Direct Sales and the Use of Clipboards
Do you ever feel that when you are doing direct sales you find yourself not getting respect from the local businesses? They are busy and you are an interruption of course, yet at the same time, it does slow you down. Smart direct sales marketers carry clipboards into offices to sell and take orders. Clipboards come in many colors and styles; plastic, aluminum, clear, etc. These clipboards should have your company logo on the bottom. They should also have calculators on the clip. The logo should be made of vinyl lettering in your company colors. They should be durable or high tech plastic clipboard which can be dropped from six feet without breaking. They should also have a company pen attached which contrasts such as a yellow pen with blue ink or red ink inside. The sign-up sheets for orders or receipts should be on top and attached to the clipboard.
The format on the sign-up sheet can be created in Microsoft Word. This way reproduction ready artwork is only a move of the mouse and a click on the printer icon away. Use bright colors which stand out for order sheets perhaps even; Astro-Bright Solar yellow. You should have matching uniforms, flyers and business cards to the logo or sign-up sheet.
The sign up sheets should be printed in black ink because blue ink turns into green under most printing processes. Order receipts should use blue ink. The sign-up forms should be printed on both sides so you can compare the morning with the afternoon hours for volume and money. These forms should be in card stock since it will make them more durable and won't crumple or rip if they get wet even though you are writing on both sides. If an salesperson pushes too hard on the pen they will not go through. This saves money. It costs ten cents for one side and fourteen cents for both sides. This saves two-thirds on the printing costs. Perfect efficiency. It also is environmentally good, saving trees. Yeah! Also, it gives you a pretty good indication of how many units are sold during the day, how much money you have made if you were doing only cash sales.
This decreases also the possibility of employee pilferage from the sales team and helps you determine how much money you've made. If you are in a business which receives tips; this, of course, is the best way to judge how good of a job you are doing and how happy your customers are. Twenty percent in tips is a good number.
The order or sign up form should be left blank at the top two inches. That way the clip doesn't cover up the name or logo of your business. Many times the customer will watch you write down the information they give you. This is another reason we use blue or red ink only. Both are very contracting on yellow. Red is more commanding and factual while blue is pleasant and caring. Both work fine for our model. When a customer is watching you write information down, many times they will watch you check boxes. They will probably want to watch you check all the boxes. This also gives you the opportunity to upsell. It works 70% of the time and it's easy. Anyone can do it.
Every crew should be trained to do this. As the people watch you check boxes, they will also want you to check the "paid" box. This is great. Get your money in advance. It saves time running back in after you're completed with a service or deliver the products sold. Another way to get paid up front is to leave money on the clipboard. If there is a lot of money on the clipboard, one's, five's ten's, they won't have to ask you if you have change. They can see you do. Many customers carry large bills, fifty's, hundred's. There will be no doubt that you have something worthy you are selling and you are able to make change.
Sometimes a secretary will be very busy on the phone, can't talk and makes a half acknowledgment of your presence. By holding up the board, she will know exactly why you are there; something important has now arrived. As soon as she hangs up the phone, she will be on the P. A. announcing "Anyone who wants a ..come to the front desk." By creating a sense of urgency, being in uniform similar to UPS or Federal Express and having an electronic device (the calculator or the credit card machine) along with money demands recognition. It lifts the direct salespersons status of a special delivery, C. O.D., high tech worldwide type courier. It works and it works well. People forget that it says no soliciting on the door. Instead, they put you in their mind as someone who is supposed to be there. You will be surprised how many companies will ask you to come back next week rather than throwing your but out on the street this week. Think about it.