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Don't Play Hide and Seek If You Want Better Results From Your Local Marketing Efforts

Jun 10, 2008
When you are involved in a direct sales company(including mlm, network marketing, affiliate marketing, etc.), it is crucial that you do not play hide and seek with your prospects. If you do, you will find you will never be able to build the business you desire. All too often, marketers in a direct sales business do not market effectively because they are hiding from their prospects and customers.

This sometimes happens intentionally, but the majority of the time this happens because the marketer is following the lead of an upline leader who does not understand the power of openly marketing their business in a local market.

Here is something to think about - If people buy from those they know, like, and trust, then how can your prospect know, like, and trust you if you are hiding behind a generic website or fail to provide information that will educate your prospects in a way that they can know, like, and trust you?

Unfortunately, most people in the Direct Selling Industry fail to create the personal marketing image that attracts prospects to want to do business with them. Playing hide and seek is great as a kid's game, but not for business growth. If you want more prospects doing business with you, it is crucial to position yourself in a way that helps educate your prospects on understanding who you are and what you do (in a way that meets their wants and needs).

A great low-cost tool you must have in place to allow you to be visible (rather than invisible) to your prospects is a website. A website can be a huge asset for your local marketing effort. Not only does a website provide invaluable information about who you are and what you do, but you can market your business online and offline in a way that attracts more prospects to want to do business with you in your local market area.

When considering a web site, most people think about marketing nationally or internationally. Yet, there is a powerful mine of gold in your own backyard - your local market. The sad fact is most marketers never even come close to even scratching the surface on their local market.

Having a website that is properly aligned with your local marketing strategy can provide great leverage in your local marketing efforts. While most direct sales companies offer their sales consultants or independent distributors a website, many of these websites fall short of achieving effectiveness. Some of these websites are free and some are low cost, which makes it affordable for you as a marketer, but there is a challenge. The challenge is that all too often the web sites are company and product focused with little regard to meeting the needs of your prospects, especially from a local marketing strategic angle.

Another challenge is these same websites usually put a heavy emphasis on the opportunity (the recruiting efforts) rather than allowing a comfort zone of product purchases from the prospect. This can confuse or even turn the prospect cold.

This does not mean the opportunity or the company websites are not important. In fact, these websites can still be used and will provide a great way to leverage your marketing efforts. You can even use such sites to take customer orders. In addition, if you are just starting out, the company-provided website can be a very convenient option for you as a direct seller.

However, to give you a competitive edge in your local market, you need a website that promotes you and gives you control over your marketing message.
The reason you need such a site is simple - people do business with people they know, like, and trust. By having a website that promotes you in a way that reaches your local market, and educates your prospects on who you are and what you do, you can control your marketing message and deliver what your market is looking for.

Keep in mind that your company wants you marketing as a distributor for two reasons; 1) so you can acquire new customers, and 2) to help keep those customers coming back to buy more. That is how you are paid. So to get your job done, you need to start positioning yourself to attract more people to you.

For a nominal fee you can have a website fully set up. If you are uncertain of how to do this, get with a consultant that specializes in the direct selling industry (i.e. the academy). The consultant's assistance will save you time and will help you enhance your marketing plan and efforts.

As many direct sales company consultants and leaders will tell you, personalization and personal service is important to being successful with your business. Again, while a company-provided web site is very easy to obtain and provide limited space for personalization, most of these sites provide very little customization capability to allow for the personalization capability you need. Normally, the only personal information you can add to a company-provided site is your name and possibly an email address or phone number.

But with your own custom-made web site, you can really allow your customers the chance to get to know you, building trust and credibility; so more prospects will want to do business with you. You can use your custom site to educate and inform about who you are, what you do, as well as from a marketing perspective that meets your prospects wants and needs.

What better way to make a sale than to build trust among your prospects and let them know that you care about their satisfaction and are thrilled to be offering them quality products. You can set up either a static site and provide an email newsletter, or you could go more techno and provide a forum and even a blog.

A custom-made personalized website will allow you to better serve your prospects and customers. You can inform your prospects and customers about the products you sell, special offers, as well as provide specific information to help educate your prospect on continually doing business with you. For example if you sell children's toys you can post articles on how beneficial educational toys are for a child's development. Or if you sell legal services, let your customers know the potential benefits of using a legal services plan for preventative legal. The more familiar that someone feels they are with a product, the more likely they are to make a purchase. And you need to be the one they think of when they are ready to buy.

The real secret element is the fact you are in their local market. People want to do business with people from their own local market, even in an online world. This is why Google and all the major search engines continually shift their systems and strategies toward local Internet marketing.

By approaching your local market in a proactive way, using the local Internet as your core focal point of your marketing strategy, you will stand out. This will give you a phenomenal competitive advantage. How big of a competitive advantage would you have? The answer is revealed in the following simple exercise.

To do this simple competitive exercise, pull up your favorite web browsing search engine. I will use Google as an example because it is the most common. In your search, type in the words: "distributor" + "your company" + "your city, your state". Be sure to replace the example with your real company, city, and state information.

As an example, if I was marketing a nutritional supplemental product for XYZ Nutritional and I live in North Canton, Ohio, I would do a search using the following: "distributor" + "XYZ Nutritional" + "North Canton, OH". This can be done for virtually any product or company, as well as in any city. The main point of the exercise is to see who your competition is and how they are marketing.

Now, look at who your competition is and what they are offering. Chances are you have very little direct competition, even if the search brings back millions of search results. The fact is most of the search results are irrelevant and most are not even from the local area. The great news is very few marketers are effective in their local marketing effort, which gives you a huge advantage and a wide open market in your local market. Capitalize on this advantage.

Regardless of what you market or even the company you represent, you can gain a great competitive advantage and gain more local market share by setting up your own website. The next step after your website is set up is to market using a 5 point strategy and a 2+ a day strategy, so you can create a steady stream of interested prospects in your local market.

The bottom line is people can't be a customer if they do not know who you are. Don't be fooled by thinking they will find you just because you are an independent distributor for your company. Hide and seek tactics don't work either. Instead, be proactive in your local marketing efforts and be visibly interactive in your local market (both online and offline).
About the Author
Jeff Zalewski is a Certified Training Consultant & CEO of Direct Selling Academy, Inc., your training & performance improvement resource. Jeff intertwines his knowledge & in-the-field experience throughout his training and performance improvement resources. Subscribe FREE to his Direct Selling Pro eNewsletter at http://www.directsellingacademy.com
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