Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm having a baby!

So I'm going to be offline for the next 2 weeks and just wanted to post in case anyone forgets! Don't forget to check out for all the pics and details! I'm scheduled for Monday at 12:30 PST to have little man. I'll miss you all XXOO

Expect to see me back online 2nd week of April!


baby boy

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Money sitting on the shelf…

If I heard this phrase once, I heard it a million times from my accountant husband. Inventory is money sitting on the shelf.

Now, while some companies do not allow their consultants to order and carry inventory, mine did. For some of us, because we work many booths and conferences in the springtime, inventory can be a necessary evil, so-to-speak. People come to these events and expect to be able to purchase items on the spot.

However, if you carry (or plan on carrying) inventory - here are some things to keep in mind.
Don't purchase inventory from your `paycheck'. A few days ago, we talked about the 60-20-20 rule in terms of budgeting. (60% is your pay, 20% to reinvest and 20% discretionary). Inventory purchase is an example of discretionary spending.

DO remember, that if you purchase inventory, while it may make your personal sales look amazing for the month - if you don't sell the inventory, it just takes a bite out of what you are selling next month (assuming you are filling orders with inventory that following month)
Don't get into the habit of purchasing inventory to `make numbers'. (Been there, done that) - nothing takes a bigger chunk out of your ability to pay your bills than when you've reinvested your profits back into inventory. Product does NOT translate into milk and eggs at the grocery store.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Are you ready?

A customer phoned me yesterday to place a catalog order. As luck would have it, I was sitting in front of the computer and on the internet. I was able to quickly access my company's website, take her order and check to see how I might be of service in the future.

Are you ready to service your customers quickly and easily? Unfortunately, we aren't always at our computers when people call, but there are some things that you can do in order to make any dealings with your customers as professional as possible.

Have a list of unavailable products readily available.

Have a catalog, calculator, and phone message pad by each phone in your home.

KNOW IN YOUR HEAD when your next several available party dates are so that you can easily offer to schedule a show.

DON'T FORGET to ASK anyone who calls - no matter what they are calling about - if they know of anyone who might be interested in more information about joining you in the business.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm just going to make some fliers….

… “and leave them on my neighbor's doors…”

This is the way so many new recruits decide to start their party plan businesses. And,
while this is certainly a very acceptable, non-threatening way to advertise, the reality is that neighbors probably will not come storming to the door, jumping up and down with unbridled excitement anxious to see whatever it is that this new consultant is selling.

The truth of the matter is, that the “flier method”, will net very little (if any) return on the investment of time spent designing and distributing, and money on printing. Marketing studies show a less than 1% .

Think about the last time you received a flier offering to clean your home, sell you firewood, landscape, paint or wash your windows. What did you do with the flier?

a) Threw it away

b) Scribbled a phone message on it then threw it away

c) Read it then threw it away

d) All of the above.

So…the next time you sign a team member and she decides to let her neighbors know about her new business in this manner; don't discourage her. In fact, applaud the fact that she is thinking about how to market her business. However, just educate her on the facts so that she won't be disappointed. Then, help her compile a List of 100 and give her words to use when contacting the people on that list. In this business, relationships count and the personal touch will go much farther than an impersonal flier.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Your car…

I don't know about you, but I do some of my best thinking when I'm driving in my car.
When I'm riding in my car it seems like that's where I think of new marketing ideas for my business, I think of people I'd like to join my team or book a party with, I remember odds and ends of things I've forgotten to do and I even pick up information from some of the signs in front of park districts and churches (for upcoming booth opportunities).

Something that might be handy for you to have in your car is one of those little hand held tape recorders. When these thoughts hit - just press the `record' button and start talking! You'd be amazed when you play the tape back. You think you'll remember what you were thinking by the time you get home but I promise you, you won't. And a little recorder is probably safer than writing it down on a piece of paper. While I'm not a fan of talking on your cell phone while driving - some cell phones do have a “messaging” option to do the same thing - just be sure you can speed dial it easily so you don't get distracted.

Finally, always be sure that you carry supplies with you in your car. Use an extra briefcase or a small file box that doesn't ever leave. Keep it stocked with business cards, consultant information - including agreements, catalogs and hostess packets. ALWAYS be prepared wherever you go!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Are you thinking, or are you doing?

Have you ever been surprised, annoyed, or angry to find out that a friend or family member joined another direct sales company? OR even worse, that they'd joined YOUR company but with another consultant?

If you've never had this experience, trust me, it is one of those true `kick in the guts' moments. It has happened to most of us at one time or another who are in direct sales. You've thought about this person, even imagined in your mind how the conversation might go as you approached them about joining your company. But, once again, you don't pick up the phone because “I don't want to be PUSHY”.

Today's challenge is to put together your `chicken list'. This is a list of people that you are chicken to ask to join your team. Be sure you put their phone number next to their name - that is the first step in `lightening' that 500 pound receiver.

Now, before you pick up the phone, think about why they would make a good consultant. Perhaps they are lots of fun, or a hard worker, or have lots of friends and a large circle of influence. Maybe they just need to earn an income but do it flexibly.

Why would you company be a good fit for them? Do they love the product? What things about your company do YOU most appreciate that might appeal to them?

Here's a script thought-starter: “Hi Cindy, this is your cousin Sue - do you have just a couple of minutes? You have been on my mind and I've been too chicken to call you because I didn't want to appear pushy - but I am having such a good time with my home business - I wanted to talk to you about it. I would feel terrible if I didn't share this information with you because you are such a people person, but I also want you to know that the most important thing to me is our relationship as cousins. I don't want you to avoid me at upcoming family gatherings. I'd like permission to sit down over a cup of coffee and talk with you about this just once, so that you know what I'm doing and then I'll leave it up to you if you would like to pursue things further - how does that sound”

Make the script your own and get going on that chicken list!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome Michelle Fields from CA!

My name is Michelle Fields… but my nickname is Kitty. My husband, Greg and I live in Salida, Ca located in beautiful Northern California near Modesto. We have 2 fur baby yorkies: Marley and Jezebel, no children yet, although we treat them like children! Absolute doggy lover all-the-way! I’m allergic to cats, ironically! My birthday is October 30th. I am a total night owl, and love communicating via the internet. I am a full-time Esthetician, and love making people look and feel, and now smell great! Skin is my passion.

I loved how unique the product is. It seems so innovative~ I wish I could have thought of it. I have worked in the fragrance industry before for Armani and Ralph Lauren, always wanted to have a foot in it somehow, and what a great way to do it. I have an extensive fragrance collection. I pick out fragrances to match my mood, outfits etc. It’s like picking out shoes to match. More than anything I was really impressed with the quality of the product. Wow!

I love to chat & socialize; this is one of my hobbies. I am fairly new to the area I live in, and I don’t have a big family. I am looking at ways to “branch out” and meet new people. I could always use more clients! So far everyone is excited about UB. How can I get started successfully & rapidly? What has not worked? How can I make the most money?? All those questions from the team will be helpful!

I was a floral, which totally describes me. Especially the part: “always trying to improve yourself.” I laughed out loud! Tied for floral and Spicy. I was kind of surprised about the spicy, but I like spicy with floral together, so that makes sense! I have a few scents like that already. Hmmm?!

I love freesia and honeysuckle. I want it in everything!!

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?

I see myself at the top somewhere. Hopefully my esthetician business grows simultaneously too, so I consider it somewhere in between, but I definitely want to have fun, and grow, grow, grow!

What is one personality trait you have that you think will help you be successful at UB?
I think I am great at sharing enthusiasm, and being passionate with what I do. I am not flaky, and I don’t like letting people down, so I am always professional about things.

Thanks for the welcome. :O)

Monday, March 17, 2008

I can sell, but don't talk to me about that “R” word…

Does this sound like you? I'm a strong seller; selling is not a big deal; our products are so awesome that once you get them in front of people they really do sell themselves because they are so wonderful. Yes, I mention the business opportunity at the beginning and the end of my presentation. Yes, I even give everyone at my parties some information on the business. I'm sure if they are interested, they will ask me about the business; after all, I don't want to be PUSHY!

The above are ACTUAL comments from a consultant who was such a strong seller that she consistently was recognized by her company year after year for being in the top 1% of her company! After years of this, she finally realized that with the number of people she was selling product to, she was really missing a BIG opportunity for building residual income by recruiting and team building. She made the choice to change by incorporating a few more pro-active approaches to her business; consider giving these a try:

Make a HELP WANTED sign to display at each party

Put a recruiting label with “your story” on each catalog

Focus on demonstrating products from the new consultant kit and state that these items are included in the kit

Coach ALL hostesses with the attitude that they will join

Talk to EVERY guest individually about joining

Make “Morning After Calls”, to each guest, thanking them again for their purchase and inviting them to join

Make recruiting the primary focus at each event

Make the parties fun and simple so potential recruits could see that it is truly duplicatable work.
By making these simple changes, she more than doubled her annual recruiting. But the biggest difference she said was in her attitude. She says; “You have to believe that the opportunity you are offering IS your best product. Make it your primary focus at each presentation that you do…the sales will come naturally; but statistics don't lie; you really do need to ask. But when you do, 1 in 10 will join! Yes, there are still some individuals who will come up and ask you, but the majority are waiting for you to invite them to join you.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

First quarter of the year - ALMOST OVER…YIKES!

The beautiful spring weather gives cause to take a closer look at the calendar where we see - WOW - the first quarter of the year is nearly over.

It is time to access the goals that you set in January.

How are you doing? Take a look at your sales, recruiting and rank promotions - both personally and for your team. Are you ahead or behind? Were the goals that you set in January realistic or do they need adjusting?

Mid-March is the perfect time to re-access, reanalyze and look ahead. You still have three quarters of the year ahead of you. If you haven't already done so, put together a treasure map (or tweak the one you have already done). This might even be a great idea for a team activity at your next meeting. A treasure map is a HUGE help in goal setting because it helps you to focus not only on the goal - but the WHY behind the goal.

When the WHY is there, the HOW is easy - Jim Rohn
P.S. If you don't remember what a treasure map activity is, stay tuned. Next week we'll do an “instant replay” of the email we posted a few months back on the `how-to's' of treasure mapping.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chatty team members - a question from YOU

\Charlotte writes…I have a question. I am a leader of a team of 23. What suggestions do you have to help with staying on task when you have a team member who just loves to chat? Honestly, I shy away from calling her because she takes up so much of my time, even when I do say, “Well, I need to go so that I can_______________” - it still takes forever to get off the darn phone! And if she does drop by - forget it -hard to get her out of the house and on her way. It IS good to touch base and get to know team members better and I want to support her, BUT my time is so limited as it is, I do avoid connecting with her because of this. HELP!

Dear Charlotte,
Your challenge is one that is common to those of us in direct sales. Many who are attracted to this type of work have that “cheerleader” personality type. Many join this business as a social outlet and the “business” part of it is a secondary component and so the result is the situation you are dealing with. We LOVE these team members, but it is important to establish boundaries early on so that as your team grows you are able to keep yourself organized and balanced.
So…because at TSF we have `been there and done that' we have a few practical suggestions.
Schedule weekly phone appointments with her. Set parameters for the appointments:

· The appointment is 15 minutes in length

· She needs to come prepared with a list of questions and challenges she is having

· She needs to schedule at a time when distractions at her house are minimal

· She (and you) will keep a notebook as a log of your appointments.

· YOU keep a kitchen timer on your desk so that you can be true to your commitment of a 15 minute appointment.

The agenda for the phone call is as follows:

· Review how her previous business week went, what worked and what needs to be changed.

· Deal with the challenges she had and brainstorm solutions.

· Give her an assignment for the current week (example, book two more parties for April)
· Schedule a time for the call the following week.

Don't be surprised if the first week's appointment ends up with her chatting away and using up the time. That's where the kitchen timer comes in. The timer will go off (and since it is by the phone), she will hear it. You MUST cut the conversation off - let her know that you have another appointment coming up right after hers and so next week we will have to make sure to get right down to business. (This will train her very quickly that she needs to `get down to business' on your calls.)

Now, this doesn't mean that you don't take her calls at other times during the week - but only do so if you have time and ask that if she has questions that she uses email whenever possible.
Set and keep office hours and be sure your team knows what those are. For example, when my children were small, my office hours were from 1-3pm during nap time. Remember, office hours are only effective if you keep them!

Keeping control on “drop in visits” is most important, especially as your team grows. I have a pick up basket on my front porch. I use it for team members and customers alike. Whether they need to drop off a check, purchase business supplies, pick up a catalog or inventory - this basket is in constant use. It is a wonderful tool. When I get a call that someone needs something, I just let them know it will be out in the basket for them to pick up at their convenience so that we don't have to coordinate our schedules. Even if I am home when they come by - I don't go to the door. Problem solved.

Remember, a key to success in this business is operating your business from the start like the large organization that you are working towards it becoming. That means setting parameters and putting solid business practices in place early on so that you can effectively balance your family and your business life and obligations.
Hope that helps!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moving from HOBBY to BUSINESS

Hi. I really need to make my business a business and not a hobby. I have two small children so I really need to maximize the time I give to my business to the utmost! I'm hoping to get some good tips through your website to help me be successful! Thanks. -Terri

This is a common “lament” amongst not only Party Plan folk but anyone who works from home. While we have addressed this topic before; we thought a quick review might be in order for those of you who have only been with us a short while.

We have the “perks” of working from home burned in our minds. We sell the advantages on each and every recruiting appointment. You know the spiel, “work in your pajamas, set your own hours around your family's schedule, no traffic to fight, do a load of laundry while you work, be the `field trip mom', no boss breathing down your neck…yah-dee-yah-dee-yah.” The list goes on and on. However, Terri's point is a valid one and a struggle for many of us as we try to make a viable income from home while at the same time caretaking small children. How is it that you can best move beyond the hobby level and (to quote Emeril) “kick it up a notch…BAM!”

Here are some tried and true tips that will help you do just that:

SET OFFICE HOURS (can we say this enough?) Set them, keep them, and know they will change each year as your children grow.

KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN. Share your goals with your family. Let them know where you want to be, when you want to be there, what's in it for them and how they can help.

GET HELP!* As much as we try, we can't do it all. Get a cleaning service (even once a month will help); schedule an extra party to pay for it. After all, wouldn't you rather do a party and let someone else scrub your floors?

CHILDCARE*! Yes, we KNOW you are working from home to be with your kids, but through our entire history in party plan we were always a party of a babysitting co-op or we hired another mom to help us out. (Don't belong to a babysitting co-op? Then start one! It's a great way to network for your business and it won't set you back financially because the `currency' is trading time for time) Visit your local library and check out a book on the subject.

TREAT IT LIKE A BUSINESS! That means you may have to say “no” once in a while. The biggest `rookie' mistake for those working from home for the first time is to think that magically there are MORE than 24 hours in a day and you suddenly no longer need to sleep. Figure out your priorities and learn to say NO to those who think you are just `playing office'. Resist the urge to drop everything to have coffee with a friend when it is office hour time.

GO HOME FROM WORK! One of the biggest challenges of working from home can be that you (mentally) don't go home. When you are spending time with family you feel guilty because you think you should be working and when you are working you feel guilty because you think you should be spending time with your family. AGAIN, go back to #1. By setting and keeping office hours (and set “party” nights as well) you will begin to be able to compartmentalize. Having a separate office space WITH A DOOR THAT CLOSES is also helpful if possible.

C.A.N.I. (Constant and Never-ending Improvement). Another “must” …stay motivated by reading our daily tips and TAKE A PEEK at our awesome training materials to help you keep on keeping on when the going gets tough!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More exciting news!

Hot off the presses! Our second new training CD is now available!
Have you ever felt discouraged because you didn't know where to look for business? Have you been disappointed at the lack of support from friends and family?

Then Expanding Your Business Beyond Friends and Family by Dede Gruenberg of The Success Factory is just the boost to your business that you have been looking for. Listen as Dede shares ideas that she and her teammates have used successfully to grow and expand far beyond that `inner circle' of friends and family. Learn about what you can do to have a calendar that is consistently booked year round. Get creative as you expand your thinking beyond the traditional sources of party business. Find places to advertise inexpensively that you may have never considered before and much more.

The convenient CD format is an easy and inexpensive way to turn your car into a rolling classroom. Feed your mind with a daily dose of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as you travel to and from your parties, run errands or wait in the carpool line.

Not only will the tips shared on these CD's help you with your personal business, but it will help you to be a more effective trainer as you help new consultants begin and grow their businesses.
We guarantee that your head will be spinning with so many new ideas that you won't know which ones to try first. At just $9.95, this CD will easily pay for itself the first time you use the techniques that you hear. Order your copy today!

Monday, March 10, 2008

ACTION plan for GROWTH in 2008

Where do I go from HERE?

Put your “pedal to the middle” and do whatever it takes to grow your team to the size of 75-100 as soon as possible. When your team grows to this size, this is where the real fun starts to happen. Your business will take on a life of its own. Getting to that size is like being in labor…it can be fast and furious or slow and painful. But, the difference is that unlike labor, when growing your business YOU get to decide how long the labor goes on.

Once your team is at this size -
1) You will not be the only one doing the majority of the selling and the recruiting. People on your team will be duplicating what you do. DUPLICATION LEADS TO MULTIPLICATION. This is where the FUN BEGINS because parties and recruits are showing up all over the place on your team…WHAT a great surprise!

2) When multiplication occurs, you will have a “pool” of potential leaders to work with. Leaders make for a strong organization with income that you can count on month after month.
So…what do you think? Will 2008 be YOUR year to EXPLODE your business or will you end the year in much the same shape as you were this year? The choice is yours!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

More ACTION plan for GROWTH

Yesterday, we discussed the dangers of “playing manager”. Today, as promised, we will discuss specific strategies for balance in your business life and GROWTH.
Work to establish good habits NOW that will serve you as your business grows.

Set office hours.

Schedule phone appointments with team members using the following guidelines:

Keep appointments short (15-20 minutes in length)

Keep them regular (once a week or once a month depending on the “pace” of the team member).

Your time should be spent most frequently with new team members and business builders.

Keep appointments short (15-20 minutes in length). Stay “on task”. Ask team members to make a list and save questions for phone appointment time if possible.

Establish just one day a week (Sunday evenings or Monday mornings are a good choice), that are Team Touch Times. This helps team members get off to a good start for the week. The rest of your week should be spent building your personal business.

Consider a separate line or a separate ring (on an already existing line) for business. Caller ID can be very helpful as well. RESIST picking up the phone when you KNOW it is your time to be making customer calls.

Ask team members to leave a complete message. Often you can call back later with an answer to their question and just leave a message or send an email to them. This can be a huge time saver.
DROP INS and DROP OFFS. Please read this with an open mind. Certainly we love to get to know our team members better. However, someone dropping by to pick up inventory or business supplies can sometimes turn into a HUGE timewaster if too much chit chat happens. So, consider having a box or basket on your front porch for these exchanges. It will control the socializing AND eliminate the need for “coordination” of mutual schedules.

By taking control of your business NOW, while it is in its “fledgling” time, you will be properly positioned to stay balanced as you GROW!

Friday, March 7, 2008


If you want to experience NO movement in your business for the new year and are completely satisfied with where you are right now, then stop reading right now.

HOWEVER, if YOU want some specific action steps to move your business forward in 2008, then this next “mini-series” could be the most important tip you have read this year. Keeping in mind that while we realize that each company has its own career plan; there are, as with all our tips “generic rules” that we have found to be generally applicable to everyone.

Tip #1… Resist the urge to “play” supervisor/manager when your team is at 5-10. What we mean by this is that one common error consultants make once they have a small team is that they get SO busy coaching their team, setting expectations for them and worrying about what they are or are not doing with their businesses that their own business gets lost in the shuffle.

Building a team can be exciting and fun. When you recruit someone, of course you have a certain responsibility to make sure they know what they are doing and are trained to know where to find the information they need about growing their business. However, many new team builders fall into an “easy trap” of spending too much time in this area. While most of us agree that it certainly can be easier to talk to a team member than it is to pick up the phone to call a hostess, customer or recruit potential; it is important that you still spend 80% of your time on your personal business. Be sure that 80% of your time is spent equally between recruiting and selling.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Recently, one of our staff received the following thank you note from a good customer of her party plan business. Wow, how wonderful to have a customer feel so strongly as to write this wonderful note. When we work hard to build a relationship with our customers, it becomes just that, a relationship…not something that would be defined as pushy or negative but truly good service!

“… Your knowledge, customer service, no pressure sales, friendly demeanor, insights, etc. is the example to which I compare all other home sale businesses and salespeople. You truly are a consultant and not so much a salesperson. Not to mention, that you are just a kind, good natured person with whom I enjoy talking!”

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm SO excited!

There are three basics that we need to do to be successful in this business:

Use/Love our products (be your own best customer)

Share our products with others (Sell)

Find others who would also like to share our products (Recruit!)

The fact is that no matter what company you are affiliated with, you love and believe in your product enough that you want to share it with others. Today's tip is this: roll up your sleeves and use your product. Get excited about it again! Take a little time to re-familiarize yourself with your products again and use them as they were intended.

Whether you need to play with your kids, put together a photo album, try a new recipe for your family or a neighbor, enjoy the ambiance of a new scented candle, or redecorate an area of your home. You get the picture; re-energize yourself and re-connect with all the reasons you joined the business.

Why, you might even want to schedule a “Grand Re-Opening” of your business next week to celebrate!

Monday, March 3, 2008


Can you guess what each of the following have in common?

- A fundraiser for a major hospital in one of the largest cities in the U.S.

- A very hard-to-get booth opportunity at a Junior Women's League holiday bazaar.

- A corporate order that nets thousands of dollars in commissions annually.

- Monthly orders for corporate gift baskets

- An annual fundraiser for a prestigious private school that nets nearly $10,000 in sales

- A party booked that leads to other bookings in a high income area

- A new team member whose business skyrockets. Bringing several hundred new team members to the organization.

Give up?

These are ACTUAL BUSINESS SUCCESSES that were the result of CONTACTS MADE AT A PARTY by TSF and/or members of our downlines.

The MORE people your hostesses get to attend their parties, the richer the networking opportunities. That is a FACT!