The Seven Commandments in Direct Sales

Kim Haas

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Here are some guidelines that will improve your gross sales, and quite naturally, your gross income. I like to call them the Seven Commandments. Look them over; give some thought to them and adapt them to your own selling efforts.

1. If the product you're selling is something your customer can hold in his hands, get it into his hands as quickly as possible. In other words, get the customer “into the act. " Let him feel it, weigh it, admire it.

2. Don't stand or sit beside your customer. Instead, face him while you're pointing out the important advantages of your product. This will enable you to watch his facial expressions and determine whether and when you should go for the close.

3. In handling sales literature, hold it by the top of the page, at the proper angle, so that your prospect can read it as you're highlighting the important points. Don't release your hold on it, because you want to control the specific parts you want the prospect to read. In other words, you want the prospect to read or see only the parts of the sales material you're telling him about the time.

4. When you can get no feedback to your sales presentation, you must dramatize your presentation to get him involved. Stop and ask questions such as, “Now, don't you agree that this product can help you or would be of benefit to you?" After you've asked a question such as this, stop talking and wait for the customer to answer. It's a proven fact that following such a question, the one who talks first will lose, so don't say anything until after the customer has given you some kind of answer. Wait him out!

5. Customers who are sales people themselves, and customers who imagine they know a lot about selling sometimes present difficult selling obstacles, especially for the novice. Believe me, these customers can be the easiest of all to sell to. Simply give your sales presentation, and instead of trying for a close, toss out a challenge such as, “I don't know, Mr. Customer - after watching your reactions to what I've been showing and telling you about my product, I'm very doubtful as to how this product can truthfully be of benefit to you. "

Then wait a few seconds, just looking at him and waiting for him to say something. Then, start packing up your sales materials as if you are about to leave. In almost every instance, your “tough nut" will quickly ask you why. These people are generally so filled with their own importance, that they just have to prove you wrong. When they start on this tangent, they will sell themselves. The more skeptical you are relative to their ability to make your product work to their benefit, the more they'll demand that you sell it to them.

If you find that this customer will not rise to your challenge, then go ahead with the packing of your sales materials and leave quickly. Some people are so convinced of their own importance that it is a poor use of your valuable time to try to convince them.

6. Remember that in selling, time is money! Therefore, you must allocate only so much time to each customer. The customer who asks you to call back next week, or wants to ramble on about similar products, prices or previous experiences, is costing you money. Learn to quickly get your customer interested in, and wanting your product, and then systematically present your sales pitch through to the close, when he signs on the dotted line, and reaches for his checkbook.

After the introductory call on your customer, you should be selling products and collecting money. Any call backs should be only for reorders, or to sell him related products from your line. In other words, you can waste an introductory call on a customer to qualify him, but you're going to be wasting money if you continue calling him to sell him the first unit of your product.

When faced with a reply such as, “Your product looks pretty good, but I'll have to give it some thought, " you should quickly jump in and ask him what it is that he doesn't understand, or what specifically about your product does he feel he needs to give more thought. Let him explain, and that's when you go back into your sales presentation and make everything crystal clear for him.

You must spend as much time as possible calling on new customers. Therefore, your first call should be a selling call with follow-up calls by mail or telephone (once every month or so in person) to sign him for reorders and other items from your product line.

7. Review your sales presentation, your sales materials, and your efforts. Make sure you have a “door-opener" that arouses interest and “forces" a purchase the first time around. This can be a $2 interest stimulator so that you can show him your full line, or a special marked-down price on an item that everybody wants; but the important thing is to get the customer on your “buying" list, and then follow up by mail or telephone with related, but more profitable products you have to offer.

If you believe there are no born salesmen, you can easily absorb these “commandments. " Study them. When you realize your first successes, you will truly know that “salesman are made - not born. "

Kim Haas is a WAHM and Founder of, a popular online networking community focusing on working from home and women in business and owner of To learn more about Kim, visit
Copyright 2005 Kim Haas


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