Network Marketing as we know it is changing dramatically. Social media communication has expanded the ability of our salesforce to reach beyond geographic borders, opening new markets, and this technology has forced network marketing companies to adapt to a swiftly changing business environment. Add to this the fact the Generation Y (and X, to some extent) has vastly different goals for the business than previous generations, and we find ourselves in a situation that requires more adaptation.
We live in a world that interacts and transacts largely online. Our social lives develop online, we purchase everything from electronics to groceries online, and we get our news online. It seems clear that our future sales as an industry will also happen largely online.
This is the point in the discussion when traditional leaders hair starts on fire and start proclaiming loudly that nothing replaces the party or face to face sales experience. But on some levels it already has, they have simply failed to notice. We have to look at the way the world is evolving, and network marketing along with it.
In 2015 more and more distributors are conducting Facebook or virtual parties and having tremendous success.
I believe that in the next 5 years, 80% of sales for direct sales products will occur online. Generation Y is less inclined to host and attend parties (in many cases they still live with their parents), they are used to having access to everything they want from their smartphones and tablets, they are more interested in lifestyle than money and traditional incentives, and this is the generation from which our future sales leaders will come from.
Here are some things you can do and tips to set up your Facebook Virtual Party:
1. Set up a Facebook Event. I strongly suggest making these events private, letting people know that they are by invitation only and then letting people know that if they want an invite to private message you.
2. You can create virtual parties and make yourself the host for your event or you can do this for other customers. If you have a customer who is the host, be sure to still send them catalogs and order forms so they can collect orders from people who may not be able to attend the event or who do not have Facebook.
3. There a couple of ways to do a Facebook event. You can keep it open where people comment in the event during a period of time such as a week or you can do an online event night where the event will take place for 3-4 hours. All guests will jump onto Facebook and spend time online in the event.
4. During the event, you as the distributor would hang out in the event. You can offer deals during the hour, play games, post prizes for anyone that orders during a particular hour. There are a variety of things to do. You can post pictures or packages you have. For example, if you have a combo pack, post on the event that anyone that purchases that pack will receive a free item with their order.
5. You conduct an Online Facebook party the same way you would a home party. You can tell a little bit about about yourself, posting it in the event. Type a little bit about the company, and then make sure you cover guests booking their own parties either online or in home and also information about the business opportunity.
6. For anyone that makes an online order, send a personal Facebook message to the guess thanking them for their order, providing tips on how to use the product they just bought, and asking their permission to add the guest to her newsletter list. In the event, I highly suggest posting who just placed an order and announcing a small gift they received for doing so. By starting the message with a value piece, you engage that guest, even though it’s virtual. If they do have a question, they now know how to contact you.
7. Post tips and ideas just as you would at a home party. Make jokes. Let people start having fun. Even though this is virtual, you can create a dialogue that is very easy to get people laughing and enjoying themselves.
8. Be sure to send follow up emails to every guest whether they order or not. This is a great way to being a relationship with custoemrs. You can let them know when the next Facebook party will be and really start a friendship . By doing this you will create loyal customers that could be around the country.
9. The best way to have these parties is to let people know that a name will be drawn from all the ordering customers. The drawn name will be considered the host and will earn all the host rewards for that party. How amazing. Someone will earn free and half priced stuff from their favorite company and they never had to leave the comfort of their home office. You simple take the orders, get the credit card payments and then whose ever name you draw becomes the host and gets to decide what they want free.
Tons of people have a night where they aren’t doing anything but can’t necessarily venture out to a home party. Why not offer a virtual party where they can still buy their favorite goodies and possibly win the Host rewards.
Monte Schumacher is a 31 year Direct Sales industry veteran. He leads one of the largest networks of independent sales reps in the world.