While it is true that this COVID-19 Pandemic spreading across the globe is affecting all industries in different ways, the industries that rely on direct sales tactics for their business growth are especially vulnerable given its importance on the dependence on face-to-face interactions with its consumers.
Nevertheless to sustain in this falling economy heading for recession research demonstrates that consumers in all nations across the world need many of the products sold by these industries using direct sales more than ever before.
Hence as one of the most popular vendors of CRM for small and medium business and startups, we strongly believe that this need of the consumers specially from organizations that rely on direct sales tactics for small business can represent an unexpected boon to the recruiters, as any unemployed people those that are suffering from cutbacks and job displacements could see direct selling as a relatively attractive career prospect nowadays.
Hence without any ado, let us illustrate the number of ways that direct selling organizations can position themselves to ride out this pandemic and even thrive for the long term by sustaining this imminent recession of growth in the marketplace.
That implies even though consumers across the globe have already reported a meaningful decrease to their spending across several categories that are applicable to direct selling channels, nevertheless, not all news is bad for SMBs that are relying on direct sales tactics for small businesses.
We say this because the combination of the newfound work-from-home flexibilities for the people at large, with their urgent and real need on the part of many to explore the alternative or secondary source of income, will surely change the recruiting paradigm of the present times, whereby one positive aspect that is arising from an otherwise appalling humanitarian crisis be might an expansion of the potential talent pool presently available for direct selling companies.
Hence based on research done by some of the most popular vendors of Salesforce Alternative CRM solutions of how direct selling companies have responded to this COVID-19 crisis, here are several tactics that small businesses in this space have utilized for their survival during and after this outbreak.
Maintain focus on repeat customers
As most independent distributers those that are associate with directly selling organization (offering cosmetics, nutritional supplements, etc.) typically rely on some combination of two of these strategies that include:
Generate impulse sales through live interactions with customers who have not bought from the agent before.
Creating sustaining relationships with a selective group of customers and respond to their recurrent requirements through ongoing interactions.
It has been observed that individual distributors of brand’s that rely on direct sales tactics for small business, who are primarily reliant on their business from new customers are likely to be significantly challenged throughout the entire length of the COVID-19 outbreak, pitted against other distributors who are evolving their business using their existing relationships and are more likely to adapt and maintain their relationships virtually for generating sales and find business growth.
Therefore, keeping this in mind as vendors of easy to use CRM tools we would suggest direct selling brands to identify and support their distributors who are facilitating repeat purchases from their existing customers by supporting the individual distributor’s efforts by optimizing the distributor’s stock, communicating the availability of the products, sending samples directly to the customers and finally remaining proactive on fulling their delivery dates.
While brands like Avon and others are doubling down on by enhancing, improving, or promoting their distributor’s virtual stores, other companies relying on direct sales tactics are sharpening their e-Commerce offers for their “selective and preferred customers”.
Additionally, direct selling brands are also needed to balance any efforts to drive their e-Commerce by creating “value-added channels” for their independent distributors for creating a relationship with their new customers through recommendation and consultation which has proved to be much effective during these troubled times.
Invest in online development and training tools
Given the limitations on the mind of the consumers on “nonessential” purchasing and the requirement for social distancing, the traditional erstwhile in-person model of direct selling will require innovative thinking in the near future to come.
Hence empowering the distributors of direct selling brands with social selling tools and virtual meeting training will be an utmost necessity for offering online experience and education to their customers nowadays, noting that online engagements have been better attending in the recent times than ever before, which can help maintain the required sales momentum involving direct sales tactics for brands.
Incorporate COVID-19 guidance into broader themes
It has been observed that many companies that support well-being, health, and nutrition have linked COVID-19 preparedness with their brand’s broader communication themes to build a subtle link between certain types of direct selling products and commodities, which has potentially stimulated sales for those businesses.
Additionally, there are also other direct selling companies that have individual distributors peddling cleaning items that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 even though these do not appear to be a companywide marketing initiative for those brands.
Proactively contribute to the COVID-19 response
In response to this COVID-19 pandemic, several companies that are relying on direct sales tactics for small business are also directly contributing to the response efforts of this pandemic by donating funds or distributing medical products for free, which can help build strong relationships with potential B2C enterprises to strengthen their brand’s image among distributors and consumers in the marketplace.
For example, while companies like Avon have been donating soaps, masks and other products catering to personal hygiene around the globe, brands like Amway have started manufacturing and donating sanitizers to hospitals in its home state Michigan, or others donating air purifying systems across Asia, Europe, and the U.S.
Expand distributor networks
Finally, with the dramatic and sudden increase in unemployment across the globe, and likely longer-term distortions to the workforce, it is only direct selling opportunities that offer a potential promise to independent distributors to rediscover themselves in a brand new career in the days to come.
So far, brands relying on direct selling have not been targeting on promoting their recruiting efforts, but now existing direct selling distributors are on a constant lookout to bring other interested people on to their network by attracting new distributors utilizing the power of social media, and business growth technology solutions like easy to use CRM tools to target potential new recruits since COVID-19 became a global pandemic, with posts like “there has never been a better time for people to work from their homes”.
Hence in a nutshell, right from aiming at repeat customers to integrating COVID-19 help and guidance into the broader themes for brands deploying direct sales tactics for small business, it can be accepted that there are indeed numerous tactics that direct selling brands can use to survive this COVID-19 pandemic since they surely have weapons in their arsenal (that they might not be yet aware of) which can serve them very well during these troubled and unprecedented times.