Selling. Many books have been written about it, experts have created a myriad of concepts on how to master it, and retailers are moving heaven and earth to understand its workings. That's how important selling is. If you can't sell, you have no business being in business.
Several years ago, my friend and former Entrepreneur Editor Lyra Villafana asked me to partner with her in a selling adventure, peddling fish balls, squid balls and kikiam in a local bazaar. And while we didn't make tons of money from our bazaar stint, we learned a lot about selling. We learned how important it was to always keep tabs on what the competition was doing. We learned how to engage in healthy, friendly rivalry. And most important, we learned that our business was only as good as our product, and that value adding drove sales.
I believe there's an underlying set of strategies that make selling work regardless of the nature of your business and its size.
To prove my theory, we asked some of the country's successful retailers their approaches to boosting their sales. And we asked five marketing experts to discuss how direct selling, multilevel marketing, customer relationship management, distributorship and franchising can be used as marketing models to bring success to your company. We're aware that for some of you, these concepts are vague theories that you may not know how to apply. This is our attempt to demystify these concepts through our telling of the real life stories of those who made money hand over fist from learning and adopting these marketing strategies.