Multi-platform sales models

There are many ways to sell your product to customers: you can sell via the web, the phone, a retail store, through catalogues and even mobiles, as well as using sales agents. Tapping into multiple sales platforms can increase opportunities for additional sales as well as lift the profile of your brand. This guide will show you how to take advantage of multiple sales platforms.

  • Direct sales
  • Telesales and online sales
  • Agents

Direct selling

This is when you sell your products direct to the customer and is a method suited to high-value, complex products. It gives you a chance to learn more about what the customer wants and build a relationship with them, which can help to generate repeat business. On the downside, it's an expensive sales channel to maintain as you need to factor in the cost of premises and staff.

  • Direct selling can help you build relationships faster but this comes at a cost
  • If you have to travel to customers, plan to visit several in one area in the same time frame

Telesales and online sales

Using these methods is known as distance selling and is useful for communicating with hard-to-reach customers or to set up repeat orders from loyal customers. These channels are suited to products that the customer may already be familiar with, such as books and DVDs. Costs are lower than direct selling, but you won't be able to demonstrate your product or service and it can be harder to build relationships.

  • There are a number of regulations attached to distance selling, so be aware of these
  • It can be a cost-effective channel if you are offering standard products that do not require testing or demonstration

Agents

Using a sales agent means you can access experienced staff who have all the necessary contacts and skills. If you want to build sales without upfront investment or are looking to tap into hard-to-reach markets, agents can help. Ensure you draw up a contract with the agent, covering areas such as what regions they are responsible for and payment terms. Include a clause that covers ending the relationship.

  • Sales agents are useful for tapping into hard-to-reach markets
  • Draw up a contract outlining responsibilities and methods of payment

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