Whether you sell a product or service, most people like to experience a sample before they buy. Content writers will share samples of their writing. Candle consultants will offer scented wax samples; and likewise bath and body consultants will offer samples of their lotions and potions. Great idea, yes?
Yes, try it before you buy it can be a great idea, if handled properly. Specifically for product sales, for the direct sales consultants, what I mean by “if handled properly” is if you are going to invest in samples, make sure you’ll get a return on your investment (ROI).
To illustrate, allow me to give you a real life example.
A new direct sales consultant mailed me a catalog and some samples. She invested in the price of the catalog, envelope, postage and actual product samples. The goal is obviously to have me try some of the products and then hopefully I would make a purchase, perhaps want to be a host, or even sell the products myself. That’s pretty much how direct sales works. She was gracious to send me five different samples.
What she did right:
- Catalog was labeled with her contact information.
- I received a nice variety to try. Five may have been excessive, but as the recipient I’m not complaining.
- One of the samples had her contact information on it.
Opportunities for Improvement:
- Only one of the samples had any product information. It had the name of the product and how to use it. All the others merely had the name of the product. It was a bath and body product line with an extensive product offering. I don’t know which part of my body I am supposed to use the product – they offer products pretty much from head to toe. I don’t really want to put some foot scrub on my lips or vice versa.
- She could have labeled these a number of ways – such as Pg. 19. Then I would know there’s more info about it in the catalog. Or even: Body Butter. Or Lips. Something, anything, to give me an idea what it is to be used for. Now will I actually go back through the extensive catalog to find what samples I have and where and how to use it? In this particular case, because of who sent it to me, I probably will. But I highly doubt most others will.
- Most of the individual samples didn’t have any contact information. What if I didn’t care for the scent of a particular item or maybe I tried one of them and it caused problems with my supersensitive skin – throw it out or pass it on to someone else? If all the samples were labeled then it wouldn’t matter who ends up with it. The original recipient could pass it on to someone else and it could still end up being a sale, booking or new recruit. Without that contact info, it’s ‘here, someone gave this to me, want it?’ with zero chance of a return on that investment.
Samples can really boost your direct sales business – providing you are making wise investments with how you are using them. If you’re not using samples, I’d encourage you to do so. If you are currently using them, I’d encourage you to take stock of what you’re doing to ensure you have set yourself up to get the highest return on your investment.
See you at the top!