Tuesday, July 31, 2007
July 26, 2007
What’s Your Dream for Your Direct Selling Business?
Filed under: What's happening — karen @ 9:12 am
I’m here in Orlano, the home of Disney World and I can’t help but wonder what would have happened had Walt Disney not had the dream of fun Theme Parks where families could come for a “total Disney experience?” Imagine the boring vacations families would be forced to take if it weren’t for Walt Disney. Let’s face it, all of us who have been to a Disney Park were wrapped up in the wonder of it all!
What’s your dream for your direct selling business? Are you dreaming BIG? The bigger your dream the better your business! Are you afraid to dream too big? Are you afraid of what others might think if you share your vision for success?
Remember, your business will only grow to the level to which you envision it. If you think you will not be successful…you will not be successful. If, like Walt Disney you “believe” and understand you will need to work hard to grow a successful business that will provide residual income for you as you are offering the opportunity of a lifetime to others your business will soar!
Walt Disney’s dream provides us with the opportunity to enjoy the child within us again.
Now it’s time for your dreams to come true!
Keep on dreaming!
Monday, July 30, 2007
Free Conference Play Back Playback Number: (641) 985-5009 Access Code: 805628#
I hope that all of you are having a great end to your July's and am looking forward to adding the August parties to the calendar. I'll add a longer post later today but wanted to get this out asap!
“I'm too busy…”
“I don't know enough people.”
“I don't want to be a pushy salesperson.”
“There are too many people already doing this.”
“I don't have the money to get started.”
These are the `standards' in our industry as objections go. And as tempting as it is to tell our prospect all the things we know:
WE know that you can host a successful party without having to know tons of people to invite.
WE know that you can make good money in this business and you can work it around your family's schedule.
WE know there's plenty of business out there.
WE know that the market is not saturated.
WE know that busy people usually make the best hostesses or consultants.
Try empathy instead. Allow your prospect the space she needs to vent her concerns. Then, instead of showing her why she is wrong - use the Feel, Felt, Found method to address her objections. For example:
“I don't know enough people…” “I know how you FEEL. I FELT like I didn't know nearly enough people to book more than one or two parties when I began this business. But when I really started thinking about who I knew, I FOUND that there were people out there - some who I didn't even consider to be really close friends, who were willing to help me get started by hosting a party. And from those parties everything just snowballed and I've never had a shortage of customers since then.”
You get the idea.
If you find that there is one objection that you get on a more frequent basis - handle it before it comes up as a part of your party or recruiting presentation.
For example - if people are always telling you they are too busy (to host a party or to join the company) - as a part of your presentation you might want to story-tell on this topic. Many of my friends couldn't figure out how I would be able to run this business with three active children, a part time job, and all the running around that I do each week. The thing is, I find that this business allows me to set my schedule taking my family's needs into account first - and that working just 10-15 hours a week helps me to make our family's car payment each month. My business is growing so fast that soon I will be able to quit my part time job!
And what about the dreaded, “I'll have to think about it”?
Know that there are some personality types that truly DO have to think about something before they are able to make a decision. You must respect that and schedule a time for follow up within 24-48 hours. However, before setting that date - be sure that any concerns or objections that they may have are out in the open. You can say something like - “That is not a problem - I respect your need to think about this first - but can you tell me what concerns you have so that I can be sure to provide you with the right resources for you to research in order for you to make the best decision for you and your family?” (Then be quiet and listen. When you do this, often the real objection will rise to the surface.)
Sunday, July 29, 2007
May 29, 1953 - Sir Edmond Hillary reaches the top of Mt. Everest. Yet just one year earlier, he had failed in his attempt to do the same.
That year, 1952, at a public speaking engagement he was greeted with thunderous applause. He said, “Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I'll beat you the next time because you've grown all you are going to - but I am still growing.” He had a plan to succeed.
Setbacks do not signal failure. It is important to see all efforts as a growth process. Challenge yourself and seek out helpful feedback in your business - from your manager, from a business buddy or from a mentor. Be open minded and don't be afraid to try new ideas.
Feel like a failure?
Follow these three steps:
Forgive yourself and move forward
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Leaders who have a team of 100 plus.
What was your "Why" for starting a home business?
Wanting to be a SAHM but also needing extra money to help ends meet.
How did you select the company you are with?
I had been to a party and had a lot of fun. When I found out how many parties where booked and what the sales where for that one show I knew it would work. So I did a little research and found Party Gals to have the best compensation plan, product line, hostess benefits and perks. I knew that this was the company for me!
What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Getting my family and friends to realize that this is a real "job" and a business I took seriously and wanted to do well at. It took a while, but as soon as they saw the success and achievements I had accomplished within the first year or two they came to their own conclusions. I really just had to ignore any negative comments they had. It was my intention to prove them wrong and I did.
What specific things did you do to grow your down line?
It is important to talk about the opportunity just as often as I talk about parties. I also play a booking game at my parties. The follow up is key!! In fact, it is probably the most important part of recruiting. Furthermore, the internet is a great place to get recruiting leads. By having my companies information available to others who are searching for the right business. Again, the follow up is the key.
Any advice for those thinking of starting a home business?
Do something every single day for your business. Whether it is making calls, creating a flier, planning an event or doing work on the internet, treat it like a real "job." Because if it doesn't work for you, it is because you didn't work for it. Don't give up when things get slow. As they say, when the going get's tough, the tough get going! Your dreams are all you have and it is up to you to take the steps necessary to make them come true.
The 3 things that I can honestly say have made me successful are:
1. My diligence.
2. My excitement to work with people.
3. The support from my Party Gals rep and my husband.
2006 Party Gals Queen of Recruiting
Friday, July 27, 2007
Party Plan Biz Tips
From Direct Sales Reps Like You!! Dealing with Party Cancellations
Are you struggling with cancellations? Try the "something now--something later" approach, and you'll have a more stable calendar.
The first rule to remember about party plan customers is that they love instant gratification. This principle applies whether or not your products are available the night of the show or have to be ordered. Take full advantage of the instant gratification principle without breaking your bank with cancellations.
Many times we offer a free gift on the spot for a booking. That's a great idea, but it can leave you holding the bag if your hostess cancels.
Why not try this: offer a small gift at the show for booking, but offer a variety of items as your official booking gift. I set up a special area in my display just for nicer booking gifts. Here's the dialogue:
"Ladies, tonight is double bonus night when you schedule a show with me. I have some special dates available, and when you pick one, you'll get two gifts! The first gift you'll take home tonight. For the second gift, you can choose any item from this area, and I'll bring it to your show!"
Take out a roll of masking tape and allow her to write her name on a strip. Have her put the tape on the bottom of the bigger booking gift that she'll get later so that she gains a sense of ownership.
Explain that you need the item for your display, so she can't take it home that night, but you'll be bringing it with you to her show. You'll be amazed at how many more people will stick with their date and hold their shows for that free gift!
Tracie Penunuri, Gold Star Executive
Thursday, July 26, 2007
And then, we wait…
Typically, the phone begins to ring. Mary, will be a little late…Joan's dog fell and got a concussion and she can't make it. You know the drill. Other guests begin to drift in. It is the designated time for the party to start. We wait…a few more guests arrive. We (and they) wait… Sometimes up to 45 minutes. Finally the hostess decides (at your encouragement), to go ahead and get started anyway, despite the fact that other expected guests have yet to arrive. As you begin your presentation, guests continue to arrive, stopping the “flow” of what you are saying as each guest is greeted. Some arrive after you've finished, grab a catalog and may (or may not) order a “token” something.
The question becomes, why the tardiness?
We, as consultants LOVE what we sell. We could talk about it FOREVER! Unfortunately, some of us do. If a guest is expecting a 90+ minute presentation, why would coming on time be an issue? If she's late, she'll still hear part of it and not have to bored to death as some consultant rambles on and on. So…first things first…keep your presentations SHORT! 30 minutes TOPS!
Why should consultants work to change “guest tardiness”?
1) It is impolite to make other guests wait on people who arrive late.
2) It reduces sales and hostess benefits because late arriving guests don't hear your entire presentation and do not understand the value and mission of your company's products.
3) This will dramatically affect bookings. An evening that goes on and on is not particularly appealing to a future hostess.
What can we, do to help control this situation?
Here are some “proactive” ideas:
1) Offer an “on time” drawing.
2) Schedule your party at an “unusual time” - 7:15 is great, and less “forgettable”.
3) Remind the hostess that her free product value and booking credit will increase as more guests arrive on time.
4) Be playful. Offer your hostess a small gift for your 10/10 promotion. 10 guests, within 10 minutes of the start time, begin then and she gets a prize!
5) When you are making last minute guest reminder calls, be sure you are letting guests know that the party will start at 7:15 and there will be an on time drawing. The presentation will be fun and interactive and just 30 minutes long; they won't want to miss the great ideas you will be sharing.
6) JUST DO IT! Be sure you begin no later than 10 minutes late, keep the presentation, short, fun, interactive and informative. As you begin, hand your watch to a guest and ask her to tell you when 25 minutes are up so you have 5 minutes to wrap up; then listen for the audible sighs of relief from your audience!
Remember, it's all how you look at it. By creating the aura of “I don't want to miss this” vs. “I want to avoid this!” you can start to watch your bookings, sales and recruiting SOAR!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
As of post time Cheryl's father has been very ill - we wish your Dad the best get well wishes Cheryl and hope things improve...
We live right next to the town where the Real Housewives of Orange County is filmed. But I have no silicone, drive a Honda and live in a teeny over-priced house – so that’s about as real as it gets out here! In my previous life (before kids) I was a newspaper journalist. I still love to write and have two blogs (soon to be three with UB!). I have already embarked on an adventure this year, as I am currently training for my first marathon through Team in Training, the endurance sport fundraising arm of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
I am a New Year’s Eve baby (a nice tax deduction for my CPA dad) and my sister was born on the same day, six years prior. My mother likes to say we’re her twins.
I am probably the last person anyone would imagine doing this, as I haven’t been a fan of home parties and only went to the UB one to support my friend. But I had a GREAT time at the party and loved the scent I created. When I wore my lotion for the first time, I made everyone I know sniff me – and also strangers who came within sniffing distance! My husband saw my enthusiasm and encouraged me to sign up now. I am a stay-at-home mom so bringing in a little income with flexible hours also is an incentive.
My husband is incredibly supportive and excited for me. My friends – who know my usual feelings on home parties – are equally as excited because they figure if I’m this pumped up, it must be good stuff! Everyone who I’ve talked to about UB can’t wait for me to have the first party!
My personality test results were herby. I think I possess some traits from each of the groups. Plus, I wanted to be spicy!
I hope to bust the OC market wide open! There is a ton of opportunity out here. I spoke to a friend on the phone tonight about UB, and she already is interested in become a fragrance designer too.
A personality trait that I think will help me be succesful is that I'm very social and find it easy to strike up conversations with just about anybody. I have a varied circle of friends and think I network well.
Shawna's Fun Questions:
If you were a tree what type would you be and why?
I would be a jacaranda tree. Even though they are beautiful on their own, they are even more breathtaking in a group – the importance of teamwork!
If you were given $1,000 for your Urban Botanic business how would you use it?
Yikes – that’s a tough one! I think I have to wait to see how the whole thing works before deciding.
WELCOME TO THE HIVE CHERYL!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Most of us generally get the same objections when discussing the business opportunity.
“I don't have enough time…” or “I'm too busy…”
“I'm not a sales person…”
“I can't talk in front of people…”
“I don't have enough money…”
“I don't know enough people…”
Inevitably, our enthusiasm for the business often leads us to the nearest phone booth where we change our outfits and become the superhero known as… “The Amazing Answer Woman”! Yes…The Amazing Answer Woman can “overcome all objections in a single bound”…Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane…no, it is AMAZING ANSWER WOMAN!
Often leaving our prospects as though they were standing on their front porch when a Hurricane came to call; we are determined that we will answer and overcome ANY objection posed by our prospects.
So, today's food for thought... what would happen if the next time you got one of the above objections (and you know you will), instead of answering the objection, you asked a good question in response, CLOSED your mouth and LISTENED for the answer??!!!
Believe it or not, we found some awesome ideas in an excellent parenting book called, “How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk…” by Faber and Mazlisch
Try responding with, “Hmmmm, tell me about more about that…”
Repeat back the objection they have just given you, close your mouth and LISTEN!
Example: “I'm too busy…”
“Your too busy?”… (BE QUIET NOW)…
“Yes, I work part time, I'm president of the PTA, I've got 3 kids in a variety of activities…I'm just too busy!”
“Wow, you ARE busy! It really sounds as though you know tons of people, that's a real key to success in this business. If I showed you how you could do this alongside your busy schedule, would you be interested in more information?”
Another example: “I don't know enough people…”
“Hmmmm tell me more about that…”
“We just moved here, all my family and friends are now long distance. I really don't know anyone except my next door neighbor.”
“I understand…let me ask you this, are you interested in meeting more people in the area?” or “If I showed you how this could be a way for you to meet more people in the area, would you be interested in more information?”
The idea is to ask good questions to gather additional information. By keeping the conversation less one-sided ( where you talk and they listen), and more about you finding more out about her and her situation, you will truly be able to help her come to the conclusion that this might actually be a good fit for her and her family.
So, the next time you are tempted to don that super hero costume of yours, why not try this instead and see what happens.
Monday, July 23, 2007
What was your "Why" for starting a home business?
After giving birth to my first child at just 25 weeks' gestation, I knew I needed something that would allow me to be home to provide her extensive medical care while still allowing me to contribute to our family income. Now that I have three children, my company not only allows me to be home with them, but it also has given me increased self-esteem, a tremendous sense of accomplishment and a great income around my family's schedule!
How did you select the company you are with?
I went right to the source. I had been in direct sales before and wasn't successful, so I was very skeptical of getting involved again. I decided to check my company out by attending a state meeting with one of the owners of the company. After that meeting, I knew the company shared my values, and I was fired up to really make it work. With the unbelievably low start-up cost and only a minimal commitment, I knew I could give it a shot without risking a lot.
What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Keeping consistent business. In order to be most successful, we need to keep a consistently full calendar, plus add new team members regularly. I think it's a common issue for most people in direct sales. Once I learned how to control my calendar instead of allowing it to control me, the tables completely turned. I spent time getting training from others who were successful in direct sales, and I learned about concepts like offering specific dates, how to avoid cancellations and using guests lists. I became a top recruiter in our company because of the new skills I learned. Applied training can work wonders.
What specific things did you do to grow your down line?
I took some time to learn about online marketing--a tremendously powerful tool. Everyone should consider marketing their businesses online. When coupled with local efforts to grow your business, the internet can be a great source of fresh, interested leads.
Once new leads come on, the focus shifts to training. I've learned that it's so important to be duplicatable--I try to teach concepts that my team can easily repeat and teach to others.
Any advice for those thinking of starting a home business?
Don't spend too much time talking yourself out of it! With most home-based businesses, we can give it a shot without risking too much. Once you feel comfortable with a specific company, look at the risks. You'll probably find that the risks are minimal. Take the steps to set yourself up for success by getting several shows booked, and give it a try!
The 3 things that I can honestly say have made me successful are:
1. A willingness to step out of my comfort zone: Direct sales requires us to step out of that zone. We have to be willing to look for new ways to generate business, then put our fears aside and try them. When I run out of ideas, I talk to other consultants, listen to conference calls and get any training I can to give me more out-of-the-box ideas.
2. Consistently recruiting on a personal level: Growing a team is a key to financial success in this business. Most companies are set up on models that allow us to dramatically increase our income when we grow teams. When I consistently recruit new team members, there is energy and excitement that naturally generates success.
3. Set goals: Whatever the offering--whether it's free products or a big contest trip to Hawaii, I try to set my goals often and early. There was a time in my business where I really never earned anything, and the truth is, that was a time that I never really set goals. I find that goals give me focus and a reason to work harder. I started with specific show and recruiting goals--how many shows per month, how many new team members, etc. Once I was consistently reaching those goals, I found myself hitting the bigger ones and many trips too. Goals are a great companion in this business.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Others will put their tables across the front of their booth in order to put all their products or literature right where people can reach them. But this puts your set up between you and your potential clients making you unapproachable. And if the show is very busy, your clients will end up standing right in the traffic pattern where they can be swept away. Sometimes your best bet is to arrange your tables about halfway into the booth. This allows people the opportunity to step out of traffic to talk to you without feeling like they are walking into the lion's den. It also makes it easier to actually carry on a conversation with all the distraction around you (think "eye of the storm").
In many ways, your booth will be a reflection of your personality. Choose a setup you are comfortable with. The more comfortable you are, the more approachable you will be no matter what the circumstances. And do not forget to use the visual space above the tables. If people are standing in front of your booth, perhaps at a table, can people passing behind them see what your booth is about?
If the show is indoors, do you have a banner at the back top section of the booth with your company information on it? At an outdoor show, you will want a canopy of some type for shade. Use the front of the canopy for a sign or visual display. (Do not rely on the show to provide you with a sign. The signs they refer to are usually just a 3 foot by 6 inch card that has your company name on it just to mark your booth.) Make sure people can find you and know who you are. Try to strike a balance between visually stimulating and distracting.
You want to give just enough information to make them want more. Then they will visit you. One more thing to consider for your booth is a giveaway item. The vendor's purpose for a giveaway is to compile a lead list. Sometimes you can get a list of registered attendees from the show itself (as in the case of a bridal show), but this is not always the case. So compile your own list to follow up with after the show. Make sure you give away something worth their time to fill out your form. Ask questions on your giveaway ticket to get more information from your lead besides just their contact info. Do they want to book a party? Are they interested in free stuff? Would they like more information about a specific product? (List products for them to circle.)
Keep the form short (no one wants to spend too much time filling them out). Trade shows and expos are one of my favorite types of marketing venues. You have the opportunity to speak face to face with so many potential clients in a short amount of time. You can tell them personally what is so great about your business. Keep your booth lively and look like you are having fun. Everyone will want to know what is happening there, so they will flock to you. Good luck!
Deanna Mayer is the stay at home mother of two. When she isn't carting her boys around their Denver suburb, she is busy building her ideal career at www.itvventures.com/dlm. She is currently launching her newest product line, Naked Minerals, the first 100% pure pressed mineral cosmetics. Feel free to email her at email@example.com.Article Source: http://www.wahm-articles.com
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Sidewalk sales - If the retail establishments in your town conduct these, see if you can tag along!
Farmer's Markets -Many local Farmer's Markets allow vendors. Check with your local organizer.
Fairs/Festivals - County, state, balloon fests, eating extravaganzas and every food festival imaginable; you name it. It may not too late to be a part of these high traffic events, check it out with the organizers. You might even get a spot at a discount if booths are still available.
Garage Sales - Clean out the basement, garage and closets and participate in your neighborhood garage sale. Don't forget to have a separate table displaying your products with lead cards. Remember, this is a bargain shopper's paradise and what better bargain than to get your products discounted or FREE as a hostess?
Today's “best comeback” comes from one of our favorite ex-team members. When a customer flaunted the fact that she had purchased a product that our company sold new for $36.00 at a garage sale used for just $5.00, here was Sally's comeback (feel free to use it yourself). “Oh, that's a shame, I wish I'd known. I could have gotten you a brand new one for FREE as one of my hostesses!”
Friday, July 20, 2007
As a huge fan of The Secret movie, I was excited to see Brooke Emery's post on styling your life with the law of attraction.
Read here for more ideas on putting this law's power into your own daily life!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
This morning at 8am, I opened my email box to three messages. Two lunch invitations and a note from a friend arriving from CALIFORNIA TONIGHT to visit family and can we get together? Needless to say, I jumped at EVERYTHING. It has been too hard to get people pinned down this summer (myself included) and so, my day is shaping up in a very interesting way. Back-to-back lunches (yes, I just had a Diet Coke at lunch #2) topped off with a late evening visit and a glass of wine with a friend I've not seen in several years. It's a great day!
Summer is the one time of year when many people have the freedom to be super loose with their schedules - so, it is important to coach your hostesses accordingly. The chances that a party scheduled at the last minute will be a success are excellent! The ingredients are simple: Take ONE motivated hostess, add a LARGE guest list and top off liberally with some cool, sparkling summer beverages and VOILA you have an awesome PARTY. Keep it light, keep it simple and keep it fun. After all, that's what summer's all about, wouldn't you agree?
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Your homework assignment today is to read the latest post from a favorite blogger of mine, Shannon Nelson from A Girls Gotta Spa!
I still think that partnering with Bloggers is the fastest way to grow your UB Website Hits and really get the word out there for little to no cost to you. For this blog I did offer up free samples to her readers, but for Fashionable Housewife (coming on board next) I did a signature lotion for her that I'm sending to her and that will cost me just the product and shipping for a ton of publicity!
Be creative and don't be afraid to approach bloggers locally and nationally!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
In our town, for years we have had a real life You've Got Mail scenario playing out. There is a small independent bookstore that has been in town forever and about seven years ago Barnes and Noble built one of there HUGE stores just around the corner. We all were pulling for the little guy - hoping against hope that it wouldn't fall prey to “the big bad superstore” - but secretly thinking that it wouldn't last.
So, here it is, seven years down the road and in our newspaper this week our little local bookstore was featured along with nine other independent bookstores in the area as one of the ten best! YAHOO for the little guys!
These stores were featured because they were deemed unique and attuned to the needs of the people in each of their particular locations. They also were lauded for great customer service and community involvement. In the case of the store in our area, they are involved in many area literacy programs, school fundraising sales and also sponsor many big name authors who come to our town on speaking engagements. In short, they do more than just unlock the doors every morning and wait for people to wander in.
Our tip for today is to encourage you to think creatively when it comes to your business. In the next few days we will talk about customer service (our decided edge in direct sales). However, are there other things that you can you with your business to get involved with your community? Here are some ideas to get you started:
**Don logo wear, have some fun with your team while getting fit and participate in the next walk/run for charity,
**Does your local PBS station do a telethon? Put on tee shirts and volunteer some time to take pledge calls.
**Offer to speak at a local woman's club, sorority alum club or MOPS group. **Depending on your product line, perhaps you can display product and business cards at the next house walk in your area.
You get the idea. The idea is to give back to the community and get some positive name recognition at the same time.
Have YOU done something creative to advertise your business within the community? Let us hear from you!
Shawna's Note: I know that a lot of you are great with networking in the community. Please post your comments with ideas for others!
Monday, July 16, 2007
One show we've been interested in lately features everyday folk who decide that they want to flip a house. It follows them as they purchase a sad and sorry looking fixer-upper and set about the business of fixing it up in order to sell at hefty profit.
During the course of the `flip', an expert in the field, advises the burgeoning real estate tycoons on what they can do to minimize investment and maximize return.
If you ever get a chance to check it out, I would recommend it. It is an interesting show on many levels. Fix-up techniques aside - I find it fascinating to see coaching personality profiles in action. Episodes and ultimate profit vary depending on the personalities of the `flippers', market conditions and demographics.
But what does this have to do with the subject of today's tip, IMAGE?
I got to thinking about our home businesses. What can WE do to `flip' things that may need some fixing up so that our businesses have great `curb appeal' to someone from the outside looking in?
Why not use the following checklist for starters to see how your home business measures up?
- Voice mail/Answering machine
Message should be short, energetic, professional and informative
If you share your family's answering machine - include the family information first.
Include your name, rank and company name
Consider a short `teaser' - what's on sale, what hostess or recruiting perks are happening. But SHORT is the operative word!
- What are you carrying with you?
2-3 catalogs WITH customer information cards attached
- In the car
i. Hostess/Recruiting packs
ii. Your calendar or date cards
- Be a walking/driving advertisement
Your NAMETAG (Realtors do this ALL the time!)
- Spotlight your products constantly (this will vary depending on your product).
Give them as gifts
If you can, carrying a small amount of inventory is a great idea.
- Take a look in the mirror and remember that YOU are your company
Clothes that are neat (not wrinkled or stained)
Some makeup (ok, no emails on this please - most of us can use a little help here).
Accessories - does your briefcase/tote bag need replacing? Has it been to too many parties?
You get the idea. I recommend that you enlist the help of a friend or peer who will be upfront and honest with you to help you properly assess your image. And BE COACHABLE! You'll be surprised at the difference some small changes can make!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
My son is fried and just laying on the couch chilling and looking around at his presents while watching Sponge Bob. (Which I find to be the most annoying and whiny cartoon EVER!)
Tomorrow is D-Day for Downtown Dog Lounge so I'll be dropping off 535 samples (I ran out of strawberry for the recipe so will fill the others later and drop those off in a few weeks) to get things started for them and I'm very excited to see what type of "buzz" this starts. I feel like the company wide guinea pig so hopefully I'll have WONDERFUL news to share with all of you on this investment in a couple of weeks. At the least I hope to do a nice amount of personal volume and up my RSV selling perfume spray and bubble bath to puppy owners in the Seattle area.
100 postcards left to do for the La Mode Fashion Show and those can ship and then 300 for the Crave Party due by 8/2 and I'm done for summer events! Woo Hoo! The best news of all - my house will start to look like a house and not a factory! I have boxes stocked to the ceiling and postcards everywhere, sample jars and perfume vials all over counters, kitchen tables, and the living room - it's NUTS! I love the activity and the excitment that planting all these seeds will bring in the fall and late summer. I've already had 2 party requests booked and I already mentioned the $200 in RSV from website orders so those are very exciting! A couple of them are even interested in becoming Fragrance Designers so this is REALLY exciting! I can feel the recruiting in the team picking back up again and I know we'll be at 40 by the end of August so that's exciting. If I could have 50 on the team by end of August that would be 50 team members in 1 year which would be amazing! It's all sinking in again and feeling wonderful! Now if I could just tap some of my sons energy I'd be good to go!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I admit to a certain curiosity when it comes to the `royals'. So, it was with fascination and wonder that I watched NBC's coverage of Matt Lauer's interview with the now very grown up and handsome Prince William and Prince Harry.
The question that I was most interested in was when Matt Lauer asked the princes if their parents, Charles and Diana, had officially sat them down to discuss the expectation that they be proactive and involved in philanthropic activities - particularly those related to people far less fortunate than themselves. Basically, their reply indicated that this had not happened, but that charitable works - especially those of their mother - were just a part of their everyday conversations (around the dinner table so-to-speak).
Prince Harry said, “ it would just come out in conversation about you know what she'd been doing that day or how she felt”.
It was what they heard about and were exposed to all the time because that was Diana's passion and focus. Whether it was speaking out for AIDS, working with sick children or her interest in victims of landmines - it was a very large part of who she was. Even though her sons were just 12 and 15 when she died, the impact that she had on them and who they have become as young men is clearly evident.
This is true in so many aspects of life. Children tend to emulate what their parents role-model. If parents are readers - and books are valued in their home - children tend to read more. If parents are physically active - taking time to work out, go for walks, ride a bike or play tennis - their children probably follow suit.
In a workplace environment, this can also hold true. Author John Maxwell talks about the “Law of the Lid” - that employees or team members rise only as high as their leader, no higher. This why in our business we often see that if a leader is a strong seller, her team sells well and if she is a strong recruiter, then her team will recruit well too.
Not only does the leader lead by example but it is just part of “what she does and what she talks about” based on her focus and passion. A leader who is a strong recruiter talks about it all the time...(last night on my recruiting appointment, I left my business card with someone I met in line at the grocery store, my new recruit is so excited because…). It is so much a part of who she is and how she operates her business that her team will pick up on it and follow her role model in this area.
It may never be an actual TALK that she has with her team to say, “We are now going to be a strong recruiting team.” Like with the royals, it comes out in conversation naturally - a culture is created.
What culture do YOU want to create in YOUR team?
Shawna's Note: I love the emails from The Success Factory because they really get me thinking. The law of the lid totally makes sense. I've had 2 party requests this week and things are really starting to flow and I need to continually share with you all what I'm doing to make things flow and really take off so that I'm leading by example. If you ever need to talk, brainstorm, or vent, please don't hesitate to pick up the phone!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Today, as I was reading Step Nine, Learning from Adversity - I was reminded of a conversation I had with my eye doctor this week.
His wife, a former customer of mine, joined another party plan company a few years ago - much to my dismay - as I had DEFINITELY asked her to join me. OK… I'm over it, and often, my doctor and I talk party plan during my exam.
Last year, when we chatted, he was the picture of a supportive and enthusiastic husband. His wife's business was doing great and he was 100% behind her.
This year, his attitude was a bit disgruntled. His wife Mary works all the time - often to the neglect of family. And the biggest issue of late seems to be a team leader in her organization who, after having a baby, was riding the career plan - buying inventory each month to maintain her rank. This of course was blocking potential income for Mary.
Twenty plus years in party plan and I have seen similar scenarios play out time and time again. It is one of those things that just happens; especially when consultants have babies. However, in reading about adversity, I was reminded of several things.
In life and business, stuff happens. Some of it is in our control and some of it is not in our control. However, there are healthy and positive ways to handle the negatives and come out a stronger person in the end.
You must accept your role in the failure. You can't always blame fate or other people. You create what happens to you, based on your decisions. It sounded to me like Mary was really dwelling on this set of circumstances in her business. And given the fact that the baby is now eight months old, I would say - in my humble opinion - it is time to move forward and groom new management in her organization.
It is important to ask yourself if you adequately planned for the market change. In this case, Mary probably knew for several months that this key player was going to have a baby. Being a mom of three children herself she had to have known it was a possibility that this leader might not come back quite as strong - if at all.
Be careful about how you respond to a setback - especially to the people around you. Here is an instance where a spouse has gone from supportive to being negative about his wife's business. Being a typical husband - he's ready to have her throw in the towel - because he just wants to rescue his wife from her difficult situation. All of this is happening because Mary is complaining to him and not `dumping' to an upline.
In the remainder of the chapter on adversity, Rick Pitino gives some simple guidelines for sticking to the fundamentals, having faith in your vision and how to deal with personal tragedy in a positive and productive manner.
As for my doctor and his wife - you can bet that I'll be recommending this book to them when I go to pick up my new glasses. (After what he just charged me, I think he can probably afford to buy a copy for his wife and her entire team!)
This is a wonderful book to add to your library and for great motivational reading this summer. Whether you are a new consultant with big goals for your business or you have been building your business and want some fabulous leadership tips - there is something for everyone! Order your copy today.
Shawna's Note: I have read this book personally and found it very inspiring and an easy read. I love coaches because they know how to talk to the masses and really get their point across.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
If you have been working your business regularly for at least six months, I guarantee, you have these valuable leads floating around in a variety of places. They are everywhere - on your desk, in your drawers, in your briefcase, in your car or in a random box or basket of paper that you have sitting on your floor (you know the one I mean - it's the one you just filled to find the top of your desk.)
A friend and I were discussing this phenomenon the other day and she pointed out to me something I'd never thought about with regards to WHY so often we procrastinate on taking action with this valuable potential source of business. The answer is one simple word, “No.” Everyday that we don't take action on this contact information, it still feels almost like potential business sitting on our desk - even if our calendar is completely blank - it's as though we have a thriving business. There is still the possibility that these names and numbers might become a future customer, hostess or recruit. If we pick up the phone and call and they say, “No”, then the lead is lost; a possibility no longer.
However, with this potential can come a weight of guilt representing the “should's” and "need to's" of your business.
There is freedom and honesty in action. So today we encourage you to begin to take action and start to mine for the riches that may be buried in these piles. Put on your thick skin, pick up the phone and go for it. Once you have conquered the piles, you will have a truthful assessment of where your business is really at.
Be playful with these calls - treat them with humor and transparency. It is really OK to say, “You probably don't remember me, and I'm not sure I'd recognize you if we met on the street; but apparently we met at a fair that I worked last year and I found your name and phone number when I did some spring cleaning.”
Commit to taking action on five of these leads each day. If five feels like too many, start with just one a day. Rejoice when they say, “yes”, and rejoice when they say, “no”. A “no” chips away at that burden of guilt. It means you can rip up that name and number and you will be amazed to find that gives a rush of adrenaline almost equal to a “yes”.
Try it, you'll like it!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
If you didn't get your email yesterday we just added our 33rd Hive Member, Jennifer D in MA! Welcome again to Jennifer.
Avis B received her first blogger post at http://15minbeauty.blogspot.com/2007/07/urban-botanic.html so make sure to read up it's an awesome post and I'm so proud of Avis for pioneering the UB name in Cally! (if it wasn't your first blogger Avis my bad but we're celebrating anyway ;)
I will be finishing the LAST of my DTDL samples and getting those up there by the weekend. I've also been asked to do a silent auction again where I will be giving away a bday party like Kelsey did and seeing how that goes. I'm actually excited about it! I've got birthday post cards to give out at the station for those that are interested as well so that could be very cool. And I just received a party request and a lot of request for FD info as well so July is not only getting hotter (literally here in Seattle) but is proving to be very productive!
So much for my short and sweet post but you love me still right? Have a great Tuesday and keep your heads up! Things are starting to sizzle!
Monday, July 9, 2007
- At your parties, pass out manilla file folders to your customers containing their order form and brochures. Your contact information should appear on the tab. Ask them to file it with their important papers so they are always able to be in touch with you!
- When doing a customer service call, be sure you ask your customer to list your name and phone number in her personal address book, so if they ever have any product issues, they can be in touch with you. Have them do this while you are on the phone!
- Refrigerator magnets NEVER get lost. Consider handing out these as your business card. You can buy business card sized magnets at an office supply store.
- At your parties:
a) Build good customer repoire by showing interest in customers personally (and making notes to yourself about that customer on their order form when you get home.
b) Be sure customers know they can online order from you anytime
c) If you have a personal website, be sure they know what your address is.
d) Be sure you are calling and personally thanking people who placed outside orders at a party. They need to know what services you offer and how to be in touch with you as well!
a) Offer to wrap and deliver your products
b) Don't forget personal shopping appointments!
c) Depending on what products your company sells, consider “gift bundles” (specially priced) or gift baskets. (UB Party Special!)
d) Once or twice a year, host a “hostess appreciation” brunch, evening wine and cheese or special luncheon. This will be a special thank you from you and give hostesses a “sneak peek” at the new product line. SELL this as one of the advantages of being one of YOUR hostesses! Consider doing this alone or better still as a team activity!
Throughout the next weeks we will continue to give you additional ideas on customer service, as well as some specifics for helping you with those phone calls! Hopefully these ideas will get you started!
Sunday, July 8, 2007
The front of the postcard I'll have to take a pic of as the pdf won't load. The back of the postcard wording is super cute and thanks to Kelsey will hopefully bring in lots of interested owners:
All-natural conditioning doggy wash and shiny-coat
puppy perfume...all in a special fragrance designed just
for your best friend. Design a fragrance for yourself, too,
and hit the town!
Choose from over 60 different perfume oils to create a
pawsitively perfect scent!
Contact Shawna Straub with Urban Botanic to schedule
I've also posted the directions I'm using to include with the sample postcards and perfume vial on the TeamBurst site. For those that can't wait to see it I've posted the directions below...
"Urban Botanic's Pawsitively Posh is best applid by applying to your dog's brush and then combing through the top coat area. Keep this product away from the under side where dogs tend to lick often and when purchasing a full size spray, cover dogs eyes before spraying directly on dog. This product contains no alcohol. It is infused with silk amino acids that are great for a shiny coat."
Saturday, July 7, 2007
This week, we continue with our topic of Customer Service. One of the biggest deterrents in providing good customer service is the big “P” word, PUSHY! Today, we hope to change your paradigm. It has been said that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. As we said in a previous email, providing great customer service involves listening, listening, listening to your customer and then providing service based on her needs, not yours!
What do we mean by that? Pushy is contacting a small group of customers too frequently just because you need to hit a personal goal. Customer service, on the other hand, is being aware of a customer's needs, likes, and past purchases and following up as needed. Knowing your company's mission, being passionate about what you have to offer, knowing your products and the benefits of your products sets the foundation of great customer service.
If this is your first year in the business, your goal is to develop 200-300 customers that you will service on a regular basis. By working a pool of customers this large, you will vary who you call and not end up contacting the same small group of customers over and over again.
Remember that business has a 30-90 day cycle, so give it time. Consider year one to be your “cultivation” year. Jim Rohn talks about business in terms of farming. You can't have a “fall harvest” until you've done “spring planting” and you can have a spring anytime you'd like. So even if you are several years into the business and just feeling stale, you can start again, as if you are a new consultant in year one.
Your customers should hear from you every 3-6 months. The key is to vary how it is that you are in touch.
Personal contact and telephone are the most effective forms of contact. Additionally you may also try the following:
1) Email -
2) Customer newsletters
4) Open House invitations (follow up with a phone call!)
5) Snail Mail -
6) Customer newsletters
7) Articles of interest pertaining to your product (can be sent email as well)
Remember, your “core” of preferred customers need to hear your voice every 3-6 months, even if it's just a message on an answering machine. And yes, TSF believes it is fine to leave a message on the answering machine. In this day and age of caller ID, people will know you called anyway. You might as well leave a message, but don't feel offended when people do not return your call!
P.S. How is your thank you note challenge coming along? Remember, personalized notes to your customers are a wonderful form of customer service!!
Friday, July 6, 2007
Customer Service and Staying Organized - continued from TSF
We talked about using your Customer Order form for great customer service. Perhaps this left some questions in your mind as to how to physically keep track of this information. Keep in mind what we said; no one ever organized himself or herself into management. However, you do want to have some type of system in order to access your information when you need it.
The key to organizational systems is to use one that works FOR YOU and that YOU will use. There are a variety of different personality types and myriads of organizational systems out there, each with its own appeal. We will deal today with just a couple of thoughts on how to better organize your Customer Order forms. Here are some ideas:
1) Monthly - Staple customer order forms together by party. Set up file folders, one for each month of the year. Simply place each party in the month the order was placed or party held. This way you can reference a customer by knowing who's party you met her at and the time of year. It is a great way to open the conversation. “Hi, this is Mary Jane Smith (pause and wait for her reply). If you recall, we met at Jo Simon's house last November…I was the consultant selling for XYZ company and I promised I'd call you about our summer specials. (remember, you got permission to call!)
2) Alphabetically - If your brain works better this way, simply file a customer's order form A-Z in file folders or a 3 ring binder. Be sure you have a note as to the hostess' name whose party you met her at for your reference when speaking with her.
3) Monthly Tickler - You can also file customer order forms by requested “next contact” date (or birthday if you want to send out a card or coupon for a percentage off their order). Simply use file folders or a 3 ring binder with monthly tabs. That way, you will know each month who you are to be calling and from your fully filled out Customer Order form, you will know why.*
4) “Service” Tickler - File customer order forms by how they'd like to be serviced in the future (Recruit? Hostess? Sales/Specials?)*
* Note, if you plan on using the one of the tickler systems, you will need to be able to access her customer information (name and phone number), by having an additional alphabetical listing. This can be as simple as index cards with basic information or a data base of some variety.
Now, while TSF realizes there are lots of computer data base systems out there, and we suspect that you are probably a user of one of these systems because you are receiving our daily emails; we suggest you print these suggestions out and file them for future reference. Stephen Covey says “begin with the end in mind.”
If your “end” is to have a growing team, realize as a future trainer and coach, you will have people join your organization who aren't necessarily computer users. For those people, you need simple solutions. And also, it's not always possible to have your computer every where you go. By having a “paper” organizational system in place, you can grab a file folder and take it with you to fill those pockets of time from your cell phone while waiting in the car pool line or sitting at soccer practice!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
I heard a great quote today and unfortunately, I didn't have a pen and paper handy. However - the basic gist of the quote was that we should celebrate positive changes made instead of fretting over whether or not you are hitting your goal. The goal will come as a result of those changes.
Think about it for a moment. Maybe your goal is to promote into management. But in order to do this, you need to begin to build a team. You have yet to recruit even one person and you need five people to become a manager. This can make the goal of becoming a manager seem completely unattainable to you. But, you make the decision to learn everything you can about recruiting and so every time you get into your car, you play training CD's that help you to understand better the whole process of recruiting. Your focus begins to shift and soon you find that you are `wearing your recruiting glasses' and looking for green flags from the guests in attendance at your parties. You actually have started to ask people if they have ever thought of doing what you do and handing out some information. GOOD FOR YOU!
Even if that first recruit still eludes you, celebrate the fact that you are now being more intentional about starting to grow a team and have begun to develop new habit. Recruiting is a numbers game. By continuing to ask, ask, ask - eventually you will experience the success of helping someone to join your company.
Little changes become positive habits and positive habits will result in big results! What little change can you to make today?
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Our country is having it's birthday today and I'm about to celebrate my 1 year anniversary with Urban Botanic coming up in August. I can still remember the day I signed up and the anticipation of receiving my kit and becoming the first consultant outside of UT. Urban Botanic has just been reborn with this incredible new technology available to us.
I know I sent out an email to all of you with news that the first UB Signature Collection had been purchased on my website and how excited I am about the future that this option will bring us both with parties and without.
If you go to Account Inquiry in the UB Office you'll be able to see the orders placed on your site and match them up with those hosting a party that have guests purchasing outside orders. It's pretty cool and I had McKenna walk me through it the other day so I'm feeling VERY confident about the future.
Tonight I spent the evening with my son and Grandmother watching "America's Got Talent" (which obviously it mostly doesn't) and putting together the La Mode lotion samples and postcards for their VIP bags (300). She was a lot of help and it reminded me of ways that we continually are able to involve our family and not take away from them but still get our business done that needs to be done on time! Honestly I probably wouldn't have made the trip over to visit with her had I not been wanting to get these finished and knowing she would be happy to help! So tonite UB created family time of all things!
I know that Summer can be a bit more challenging in booking parties but hopefully you are all working towards your goals of how many parties you want to have booked every week and which days you want them on. Coming up in the next few months I am hiring a consultant that usually works with Corporate companies and is going to begin working with our team specifically. I will actually take one of my training sessions and put her on the team call for the hours to really educate and help you build your businesses locally. I'll give you plenty of advanced notice to prepare to be on the call and be happy to record it as well!
Enjoy your 4th, be safe, and smell good!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
We talked about knowing your customer on a more personal basis. You have in your possession what we at TSF consider to be THE MOST powerful organizational tool for the party plan business. And the best thing about it is that you do NOT need to know tons about computers or computer software to be able to use it. In fact, you don't really need a computer at all, so this system is VERY duplicatible as you grow your team of consultants. Train them to use this powerful tool as well. So, what is this tool that you ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR POSSESSION?
Are you ready? Are you sitting on the edge of your chair? Here it comes…
It is your CUSTOMER ORDER FORM! How simple is that?? Too simple you might say…well maybe so, but simple is good, right?
Think about the ways you can use your customer order form for good customer service…
1) At your parties, have customers use this as their “Wish List”. Throughout your presentation, encourage them to make notes or check off items they find of interest. THINK about the information you will glean.
2) When working individually with the customer to complete her order, be sure the order form is filled out completely. Most companies ask for additional information from a customer on that order form (and if yours doesn't, just ask for it!). Make it a part of your job when adding up her order. You might say something like, “Just so we have filled this form out completely, if I gave you some information about the company would you read it?” “Do you want to host a party at any point in the future?” (If yes, or maybe, find out when) “Do you want to know about our specials?” And yes, she will tell you the date of her birthday or anniversary, all you need do is ask!
3) Look at what she orders! Look at what she doesn't order but checked off. By asking permission to call when related products or products she couldn't afford right now go on special, you have opened the door for great future customer service. You also may be able to book a party down the road (if not that night) so she can earn products on her wish list for free.
When pulling customer order forms to do phoning, you will have huge amounts of information at your fingertips. Add notes each time you speak with her. Pay attention, ask questions, and make notes of your conversation for future reference. Listen, listen, listen and write, write, write. You will have volumes of information to be able to service that customer very well in the future.
Monday, July 2, 2007
I've decided that July is truly the month of 1sts!
Having just returned from Hoop Fest with Dallon I'm tired but rejuvenated with life and business in general. I am so proud of my almost 8 year old I could tear up! He was amazing and I'll share some pictures and video as soon as I can but I wanted to share the exciting journey. Saturday they played their first game at noon. It was a bit rough. They were nervous and not really on with their shots but they held their own and only lost by one point in overtime.
The next game they played was much better. So much better they won 20/1 and creamed the other little guys. Their confidence was high and they were truly the team we knew they were. Hoop Fest is a double elimination and truly street ball so the rules aren't real clear, the players are super aggressive and my little guy was playing kids 2 years older than him for the most part. So it's every parent's nightmare.
Game 3 was also Saturday and at the time limit we were one point ahead and were sure it was victory. Nope! You have to win by 2 or the first team to 14. Of course the score was 14/13 and a very sad day for these little guys. A lot of them fell apart and were crying, but not my son! He was actually tired and happy. He said "those guys were really hard Mom!" I said "Yes they were, and you held your own and almost won!" He was really pleased with how hard he played and I LOVE how he re-acts to losing when he gives it his all. I know he learns that from the same attitude I've learned from my parents and that's that it's more important to do your best and play the game than whether you succeed or fail. Because every time you fail you are closer to succeeding!
So back to 1sts. Your homework is to experience 2 firsts today!
#1 - Go check out your UB site and experience all the new technology, take the test again and see the Signature Collections pop up and truly experience what your potential customers will soon have access to!
#2 - Listen to my radio show today at http://www.directsalesradioshow.com/ and give me some great feedback as to what you liked and how you might have answered the questions differently! Then comment on those answers so we can all experience them!
#3 - Go make your own 1st today - whether that's giving out a business card to someone you don't know, approaching a boutique or salon, or just talking to a potential recruit about the business!
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Here are some things to think about when servicing your customers:
1) Do you know something about them personally?
-Do they have children, grandchildren?
- How old are they, what are their names and ages?
- If they are married, what is their spouse's name?
- Do you know the date of their birthday or anniversary?
How special would your customer feel if you sent her a card or quick note on her birthday or anniversary? When calling, if the husband answers the phone and you are able to call him by name, won't it be more likely that your message will be relayed?
2) Do you have a note of their past purchase history and/or wish list? What a great service to be able to phone when a particular product goes on special or when a new related product comes into your line that might be of interest to her.
Keep good records on your customers and use them. Be sure you are making notes when you chat. Stay in touch at least four times a year, either by phone or mail. The key is to be sure that when they think of your product, they think of you…by name!
In the next email we will share some practical ideas for staying in touch and record keeping!