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 figured...awesome...my 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 do...lol...but 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 fun....so 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.