Business Tips and Tricks

What Does Your Image Say About You?

A new Thirty One year starts today!  Every year (actually twice a year) I look back on my goals and evaluate what went right or what went wrong.  I don’t focus on the negative BUT I do acknowledge it so I know the changes I want to make in the new year.

Over the last year, there have been some noticeable changes personally and professionally in my business.  I have been saying and visualizing daily mantras to combat those nasty inner gremlins – the result, a more positive attitude.  The more positive attitude has rippled into a stronger marriage and a stronger business.  

I am learning to be ME!  At age 60, you would think I have this down pat but alas I don’t!  I used to practice my 30-second commercial so much, it felt canned and never really natural.  So, what did I do?  Changed it from a practiced commercial to “I help busy woman with simple organizing solutions so they can enjoy quality time with family and friends”.  I am a walking billboard with Thirty One products so it is easy to then share how they help me to stay organized.

But my image is more than my 30-second commercial… it is also about how others perceive me.  I’m a jeans girl.  When I was working in the non-profit world as a Social Worker and then as a Chief Operating Officer, I wore jeans with comfortable shoes (no sneakers) and a nice shirt.   As a direct sales consultant, jeans and a company tee shirt have been my attire for as long as I can remember.  But I will admit, getting older and closer to goal weight, I am changing things up a bit.  Nothing costly or dramatic just enough to let my sparkle shine through.

Do you remember the show “PanAm Girls” (I said I was OLD!).  These flight attendants were well groomed ALL the time, top notch, first class all the way.  Their hair, makeup, jewelry and clothes had everyone wanting to be just like them.  
What do you think of when you think of First Class?  
In direct sales, we are “on” all of the time.  Do people think you are well put together or a hot mess?  People pass judgement on us without us even opening our mouth.  Our clothes have a language all its own.  I’m not sure if mine don’t show I’m a hot mess more often then I want.  
Here are some of the tips to help you sparkle:
  1. Always where solid colors to a party or event.  You certainly don’t want to clash with your products.  As a Thirty One consultant, we have lots of prints to show so this makes sense.
  2. Be genuine, gracious and acknowledge others.  To me, this is a no-brainer for we Celebrate, Encourage and Reward our customers and hostesses.  This also is a great way to use Dana Wilde’s 10-second rule.
  3. Little details make up the big picture.  Pay attention to the little details your customers or potential customers share with you.  When I am at an event or party, I even make notes on the order forms so I can remember something about the customer.  
  4. Dress to showcase the best you.  Leave the tennis shoes at home.  Stay away from clothes which are too tight or too big.  Instead of jeans and a tee why not khakis and a tee. I have started wearing more of our jewelry and makeup to parties.
  5. If you saw you, what would you think?  Are you an all together girl?  Or are you a hot mess? When I think of an all-together person, there is a women at Weight Watchers who always looks FIRST CLASS.  Color coordinated, hair done, makeup, jewelry, etc. and she is just weighing in.  I always tell her I aspire to be like her.
  6. You are what you wear even BEFORE you have a chance to give your 30-second commercial.
I have also found my angels help me to stand out from the crowd.  A handwritten thank you with an angel goes a long way to someone remembering who I am.  The “ThirtyOne Angel Lady” as I am known by some fellow vendors.
What have you got to lose, right?  Who knows,you may recruit more and sell more so isn’t it worth a try?  Time for a haircut or at least to clean up my current hairstyle.  How about you – do you portray a first class image or a hot mess?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.
Hope Wissel

Great Questions Help Build Relationships

When you are out and about, do you struggle with starting conversations with people you don’t know?  Are you able to make great comebacks or think of “cute” “funny” things to say to engage others in conversation?  If so you are blessed.

If these fears haunt you then networking is probably one of the things that you HATE to do, right?  Meeting new people is key to our business especially in direct sales.  Now, I am not talking about at a home party or a vendor event where you can engage people in conversation when your products are right in front of them.  I am talking about those “other” meetings – chance meetings, networking events and countless other sales opportunities that are out there.

If you can’t think fast on my feet when you are out and about OR if you miss cues that would help lead into conversations where you can share about you products and the business opportunity – YOU are missing out on business.

So, how do you change that.  Savvy business people know that the key to effective conversations is to ask questions. Asking questions lets you accomplish three things at the same time.

  1. It gives you control the conversation so you can direct the conversation and keep it moving.
  2. It provides you with valuable information so that you can figure out the best way help to this person.
  3. Believe it or not, questions communicate your interest in the other person, helping them feel appreciated and understood.

Here are some questions that you can ask in almost any situation, without feeling like a stalker:

  1. What do you do?
  2. How did you get into that field?
  3. What do you love most about what you do?
  4. What’s your biggest challenge?
  5. What’s your latest success?
  6. Who’s your target market?
  7. Have you been here before?
  8.  Who else do you know here?
  9. Are you a member of this organization?
  10. Who else do you know here?
  11. Where are you from?
  12. What do you do for fun?
  13. Are you a sports fan?
  14. Did you see the game last night?
  15. Do you have any kids?

And perhaps my absolute favorite networking question:

Where else do you go to network?

Okay, so you don’t need to use them all but they are some good ice breakers.  Some would say that you should memorize these questions, develop a few of your own and use them the next time you meet someone you don’t know to engage them in conversation. See how easily the conversation flows.  By asking others questions about themselves, they will also respond with questions for you.  Remember the 10-second rule by Deb Bixler to ensure that you don’t monopolize the conversation.

Do you have a suggestion to add to this list? What are your favorite networking questions?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

People Person or People Pleaser?

As I was looking for inspiration this morning, my morning devotionals gave me some insight – talks of holding a grudge, respecting others and not letting pride get in the way of relationships led me to an article on the Direct Selling Education Foundation site called “6 People Skills You Need to Succeed“.  Being a “people pleaser” for most of my life, I always thought I was a “people person” but the two are very different.  If I want to succeed in business or as a leader, we need to make sure that we have these 6 people SKILLS:

1.  Learn to be calm and think clearly.  This one is easy – as a mom and a Social Worker, I have always been calm in a crisis.  I may fall apart when everything is said and done but isn’t that natural?  People who can act quickly are better able to evaluate a situation and react successfully.

2.  Acquire knowledge and build self-confidence.  The saying “knowledge is power” was lost on me.  I have lots of knowledge and information in my head but it doesn’t always translate to building my self-confidence.  Blogging has helped in this area.  I mean you never realize how much knowledge you have until you start sharing it, right? For those that know me, I have built my self-confidence through my Thirty One business which is now overflowing into other areas of my life.  This is truly a blessing.

3.  Develop communication skills and apply them.  To be a good communicator, you need to be a good LISTENER.  Remember that 10-second rule from Deb Bixler.  People appreciate it when you listen to them as a result they will trust you.  People buy from people that they trust.

4.  Develop a never give up mentality.  Persistence pays off.  I am trying to develop this type of mentality.  I do have days when Debbie Doubtful and Negative Nancy stop by for a visit.  Those are typically the days when I am emotionally, spiritually and physically drained – wondering (and maybe even doubting) what God’s plan is for me personally and for my business.  I can not fail unless I give up BEFORE I succeed – wise words.

5.  Acquire a win-win attitude.  When it comes to my customers, this is easy.  I never want my customers to buy a product that is not going to make them happy.  It is easy to create a win-win situation with them and as a result build relationships that increase my business.  I struggle in this area sometimes with my team.  A multitude of personalities some of whom are VERY competitive and are looking to be a winner makes a team win-win situation difficult.

6.  Develop great networking skills and a network of supporters.  Think about your target market and get involved in a variety of ways.  This is a newly learned skill for me.  I have been blessed to meet a supportive group of women at the Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms who have helped me to grow in this area.   I entered a Nervous Nellie and with their help have blossomed into a blogger and a network demon.  Thirty One connections have helped me to develop a love for making phone calls to network and build more relationships.

Which of these skills are natural for you?  Which of these do you need to develop in order to be successful in your business?  Are there any skills that have been left out – please share with us your thoughts and experiences.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.