Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Make Your Direct Sales Business Profitable in Your First Year

The key to making your direct sales business profitable is to run it like a business, not a hobby. Often times I hear consultants telling prospects "you can work whenever you want to" which is true - if you want a hobby. In which case, you won't care if you make money. If however, your goal it to make money, here are some tips to help you do so.

1. Work your business consistently. Two shows a week should be standard.
2. Invest in yourself with continuing education, ie: attend meetings, workshops, conventions, tele-seminars, etc. And USE what you learned!
3. Improve your sales skills and master hostess coaching.
4. Sponsor right from the beginning, don't wait to become a "success" first!
5. Write out your goals and a plan of action.
6. Invest back into your business. You need a sufficient amount of product samples to create a strong business. When new products come out, you should have some of those on hand as well.
7. Have a separate checking account and credit card and ONLY use it for business.
8. Pay yourself from your profits each month or twice a month.
9. Don't use up all your profits on product for yourself that you want just to have and don't need. Those personal items should be purchased with your personal, not business, account since they will be for personal use and you want to be able to see your profit fairly.
10. Work with a CPA who KNOWS the direct sales industry and can advise you on how to maximize your profit through wise tax management.
11. Be patient! It takes time to build a client base and repeat customers while you're learning the business. Expect to learn the business the first 6 months, and make money the next 6 months. Year after year remember that you are the determining factor if your business is making money.
12. Have fun! Watch your attitude. Get help when you are challenged and realize that there is always someone else who has been through what you are experiencing and fortunate for you, they're willing to share the info with you. Never take a complaint "down-line," always take a concern with an optional solution to your leadership and then, listen to their advice.

Share with me your top ideas for making money the first year in the comment box and help others!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Make it a Merry Christmas

While it's very likely your schedules are filled right now with parties, concerts, shopping, baking, gift wrapping, and spreading Christmas cheer, it's still really important to take a little time for two things.

One, yourself! Be sure you do something for yourself during these next few weeks. Take time to go to lunch with a friend, time to read a good book, time to work on a hobby you long for and often put off. When you take care of you, you'll find it much easier to continue taking care of your family and your team.

And two, your business. Yes, that's right, you still need to work your business. Don't be a slave to it, but do take some time to prepare for the new year so you can really Shine in 2009. Take time to dream about if the best that could happen in your business happened, what would it be? Dream about how you want your family life, spiritual life, social life, financial situation, health, and personal well being to be in 2009. Then, imagine it's December 31, 2009 and you're looking back on an incredible year. Write yourself a letter of how the year unfolded. Write about how you felt, all the great things that happened, the unexpected joy that your business generated for others. Write it all as if it had happened.

Writing a letter to yourself will leave you feeling excited and energized, and maybe even a little anxious about your dream. However, now you know what your goals are for the new year. Turn your dreams into goals with a time line. Write out how to accomplish it, all the steps you'll need to take to make it happen.

Then enjoy the Christmas activities and look forward to a great New Year! You'll be ready for it all.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Do You Ever Put Yourself First?

Attention WAHM - Do you ever feel like being a WAHM means that you give your all to your kids? I know that being a WAHM for me means being able to be available to my kids, to be present here at home when they need me. However, that does NOT mean that I have to be at their beckon call! I have boatloads to accomplish today, including 12 loads of laundry (I'm not kidding either!), decorate for Christmas, and I'm writing an incentive book for leaders I want finished by January, just to name a few. So, when my daughter walked in my office today asking me to take her to the play at school at 2:00 - the answer was "NO."

Yesterday during coffee with a friend who has already walked the path of motherhood I'm in, she laughed at me as I told her all the things I was doing and all the activities my kids were in. She said I was in "Elegant Denial" meaning, I was stressed out and ignoring it because I kept putting everyone else first.

Sometimes I find moms get caught up in putting their kids first so much that they fail to honor themselves. Me too. I don't know about you, but my mother said "no" sometimes. While I may not have been happy about it, it didn't hurt me. So Moms, recognize it won't hurt your kids to say "no" sometimes too so you can finish what's on your agenda. Being a WAHM does not mean you have to attend every practice, every game, sit through every lesson, cater to your kid's every wish, and serve on every committee at their school and in your church.

I've got orders to package and my kids have a lot of laundry to start folding!
Take a break today. Do something for your business. Go to lunch with a friend. Your kids won't be hurting if they miss a play date so you can have a some time for you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Learning Leads to Earning!

I just finished another great book, "The Secrets of Great Rainmakers: The Keys to Success and Wealth" by Jeffrey J. Fox. His book is filled with ideas to grow your sales. I know I'm excited to put some of his strategies to work because ultimately, it's all about the service you can provide. The vocabulary words he offers in chapter 24 are important for direct sellers to know and understand. Do you know the difference between "cost", "price", and "investment"? If you are recruiting you'll appreciate his insight about silence in chapter 29. It's a quick easy read, not a bunch of fluff, but loaded with info and insight. I read his book "How to Become a Rainmaker" long ago and recommend you start with that and then read "Secrets of Great Rainmakers."

Every time you learn something new to put into practice in your business, the better you become at servicing others. When you help others, ultimately, you are able to help yourself too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Overwhelmed? What?

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of consultants say they are "overwhelmed" with all that is going on for them. After all, there are Christmas specials to offer, incentives to to finish up, a new year to get ready for, and that's just business! Then there's the holiday shopping, baking, decorating, parties, and on and on.

Wait a minute! Let's see, in May we have graduations, receptions, summer vacations to plan for, and so on. In August it's time to get ready for back to school, last minute vacations, product sales before the holiday products are introduced and more.

Every month could be hectic. It's all about how you look at it and how you think about it!! Drop the word "overwhelmed" from your vocabulary and use something more positive. How about "I'm keeping it all together" or "Life is full but fun!" or "I'm keeping up." Give yourself credit for what you can do and what you are doing and stop thinking in terms of "overwhelmed" because you're not. If you really were, you'd be at the funny farm and not reading this!

Smile, what you focus on you get. One day at a time, one event after another, one foot in front of the other. All is fine, full, fun, and crazy maybe, but all is well!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Many Benefits to Your Business!

My oldest daughter, Karin, is a senior this year and getting ready for college. We've toured a number of them, the applications are in the mail, and now, she's applying for scholarships. It's been enlightening to read her essays for her applications and scholarships.

In every essay, there's a real tie to the life experiences she was able to have growing up and what she wants to pursue in life. Karin writes about all the travel opportunities she's had, the responsibility she's learned, and that she is ready for the next phase in life.

In the DSWA scholarship essay she wrote that growing up in a direct selling home has set her in the direction she wants to pursue in life. Not only has she had these great life experiences but she's also learned " to manage finances and money by helping her (my mom) with her business. That balancing a career and a family is not difficult if one learns time management and priorities."

My 15 year-old, Ellen, informed me yesterday that she's been giving a lot of thought to her future too. Given that she wants to be a writer, she's going to build a direct sales business like I did so she can make a living, write, and be a mom.

If you ever question why you're in direct sales or if your children are benefiting from your business, let me assure you, on so many levels, you are benefiting your family.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who Impacts Your Outlook?

Being an avid reader I know I'm in trouble when I walk into Barnes & Nobel. This time, I walked out with six new titles. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon is the first one I've finished. I like Jon's e-newsletters and his book was no let down - it was perfect as a reminder to me that what you focus on you get more of. The only one who can impact your outlook on life is you!

When asked "how are you today?" by unsuspecting people I often respond with "I'm a happy girl!" It sure raises an eyebrow and sometimes a dropped jaw. One clerk asked if it was because it was payday! I laughed. "No, I'm happy just because life is good." She shook her head and couldn't imagine someone could be happy without there being a bigger reason. What gets better than "life is good"?!

Even if you're not a reader, you can read "The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy" because it is written in story format and can be read in a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. You are the most important factor to the success of your business and feeding your mind with positive material is critical. A $22 book is a lot cheaper than a shrink too.

I'll fill you in on the sales book I'm reading now when I finish it. I will tell you, I've already had to put it down twice to write down ideas because it is overflowing with them!
What's the best book you've read lately?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

6 Steps to a Debt Free Christmas

Now that you made your lists following the 7 Steps to Simplified Christmas Shopping, it's time to calcuate how you'll pay for it all in cash!

1. Add up the amounts in the "$ Limit" column for your total dollars needed.
2. Determine what your average take home profit is per show you hold.
3. Divide the total dollars needed by the avearge show profit to determine how many shows you need to complete in the next five weeks.
4. Review your date planner and decide what are the dates you want to work to earn your debt free Christmas.
5. Book in those dates solid! Plan wisely and over book. Promote your company hostess specials!
6. Give yourself some added insurance and schedule 3 times you will make customer care calls for additional sales.

For example:
$1200 needed / $127 average profit = 9.45 shows.
Therefore, you book 11, which is only 2 per week and 2 for "insurance."
That's easier and takes less time than finding a part time job to pay for Christmas. You have the means to make it happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

7 Steps to Simplify Christmas Shopping

You've heard the saying "always shop locally" haven't you? This year consider changing that to "always shop direct sales!" Save time and energy this season and support the direct sales profession and industry at the same time. Think how varied direct sales products are. Between all the different companies there is something for everyone. Many companies also offer direct ship which can save you a bundle in postage and time too.

To keep it simple,follow these steps.
1. Make a table in your word program or excel with these seven headings across the top: Name, $ Limit, Gift Item, My Store, Other DS, Contact, and Complete.
2. List everyone you need to shop for for the holidays under the "Name" column. In addition to family and friends include teachers, party hosts, service people, etc.
3. Determine your spending limit for each and record under "$ Limit."
4. Decide what gifts you could fill from your own business products and record those in the "My Store" column.
5. Determine what remaining gifts could be filled with products from other direct sales companies and note under the category "Other DS."
6. Write the company name along with the consultant name under the "Contact" column.
7. Place your orders and check them off when you receive them in the "Complete" column.

Just like when you go in a store to shop for others and you find things you want too, the same is true when you sift through other company catalogs! When that happens, make your wish list for your family. Record the item with as much detail as possible, the company name, the consultant name and phone or website for easy ordering. You'll save your family time and frustration trying to figure out what to order for you, all the while, supporting the entire direct sales profession.

Want to know how to pay for it all? I'll tell you next time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good News! 7 Steps to Greater Recruiting

Normally I don't bother with the newspaper because it's so full of doom and gloom. But today, I had the time to read a couple articles and there was good news in it! Twenty percent more people will be looking for seasonal work to offset their Christmas spending. And, the traditional retail industry will be hiring less than in the past. The benefit for you in direct sales is there will be more people at your shows looking to earn extra income! There is always a new recruit at every show, the question is, is there a recruiter? This may be the year there are multiple recruits at your shows.

Be prepared!
Coach your hostess to invite any friends she knows are looking for seasonal work.
Use your recruiting commercials during your shows. (See past postings)
Take extra recruiting packets of info with you.
Play your opportunity DVD while you are taking orders.
Make your follow up calls after your shows right away to set up interviews.
Share your opportunity with as many as you can now. Even though some will say "not now," they may be ready in the spring when they have a wedding to pay for or next fall when they have to fund a college education.
Act now, act fast. If you don't someone else will. But let's not talk about regret today, that feeling you get when someone gets recruited by another company that you thought would be a good consultant but failed to ask. Get moving.
Check out your calendar right now. If you need more bookings, make today a booking blitz day and set as many new dates as you can. Then take action! You're on your way to great 2009!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Promote Your Business Opportunity with These Commericials

Women are looking for opportunities to add to their income with part time work. Are you helping them see you are "hiring?"

Offer your business opportunity by using commercials at your shows, during your personal consults, and on your customer service calls. Use your own or modify one of these to fit your company:

“The desire for our products is rapidly expanding, and I am looking for energetic women who want an extra $500 or more a month to help me reach our growing customer base.”

“Today more than ever, the American Dream of business ownership is on the rise, and women are leading the pace. Being a Consultant is a risk-free way to achieve your American Dream.”

“Besides yourself, who do you know who is fun, energetic, and would be a natural Consultant?”

"Eliminating debt is possible when you are a Consultant."

"By building a ______ business, you can be building your retirement fund"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stories Sell!

You can tell the features about your products to your customers and they'll feel better about buying, or you can share stories and see them identify with the story and jump to order.

For example:

Selling jewelry? My best friend never wears jewelry but she since I gave her this simple necklace and earring set, she's found that she gets a lot more compliments at work! Now she's asking for my catalog and making her wish list!”

Selling Kitchen tools? “My daughter was standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open wearing her white First Communion dress, and while reaching for the orange juice she knocked the bowl of spaghetti sauce onto the floor. I was so glad I had used the _____ bowl with lid because the lid didn't come off! Can you image red spaghetti sauce on a white dress? This ___ bowl with the lid is a must have if you have kids or even a husband!”

How about cosmetics? “One of my hostesses found a mother-daughter party was just the ticket to teaching her teenager how to wear her makeup appropriately. If you are tired of raccoon eyes on your daughter or her friends, schedule a mother-daughter event and I'll teach them how to wear their makeup.”

Selling undergarments? “I got a letter from a customer the other day who shared that she always felt frumpy in her clothes but since getting her new perfectly fitting bra, getting “the girls” in place, not only does her back feel better, but her clothes look so much better on her too. The frumpy days are over!”

What personal stories do you have or do you hear from customers about your products? Stories touch on emotions, and make the reason to buy justified.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Saturation in the Industry? In Your Community?

As my daughter stands at the counter making her Tastefully Simple Giddy-up Guacamole in the Tupperware bowl, with a Pampered Chef spatula, she’s telling me she is going to need all these kitchen necessities when she gets married some day. She’s all of 17 now, without a boyfriend, but busy planning for the future. I am reminded by this comment that there is no such thing as saturation in direct sales. There will always be people who will buy from multiple companies. There will be young ones growing up expecting to buy and sell.

She finished her snack by serving her guacamole in the Longaberger bowl and she’s wearing her Lia Sophia Jewelry and Mary Kay cosmetics. Look around my kitchen and you’ll see the AtHOME America wreath, the tiered wire Home Interiors and Gifts fruit basket, a Signature HomeStyles basket of mail, and my Creative Memories scrap booking materials spread all over the table.

Off the top of my head, I counted 37 different direct sales companies that I have bought from and I know there are more. My kids have grown up understanding that this is the way we shop. When Weekenders USA closed their doors, Kari literally said “Now what am I going to do? I was planning on that as my back up after college.” I assured her there will always be a direct sales company that she will fit in when she’s ready to sell. Her generation is growing up knowing that direct sales is a part of life, not only for their personal and household needs but also to provide their lifestyle expectations. She expects it’ll be a part of her future.

Recognize how many different products you need in your home and that there are more generations growing up you begin to realize there are enough people to sustain all the direct sales companies and there will always be more people ready to sell your products. I won't even go into the topic of how many McDonnalds and other fast food restaurants are open in a community, or how many bank branches there are in the community, both indications that there is room for everyone and customers to sustain them.

So tell me, how many direct sales companies have you purchased from? Really, I'd love to know.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two Simple Ways to Promote the Fun!

One of the great rewards of your direct sales business is all the fun travel you get. Think about it...leadership retreats, conferences, incentive trips... There's a lot of fun travel you can gain through your business. Promote this fun side of the business by collecting postcards of each destination you experience, even each fun hotel you've stayed in or tourist attraction you've seen. Use a paper hole punch in the upper corner of each card and put them all together on a ring. Then take this prop to your shows to put on the coffee table or at your closing table for guests to look through. You now have the opportunity to talk about this fun perk in the business. Women come into direct sales for all sorts of reasons, so promote the fun travel you do.

Haven't taken any trips yet? Then maximize the glossy incentive trip brochure your company provides. Put one copy in a frame and set it out at your shows. Talk about this trip you are earning because of your business. Engage your guests and invite them to join you as a consultant and earn this trip with you. Get multiple incentive brochures and keep one in your date planner, one near your computer, and one in your bathroom. When you see the goal in front of you all the time, you'll do a better job of staying on track toward it.

These two simple tactics can go a long way in promoting your business opportunity. Prospects need to see the business has a lot of benefits. And, keeping it in front of yourself helps you stay focused too!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's the "economy" excuse...

If you buy into this then you're watching too much TV, reading negative newspapers, and have bought into the media hype. It's election time and the media loves to promote negative "the sky is falling" type stories. But, if your customers are buying into this belief, then you need to be prepared.

When a customer uses this excuse there are a number of reasons:
1. Fear: they are afraid of the future, where their own finances are, and the unknown.
2. Judgement: they are making judgements about what their neighbors or friends could spend at a show.
3. It's an excuse they believe you'll accept - everyone else is right now!

Help your customers get over it by being proactive in your presentation.
Use booking commercials that address the fear of the economy...
"Ladies, I know you'll find it's easier on your budget if you start with your favorite items tonight and earn the rest free at your show."
"Some of you may be fearing your checkbook can't afford what's on your wish list and I once felt the same way until I did the math and realized how often I was replacing cheap products. A one time investment in our products will save you dollars and time down the road."

Review your benefits and you'll see that your products are economical and wise investments. Look at all the benefits you offer and there is always a reason why a customer can buy now. You have to help them find it. Will you save them time in shopping around? Will you save them dollars in a higher quality products? Will you improve self-esteem when it comes to looking for that new job in how a person will look and feel because of your products? Know your benefits.

When you still get that excuse of "the economy" ask... "If it weren't for that would you?" because this question will tell you what is really on their mind. If they say "yes," then they'll tell you their real reason for not booking or buying in which case you can address the real issue. The Booming Bookings CD covers handling objections. You'll find this Booming Bookings CD will pay for itself in the bookings you are able to gain, and keep! (Did you get that little "overcoming the cost" issue?!)

Lastly, if the economy is tough on someone, then they are a prime prospect! When you get the excuse of "the economy" as a reason why someone can't book or buy, then respond with "That is exactly why you would benefit from becoming a consultant! You'll earn money instead of spending money and be able to have more tax advantages."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quick Tip for Directors & Leaders - Power of a Post Card

Do you find yourself bogged down with making reminder calls every month to consultants to place orders so they stay active? They add volume to the bottom line, they may one day come back into business as a "real" consultant, but maybe right now they are just buying for themselves and a few friends on a hap-hazard basis. Save time by mailing out a reminder postcard. It simply states:
"A friendly reminder... You must place an order this month to maintain your consultant status." That's it - short and simple. The first week of every month, review your reports and any consultant who is on the "danger" list of losing status, send a reminder postcard.

If you can turn these wholesalers back into viable hostesses, that is the best avenue to take, in which case you can let them lose their status. However, if they are not going to go back to being a hostess and introducing you to new people, a simple reminder postcard can ensure they place orders and you gain volume.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Making the Most of Convention

Convention is around the corner and you're bubbling with excitement. The new dress you'll wear to the awards banquet, the friends you'll get to reconnect with from around the country, the introduction of new products, maybe a picture with the founder of the company, and all the workshops! Whew, there's a lot to look forward to.

Here are tips to help you make the most of your investment in convention.
  1. Before you go, schedule a block of time right after you return to review what you learned and prioritize what you'll put into action.
  2. Pack plenty of business cards, paper, and pens.
  3. Write out the three specific areas you want to improve in your business.
  4. When you attend a workshop, keep a separate sheet of paper labeled "To Do" for those quick ideas that come to mind or names that surface so you don't have to go back through your notes when you get home.
  5. As you take notes, star or highlight the biggest "Ah ha" pieces of information.
  6. Review your three specific areas to improve on at the end of each night and ask yourself "What did I gain today to help me with this?"
  7. Make it a point to talk to women who have reached the level you want to attain. Ask them to share how they dealt with one of the struggles you are having.
  8. When you return home, use your scheduled time to review the information you gained and create your plan of action for the new season.
The more you learn, the more you earn - IF you use what you've learned!

This article appeared in my Direct Sales Professional e-Newsletter June 23, 2008. To register for the DSP e-Newsletter, click here and enter your name and company!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tips for Consistency

Part III
Keep your kit together and ready for every show. If you need to invest in more product to keep your personal products at home and not forget them then do it.
Create 10 hostess packets.
Create 10 prospecting packets.
Know your product!
Know your demonstration material.

Schedule time for business every day, even if this is part time for you.
Schedule two shows a week minimum – you’ll get better at sales, find yourself consistently generating more bookings at your shows, and know your products better also.
Schedule time each month for customer care and customer service calls.
Schedule time each week for prospect follow up calls.
Schedule time each month for recruiting activity.

Hostess coach your hostesses for better results.
Follow up with prospects.
Use the time you’ve scheduled for business, even when a show cancels.
Continue your education.
Attend your local meetings, even if it means driving 2--3 hours to get there.
Participate in tele-classes.
Listen to training CDs.
Attend your company conferences.

Know your results.
If your company doesn’t provide a tracking guide for weekly sales, you need to create it. It’s simple.

The first three columns label: Week (date), Total Weekly Sales, Cumulative Sales. An optional fourth column can be Remaining Sales Needed.

Additional columns you may wish to add: Weekly Profit, Cumulative Profit, Prospects Met, New Recruits, and Cumulative Recruits.

At the end of every week record your sales and track your progress. When you have a couple weeks of zero sales in a row, you’ll know you’re going to have to make up that difference. It’s also a sign that there is a part of your business you need to improve on. Do you need to improve your hostess coaching? Do you need to learn how to increase your average order? Do you need to relax at your shows and have fun?

Backed with your reason “why” you’re in business, this structure of prepare, plan, act and track, will help keep you going.

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone, LLC

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to Develop Consistency in Your Business

Part II
Staying consistent in business is a lot like exercise. You can’t exercise for a couple weeks and take three or four off and then pick it up for two and see results. You keep it consistent and you’ll see the results you really want. Sometimes in business, like exercise, results vary and are not immediate. When you have a motivating factor it’s much easier to be consistent in your actions.

Are you working to generate money for retirement? College? Credit card debt? Or, a trip for a second honeymoon?

If you are working your business part time to generate $1000 a month, calculate how many shows a month you need to hold to generate the income. Can you envision what that could mean for a year? Take four weeks off during the year and you could be generating $48,000 just for sales. Improve your sales and that amount could skyrocket! If this is an area you need to improve check out my Super Selling CD.

Losing weight is a process of eating fewer calories and burning calories. A meal plan, exercise routine, journaling, and meetings sure help you stay true to your weight loss plan. Since I’ve done both, built a huge direct sales business, and worked at weight loss over the years, it’s been my experience that direct sales is a much easier plan to stick with! Direct sales is a simple business; it’s a cycle of sales, bookings, recruiting, and repeating the cycle. Know your “why” and you’ll develop the necessary habits to become consistent in business (or lose weight). My motivation has obviously been stronger in direct sales!

What’s really in it for you to achieve your income goals? When you determine why you need to earn this income, you’ll have reason enough to develop smart business habits, commit to your own success, and work consistently.

Next time, I’ll share a four point structure to help you create consistency.

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone, LLC

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Get Back into Your Business

Believe in yourself!
Believe that you deserve to have a fun, strong business
Believe that you deserve to have abundance
Believe that you deserve to have FUN everyday
Believe that you are in the right place at the right time
Believe that women want what you have—they do!
Believe in the company business building system

Attend all unit meetings, trainings, & events
Attend the same trainings repeatedly
Attend to the information you gain by using it
Attend to your hostesses with great hostess coaching
Attend to your customers with great customer service
Attend to your Team Members
Attend to the tried & true ways to grow your business

Tune into the hotline everyday
Tune into your emails once a day
Tune into your customers with emails 4x a season
Tune into your prospects at every show
Tune into your intuition that tells you to step out there
Tune into opportunities that surround you
Tune into the fun factor and spread it to others

Turn on your energy
Turn on your smile
Turn on your great style
Turn on your dreams—enlarge them!
Turn on your will power to move forward
Turn on the care for your customers
Turn on the love you have for others
Turn on the joy in your life
Turn on the fun in all you do
Turn on YOU!

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone LLC

Monday, July 7, 2008

Booking Commericials ~ Booking Bids

Call it what you like - commercials, bids, an invitation - the fact of the matter is you need to "advertise" to your guests at a show that they too can book a show of their own. The key is to use at least 6 - 8 different ones so that one of your commercials will match up with guest's needs. Also, there's a psychological theroy that says a person experiences six steps of acceptance to get to a "yes" answer.

Below are some great booking bids you may want to adapt and use to fit your products and company. The key here is to use them! Write them out on a post–it note and insert them into the catalog you use during a demo so you use them!

1. “Everyone falls in love with our active wear collection and starts with an outfit at their first show, invites a few friends over to earn an outfit free, and then adds on the rest.”

2. “I’m looking forward to helping all of you find simple ways to organize your home with free baskets just for having your best friends over for a girls night out.”

3. “You’ll just love how simple and easy being a Jewelry hostess is!”

4. “This cookware set can be yours just for having a few friends over to shop.”

5. “Who do you know is missing out on the fun tonight? Take just a moment and jot their names down in your catalog on page 16 and you’ll have your guest list ready to go.”

6. “My goal tonight is to help Holly Hostess earn this scrapbooking package free and the tote too, and I’ll do the same for you when we have your show.”

7. “I’m so excited with the bedroom set you’ve started here! You’re going to sleep great in it! What’s the best date for you to get the pillows for free, Tuesday, or Saturday morning?” (at the order table before giving her the total bill)

8. "Our company may be older than you, but our products are new, inovative, and far from what your grandma and mother used!"

When you use 8 or more booking bids in a show, and then EXPECT that everyone will want to book, you’ll see your business grow!

If you still find bookings are a challenge to get scheduled, the Booming Bookings CD is perfect for you. You can listen again and again and each time use new ideas from the CD. Before you know it, you'll have a full calendar and be set for the most successful fall season. Or if you prefer one one coaching, contact me and together we'll get your business on track.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More Time Management Tips

Leverage your time:
1. Take a new recruit with you to your show so they learn from you while you’re in action.
2. When you host a show in your home, invite three of your consultants to come with their own guests.
3. Hold focus groups and coach them all at the same time on conference calls

Email management:
1. Don’t send out emails each time you get an idea, put them all together and send one.
2. Conversely, teach your consultants to put all their questions into one email and email you once a week vs. every time a thought/question arises.
3. Respond to as many telephone messages as you can via email, unless the personal contact would be more beneficial to their business growth and yours.

Work from systems, don’t reinvent the wheel:
Have a system for processing new applications you receive from your team.
2. Have a system for your sales meetings. Keep the format the same, the content is what should change. Keep a box of supplies you need at every meeting always packed and ready to go.
3. Portable boxes on wheels are great for this.
4. Keep your kit packed and ready to go to every show. Keep your personal supplies or products out of your kit contents and vice versa.
5. Become a creature of good habits. Use a routine for how you run your business.
6. Think “How could I do this more efficiently?” Would it be best to hold your shows back to back and place one large order each week vs. placing orders after every show?
7. Make a batch of 20 hostess packets and 20 prospecting packets at a time.
8. Have your kids assemble these.

Plan time off:
1. Time to rejuvenate is important. When you earn a company trip – take it. There’s value in that time off for your mind, body, and soul.
2. Take time to exercise regularly. Your body will function better, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll relieve stress.
3. Plan vacation times alone and with your family.
4. Plan a couple 15 minute time outs during the day for a mental break. Read, garden, play with your pet.

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone, LLC

Monday, June 30, 2008

Tips to Time Management

We all have the same number of hours in a day so why is it that some women seem to accomplish so much more? It’s all about how you use your time. If your biggest excuse is your need to organize everything before you can start, do it today and get over it. My organizational friends would tell you, you lose more than an hour a day looking for things you need and can’t find due to lack of organization. So, plan one day to get your office in order and then that’s it, move to what makes you money. For ideas on keeping it organized, here are two of my favorite resources. BusinessMom Mentor & Organize with Confidence.

Now, no more excuses. You’ve done it, you’re organized, now plan from here. These 14 tips can help you get a grip on your time management.

1. Know your goals
2. Know what steps / actions it takes to reach them
3. Determine the time it will take each week
4. Determine which tasks will help you for each step toward your goal
5. Plan the necessary amount of time into your schedule each week
6. Decide which tasks generate income and help you toward your goal, and schedule those first in your calendar
7. Schedule power hours. One 90 minute block of time, not fragments, but block of time to focus on the task that is most important to your business growth. Perhaps that may be your contact time with consultants, holding training tele-classes with them, planning the training or meeting for the week.
8. Next schedule two separate power hours during the week. Think about your business needs and delegate the time accordingly
You may want to break it into these 15 minute segments, one right after the other:
* 15 minutes to make customer care calls
* 15 minutes to make hostess coaching calls
* 15 minutes to make prospecting calls
* 15 minutes to make return phone calls to those who have called you or referral calls
9. The next full power hour can vary weekly:
* Week one: booking blitz calls
* Week two: consultant contact calls
* Week three: phone sales
* Week four: consultant contact calls
10. Delegate those tasks that are not income generating
11. Give up the need to do it all
12. Turn the “ringer” on your emails off and open up your emails two times a day
13. Let others know your plan and work times so they respect your work schedule
14. Always ask your self “Is what I’m doing right now helping me to reach my goal?” if it’s not, drop it, delegate it, or skip it all together

Put these ideas into action and next time I'll have more time management tips.

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone, LLC

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Who Says the Sky is Falling?

I try not to watch much news or read the papers because they are so negative it drives me nuts. The media loves to sell sorrow. I ran into a few people talking about how tough the economy is and how desperate times are and thought “Well, I don't feel desperate. I'm being wise about my spending, but I always have been.” And then, I did read an article that stated no matter who is president, which party is at the helm, the entrepreneurs were the ones least effected, if at all, but tough economic times. Why? Because they don't talk about the sky falling, they talk about how to improve the roof.

As a direct sales consultant – you get to decide if the sky is falling, or if you're going to reinforce your cover. Now is an ideal time to be sharing your earning opportunity. It's the way you reinforce your cover and it's how you enable others to do the same.

When you offer your business to others, share your success story and those of others in your company, you give hope to your prospect that they can have a better life. You provide comfort that life will be good and it's okay to keep living, dreaming, and moving forward. When you separate yourself from the negative talk of the economy, and look to what is working, you'll find a sense of peace within too.

Your business offers women the opportunity to

  • earn a few hundred dollars a month to cover rising household bills

  • earn a few hundred dollars a week to wipe out credit card debt

  • earn a couple thousand dollars a month to replace a job where she's overworked and underpaid.

  • earn a six figure income that can do all of the above and create a retirement plan she can depend on, and more!

If you are maximizing your earning opportunity, you know this. If you are not, look at the achievers in the company and you'll see it. There is hope for everyone who wants a brighter future. The question is, are you going to add to the desperation or are you going to be part of their solution?

Who should you share the your business with today?

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone, LLC

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Overcoming Objections Tele-Seminar Notes

The Overcoming Objections tele-seminar was today, and due to the technical difficulties half way through, only the second half of the call was recorded. It’s the middle of the afternoon here, thundering and lightening like crazy and very dark outside so that may be what caused our technical snafu.

Below are some of the responses to overcoming objections that I shared on the call. (For those of you waiting for Part I to Consistency in business, come back soon, I’ll be posting that next.)


* I used to feel the same way until I realized how often I was replacing my ____ because it (faded, didn’t hold up, was poor quality, etc…) and realized how cost effective our products are.
* There will always be products that are cheaper, but there’s a reason for it, they are poorly made, they’re manufactured overseas, or they anticipate you’ll simply replace it latter.
* It may seem expensive until you compare it to other products and see ours lasts longer, only needs half as much, etc.
* That’s why you’ll want to take advantage of our buyers club.
* When you purchase two items, you get the next two at ½ price which makes it really affordable.
* The difference you have with the retail industry is you still pay these fees but they are built into the cost of their goods.
* People today are used to catalog shopping and internet shopping where they have shipping and handling charges.
* You’ll want to be a hostess then because with a qualifying show, hostesses don’t have shipping fees.


* I limit the number of shows I do each month and I’d hate to have you miss out. Let’s set a tentative date so you are guaranteed a date and we can confirm it tomorrow when you have your calendar handy.
* Because women today are so busy they really appreciate how quick our shows are.
* Busy women are the most successful hostesses because they know how to keep it simple, get it done and move on to the next thing on their list.
* I understand that’s why I help you with the invitations and we keep our parties very simple.
* Thank goodness we don’t need the whole house.
* Patio parties on the deck are really popular this time of year.
* You are welcome to use my home, just bring your friends.
* That’s why we keep our shows simple, quick and fun so your friends can relax and have a good time or stop in quick to shop and run.
* What was the last show you were all at? (It may be that they really haven’t been for months, or that they “all” got invitations to shows this week, though they didn’t go. Probe a bit further. )
* How do you think they’d feel about a relaxing spa afternoon?
* Oh I understand, sometimes long parties get to be a bit much. How about a quick stop and shop night? (Or) How would a private cooking show work for your friends instead?
Sometimes the terminology is all you need to change, try words like a girl’s night out, private fashion fittings, personal make over, private jewelry show, etc. Give it a different label, show, party, presentations, demo, or girls night out.
* This might be the perfect opportunity to meet your neighbors.
* We don’t need a lot of people for a show so if you have three friends and they each bring a guest; you’ve got a great show.
* Many of my hostesses feel that way at first, and with my coaching have found they have as many as they really need for a party.
* Several of the women at this show have long wish lists so you could easily add some of them to your guest list.


* While the kids are at camp, you could be getting through the learning curves so you are ready to fly in the fall, when sales are at their highest.
* I can respect that. You may want to hold a few shows this summer and start getting your clients lined up so you’re ready to soar this fall.
* That’s exactly why I thought of you. Busy women like yourself are so good at managing many things at once and it might be the outlet you give yourself for personal time out and fun.
* Does he object to you making money?
* That makes sense. What you’ll find is by hearing the information now, you’ll know if it’s the right thing for your future. I’d hate to have you thinking this is what you’re going to do and then later discover you should have been planning something else.
* If you have 3 to 5 people who would host for you, you’re business will mushroom from there.

When people have objections, they’re really telling you they don’t have enough information for a "yes" decision. Objections mean they don’t have enough information to solve their problem. An objection means they still have questions. Repeat objections that you hear over and over are an indication that that is a concern you could be addressing during your shows to eliminate it. You can turn an objection into a recruit bid, booking bid, or a reason to buy.

And by the way, if it’s raining, your customers and prospects are likely home since ball games are cancelled, it’s too wet to mow or garden, etc. So take advantage of a rainy day and pick up your phone!

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone, LLC

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Consistency is in the Following the Recipe!

Part I

My Grandmother’s sugar cookies are to-die-for, melt-in-your-mouth, incredible cookies. Her cookies are hard to duplicate; many have tried and failed. Her secret? Patience. She always said no one could make her cookies like hers because they weren’t patient enough to stick with it (and of course add enough love to it too!). Good cookies like hers require beating for a long time and refrigerating over night. You can’t rush them or they’re soft. Grandma’s cookies are consistently good because she follows her recipe exactly the same every time.

Business is the same way. You can’t rush it. You have to be patient and you have to stick with it! You can’t alter the recipe. What is the recipe for success in your company? Two shows a week? Three follow up calls to prospects per show? Four personal calls to your customers per season? Know the recipe and follow it.

Patience and consistency are vital to your business success. I’ll share more ways in the coming days on creating consistency. But to start with, begin with your “why.” Why are you in business? What do you want from it? Who benefits and how, from your success? Take some time and write out your “why” and get very clear about it. When you understand the deeper value of your business success, creating consistency in business becomes easier and more natural.

Check back soon, I’ll have more on creating consistency in your business.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Walt Disney Keeps Them Coming Back For More... Do You?

Years ago I took two of my children to Disney World. I’m not one for wild rides and roller coasters, but without my husband along, I had to bite the bullet and ride a few with my son. James fell in love with Splash Mountain, and I have to admit, I discovered it was a fun ride and I loved the inside of the mountain too. We rode that ride five times. I laughed every time. Now we’re planning another family trip to Disney and already I’m looking forward to Splash Mountain with James, and hoping the lines are short so we can repeat the ride a few times too.

Walt Disney understands that people don’t tire of a fun ride. In fact, when he created the theme park, he understood if it was really fun, families would come back again and again.

Your company gets this concept. Think about your demo or presentation you do at a show. It may only be 15 – 25 minutes, and you may feel like you do the same thing over and over, but it’s precisely what your customers come to learn, enjoy, and expect from you time and again. And bonus for you, the more you do it, the better and more natural you become. When your clients remind you during a demo to feature a particular product or show that "trick" you did last time, you know you are doing exactly what you need to be and what your customers come back time and again to see and buy.

The next time you think you need to shake things up a little, ask yourself if your customers are bored, or have you lost your enthusiasm? Perhaps you need to shift your perspective. When repeat clients see how simple this "job" is, they discover they too could be doing what you are doing. Think about the repetition as your "consultant in training" program.

Just like Walt Disney, you are creating an atmosphere of fun that keeps your customers coming back again and again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Ways to Increase Show Attendance

Call your hostess a week before her show and get a list of confirmed guests. Coach her she’ll have better attendance when she makes reminder calls to her confirmed and "maybe" guests two days before her show. Phone calls are important because they’re personal and reflect the hostess’s excitement.

Then, you make a call! This may sound like a lot of extra work, and if you have great attendance all the time, no need for this step. However, when you as a consultant call and connect with the guests before they even come to the show, they begin to establish a relationship with you. They feel more connected to you too and are less likely to skip the show. Plus because you have made the connection, they see you as a professional and tend to spend more because they trust you. The more guests you have in attendance, the higher your sales, bookings, and recruit leads.

The hostess coaching you do in advance of the show determines what your paycheck will be at the show. Going to the show becomes merely a means of going to pick up your check and have fun with new friends.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Increase Show Attendance

You have great ability to increase your hostess’s guest attendance at your shows, and it can all be done with a little extra attention from you.

First, help your hostess generate her guest list. Build the guest list to 30 – 40 names so your hostess can be confident that she will have 10 – 12 guests attend. Have her keep a copy and you too so you can ask her about specific guests when she gets confirmation from each.

Second, create a “Save the Date” email with a link to your site for your hostess to send out to her guests.

Third, when you hostess coach, let your hostess know you want to help her have a rewarding and fun show. To do this, you are going to help her out, by mailing a reminder card to her confirmed guests as well as a reminder email. Tell her you will call her midway through to get the names and addresses of her confirmed guests and mail them a reminder postcard on her behalf.

If you have more than one style postcard, give one of each to your hostess and let her tell you which one is most fitting to each confirmed guest. Then mail the appropriate card to each guest with a note from you. Your note may say: “I look forward to meeting you at _____’s show on ____ night! We’re going to have a lot of fun together. See you at 7 PM! _____, your ____ Consultant.

Next time... more ways to increase show attendance.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Set the Stage for a Great Show

A great show starts with a hostess who is excited, knows what she wants to earn in hostess credits, and is well coached. Here are a few preliminary steps you can take.

Help your hostess determine in advance what she wants to earn and then show her how much in sales and bookings she needs to have to get what she wants. This way, she has a goal and understands how to get what she wants.

Ask her what she loved about the show she attended, the products you carry, or working with you. When she tells you, coach her to share that information with her guests when she calls to invite her guests. Her energy and excitement on the phone will entice more to attend.

Send her home with your hostess packet and tell her to read through it. Next set a date to call and coach her within the next 48 hours, and tell her to have her packet handy because you’ll review the contents and answer any questions she has. Reinforce your confidence in how much fun you’ll have together and what a success you know the show will be.

These quick little steps will set the stage for the rest of your hostess coaching, and for a show filled with customers, sales, booking and recruit leads.

© 2008 Anne Nelson, Joy Zone, LLC