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.” :)