The importance of bookings: keeping the sales cycle turning
In direct selling industry, the high fluctuation of consultants, especially in the first weeks and months of their activity, is often complained about. Frequent discussions are had on how to reduce these high turnovers but, in fact, the answer is rather simple.
The „secret“ to tackling fluctuation lies in proper booking. Those sales managers who want to tackle the topic, should have a look in the appointment books of their sales team and, if necessary, take action and give support to fill them with new bookings. The emotional question of whether this is perceived as undue pressure, or normal behaviour, is to be decided in the interview and during onboarding. Simply put, high turnover can be avoided if sales teams have bookings constantly. Crucially, however, turnover is accelerated when managerial interventions are perceived as pressure.
There can be many reasons for a low number of bookings: lack of motivation or leadership, inadequate training, or simply no talent for sales. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each seller, as well as strong support for staff learning how to professionally book (e.g. homeparties), is a key managerial responsibility of any manager.
Broadly speaking, every sales process starts with establishing contact to potential customers. However, in the absence of a physical store or an online platform to which prospective buyers can be directed through e.g. advertising, in direct selling prospects have to be won proactively and usually via personal contacts. Therefore, in most direct selling companies, it is rightfully taught to address future bookings before the sales talk. Note: whilst the sale of a product may give income once, the number of future bookings secures long-term revenue.
The circle of selling in direct sales consists of „booking“, „consolidating the booking“, the product presentation, and the subsequent sales talk. The frequency of customer contacts is directly related to the monetary success. In other words: the more contacts one has, the more successful one becomes, the faster the cycle turns. Direct selling is a scalable business.
Bookings are certainly not everything. But without bookings and gaining new contacts, all is nothing, because sales talks are not taking place. Hence, these topics deserve strong attention for their central importance in direct sales business.
Considering the challenges that the constant search for new consultants places on businesses, it is surprising that the subject of „pre-planning“ still gets so little attention during onboarding. Consequently, many consultants will leave a company as soon as there are no more bookings in their appointment book – a pity, of course, for everyone involved. But a great opportunity to make a change through targeted training and personal coaching.
Until next time!