. Ultimately, the best time to ask is when your customers are ready to give a glowing review of you, your products and your customer service.

Top Automated Referral Opportunities

1. Order thank you page
2. Shipping confirmation email
3. Delivery confirmation email
4. Order-tracking pages
5. Follow-up emails

 

Don't forget to say thank you!

One of the best ways to keep the referrals rolling in is to make sure that your customers have a positive experience. You can thank your referrals while also promoting your current products and services to encourage future sales. A free item or a discount offer is a great way to reward and encourage referrals. Create offers like a “15% Discount for Every Referral” and/or “A Free Gift for Every Referral” and include them in your automated messaging. 

Customize Your Plan for Your Customer Segments

Regardless of the best practices, there really aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to asking for referrals. Different customer segments may require a completely different approach to referrals. For instance, new customers will follow the profile described above. They will want to wait until the end of the transaction before making a referral. However, your returning customers may be ready and willing to make a referral at any stage during the customer journey. The most important thing to remember when you’re planning a referral program is to create a program that matches your brand and flows seamlessly within your customer experience.


Don't for get to pin this to your Pinterest Board

How to make a referal program to grow your business infographic