Studies have shown that customers who buy from two channels (vs. just one) are between 20 and 60% more valuable, while triple-channel buyers are 60-125% more valuable! Plus, multichannel shoppers have a lower attrition rate and buy a wider range of products. - Direct Marketing Association, 2008The Body Shop, world renowned purveyor of toiletries and cosmetics, is making a splash in the Direct Selling arena with it's party plan sales channel, The Body Shop at Home. In addition to stores in shopping malls and their online e-tailing site, The Body Shop has fully embraced the concept of Multi-Channel Marketing. Other direct sales companies have followed suit, as there are now Avon stores popping up in shopping centers across the United States, and many direct selling companies now have consultant websites.
But what is this multi-channel marketing all about?
Simply put, multi-channel marketing is the concept of offering your product to the customer when they want, in the way they want. Some people prefer face-to-face sales, some prefer traditional mail order catalogs, while others prefer online shopping. Most customers, however, participate in a combination of those methods, and multi-channel marketing aims to meet the customer where they are to serve them better.
At Rich Schefren's StrategicProfits Live event, MaryEllen Tribby, publisher of Early to Rise e-zine said that “multi-channel marketing is good for the customer and it's good for your business!" In fact, Tribby identifies two problems that are solved by taking a multi-channel approach:
"As a marketer, you reach your customer in the way he/she wants to be reached. Plus, you are. . . converting this person to a paying customer. "
How do you translate this into your direct sales/network marketing business? How do you capitalize on multi-channel selling?
First, take full advantage of your company's selling options. Catalogs, consultant websites, brochures, and any other sales tools that your company provides are tested, trusted materials to help move you through the sales process. But don't stop there.
Second, establish your own personal website that promotes you as an expert in your field. I write about this so often, but it bears repeating: YOU are your company's best product, and you can't find it in any catalog! Create an online presence for yourself.
Third, develop a newsletter and maintain a mailing list, be it electronic or “snail mail", that you contact on at least a monthly basis. Create and establish customer loyalty through physical as well as electronic methods.
Fourth, use the phone constructively - customer follow up calls are NOT cold calling, and should be done on a regular basis. Sometimes a client has a question or concern and doesn't connect with you because they are busy. You need to be in contact - before your competition is.
Ultimately, network marketing is about connecting with people. The best way to connect is, as Viktor Frankl wrote, to meet them where they are. Whether by mail, phone, web, in store, or in person, it is clear that the multi-channel marketer is poised to become even more successful and valuable to their clientele as the years tick on.
Tired of trading hours for money, Lisa Young gave up her 8 to 5 for a direct sales career that now spans over 10 years. Lisa's blog, Real Life Marketing, reveals the realities of what it takes to be successful in the eyes of your customer, using real-life examples you can learn from today. You can visit Real Life Marketing at http://lisamrobbin.blogspot.com
Unlike other industry writers, who have left direct sales to pursue speaking careers, Lisa is still in the trenches, running her direct sales business and leading her teams to success. Her book, Home Party Solution, is a step-by-step method to harness the internet to boost bookings, sales and recruits. Read the first chapter free and subscribe to the monthly business boosting e-zine, “PartyOn!" at http://www.homepartysolution.com