Having a solid customer base is important for the longevity of any business. Customers, treated well, will come back to you over and over to reorder, and, in the case of direct sales, they will also be more likely to host a home party.

The most important action you can take to increase customer retention is to build relationships. Knowing your customers and their needs will help you service them more effectively and enables you to make a personal impact on their lives. This personal touch will keep them coming back for more.

With customers you can use loyalty programs (e.g. buy $200 worth, get 10 percent off), or incentives offering free items with purchase (some companies already have incentives in place as part of their monthly customer specials), but it is just as important to contact customers after they have received their order to check in and see how they are enjoying your products.

This check-in call also offers you the opportunity to explain some of the services you may be able to offer to them both now and in the future. It is also wise to reach out to your customers with a monthly email newsletter, highlighting the opportunities available to them (monthly specials for ordering, party incentives for hosting, and of course, the invitation to join your team as a consultant or distributor).

Building relationships with your hosts is even more important, since a good relationship will lead to a more successful party. This will benefit you in increased orders, future home parties, and recruit leads, and it gives your host increased hosting benefits, which typically are free or discounted products.

When you take the time to learn about your host, their family, and their activities, it creates a bond of friendship. Your host will be more motivated to have a successful party if you have created a relationship with them, and it is this relationship that will also lead to more future bookings.

Building relationships with your customers is a wonderful investment of your time, and a technique you will want to help your teammates master as well. Increased customer retention, reorders, and re-bookings all help to grow your team overall, both in numbers and in stability and longevity. Additionally, many of your customers will go on to join your team, simply because you have taken the time to build a relationship with them and made them feel important and valued.

Maya Angelou said it best, “I have learned that people will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Make your customers feel special and you will see a fantastic impact on your business—now and in the future.

LAURA ARIDGIDES, Ph.D. is a top leader in her direct sales company with representatives in over thirty-five states. She got started
in the business almost fifteen years ago when she was
writing her doctoral dissertation and looking for extra income.