Saturday, November 29, 2008

Is November really over!?

I looked at the last date on the blog and went UHHHHHHHHHHH whoops! I can't believe November is already gone! With Dawson suffering from recurrent ear infections I finally bypassed my pediatrician and took him to a specialist. Low and behold they scheduled his for ear tubes a week later and we just finished our post surgery ear drops and are on the mend and hopefully will have a better night sleep for the whole family. I've honestly been living on pure adrenaline thanks to the exhaustion this "no sleep" state has given us.

When the doctor came out of surgery and told me there was fluid on both ears and a huge infection pocket that he had to clean out on the left ear I knew that my Mother's intuition had been right. That's one thing we all have that we need to listen to. Whether it's that person that we had know would be incredible in our business, the perfect hostess wanna be if we'd just ask, or the best new networking opportunity if we would just hand out our card. Taking that first step is the most important thing we can do.

I'm looking forward to a great December. November shaped up to be a great month with over $1000 in RSV in The Hive. Keep it up and remember that UB is the best gift for Christmas you can give!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On the road again… (TSF)

Road trip to Goondi Pictures, Images and Photos
I may have mentioned that my husband and I love road trips. We love road trips so much, in fact, that this year in just the last 8 months we have put over 20,000 miles on our mini van. You may think we are nuts and sometimes we wonder the same thing given the current cost of a gallon of gas. However, our family is a bit spread out at the moment. One daughter is attending school 900 miles away and our son (who is now moving back home) has been living 1400 miles away but not in the same part of the country as our daughter. So, there you have it.

Recently, a good friend of mine and her husband (who leave next week on a road trip to a family reunion) asked me what in the world we do on these road trips to keep from terminal boredom. One of the things we enjoy, I shared, was books on CD. Yes, she and her husband had thought of that but were appalled to find that an audio book they were interested in was retailing for $30 on To her SHOCK and surprise, I suggested that she might enjoy checking out the audio book for FREE from her local library. I say SHOCK because apparently my friend and her husband NEVER realized that the library checks out more than just print books.

Many of you are saying ‘duh’ at this point – however – I consider my friend to be someone in the know. That said, since SHE had no idea, we thought perhaps some of you might appreciate this tip as well.

Your automobile is a rolling classroom. It’s your choice. Flip through the radio stations OR ‘read’ a business building book as you drive. It’s a great way to maximize the time you spend on the road and I have found it to be far less distracting than using my cell phone. Visit your local library and visit the non-fiction audio section for some great books on tape that will cost you ZERO dollars.

P.S. Many libraries let you reserve and renew your books online AND offer MP3 downloads of audio books as well!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So Exciting! Denise featured in a blog!

Here I was just getting back in the swing of things with some bloggers and low and behold I get this great email from Denise Eloundou in Minnesota...

"Hi Shawna,

Long time no email! I read on your blog the other day that is has been 6 months since you had the baby. Time flies!! I just wanted to drop you an email and give an update on what's going on with me and UB!I I have started calling into the Today Counts! hotline and taking an action step each day. I had a party last month and have one scheduled for the 16th. This was a lead I received from corp this past summer. I've kept in touch with her and now is the right time.

A woman I play volleyball with does silk wedding flowers and has a website We are doing a give-away on her blog I don't think the readership is huge but it is a start.

Thanks for reading. I hope all is well. Take care and talk to you soon.


I visited the blog and it's darling and I hope that Denise gets some readership from it and hopefully can book a few parties! Just some great ideas for anyone re-engaging!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Where in the World is Shawna?

So as I look at my last post I realize it's been WAY too long since I've updated the blog and I apologize. There are many excuses but no one need to hear them ;)

I am reinspired with Urban Botanic as I've just received my first shipment from the Scent of the Month club! OMG the Harvest Pumpkin is amazing. My entire home really smells incredible. I must say the blended scents for the SOTM are INSANELY good. I know McKenna also mentioned that if I had enough people on SOTM that I wouldn't have to do parties regularly as with 100 people on SOTM you have your $1k in volume! So I think she said something like if I blitz 22 parties I'd sign up enough people for SOTM that I'd be done if I "wanted" to be! I'm sure I may have messed up some of what she had said but I do know basic math. 100 people on SOTM and I'm good to go! 25 on it and I make my every other month volume for commissions every month!

I'm serious when I say that the SOTM scents are amazing. I'm actually on pins and needles to get November and December now. I'm hosting Christmas Eve so I'm excited to have everything be perfect for my husband's family and for my White Elephant Gift I'm giving them a warmer!

I've also been working with a new blogger on the Home Fragrances. I'm very excited to get some traction again there for some online sales. I just had an online $200 order from someone who took the personality test so I know that works. I quickly ordered $50 in volume after that and made my volume now for the month! LOVE THE WEBSITE!

Anyway - I'd love to hear any success stories you're having with SOTM! Look for an updated newsletter as well from me and a more active role again - I know I can get $1000 in Volume every month from this club. Already waiting for orders to come in from some of my Die Hard party folks :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Five AMAZING quotes…

I just received these from a dear friend. They are from some note-taking she did at a sermon she heard so long ago she doesn't remember the church or the pastor who made these points. But they were so good that she typed them up (on a typewriter!) and has been carrying them around in her Bible for years.

Read them one at a time - slowly and REALLY think about them - they are powerful!

Never complain about what you permit.

The problem that infuriates you the most is the problem God has assigned you to solve.

Those who unlock your compassion are those to whom you are called.

The secret of your future lies hidden in your daily routine.

When you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done

Monday, September 8, 2008

SUBJECT: Recruiting - 100 great tips! Part 1

One of TSF's most requested topics is recruiting. So…for the next 5 days, we will be sharing a potpourri of 20 “quickie tips” a day (in no particular order). WARNING: Trying all these tips at once may be hazardous to your health!!!

1) Whenever possible, give your product as a gift.
2) Ask every single customer if they would like to join you in your business.

3) Promote your business as a “family” business and give examples.

4) Remember your customer's children and spouse's names
5) Don't be pushy; sincerely and honestly tell potential recruits why they would be good at this!

6) Leave your old catalogs in public places with “Help Wanted” stickers

7) If someone feels they are too busy because they are already employed outside the home, tell them they can be the “on-site” consultant for your company.

8) BE EXCITED about what you do!
9) Indirect method of asking “Do you know of anyone who might be interested…”

10) Follow up within 24-48 hours.
11) Keep information given simple and to the point.
12) “Take away” method of asking… “I don't know if this would be right for you, but this has been the best thing for me and my family…”

13) Put business cards in all of your bills.
14) Have a recruiting message on your answering machine.
15) Laminate a kit flier to pass around at your parties.
16) Put recruiting information in every hostess packet
17) Send recruiting information out with every catalog
18) Give recruiting information to every guest with their catalog and order form.

19) Use your products
20) Ask guests at parties lots of questions about themselves to determine needs

MORE quickie tips tomorrow!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quick time saving tip…

With the holidays fast approaching - it can be a great time to keep your name in front of your hostess and preferred customers.

Rather than adding a Christmas card (or whatever holiday you may celebrate in December) to the deluge of mail that arrives on or about the 3rd week in December, why not think about sending a Thanksgiving card? Aren't we ALL thankful for the business our customers/hostesses bring us?

Starting now, to save time, when you jot your hostess her post party thank you note - take another moment and address her Thanksgiving card as well! Then you will be ready to mail them out the 2nd week in November!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Calling back…

From The Success Factory...

Thanks for your email tips newsletter. I love receiving the frequent encouragement, advice and tips for building my business. Here's something I've struggled with since starting my direct sales business and maybe you have advice that could be shared in your tips newsletter...You contact someone who is expresses an interest in hosting a party or hearing about the business opportunity. The first time you call, you get the answering machine. How many times and how frequently do you contact someone and leave a message for them on their machine if they don't return your call(s). Also, do you have a specific message that seems to be effective in getting their attention and enticing them to return your call? Thanks again for your help.


Dear Rhonda - Thanks for your kind words and great question. This is one that befuddles many of us all the time.

First of all, when it has been agreed that you will call someone back, do your best to schedule a specific time. It sometimes helps if you have made an official “phone appointment”.
Secondly, if someone seriously would like to speak with you, ask if they wouldn't mind sharing their cell phone number with you or if they work during the day, can you talk briefly to them at work.

Thirdly, I have yet to find the secret message that can be left on an answering machine that gets someone to call back (TSF would be a Fortune 500 company if it owned the rights to THAT one!)

I believe, however, that you should definitely leave some kind of message because so many people now have caller ID, they will be able to see that you have called even if you don't leave a message. I usually identify myself, say that I had promised to phone back to talk about (whatever), give the date and time and leave my phone number. Then I ask that the call me (knowing full well they won't) but say that I will call them again in several days if I don't hear from them. Depending on the urgency of what we needed to discuss, I will phone back in several days or about every 7-10 days; varying my time and day of the week until I reach them. I always leave a message identifying myself. If it has gotten to be quite a few calls (like 4 or more) and I've still not connected, then I usually leave a message that says something to the effect that I'm really feeling like a pest and that's the last thing in the world that I want. Please, if you wouldn't mind, will you just leave a message for me on my voice mail (less threatening than talking to me in person) and let me know one way or the other if you are still interested. Thanks for your help!

Try not to take the fact that NO ONE returns calls personally. If you really think about it, you probably do the same thing. I know I do, and often it is a return call to family members that I ignore. I really think that between email and cell phones, people are SO bombarded with being “in touch” all day that it can be difficult to get back on the phone at night or when they are spending time with family.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Coaching your Catalog Hostess - FINAL on Catalog Parties

Today is our final installment in our mini-series on Catalog parties. We will offer some tried and true tips (in no particular order…sorry!) for helping your hostess experience success in this alternative venue to a traditional home party.

1) Set a deadline. Keep a catalog party open no more than about 10 days. By keeping the deadline close in, your hostess will keep it high on her priority list.

2) Coach your hostess to “share” the catalog amongst friends, thereby limiting the amount of time that a guest has to “lose” the catalog in the scurry of life. Tell her to drop a catalog off on her way to the grocery store and pick it up (payment and order) on the way home, in order to share the catalog with someone else.

3) Offer to mail catalogs to long distance family and friends. Let your hostess know you usually do follow up calls to explain product to these people as well. She should make an initial call to be sure they are interested first!

4) Be sure your hostess knows how to complete your order forms and properly add up orders including tax and shipping.

5) Don't assume your hostess will know what to say…help her with scripts for talking to her friends. “Mary, I was thinking about you when I decided to do this catalog party…I just KNOW you're going to love__specific product name because (you love to entertain, you have so many birthdays to buy for, you love to cook, you love to decorate, you are so great about playing with your kids, you take so many pictures, you care about family values…FILL IN THE BLANK based on your product!) When is a good time for me to drop by for about 5 minutes?

6) Consider leaving your hostess a small sampling of product to show her friends while circulating catalogs.

7) Mini demo your products to the hostess before she begins to collect orders to build her enthusiasm and help her know what to say.

8) Goal set with your hostess. Find out what's on her wish list and (based on a low average customer sale for your product), help her know how many orders she will need to collect to get the items she would like for free or at a reduced price.

9) RECRUIT YOUR HOSTESS…anyone who is a successful catalog hostess should absolutely positively become a consultant. After all, she is really doing YOUR job, isn't she? Let her know that if she would like to join you as a consultant on your team, she can use this first catalog party as her own! This is a great way to get her business off to a fast start.

10) ASK, ASK, ASK…how did she do it? When you have a catalog hostess who really does a great job; ask her what she did to make her show a success. This information is invaluable in training team members and in coaching your next catalog hostess! ( Pssst…we'll let you in on a secret…it's how WE get some of OUR best tips!)

FINALLY, once again we stress that a catalog party should be booked only as “frosting on the cake”. DO NOT consider them to be replacements for our real bread and butter which is…(say it with us now)… Home Parties!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hive Member Spotlight - Gail Atwood - Maine

I am married 10 years, we have been together 17 yrs. We have one 4 yr old son, 2 dachshunds Abby & Scooter. My Birthday is July 23

What caught your interest in UB and what made you decide to pull the trigger and SIGN UP NOW!? Family Circle Article. Plus I LOVE scents.

What kind of support network do you come from? Are your close friends and family excited for you with Urban Botanic? Skeptical? What can fellow hive members do to support you or gain support from you? My family and friends are very excited and will be big supporters.

What were your results on the personality test? What is your strongest scent family and do you agree with the results? I always thought I was more Woodsy/Warm scent, the test states that I am floral. Hmmm, we will see :)

Where do you see yourself with Urban Botanic in the next year? Are you a business builder, In it as a hobby, or somewhere in between? Maybe somewhere in between.

What is one personality trait you have that you think will help you be successful at UB?Outgoing!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

“I'll be back…”

Sorry I've been a little lax in the blogging dept as of late. Little man has a really bad cough and is on antibiotics and just isn't getting better so he's taken a bit more time than per usual. Hope everyone is doing well. I thought this was great advice for those of us that have done some summer fairs, etc.
From The Success Factory...

I've mentioned before that my 18 year old daughter works part time at a local independently owned coffee shop as a barista.

In these hot summer months, the afternoon demand for a piping hot cup of coffee can often be almost non-existent and so some days I pop over for a short time to keep her company. As we were visiting yesterday, a couple, unfamiliar with the store, wandered in and asked a few questions about the types of coffee offered at the shop. They were looking for something in particular that the store does not carry. After a few moments spent perusing the menu board, they thanked my daughter and said “We'll be back!”

Oh, how many times have you heard THAT before?

As summertime is fair and festival time in many areas, I am sure those of you working booths are hearing all sorts of comments like this from folks strolling by.

“Will you be here all day, because I'll be back to make my purchases.”

“Will you be here tomorrow so I can come back then?”

“Where is your store located? I would like to shop there instead.”

“Do you have a catalog (business card)?

“This is something my wife/husband would be interested in. I'll go find her/him and we'll be back.”

“I just got here, so I'm going to (get myself settled, look at the other booths, do some other shopping) and then I'll be back to buy some things.”

“Your products look (taste, smell) wonderful; thank you for the free sample, I'll be back later on my way out.”

`I'll be back…' Arnold should be so proud to know that his infamous phrase is being used so handily to enable clean `guilt free getaways' for fair goers.

While I am certain probably half of the people who promise to be back intend to do just that - face it - there are too many other things at a fair to grab their attention and we are quickly forgotten. Keep the experience positive for yourself and your team by remembering:

First and foremost - HAVE FUN! We are sorting, not convincing SWSWSW-NEXT* applies BIG TIME when you work a booth. (*Some will, some won't, so what, someone is waiting, NEXT!)

Coupons - free shipping, sales tax or a discount on their first order may encourage a return visit or follow-up phone call. Be sure your contact info is on the coupon.

Catalogs. If you decide to make catalogs available at your booth, keep them in YOUR control so that they don't walk away without you getting a name and number in exchange. As you retrieve the catalog, hand them a clipboard and invite them to enter your free product drawing. If the catalog gets tossed along with all the other fair freebees you still have a lead. Don't be afraid to pass out last season's catalog. Sticker with, “For a current FREE catalog or to place an order, please call ____ or visit www____”

Finally, wear comfortable shoes, bring a water bottle AND YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR! Booths are a blast to work but the days can get long. DECIDE to have fun when visiting with those folks who drop by. Do your best to engage them in some lively (non-sales) conversation. (That ice cream looks great, your child is adorable, you look exhausted already - are you having any fun?)

The less `intense' you are, the more likely they'll hang around for a few minutes longer, decide they like you and (perhaps) take a more serious look at your products and your opportunity.
Two years at this coffee shop gig have been a wonderful learning experience for my daughter. She leaves for college confident, personable, funny, and has earned enough in tips alone to finance all of her non-coffee shop social activities with friends.

And while the `tips' we earn when working a booth come in the form of new business leads; we (and our new team members) will walk away from the experience with a new level of enthusiasm and confidence for our products and our opportunity. For one of the smartest reasons to work the occasional booth is that it provides a phenomenal arena to PRACTICE talking about what we have to offer over and over again until we can do it in our sleep. If we goof up, no worries - you can try again when “they come back later.” :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summertime to-do's. The non-negotiables…

Summertime can be the `black hole' season of the year.
This summer there have been many days when I sit down after dinner, take a look at my `to do' list and realize I got SO sidetracked (a last minute lunch with a friend, shopping with my sisters or daughters, a lovely long phone call, 5 minutes of weeding that turns into the rest of the morning) that EVERYTHING slides into tomorrow. I am relatively certain that each of you reading this has experienced your version of the same scenario.

However with summer solstice comes the reality check, God's little `tap on the shoulder' via his creation, that the fall and winter will soon be upon us. Whether we like it or not, summer is fleeting and cannot stay forever. The kids will go back to school, routines will become normalized, and we need to be ready for our fall harvest.

I know that at my house, despite the lack of discernable schedule that summer presents, there are certain non-negotiables that happen every day. *

I get up
I brush my teeth
I get dressed
I walk the dogs
I make meals for my family
I check and respond to the mail (`e' and snail)

*You have this list too. It is unique to YOU and YOUR life.
To this list of `life' non-negotiables here is a list of must-do's for your business to do before July comes to a close and/or (if applicable) before you leave for your company convention or national meeting.

*Parties for the last two weeks of August and September, with special attention to the first two weeks of September.

*Pencil tentative party dates through December for all hostesses who have indicated an interest in a fall date.

*Check in with any recruit potentials and do whatever it takes to get them signed so that they can be trained in time to reap the rewards of a full fall season.

* Be in touch with team members, especially those who you haven't heard much from this summer and encourage them to do all of the above as well.

*If you have not already, schedule a date and place for your team's fall kickoff

*Check in with any recruit potentials and do whatever it takes to get them signed so that they can be trained in time to reap the rewards of a full fall season.

* If possible, get out and get your children's school supplies. That will be just one more thing off of your to-do list for those first two weeks in September.

By all means, relax and enjoy the rest of your summertime with your family - just be sure to be intentional about paying attention to your business! By taking care of this small to-do list, you will be setting your sights on a successful fall season.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Team Meetings

Purpose and Importance

Training and continuing education
Friendships - a major factor in people's longevity in the business
Date, Time, Location

For the purposes of consistency, choose a date and time that remains unchanged month to month (ie; the last Monday of the month at 7pm)

Duration of a meeting should be 2 hours. Begin and end ON TIME!
Choose a central location that is easy to find.
At the beginning, meetings may be small an held in a home
First goal is to move to a meeting room at a restaurant or library
Ultimately, grow your team large enough to meet in a hotel room.
o We encourage all consultants from one area to meet together; there is power in numbers!

Key Ingredients of a successful meeting

Appeal to each personality and learning style
Remember to include in every meeting:
~ Fun!

- Skits, music, scavenger hunts, auctions, drawings, games (ie; BINGO, involving product), ice breakers
- Make and take group activities

Personalizing product
Creating recruiting binders
Hostess or recruiting posters to display at Celebrations or booths
~ Training on the basics

- Selling, including all the elements of a Celebration
- Recruiting
- Training should be done by top performers. Use traditional lecture format, role playing, or skits.

  • Recognition

    Recognition should always come from you as the leader

    Keep it simple; it is not necessary to know everyone's stats

    “Stand up” recognition in some of these suggested categories: Sales, Recruits, LLL Clubs, # of Celebrations held and highest dollar sales at a Celebration. Be creative, recognizing activity as well as results!

    Top performer in each category tells how they did it in the form of one “quick tip”

    Prizes - people love them! Consider having a small gift basket of goodies or business supplies for top performers to choose from

    ~ Product Knowledge

    Key component of each meeting
    Gives consultants confidence for their presentations
    Insures consultants will continue to be their own “best customer”
    Educates consultants on product whether or not they actually “own” the product.
    Ideas for product knowledge

    · Brainstorm new ideas on product usage

    · Share ideas for “add-on” sales and cross-selling ideas at Celebrations

    · Everyone share about their favorite product

    ~ Company Information

    Ensures all consultants are aware of dates, deadlines and details of all current company promotions

    Presentation in the form of a skit or role play keeps things fun!

    Keep this segment of the meeting short; 10-15 minutes tops. Defer additional questions to “post” meeting time

    ~ Motivation/Inspiration

    Every meeting needs a “heart-tug!”

    Who has a story to share; a personal experience or an experience shared by a customer? How has a product made a difference in someone's life?

    Have someone give a report from CANI material.

    General odds and ends

    o DON'T do it all yourself! Enlist the help of other leaders in the area and other upcoming stars.

    o People are more likely to attend a meeting when they have a job to do.

    o Presenting at a meeting gives consultants the opportunity to grow in their leadership skills and strengthen their personal business skills. This is also a form or recognition!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hive Member Spotlight - Kim Murray - Michigan

Hi! Kim Murray here!!! I'm married (happily for 14 years, together almost 19 total). 3 sweet boys, Parker who is 10, Connor who is 6 and Cameron who is 22 months. We live in Livonia, MI. I'll be 38 on October 19 (1970).

I was driving home one day from a home show (different biz) and thought what would be fun...."Wait, I know. What if guests could create their own perfume scent.....that'd be cool." Decided to look into starting up my own little biz, and after a bunch of research found U.B. And work has been done for me!!!!!! Called McKenna, and she mentioned the new kit would be out soon, and have been waiting since late March/early April to sell when the new kit launched.

Have great supporters......husband tends to get in on the act and help out at home with the packing, contacts, etc.

Rest of my close family...they're excited with anything I they don't really (maybe once to get me going, but their money is all tight).....but support they do. I've been in Direct Sales for over 13 years....12 years with partylite, 4 years with my own start up boutique shows. Have a good customer base, and just willing to try anything new that sounds fun....but mostly if it sounds "unique" and profitable. I like to be the "new kid on the block" with the newest and coolest company. I like building from the ground up and watching it grow. So this is exciting. I think that because I like to see women "LOVE" what I have to offer, this is an easy fit for me.....seems fun! Was a leader in partylite for 11 years, loved it, but was just time for a change. (was making more money in my personal biz with my boutique shows, and with kids I had to give something up).

Personality test.....thought I'd be spice all the way, but it was a tie spicy/floral (which usually I hate floral...but I DOOOO like some of UB's florals a lot). Fruity was a close second. So ya, thought it was pretty on.

Where I'll be in UB. I'm a business builder for sure, but right now I find myself somewhere in between till I catch a breeze, then I'll fly if it suits me well. Right now, I envision myself doing AWESOME! I'm a self motivator and like working at things I like....have done if for so long, I'm good at delegating and setting work hours and committing. Like to work at my own pace (usually that's at fast pace), but like to take rests too. Balance is good.

I'm often called the "entrepreneur" of the bunch. I think my past experience will be a major plus! but because I have "stick-to-it-ness"....that's a good trait for home based businesses. It helps keep me excited cause its fun to watch a biz. build from the ground up...and I love helping the gals around me make a great income and have sponsoring is fun too for me.

Shawna's Note: Welcome Kim! You sound like the perfect addition to The Hive and we're so excited to learn from your past experiences as well!

Effective TEAM MEETINGS - Part 1

Yesterday, my husband's family (parents, siblings and spouses) had a meeting to discuss some long overdue and vital topics regarding `parent care.'

To say that there are strong personalities amongst this particular gathering of folk would be an understatement. I am fairly certain that the delay in the get together was pure avoidance on everyone's part. Not unlike the west, where this time of year a mere spark can set off a forest fire, the potential for a full blown inferno is usually quite high when this group gathers.

In an attempt to circumvent; we resourced a few basic meeting techniques acquired over the years in my direct selling business.

The results, I am pleased to announce were truly beyond amazing. Today, I share the basics of what worked for us.

WHERE? - The meeting was held at a central location that was easy for everyone to get to.
TICK-TOCK - We set a beginning and an END to the meeting (with an emphasis on the END) - as no one wanted to blow their entire Sunday.
WHAT? We had an agenda that was pre-determined, TIMED, and sent out ahead of time to all parties. Copies of the agenda were also available at the meeting.
JOBS! We assigned a facilitator to keep the discussion moving along, a secretary to take notes and a time-keeper (essential in keeping things from getting bogged down)
VISUAL AIDS - A dry erase board served as our “parking lot”. Items raised that were considered to be `rabbit trails' were assigned a place in the parking lot and brought up again for discussion at the end of the meeting. This was invaluable!
REFRESHMENTS - minimal - basically, bring your own beverage.
PARTICIPATION - All parties were encouraged to participate - with no judgment or steam rolling allowed.
IN SUMMARY - At the end of the meeting, we overviewed what had been decided, who was assigned what tasks, deadlines for said tasks, and a meeting date assigned for the next get together.
All in all, the results were amazing. Difficult topics were addressed with some headway made, and for the most part, everyone's toes were in tact. I have no doubt that all this was accomplished, because of the willing attitudes of those in attendance, but also because the `rules' of the day had been set in advance in the form of basic meeting organization.

Tomorrow in Part 2, we will discuss this topic in more detail - including the `why's.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Writing it down - it really DOES work!

I have been telling my husband for years that he should set goals and he has never listened. I'm not exactly sure who or what got to him or why all of a sudden the light bulb went off; but a true miracle has occurred. A few days ago, I needed to look some information up in his planner when I made an amazing discovery. On the first cover page of his appointment book he had written out a full page of goals that he wanted to accomplish. They were physical, psychological and spiritual in nature and were measurable and specific, both in destination and timeline.

The most interesting thing is in the period of time since he wrote those goals, he has accomplished more than 50% of what he set out to do. And while he hadn't chosen to share these goals with me; writing down the goals and keeping them in a place where he would read them daily, clearly had a powerful impact in the results he is experiencing. I guess miracles DO happen.

Summer can be a season when we lose sight of our goals. If you find you are drifting away and are distracted from working your business a good dose of CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement) may be just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Did you brush your teeth today?

toothbrush sex
Probably the answer to that question is “yes”…of course you did. You probably did it without even thinking about it. Brushing your teeth is one of those lifelong habits that you just “do”. Would you agree?

This month's issue of Weight Watcher's magazine had an interesting perspective on exercise. Ideally, exercising should be something you just “do” like brushing your teeth. It needs to be something that we do not question and is a non-negotiable. Nevertheless, in order to make that happen it must be consciously scheduled into our lives. If you work another job in addition to your party plan business, that might mean walking during your lunch hour. If you have small children at home, you may have to get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning. Here is the good news.

Studies show that no single type of exercise works best. One study found that women who participated in aerobics classes had the same weight-loss and fitness results as women who simply increased time and effort spent doing everyday chores.

Staying healthy through physical fitness is an important component to staying balanced for life. We work to keep our family/business relationship balanced as we build our home-based businesses. However, it is just as important to factor in personal health and spiritual well-being.
Summer is an excellent time to begin new habits that will become the building blocks to a more well rounded “you”.

Why not start today by mentally associating brushing your teeth with exercising? If life throws you a curve ball and you cannot “formally” work out, just go about your day with more enthusiasm. Put some jazzy music on the CD; you will be surprised at how much fun and energy it can put into those otherwise “ho-hum” activities like vacuuming, making the beds, or phone work!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Empathize DON'T argue - you will never win!

Do you ever find yourself so passionate about your product or your opportunity that you get into a disagreement with your prospect? In our business, arguing with a customer or a prospective customer will not get you far - even if you are right you will always lose.


“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.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hive Member Spotlight - Trudi Magoon - Michigan

I am a single mom of a 22 year old son, Nathan, who lives at home. We have a 12 year old Cocker Spaniel, Duke and unfortunately, just had to put our other dog, Sadie, to sleep. I was born on October 17th. I grew up in Greenville, MI and lived in Grand Rapids, MI area for 10 years (2nd largest MI city). I have degrees in Accounting and Business with accreditation in Credit/Collections and Purchasing. In 1999 I became ill with TTP and Lupus (SLE) so moved back to Greenville to be closer to family.

With the Lupus I have been unable to work full time for several years. From 2000 – 2004 I owned my own handcrafted candle and bath/body product business; which I sold through craft shows and wholesale to gift shops. And I organized an internet “support” group, held supply co-ops, and organized annual conventions ( I still lend my knowledge to others on internet support groups). Business was growing to the point I was seeking a partner to help me, when I had a flareup of Lupus, so ended up closing the business at the end of 2004.

I have been looking for something else to do since (silly little disease won't stop me!). The idea of a direct sales company appealed to me; because I love the casual sales aspect of it...the fun party vibe that you can't get in a retail store. I also can have lots of control over when and how much I work. I discovered Urban Botanic a year ago while browsing online. I had just tried another direct sale business that didn't work out and was a big disappointment, so I was reluctant to try again. There also was no opportunity to view an actual UB workshop in action. But I just loved the concept of UB so much! And the number of products caught my eye as well. Having sold for other direct sales businesses and my own business in the past, I knew that stocking inventory or keeping up with changing products is a big issue...not so with UB! After a year of debating, my son suddenly said “Mom...just sign up already would you! You've researched it and if you feel you can easily sell it, do it. The biggest payoffs require the biggest risks.” My son, the voice of reason. So I am here and excited. I bought the $500 kit despite the new kits coming out soon. It really is a bargain with the free products. I do plan on purchasing the new kit when it comes out for the fragrance samples, as I see potential in the convenience.

My family, unfortunately, are not risk takers at is outside their comfort zone. I have always been the odd one in the family who thought...just give me a little resources and see what I could achieve. Thankfully, my friends are very supportive. Since I haven't worked in a while I am apprehensive and a little unsure about my abilities right now. I am confident, though, that the support of fellow fragrance designers will give me the little pick me up I need.

I would have guessed my personality test results to be Fruity. I was actually afraid it would turn out to be Floral...I am not a floral fan. My results were Leafy and Spicy; which ,though, it surprised me a bit, I can see it.

I believe I am the only fragrance designer in Michigan at the time I write this and that excites me. I think UB will be an exciting new addition to the home party plans circulating around. I have lots of ideas swirling through my head as to where I will market. I am starting off slowly to see how the Lupus will behave. I have a few friends I am getting scheduled for workshops and am planning on holding a few open houses out of my home to attract others. I am looking forward to sharing UB with everyone I can find. I feel it is a great opportunity for others also and am hoping my enthusiasm will rub off to new recruits. We have a whole state to tackle here. I also like being a mentor to others. Well...I might as well set a goal right year...$1500 a month in sales and 3-4 team members directly under myself who have at least 1 team member under them...or maybe my goal is “The Sky's The Limit!”.

What is one personality trait you have that you think will help you be successful at UB?

My mouth! I love to talk and when I get excited about something, it just runs and everyone else around me catches my enthusiasm bug.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Patricia writes -
Just starting out, did really well the first 2 months, now am at a standstill...I have trouble convincing people who are guests at a party to book a party....I do, but, its here and there not consistant....I need Help!!!!!

Dear Patricia -
Congratulations on your new business - we wish you the best. Thanks for your question - it is certainly one that many struggle with.

We have two thoughts -

Number 1 - Remember, we are in the `sorting' not `convincing' business. If you feel as though you have to convince people to have a party, then you will turn into that pushy sales person that no one wants to deal with. Your job is to effectively sell people on the benefits of hosting one of your parties. Work to do this 3-5 times during the course of your presentation in subtle ways like pointing out one of your popular items and mentioning that as a hostess you can receive it free or greatly discounted.

Number 2 - In order to be consistent with asking each and every person to host a party - during your introduction tell the guests that you will give them FREE SHIPPING on their order if you neglect to ask them to host a party. THAT WAY - it makes YOU accountable and also helps them to expect the question. Soon, asking every guest to host will be a habit for you and we think this will help with your challenges over consistency.
Thanks for writing! -TSF

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Customer Service

We love to focus on customer service! Customer service is one of the most important ingredients of our business that makes sure our customers come back to us time and time again. We have the opportunity to distinguish ourselves over the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world simply by building repoire and caring about our customers. When people look at you as someone who cares, vs. someone who's just “doing their job” or “out to make a sale” they will think of you over and over when they have a need for your products and more importantly, they will refer you to others.

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!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Summer FUN and Business FOCUS!

Yesterday we talked about how to stay focused while enjoying the fun of summer with the kids home from school.

Today, we will share a potpourri of ideas to help you to be intentional about enjoying your summer AND keeping your store open.

Think OUTSIDE the box. Summer is a great time to try some new theme ideas for your parties. There's nothing better than a girl's night out, complete with margaritas to give your home party pizzazz! Tell your hostess you'll bring the salt and the limes!

Bring plenty of catalogs to stamp with you to those swimming lessons and soccer games - it's a good use of your time AND a great conversation starter.

Taking a road trip with the family this summer? Be sure you have a supply of old catalogs with you to leave at the rest stops along the way. Include a sticker that says “For a current catalog or information about earning some extra income flexibly - call …”

Summertime means fairs, festivals and farmer's markets. Vendors are always welcome. Booths are a wonderful way to branch out and meet new customers so be sure you don't miss these great opportunities.

How about organizing a neighborhood block party? What a great way to meet your neighbors and find out who else is running a home based business. You might even consider offering to put together a local directory to help folks be in touch.

Feeding your mind in the summer is easier than ever. If your company has a summer convention - don't miss it!

Long distance driving and your morning jog goes much faster while listening to CD's.
Need a good read for those lazy days on the beach? Feed your mind with a good read. Dare to Dream is one of the best books out there on building your business!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer FUN and Business FOCUS - Part 1

Can FUN and FOCUS co-exist in our home based business during the summer months?
With the kiddos home from school, schedules are altered. The neighborhood pool beckons, BBQ's and picnics are aplenty, family vacations loom ahead, etc; The FUN is just waiting to begin. Who wants to think about focusing on business?

Well, this year marks my 23rd of having a home business and I am here to tell you that the answer is ABSOLUTELY! You CAN have a fun business and still have a business focus in the summer. All it takes is a little thinking outside the box and INTENTIONAL planning.

Here are some strategies for working with your children home during the summer.
1. Re-think your office hours. Consider making them shorter (for example, just two hours in the morning each day Monday through Friday). The kids are usually fresher in the morning and can do chores or entertain themselves. After lunch, they will be ready for the day's activities.

2. Speaking OF the day's activities - I always found my children were much more cooperative when there was a `carrot' each day related to good behavior. For example, if Mom can make phone calls for two hours, then we will go to the pool, zoo, or park after lunch. For smaller children, you may need a smaller block of time and also make use of the kitchen timer.

3. When taking your children to various activities, don't forget your `traveling office'. An expanding file works nicely. Stock it with business cards, catalogs, order forms, recruiting applications and be sure your party calendar is with you as well. You never know where you might meet a new potential customer.

4. Logo wear is a MUST in the summer. Get out those tee shirts, caps, and tote bags. The key is to BE SEEN!

5. Summer is also a great time to start to break in new babysitters in the form of Mom's helpers. There is nothing a preschooler likes more than a gregarious 10-year old to play with while mom is working.

Tomorrow, we will share more ideas for FUN and FOCUS during the summer months.
Need some ideas for new business? The summer is a GREAT time to expand your customer base. Check out our website for our newest CD release - “Expanding your Customer Base beyond Friends and Family”

Monday, June 2, 2008

Recruiting part 3 - Are you ready?

Yesterday, we discussed how to avoid that PUSHY feeling and also had a brief mention of Green Flags. Today we discuss another reason some people do not recruit -

Reason # 2 - I am not ready!

v What if someone expresses an interest in the business…NOW WHAT?
Ø I have NO idea what to say
Ø I have NO idea how to do a recruiting appointment
Ø I have NO idea what paperwork to fill out
Ø I have NO idea what I would do with someone who joined my team
Sound familiar?

Maybe these are not your personal fears but read this email with two sets of eyes please and think about the people on your team. Some of them have any or all of these questions with regards to recruiting.

What to say…The biggest mistake we all make, especially as new consultants, is that we say TOO MUCH! Especially if we have learned to identify Green Flags (see yesterday's email). Someone asks us a question about our business and we LAUNCH, leaving our poor `victims' with hurricane hair. Remember, we have one mouth and two ears! When someone asks a question about your business such as, “How many nights a week do you do this?”, feel free to answer BRIEFLY and then say… “I'm curious, why do you ask?” then please CLOSE YOUR MOUTH and wait for the answer. It will be hard, but do your best!

How to do a recruiting appointment-tomorrow's email topic.
How do I fill out the paperwork - obviously this is unique for each company. Please check with your recruiter if you are unsure and then PRACTICE filling it out so that you are comfortable! Sounds silly, but it's a smart idea!

What do I do with someone who joins my team? Again, training is unique to each company…your job is to educate yourself (via your recruiter or upline) as to what training resources are available through local meetings, the internet and conference calls. Also, (of course), get them subscribed to our FREE tips! As a new recruiter, you are the first resource to your new team member for any questions she may have. Don't worry! If you don't know all the answers, there is a good support system in place via your upline management and the company so use it!

Obviously, it is important also to have recruiting information and materials stocked as part of your business supplies. Carry this information with you wherever you go, just as you do your hostess information. YOUR GOAL is to become as comfortable signing new team members as you are scheduling parties. REMEMBER, we do the same job, same job, same job! If you can sell your product, you can book a party. If you can book a party, you can sign up a new recruit. These are all the same skills, you are just selling different products!

Learn to be a listener!
Read tomorrow's email for tips on recruiting appointments
If you don't know already, learn about what paperwork you need to fill out to sign someone up.
Check out your company's training information
Be a good buddy to your new team member, answer what questions you can, and get help with the questions you can't answer!
Remember that we are ALWAYS doing the SAME JOB!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Recruiting Part 2

We continue on our study of recruiting and discovering why it is that more people do not take advantage of the opportunity to truly build residual income in this business.

REASON #1… “I don't want to be PUSHY.” Probably the most common fear associated with recruiting.

Where does that fear come from?

The consultant is thinking more about herself than the potential recruit. Her fear of what that person will think of her exceeds the need to offer the opportunity. Therefore she says nothing.
Perhaps she had a negative experience with an “overly enthusiastic” sales person. She would never want to be perceived in that way and therefore, she says nothing.

Negative reinforcement from people in her life who she respects (relatives, close friends). We've all been there…ah yes, here are some of the things I heard when I first began in the business…

Ø (from my sister)… “You are doing WHAT? Do you need money? I'll give you money!
Ø (from my mother)… “Oh, certainly (that person I work with) is only buying from you as a favor to me!”
Ø (from a good friend)… “Now that you are in the party plan business, are you going to be bugging all of us all the time to sign up?”
Ø (from another good friend)… “Oh, we won't even talk to you about the business. We had SUCH a bad experience with…”
Ø (from a variety of people) … “Oh you are doing THAT? Isn't that one of those `pyramid schemes?'”
o Working through the fear, how do we filter out negative comments from important people in our lives in order to be able to hear green flags signs that someone is interested in the business? Sometimes those negative comments are replaying in our heads so loudly, that we can't hear when people say to us things like…
Ø “How's that going for you?”
Ø “Did you have to buy all your samples?”
Ø “Did you have a good night tonight (translation, how much money did you make?)”
Ø “How many nights a week do you do this?”
Ø “How did you get started doing this?”
Ø “You look like you really enjoy what you do!”

There truly is a very big psychological component to sales. And no matter how you hedge it, we are in the business of SALES! There it is, we've said it aloud. It boils down to your belief system. Do you believe in what you are selling (your product, the hostess and the business opportunity?) If you don't, then you need to get your head on straight. To our knowledge, none of the TSF subscribers are selling something illegal. All of us are selling something that will benefit someone. The key is remembering that. Adopt an unshakeable faith in your company and your product and stick with it. Do your best to develop a thick skin and not take things personally (and yes, this can be difficult with those people you care about in your life). We sort, we don't convince. Our job is to ask good questions in order to see if our product or service is a good fit for our potential customer. Once you learn to focus on what they need and not on yourself, you will find things go a lot smoother. SWSWSWSW NEXT is your daily mantra. SOME WILL, SOME WON'T, SO WHAT?.....SOMEONE'S WAITING…NEXT!

If you are fearful that you will be perceived as being pushy, say what you fear most. You might be surprised at the response that you get. Many years ago, a very good friend joined my team. This was someone I had grown up with and our families were as close as blood elatives. She became a leader in my downline and was with me for many years and grew a very organization of her own. Here's the interesting part of the story - it took me SEVEN YEARS to recruit her. Now, you would suppose that she would have written me off as a friend over that period of time or that I would have given up, right? But, to this day, long after our business relationship has come and gone we are still very close friends - neither of us would have it any other way. I worked all that time to recruit her because her need was crystal clear - she needed an extra income but is a mom of 4 active children. In my heart of heart, I knew it was a good fit for her and also that she would be great because she was a wonderful people person and a very hard worker (which I always told her). From time to time (maybe 3-4 times a year), I would contact her about joining my team. I would ALWAYS preface every phone call by saying - “Janet, I am really feeling like a pest here and you know our relationship is much more important than my business. Do I have your permission to tell you about what's happening right now with my company?” Her answer was always yes, and then for seven years there was always some reason or another why she couldn't join right then. I would always close our conversation with, “May I stay in touch, and can I count on you to tell me to buzz off when you are sick of hearing about the business?” So you see, I always had her permission to check in and I always gave her permission to let me know when she was no longer interested. Eventually timing for her family was right and she enjoyed many years with our company.

1) FAYC (Forget About Yourself Completely)
2) Have an unshakeable faith in your product, and your company
3) ALWAYS think about and STATE to your prospect
a) How they would benefit from your product or services
b) Why they would be a good fit for your company
4) Say what you fear most - by being honest and forthright, your prospect will respect you and listen to what you have to say (in most instances)
5) Remember, we are in the SORTING not the CONVINCING business - it's important to develop THICK SKIN!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Recruiting- The Recruiting Appointment

Yesterday, we reminded you that recruiting someone requires the same skills as booking a party. That said, you need to become as comfortable doing a recruiting appointment as you are doing a party presentation. As with anything, practice makes perfect. You will probably have to have some “wipe outs” before you get good at it, but your first couple of parties probably had some hiccups in them, right? Don't be afraid not to be perfect - just go for it!

One great format to use when doing a recruiting appointment comes from a great friend of TSF and longtime party salesperson, Barb Montgomery. Barb calls this the 7-step recruiting appointment. It is a great one to use because you can actually put a key word from each step on a 3x5 note card and carry it with you to the appointment to help to keep you on track. The whole appointment should be 30-45 minutes in length. Here is how it goes:

Step 1 - Build rapport. This is easy - take a few minutes as you arrive to warm up to your prospect (just as you would in any social situation). Compliment her on her home, ask about her family, what has she enjoyed about past job experiences - whatever. (Write the letter “R” or Rapport on your note card)

“Sub-step” before going on to Question #2 - Let her know you will be talking about the benefits of the business, how we make money, where to find business, support and kit options. Ask her if she has any additional “burning questions”**

** (This is important because if you don't give her this opportunity - she may have an unstated question that will weigh so heavily on her mind, she won't be listening to the rest of your presentation)

(Write the word “QUESTIONS” on your note - card or the letter “Q” or “?”.)
Step 2 - Talk about the benefits of the business and find out which of these are the most appealing to her. Some examples are: Flexible scheduling, Be Your Own Boss, Unlimited Earning potential, Great Products, Friends, Recognition, etc; Then ask her which of these benefits appeal to her most? (Try to get her to identify two benefits).

(Write the word “BENEFITS” or “B” on your note card. You may also want to list the benefits on the back for your reference)

Sample transition statement to Step 3 - We all love what we do and the great thing is that it isn't a volunteer job - we actually get paid to do what we love! Would you like to know how you make money in this business?

Step 3 - Explain how we make money, briefly and simply. Again, this will be unique to each company. Get help from your upline or recruiter if you feel unsure as to how to easily explain your company's career plan.

(Write the word “MONEY” or “$” on your note card.) Make any additional notes on the back if you need them.

Sample transition statement to Step 4 - Let's talk for a moment about where you will find business, OK?

Step 4 - Where to find business. Think about questions that you can ask her to help her discover for herself all the people she knows and the contacts she has. AGAIN - we are doing the SAME JOB - use your Hostess coaching skills here. Some sample questions might be - tell me about your life. Do you currently work outside the home? Do you have family in the area? Do you go to church or are your kids in activities? THEN please BE QUIET and wait for her to answer. By saying, see, you know lots of people - you will be reassuring her that she will not have problems building a business.

(Write-Where to find Business or WHERE on your note card)
Sample transition statement to Step 5 - The great thing about our company is all the training and support you will get, no matter where in the country you live!

Step 5 - Talk about the support she will receive from you and from your company. You might want to show her your company's web page (if accessing a computer is convenient), a sample newsletter or a piece of training information. Let her know that she is not alone out there - there is lots of help available.

(Write- HELP on your note card)
Sample transition statement to Step 6 - Show her the kit options that your company offers.
Step 6 - Kit options

Some companies have only one kit and some have several. If your company has several options, be prepared to suggest a good choice for her. If you only have one type of kit, just show her what she will get and then move right into

Step 7
(Write the word KIT on your note card)
Step 7 - CLOSE

This is the most important step of all. You can do it in a variety of ways
Discuss payment options (deposit vs. payment in full, check vs. charge)
Or simply say something like- So, what do you think? Or How does that sound?
(Write the word CLOSE or the letter C on your note card. DO NOT AVOID or DELETE this step. It is like doing a party and leaving without taking orders!)
FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK and help her begin listing names of potential customers, hostesses and recruits. Schedule her Grand Opening party!

Build rapport - get her questions
Talk about the benefits
Talk about how you make money
Talk about where to find business
Discuss support and training
Go over kit options
CLOSE and get her started!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The “R” word…

The “R” word - I think you know what I'm talking about - Recruiting (also called sponsoring, signing someone up, getting someone happily involved in the business, etc;)

However you describe it, we are talking about building a team and it is something that some consultants avoid when they first join the business themselves. In fact, some consultants never do begin to build a team. More often than not, those consultants do not last long in the business.
We sell three products in party plan. We sell our products - the items featured in our catalogs and on our company website, we sell hosting - the opportunity to get products for free or at a discount by having a party and finally we sell the business - the opportunity to earn money by selling the products as a consultant.

In our business we are unique in that we can give ourselves a raise anytime we want. We can sell more products either by increasing the average customer order or increasing the number of guests at parties. We can also find others who would also like to join us in the business - the R word - RECRUIT.

One of my uplines once said that we should all walk around with a penny in one pocket and a quarter in the other. The penny represents the money we make selling product and the quarter represents what we make when we build a team.

So, if ultimately more money, residual income, is to be made by team building, why is “Recruiting” a dirty word to some people in this business?

As always, a mini-series is in the works and this one is on the phenomenon of recruiting. Even if you are an ace recruiter yourself, we hope you will tune in as you may have team members who are not recruiting. We plan to help you understand why.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Please tell us you are old enough to remember the famous K-Mart “blue light specials”! You know the deal, the P.A. system announces… “Attention K-Mart shoppers, in just 30 seconds and for the next 5 minutes, there will be a blue light special featuring our special house dresses in aisle 3…” Suddenly, there is a stampede of women all running over one another with their shopping carts in an effort to get to the cart featuring those lovely flowered garments.
OK, where are we going with this…today's topic, to discount or not to discount…that is the question.

TSF recently received an email from a consultant in a party plan business (to remain nameless), offering 25% off her products. We receive one of these emails from this same consultant about every other week…always offering some kind of discount on her products.
Now, while we are all independent consultants and therefore running our own businesses; for the most part it is our decision whether or not to discount (although some party plan companies strictly forbid this practice). If you are considering discounting your products, you may want to consider the following:

1) Discounting regularly “cheapens” your product.

2) Discounting regularly makes it sound like you believe your products are too expensive.

3) Discounting regularly makes your customers believe your products are too expensive.

4) Discounting regularly makes your customers NEVER want to purchase at full price.

5) Discounting and emailing your customers too frequently can make you a pest vs. a service.

The key phrase here is “discounting regularly”. While we believe an occasional sale for preferred customers/hostesses is a wonderful “thank you”; we think the above thoughts are worth taking into account as well…would you agree?

Friday, May 23, 2008



Répondez S'il Vous Plaît - (RSVP) French for Please Respond. Please respond - not respond if you are coming or respond if you are not coming. BUT - PLEASE RESPOND! I was once told it stood for:

Respond so VERY promptly!

Depending on your season of life, this time of year you may find your mailbox filled with a daily assortment of invitations to graduation parties, baby showers and/or wedding invitations.As the mom of a soon-to-be high school graduate, I am getting a humbling dose of what our party plan hostesses experience.

Despite asking for an RSVP, at three days prior to my daughter's graduation party - I have only a slight idea of how many guests to plan for. Many friends and family have yet to be in touch and many more are “still deciding”. Not only is this maddening in terms of preparation, but it is disappointing. In an ideal world everyone comes to MY child's event, at the exclusion of all other conflicts. Yes, this is an unrealistic expectation I know - but a mom can dream, right?
The thing that I am finding is making a difference, however, in terms of attendance is the personal contact I have been making with people. It goes something like this -
“Hey, by the way, are you going to be joining us on Sunday?”

“I don't know - we still are trying to decide because (blah, blah, blah yah-dee, yah)…“OK, well it is going to be a blast - a great excuse just to sit around, eat and enjoy one another's company. We would SO love to see you.”

“Oh, I know - we are really going to try - I'll let you know for sure as soon as we know what's happening.”

(Can you see how a script similar to the one above might be good to share with your hostesses when they are inviting their friends to their product party?)

Now comes the part where I would love a `party consultant' to step in. The day before the party it would be SO nice if someone else did a quick follow-up phone call to all the `maybe's' and `haven't heard from yets' on my guest list and just said…

“Hi, I'm the consultant for the graduation party on Sunday. Our hostess is just making final preparations for food and seating and wanted to know if you'd made your decision about coming yet. She would REALLY like to see you!”

How much easier and less awkward THAT feels than talking to my friends and family once again!

Some of you have written in to ask HOW you get the invitation list from your hostesses in order to do day before reminder phone calls to her guests. The point in this graduation party anecdote is to help you make a mental paradigm shift. When YOU truly wrap your head around it, I promise that your attitude will change and your challenges in this area of your business will become a thing of the past.

1. Making reminder calls is as much a part of your job as bringing your samples in, setting up your display and selling your product. It is part of the service that you offer - period.

2. Once you truly `own' #1, you will have a different attitude when coaching your hostesses. Your attitude MUST and will be - “this is what I do, this is my service to you. The day before reminder calls must be made. If you do it, it will take all day. If I do it, it will take me 45 minutes!”

3. REPEAT AFTER ME - A phone call or personal contact TRUMPS an e-vite hands down. Even an answering machine message left is more effective than an e-vite. E-vites are too simple to decline. The importance of THIS FACT when coaching your hostesses again cannot be denied. An e-vite is OK as a supplemental invitation, but not the primary invitation.

Your job is to help your hostess have the most successful party she can. The only way that this can happen is if she works WITH YOU to help her guests feel like they would truly be missing out on something wonderful by not attending. The last thing any of us wants is a disappointed hostess. Time and time again our hostesses can go through tons of preparation for their party, only to have mediocre results. This is NOT what you want. Once you begin to experience success getting your invitation lists from your hostesses and doing those calls for her, you will find that it will become the `norm' for you and no longer a challenge

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When are you at your best?

One of the beauties of a home based business is the flexibility that it gives us. There is also a dangerous component of that flexibility and that is that we have the potential of “flexing ourselves right OUT of the business.”

In order to be successful, we must work our businesses consistently. That is a given. However, look at when you are most effective and schedule your work time accordingly.

When is your energy level the highest? Are you an “early bird” or a “late night owl”? When you sit down to make your plan for the week, look at what your goal for the week is. What activities do you need to do in order to accomplish that goal? Knowing who you are in terms of your natural body rhythms is important in working your business with the best results possible.

For example, if you are a late night person, when you come home from an evening party; work off that natural “ post-party adrenaline rush” by making some notes on the order forms of the guests you just met to jog your memory about them in the future. If the party closed that night, go ahead and submit your order to Home Office. Evenings after dinner probably will your best time to do customer calls. Communicating this to your spouse and scheduling specific nights that he/she will deal with the kids will help you to capitalize on your body's natural time clock.

For you early birds, the same can hold true but you will want to be working first thing in the morning. Do paperwork and make notes while the house is still quiet in the morning; and get creative getting daytime childcare help. Summer is a great time to hire a local Jr. High student as a mom's helper to play with the kids while you work one or two days a week. You can also considering trading time for time with a neighbor or friend who has children with similar ages.
Knowing when you are at your best will also help you to choose when you are at your best for training your team as well.

Now, we know that in a perfect world all this is possible. We will always have times that we must work when we are not necessarily at the top of our energy level. Nonetheless, being cognizant of who we are can help us in our quest for balance between business, personal and family life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Servant's Heart

In yesterday's mail, we got a flier and a business card from the realtor who sold us our house 14 years ago. She moved back to the area after living several years out of state and, due to the recent death of her husband, is re-establishing her real estate practice. It brought a smile to my face and the thought that she'd definitely get our contract if and when we sell our home.
In our town, as in most communities, there's no scarcity of realtors. This time of year, the For Sale signs on homes and empty lots are as prevalent and varied as the spring flowers. Rarely a week goes by without a mailing from some local realtor. Why, after all these years, would we remain loyal to Maureen? There were several factors, all related to our current topic of SERVICE.

~ She asked good questions related to our needs in a home and showed us homes that fit the criteria we provided.

~ She stayed in touch, followed up and returned our calls promptly

~ She was polite and professional, always arriving on time and always prepared for our appointments.

~ She always answered our questions and when unable to do so, got the answers we needed in a timely fashion

~ She was always happy to see us

~ She didn't give up, despite the fact that it took over 6 months to sell our old home and find a new home.

~ She took a personal interest in us, always asking after the kids by name as well as networking with our businesses. This behavior continued even AFTER our closing.

~ For the duration of time that she practiced in our area before moving away, she stayed in touch, even showing up at our door with a Christmas gift each year.

Wouldn't you agree, that most, if not all of the above practices could be transferred to our party plan businesses? The most basic guideline you can follow is to treat other's as you would most like to be treated and to remember that when you truly maintain a servant's heart towards your customers, hostesses and team members, you will be richly rewarded.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Goal setting can be a daunting task. How does one move from “I'm just going to see how it goes” to a concrete business plan based on concrete goals?

We hope that the following questionnaire will help you to solidify your thoughts:


Describe, in as much detail as you can, your “ideal” life.

What improvements, growth experiences, etc. do you want for your own personal growth?

Where do you want to be personally in:
1 year?
3 years?
5 years?


What changes are likely in your family life in:

1 year?
3 years?
5 years?

What are your personal priorities and time commitments? (Consider personal time, marriage, children, community, etc.)


What is important for you to achieve professionally?

Where do you want to be professionally in:
1 year?
3 years?
5 years?

How much time do you want to commit to your business?
Per week?
Per day?

WHAT ARE YOUR INCOME NEEDS (after real expenses)?

Think about things you want, ie.,mortgage, car payment, college,vacations, housekeeper, tuition expenses, etc.

What are your net income objectives in:
1 year?
3 years?
5 years?

Think about/look over your categories of business expense.

Which items are optional expenses?

What are your three largest expense items?

For what expense categories are you unsure if your investment is necessary or an appropriate amount?


What would the accomplishment of that goal mean to you?

What must you do to reach that goal? (sales, recruiting, Manager promotions, etc;)


What I want MINUS Time available = REALISTIC OBJECTIVE

Is there a conflict between your career/income objectives and your personal/family objectives?

What factors are causing the conflict?

What possible modifications can you make to reduce the conflict?

What would be the benefits of these modifications?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do you dream or do you set goals?

The difference between a dream and a goal is simple. The definition of a dream is: to imagine as possible. The definition of a goal is: the result toward which effort is directed. ***EFFORT is the key word***

Look at your business. Are you dreaming or are you setting goals?

To set a goal, you need to do four simple things:

Make your goal specific

Have a time line.

Be accountable

Very important - Identify the barriers to achieving your goal

If you need help, call your upline or a business buddy and break it down into bite-sized pieces. If your goal is too big, you run the risk of becoming `paralyzed' and thereby unable to begin the work needed to achieve it.

It is nearly June - half the year is already over. Where do you want your business to be by December 31st?

It is OK to dream in order to formulate a goal - but remember that dreaming is imagining. Be concrete. Set the goal and challenge yourself to achieve it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the wonderful designers that are also Mothers, I hope you enjoy a special day and this great blog on commitment. Motherhood being the ultimate commitment of course!

Happy Mothers Day

Subject: Committing to the Commitment
By Dr. John C. Maxwell

At the age of 67, Thomas Edison watched as fire destroyed much of his work and equipment. Time to retire? To hang up the lab coat?
No way.

“All our mistakes are burned up,” the inventor said. “Now we can start anew.”
There is a time to quit, but Edison knew his time hadn't come. The fire that consumed his work didn't destroy the fire that burned within him to continue his work. Edison's commitment remained.

People tend to associate commitment with emotions. If they feel the right way, then they can follow through on their commitments. But true commitment doesn't work that way. Commitment is not an emotion; it's a character quality that enables us to reach our goals.
Emotions go up and down all the time, but commitment must remain rock solid. A solid team - whether it's in business, sports, marriage or a volunteer organization - must have team players who are solidly committed to the team.

Let's look at four things every team player needs to know about being committed:

Commitment is usually discovered in the midst of adversity.

Commitment does not depend on gifts and abilities.

Commitment results from choices, not conditions.

Commitment lasts when it is based on values.

Commit to your commitments and goals today!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Responsibility and its Organizational Implications

Victim Mindset

I view myself as separate and disconnected from situations as they occur. Circumstances and events happen to me. I belive there is nothing I can do to affect the situation.~Resist/Complain/Blame~Enroll others in negativty~False alignment/sabotage~Do Nothing

Responsible Mindset

I view myself as an integral factor in all situations. Every situation occurs and/or unfolds as it does in some measure as a direct outcome of my actions, non-actions and interpretations.I belive there is always something I can do to affect the situation. ~Cause a breakthrough~Inspire others to take a new action~Create a new outlook on the facts~Explore possibilities

The Trium Group

TSF loves The Trium Group's interpretation of the difference in having a victim mindset and a responsible mindset when building your business and your organization. Remember a leader with a positive outlook means you need to get OUT of the problem and INTO the solution!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

When life throws you a curve ball…

Life happens and sometimes, we get thrown a curve ball. A job layoff, an unplanned pregnancy, a divorce or separation, challenges with children, a serious - even life threatening illness, or even the unexpected death of someone close. This is life and life happens.

Suddenly this crisis, whatever it may be, moves into your life and begins monopolizing everything. Your time, which was already at a premium, becomes more precious than ever.
How do you continue to work and grow a home-based business when crisis happens?
As with most of our tips - we write from personal experience. So…what DO you do when `life happens'?

1) First and foremost allow yourself some time to process, grieve and regroup. The beauty of being self-employed is that you don't have to ask the boss for time off of work.

2) DO communicate what's going on with key people in your organization and your home office if need be. It's OK to ask for help.

3) DO allow others to help you. If they want to cook a meal for your family or take over some of your duties temporarily - let them!

4) DO let the non-essentials slide - this is a great time to let go of any tendencies towards perfectionism that you might have.

5) DO make use of a laptop and cell phone if possible. This way you can still do business from wherever you may need to be.

6) DO make lists and use pockets of time. You can be very productive with a 15 minute pocket if you have a list that you are working from.

7) DO cut yourself some slack. This may be a time of re-assessing your goals at least temporarily and that too is OK.

8) DO surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts.

Now more than ever this is SO important. The power of prayer is amazing - try it if you haven't and don't be afraid to ask others to pray for you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What to do when it's not FUN anymore…

“We all have a point at which we want to quit. We all have a breaking point. We all have a time when we question what we are doing, especially if it's difficult. Usually the number one sign is when we say, `This is no longer fun. It's just not worth it.'…

You must understand this and realize that at some point it's going to happen to you. You must understand the power of these psychological traps and do everything you can to combat them…”From Rick Pitino's book Success is a Choice

How full is your booking calendar? Is your team thriving? Do you even HAVE a team? Are you having fun with your business - and if you are not, why not?

The month of May can present its own unique set of challenges. While to us, the milder weather and abundance of sunshine should herald the proliferance of parties - often we find that our priorities are not the same as those of our customers. Graduation parties, end of the year activities, garage sales, weddings and showers all vie for the attention of our hostesses and their potential guests. The month of May can be a more challenging month to schedule parties that are well attended and that do not cancel.

How will you handle these challenges? Do you have a game plan or will you just toss in the towel because it is too hard?

“No matter what kind of business you have, if you are not committed to a `failure is not an option' mindset, you are setting yourself up for failure, says Neil Anderson, president of The Courage Group, a consulting firm for entrepreneurs.

In his book, Success is a Choice, Rick Pitino explains and dissects the importance of mental attitude in growing a business.

TSF is excited to offer you this book at 25% off - but only while supplies last. This is a resource that you will reference time and time again. It also makes a great Father's Day gift for that not-so-easy-to-buy-for man in your life! Visit our website and order your copy today!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Telephone challenges…

Tammi writes…I'd love to hear you address this issue some time... I am a stay-at-home mom and the best time for me to make phone calls is during my toddler's nap time (once I pick up my older kids from school, I feel lucky if I get time to go to the bathroom in private, much less make professional phone calls! Homework, dinner, bath, family time, screaming toddler, etc...) Most of the time, the people I call are not home during my toddler's afternoon nap and I have to leave a message. My question is twofold... What is the best thing to say on an answering machine (don't want to sound pushy or desperate and want a way to want them to return my call)... and is it OK to call people's cell phone number even if you think they may be at work (keep in mind many are people who filled out a form at a fair and I don't know them).

Dear Tammi,
Oh boy - I remember well the days when my office hours were 1-3pm. It was naptime for my toddler, preschool time for my son and those were my office hours - period. I can also remember having the same frustrations that you are experiencing when people who I needed to talk to, weren't home. What's a mother to do? Well, here are some ideas that have been shared by some consultants in the past and also that I have used over the years that have helped with this delicate business/family balance issue.

1) One of the most successful consultants in our company built her business to over 400 consultants within her first 2 years by focusing on moving ahead her business by doing one positive thing each day. It was so successful in fact, that our company adapted it into a `battle cry' for all consultants to mirror. It was called “One a Day”. Daily, you focused on doing just one positive thing: Book a party, schedule a recruiting appointment, hold a recruiting appointment or sell some product.

2) When making contact with people ALWAYS ask them what a good daytime number is for you. And, if they are giving you their cell phone number - ask them if you have permission to use it.
3) Saturday mornings from 9am-11am is a wonderful time to reach people at home as are Sunday evenings. These were times that my husband and I `negotiated' child care.
4) On Fridays, I had a friend who I hired for three hours in the morning to take my daughter so that I could do phoning. I found that having one day a week when I was following up with those who I couldn't reach during nap time really helped.

5) I traded time for time with a friend. We would take turns watching one another's children. This way, again, I had a time other than naptime when I could reach people.

6) When leaving a message, I always tried to say something that would entice them to want to pick up the phone the next time I called or perhaps call me back. “Oh I am so sorry I missed you! There are some exciting things going on right now that I just know you'll want to hear about. Call me at: 555-5555 if you have a moment. But if I don't hear from you - I'll try you again.

7) If I have left multiple messages with no luck - then I will leave a message that says: “I am feeling like such a pest and that is the last thing I'd like to be. I know you are busy and I don't want to presume that you are no longer interested - but if you'd do me a favor and just leave me a voice mail at 555-5555 to let me know one way or the other - that would be great! Thanks. (The key is that if you tell them to leave a voice mail, then they are more likely to call because they don't think they'll get you in person.)

8) Instead of flipping on the TV on evenings when a party cancelled, I sat in the office and did my phoning anyway. This, like the Saturday morning/Sunday night calls were points of negotiation with my husband.

The bottom line is that you will have to get creative. I found that the more money I made with my business, the more cooperative my husband became in terms of co-parenting. If you are just playing with your business and it is more of a hobby that costs your family money vs. a viable money making business - you can hardly blame a spouse for being less than cooperative. OUCH…a challenging but necessary message to hear and consider.

Thanks for writing in! We love to hear from you! - TSF

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For those of you new to the hive...

Treasure Mapping is a wonderful way to really set your business on fire. Here are the steps as outlined by The Success Factory...

“When the `why' is there, the `how' gets easy” - Jim Rohn

Treasure mapping is an activity designed to help you visualize your goals. It serves as a concrete reference point that will keep your `why' in front of you every day.

A treasure map can be simple or complex. When complete the end result is a collage of pictures and/or words and phrases that help you to focus on what you want tobe, to do, andhave. The finished product can be small enough to hang on a bathroom mirror or it can be larger and serve as a focal point to hang in your office. It may be mounted on poster or core board or be pages of a scrapbook if you desire.

A treasure map is never set in stone. It is fluid and can be added to and amended as your dreams change and crystalize.

Visualization is a powerful key in goal setting. Allow yourself the time and thought to do this activity. It will be time well spent.

Homework to do in advance:
Pull out some old magazines and page through them. Don't think too hard. Let your mind run wild and have fun fantasizing! As you browse, go through and cut out pictures and phrase that leap off the page at you. You might find phrases like “A place of my own” or pictures of a desirable vacation destination, a pair of running shoes (to symbolize a fitness goal) or even a graduation cap.

Optional and time permitting: Is there is something very concrete that you have been imagining about? Perhaps it is a house you pass each day that you would LOVE to live in, a new couch for your family room, or even a business to invest in. Get out your camera, take some photos…allow yourself to DREAM BIG!

Supplies to bring to the conference:

Poster board of any size (or scrapbook if you desire)
Glue or glue stick
Colored markers (if you are feeling artistic)
Magazines for sharing and continued “snipping”
Your homework (see above)

What to do:
Let out your inner child. Begin to edit and collage your homework onto your poster board or into your scrapbook. Even if you are not particularly “artsy” the end result will be a focal point that you can use as a powerful visual. It will be a concrete reminder of your `why' that you will be able to reference as often as needed. When life and work become challenging, this treasure map will help keep you motivated from within. ENJOY!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Attitude is EVERYTHING

We just got back from dining out with my family for Sunday dinner - a rarity as our busy schedules make it difficult for everyone to be available. The restaurant was a favorite - one where, historically, we knew the food and service were good…usually.

Our waitress today, was very competent - every order was correct, delicious and the food delivered in a timely fashion. However, hard as we tried, we could not get her to warm up to us at all (and we are a friendly bunch). She had a drill sergeant attitude in the way she greeted, took orders and served our lunch. It made for a most uncomfortable situation whenever she came to the table. We managed to have a good time, nonetheless, but it really tempered the afternoon a bit - her attitude was a dark and cloudy as the cloudy, rainy day outside.

It made me think how important OUR attitude is when we do our parties. Often, getting our families settled into dinner or homework and getting ourselves out of the house in a timely fashion can leave us tense, crabby and frazzled. If we are not careful, that attitude comes right in the door along with our display of samples.

Here are some tips to help you arrive at your destination refreshed, relaxed and ready for FUN!
1) Cut down on stress by being sure your car is packed up the night before your party or in the morning. This will leave one less thing to worry about when you leave.

2) Have two or three “standard” demonstration outfits that you always wear - this avoids a last minute clothing crisis.

3) Consider hiring a neighborhood teenager as a mom's helper to smooth the transition time as you depart.

4) Cook double so that on the nights you are working, you already know what dinner for your family will be - pull out that crock pot!

5) Know where you are going in advance! Double check the directions your hostess gives you online so you aren't stressed if you are traveling somewhere unfamiliar AND so you know how to get home!

6) Be sure you have a cell phone in case of emergency.

7) Carry a great CD of upbeat `traveling tunes' in your car to chase that departure stress away and get you pumped up for a great evening.

Remember, packing a great attitude is as critical as your samples in order to have a successful evening! If you are having fun, they will have fun. And if THEY have fun, why wouldn't they want to join your TEAM?!!!