Direct Sales Versus the MLM Business Model

A brief word about MLM

Regardless of your qualifications, MLM or Multi-Level Marketing companies offer business ownership opportunities to almost anyone who is willing to make a small investment in them. Most MLM companies offer certain benefits such as the ability to build a huge down-line and create a residual income. Additionally, MLM companies typically sell a wide variety of products to families and friends such as health supplements, household products, and vitamins to name a few.

What do we mean by direct sales?

Direct sales is a phrase that oftentimes referred to as multi-level marketing in that it is a channel for the distribution of retail products and services. The text book definition of direct sales is “the direct personal presentation, demonstration, and sale of products and services to consumers, usually in their homes or at their jobs” (Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective by George and Michael Belch).

In the simplest of terms, direct selling can be defined as the marketing and selling of products directly to the consumer and away from a land-based retail location. In other words, you go to the customer – they don’t come to you. One-on-one demonstrations and other contact arrangements are the primary ways in which direct sales are conducted. Although a large percentage of direct sales companies employ some type of MLM compensation plan there are a few differences that distinguish one from the other.

The differences between each

Direct selling is about as straightforward a sales method as you can possibly imagine. The bottom line is that you have continually got to be selling in order to earn money. With MLM, you earn money by virtue of direct sales but you also earn residual income by virtue of that huge down-line that you have built. Direct selling also involves cold calling or going door-to-door to sell your products whereas MLM involves calling on people you know such as family and friends as well as benefiting from your downline doing the same thing.

Both sales models can be conducted online as well as offline but the principles remain the same in both venues as they do in the paragraph above. Most individuals are not really salespeople at heart. When this is the case, you will benefit more from engaging in MLM versus direct sales. In direct sales, you only have yourself to rely on for an income whereas you have a downline to help add to your earnings when you sell for an MLM company.

Another one of the key differences between direct sales, MLM, and other business ventures is the size of investment and the necessity to stock a product inventory. In the standard business venue, you need a number of things such as:

• a business acumen
• financial stability
• a larger amount of investment capital
• previous business experience
• product inventory

Although the above is not a hard and fast rule, the same does not hold true with direct selling and MLM. When you open your own land-based small business, you are going to have a considerably larger investment than if you were to get involved in either of these selling techniques. Just make sure that you do your homework before you decide on any business venture so that you do not throw your hard-earned money away.

Common Mistakes in E-Commerce – Part 3 of 3 – Promotion & Marketing

The classic saying, “If you build it, they will come,” unfortunately does not apply to e-commerce sites. Millions of e-commerce sites are accessible on the internet, but unless you’ve directly contacted prospective customers and informed them of your site, they probably won’t ever know it exists. Therefore, e-commerce sites need well-developed marketing plans and carefully targeted investments that are aimed at increasing site traffic. A strong search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy to attract customers to your site is also a necessity. In this final part of our three-part series, we explore the common mistakes that new e-commerce sites make in creating and implementing their promotion and marketing plans.

Mistake #1: Inadequate Planning
How will customers know that your site exists? How will they know when it is functional? And unless you offer something truly unique, why will customers opt to visit your site versus that of your competitors? If your business does not have a plan in place to answer these questions, then your site may never have a chance at success.

All e-commerce sites should have a plan for attracting website visitors, whether that includes advertising, direct mail, promotions or marketing through industry associations. Identify complementary sites on which your companies advertisements would generate interest in your products. Evaluate whether a banner-ad, product placement, or pop-up ad would be most effective. Also, locate industry association sites where you can post press releases, make announcements, or place links to drive customers to your site. Also, consider conducting a promotion within your first few months of business that rewards buyers with a future discount if they refer friends and family members to your site.

Mistake #2: Little Focus on Market Targeting
Unless you have the capital to become the next Amazon.com, focus your time and energy on a particular market niche or segment. Your entire marketing plan, site design and investment should be directed toward this target audience. The product mix that your site offers should reflect the tastes and desires of this audience, and your promotional messaging and site design should be based created for this audience.

Without a specific target, your e-commerce site will be vague, unfocused, and ultimately unsuccessful.

Mistake #3: Low Marketing Investment
Without a doubt, the upfront investment needed to create and operate an e-commerce site is less than that needed to open a brick-and-mortar store. But don’t underestimate the initial investment required to develop a successful online business.

Most e-commerce sites allocate the majority of their funds to the technical side of the business and ignore other aspects of their company, like marketing and staffing. As we discussed in part two, it is critical to have an adequately sized customer service staff to respond to customer inquiries and orders. It is just as important to allocate funds to marketing, enhance link building, implement a thorough advertising plan and budget, and ensure that customers are driven to your site.

Mistake #4: Poor Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Strategy
Many new e-commerce sites decide that an SEO strategy isn’t important, or think that they can put it off for a while. However, a well-developed SEO strategy should be a large focus of your business plan. Failure to implement an SEO strategy means that customers will not find your site, will not browse your products, and will not purchase what you are selling.

Identify keywords that potential customers will search for when trying to find your product. Research and study the keywords and phrases that your target market is using to search for your items, and integrate them throughout your site. Do not assume that the words you use to describe your products are the same words that your potential customers are using. Your SEO strategy should be developed early on in the site-planning process, so that keywords can be incorporated accordingly into your website content.

In this three-part series, we have explored the common mistakes that e-commerce sites make, from poor planning to confusing navigation and inadequate order fulfilment. The internet gives customers millions of options for online shopping, but common mistakes such as these ultimately determine where customers spend their dollars and which online business will succeed. Develop a strong business plan, follow this guide, and you’ll be on your way to running a successful e-commerce site.

How to Do the Best Association Direct Marketing

In the world of increasing demand in all the fields and niches, there always lies a rising demand for new technologies to emerge, as it would help in several ways to enhance the currently running business to make it sharper and stronger. So what would you be expected to do in order to make the business long and strong?

Instead of marketing your product by using posters and other in-direct ways of doing it, association direct marketing would typically help you to make it easy for you in finding the right customer very easily and make the business happen without much struggle and hassle. All you need to have is nothing but the right marketing skills and your way of approach to a customer the way in which it would make the customer to believe you and immediately rely on you for the business needs.

There are some of the easy association direct marketing tips which you can make use of to do enhance your business in the right possible way. Some of it are addressed and thrown light in this article.

Find the right customer

Firstly, you need to find the right customer for your business who would be prospective and supportive. The customer you find should be apt for your business and should not be temporary. You need to build a large list of customer base of this kind and make sure that the customer would recommend others to try your business products. In this way, your direct marketing would help you a lot in making the best in class marketing and business.

Ease the customer with your offers

The second step is to make sure that you need to ease your customer with all your offers. If your customer is with you for a long time, you also need to make sure that you maintain the contact throughout so by giving special offers and discounts. This would not anyway hamper your business because this would make that specific customer to refer your business to some other customer and at the end, you would end up building a large contact list of customer thereby building your business in a large way.

Emphasize more on your positives

You should always make sure that your emphasis is more on your positives. Even if you have negatives, it is not worthy enough to mention it as it would anyway ad=affect your name and the recognition that you have gained throughout. In addition to this, you also need to make surer that your way of advertising is very brilliant and the way of making association direct marketing would help you to attract the customer at once. If all these are made sure, you would be able to easily create and edge over other competitors and make the best possible business dealing without any hassle or difficulty. So just make sure that your association direct marketing is soft enough to handle any type of customer and that makes it possible to attract any kind of customer.