With back to school and the holidays fast approaching, it’s easy to figure out that fall is major retailing time. It’s time to move your direct sales business out of summer slump and into high gear for the fall season and the holidays. Believe it or not, I know people who Christmas shop in September and October. Will you be ready when they have their wallets and credit cards out? Now is the time to implement a plan to drive sales higher, get new customers and bring back repeat ones. The kids are back in school and you most likely have much more free time to commit to growing your business, both online and offline. Here are 9 great ideas to boost your business:

Stock, Stock and More Stock

Everyone likes to buy products on hand. That means you need enough product to distribute. Stocking up now is so important. Yes, people can shop online or order through a catalog but if they see something they love, they may be even more willing to purchase it now for the immediate gratification. You get the money faster, and they are happy with the new product. It’s a win-win to have a full inventory.

Triple Your Order of Print Catalogs

Make that times 10 if you really want to reach more people and grow your business. In the past, fall is the time I’ve acquired more new customers than any other time of the year. Hand your catalogs out, leave them at places where people wait, like dance and karate studios, doctors offices and or even restaurants if they allow.

Book Your Vendor Events

If you haven’t already, now’s the time. Even local church and school fairs get big turnouts around the Holidays. Keep your eye on local papers for listings, try Craigslist or sites specific to event listing.

Offer Specials

At this time of year, a free gift is very enticing. You see all the stores doing it for a reason – it works. Offer a free trial size product with purchase or a free full size one with a minimum order. Provide incentives for past customers by sending them a discount if they shop with you again.

Host You’re Own Party

Plan a home party at your house even if you aren’t in the party business and don’t usually hold them. ‘Tis the season for shopping and partying right? Many women love the opportunity to mingle with friends, try some freebies and get a good deal while supporting other moms. If a party is not your style, call it an open house. Be sure to offer a free gift (a sample bag of goodies, a small trial size of an item) but don’t let anyone go home without a catalog and a product. Hand out coupons too; if they don’t purchase that night, it can entice them to call you with an order.

Samples Make the Sale

I’m sure you’ve heard that. Be sure to offer free samples to everyone you hand a catalog to.

The Fortune is the Follow Up

Another well known saying. Go through your list of previous customers, leads and people you may have spoken to months and years ago. Follow up with a phone call or at least a Facebook message or text.

Use Social Media

Grow your social networks and offer ¬†those incentives I mentioned above. If you have a business page on Facebook, now is the time to have a giveaway! Post pictures of 2 full-sized products and ask your fans to reply which one they’d like as a free gift. Draw a name after a week or a certain amount of replies. Give everyone an extra entry if they refer a friend to your page (have the friend write who referred them). This helps increase your fans, and thus potential team and customers.

Be a Product of the Product!

Now is the time to showcase what’s new and exciting. Say you’re in a handbag biz, carry the newest purse proudly. With a food company, make a dish and share it when friends come over.In the jewelry biz? Wear the newest hot seller for all to see!

Now’s the time to drive your direct sales business into high gear. ¬†And if you still have young ones in the house, here are some ideas to work your direct sales business around your kids.