Monday, July 23, 2007

Down Line of more than 100

In Party Plan's newsletter this month they talked about downlines with more than 100 in them and what it took to get there. Though this company isn't UB, the principles are still the same!

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.

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