Business Tips and Tricks

The Party Host Challenge

16105958_10158208256315220_9098811183390650959_n

The 25th of the month and for some in direct sales (me included) we are working on closing out a strong February while casually glancing at next month’s calendar.  It is the fine line we walk as we approach the end of the month to be sure we “don’t leave money on the table this month” while ensuring we have bookings next month.

One of the most challenging aspects of direct sales is finding people to host parties especially home parties.  We all know home parties are the best way to share our products.  By touching and feeling the products, guest are more likely to purchase them.  Or are you one of those consultants who get people to say yes to hosting? The struggle is getting them to team up with you so their living room is full of friends and family.  Or they cancel at the last minute because the excitement has worn off or no one is responding to their invitation. Sometimes, there isn’t much you can do but chalk it off as a bad experience. Or is there?

What if you could spark a fire in your party hosts they simply couldn’t refuse to follow through on?unknown

Think about how you met your potential hosts – at a party, a referral from a customer, a vendor event or maybe they just clicked on your link.  The truth is most hosts fail due to a lack of trust in their consultant.   Crazy, right?

thumb-beb65141d578bbf4fd58286e0ebf9668

The fact a potential party host may not trust you has NOTHING to do with you.  It is usually based on a past bad experience with another direct seller.  They “assume” (you know what they say about ass-u-me?) you’re just like her.  You can be the  nicest person in the world, have the best referrals but those bad memories linger. So, how do we change it?img_33901

#1 – Educate them.  Don’t panic! I don’t mean a full length course – who has time?  Just some simple tips to help your host have a successful party. I use a cover letter like this in my hostess packet:hostess-home-copy

No matter what system you use, make sure you walk with them through every step you expect them to take. The point is to make it as easy as possible for your hosts so they feel like they can’t fail.  Remember you are a team working toward a common goal – her success! Her success = money in your pocket!

#2 – Compel Them With an Incentive.  This comes with mix emotions.  You know your potential host has an interest in your products.  So why not turn the interest into a desire in them to succeed.  Some would say the “hostess rewards” are enough, for some it will be.  We know incentives work, right?  The free and discounted hostess rewards is probably what prompted her to take the leap of faith and say yes to hosting her own party.  But why not offer her something more if she meets your expectations.  Here is one way:

shot

Or offer an incentive for completing tasks such as: getting their guest list back to you within a week; having at least five guests at their party or for getting outside orders or bookings.  I know, you are in this to make money not spend it, right?  But the small cost will be outweighed by having a solid successful party.  The incentive can be free shipping or a less expensive item from your product line or a customer special or a favorite retired product you have in stock.  REMEMBER, your host doesn’t get the incentive until you show up for their ACTUAL party. Be sure to make it clear when you outline the incentives for them.

#3 – The Value Of Your Business Opportunity.  I will admit, I struggle with this some months. You know the ones I mean when  your calendar is empty and you need/want to book some parties?  Some advocate flipping your host before the party while I believe the party is her training ground to see how easy it is to be a consultant.  Your host is having a party for FREE and discounted product. She doesn’t see the bigger picture of what joining your company could mean for her or her family.  Plant seeds along the way.  Your guidance and a successful party may be just the encouragement they need to give what you do a try.  Offer to turn their party into a kickoff party and give them all the bookings you get if they say yes to starting their business.

#4 – Offer Assistance.  This one should be a no-brainer.  You want to make it super easy for your potential host to do her job.  You can help her by offering to call her guests to ensure attendance, send out the invitations for her, and offer to arrive early to help her set up which will also help to calm her nerves and build a relationship with them.  Make sure you stay in touch often before her party to give her support, answer questions, and remind her of what her next step is.

Will these tips guarantee success 100% of the time?  No, but it will definitely help to establish the trust factor.  The combination of trust and a growing relationship will decrease your cancellations and lead to more successful parties.

Are there things you do for your hosts to help them succeed? Share them with us in the comments below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Home Office

#BeYourOwnBoss

imgres

The quaint streets of Sylva, North Carolina were my office last week.  Yes, I was on vacation BUT I was also a walking billboard for my business.  I started conversations and made connections.  I have to admit, it was out of my comfort zone BUT the streets of NC seem so much more welcoming then the streets in NJ.

One of the best “perks” of being of being your own boss and have a direct sales business is I get to have total freedom on how I run my business. Honestly, running a successful direct sales business can become an all-consuming task.  To keep that from happening, you have to stay on top of everything that’s going on in your direct sales business. I know, you are wondering is it worth all of the effort?  Let me tell you – it absolutely is!

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping everything manageable:

#1 You need to stay hungry for success.

47d644c554d140b090d5d19a5287a23f

This is one of the toughest things for me.  Set goals for your business around bookings, sales, and recruiting and create a strategy for going after them on a daily basis. This helps you to stay focus and succeed in all three areas. Not only will it help you to keep creative, but you’ll be modeling things that your team can follow to grow their business.

#2 Keep an eye on your business facts and figures.

Keeping you eye on the numbers doesn’t mean just checking your reports to see if you and your team has sales.  I have gotten better with “organizing” my expenses BUT they still are not logged in my records.  The bottom line is that if anyone asked me what it costs me to do business, I would have to just guess. This is not good. You need to “know your numbers” before the end of the year and doing taxes so you have a true read on how you’re actually doing in your business. This means you need to organize accounts, track expenses, and keep everything up to date so you know where you are at any given moment. I use a simple tickler file to organize expenses, now the key is to put them on the excel spread sheet every month.  When you know your finances are in order, then you will know how your business is doing,  NO, it isn’t much fun but if you do it at least once a month, life will be easier.

#3 Stay Educated and Execute what you learn!2317e07863b5414d8ee1011c7062804c

Keep up to date on trends in your company and in the industry by reading magazines, blogs, and your company information and publications.  Things happen and you need to be sure you’re on top of any changes as soon as they happen. Some would recommend reading newspapers like Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal because the information in these publications can have an impact on you even if it’s not business specific. I find some of the best information coming from expert emails and newsletters, like Julieann Jones or Becky Spieth or Desiree Wolfe.  Reading is great but if you don’t DO SOMETHING with the information, there is no real value to you.  If you read something which sounds like a good fit for your business, make a plan and take action to try it. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you planned, you’ll learn from the experience – win or lose.

#4 Social media – pick two!

Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Google Hangouts and the list goes on.  It seems like every day there is a new spot to promote your business.  Overwhelming?  To me it is.  The key is knowing where your target market hangs out.  If most of your customers are on Facebook and Instragram, start there.  Be consistent.  Share and don’t constantly ask for sales. Don’t be that “pushy” sales person.  You want to be seen as a trusted expert in your product area.  I am consistent on Facebook by using Cinchshare.  I LOVE it.  The minimal cost allows me to plan my posts even when I am on vacation.  CLICK HERE to get a free trial.  Taking the time to post for a week will same you time and will help to increase your visibility online.  This is a great way to keep things simple.

What are your best tips for staying on top of the “business” of your business (or home projects).  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Woohoo Wednesday

Rekindle Your Relationship

f4f47062f20e66b2cd3cf7db1b227fcb

Today is all about YOU!  Struggling with health issues (or any stress) can take a toll on you in many ways.  It can effect you mentally, physically and spiritually.  And as a result, your relationships may suffer.

Has stress caused you to feel like there’s no more passion or excitement in your relationship?  Do you only see frustration?  Despite the stress, there are some ways to reignite the passion. Here are some tips that I found in a recent article:

1b2a0408d0d9a3f6d0c00b351cf49115

Date yourself.   Be sure to take care of yourself first and stop feeling guilty about it!  I know it can be tough – I have been there, done that and I have a multitude of tee shirts!  The most important thing is to de-stress, keep up on your hygiene (mani-pedis are great), exercise, eat well, do things that make YOU feel pretty and sexy. Let’s be honest, when we feel tired, bloated, in pain, etc. it is tough to see the positives in others.  Taking care of yourself sets you up to focus and be present in the moment.

1b622db5a90cd7510998fd51dd77a445

Get educated. I don’t mean going back to school, who has time for that!  Have an open and honest conversation with your health care provider. You will be amazed at the things that affect your body and how excited we get with our partner.  Sometimes those feelings are the start of other health issues.

datenight

Date your partner.  I’m not talking about the usual going out to dinner weekly to the same old place, the same old-time and the same bat channel! I mean schedule a time have fun with your partner! When was the last time that you locked the bedroom door and played a card game on the bed!  Or went to the park and played on the swings?

Communicate.  Communication is the number one key in a long-term relationship along with touch! No matter how well you know your partner you are NOT a mind reader. Despite the fact that many may think you are! Misunderstandings can lead to a lot of frustrations.  Learn to LISTEN while you are sharing your thoughts and ideas.

Try something new.  There are so many fun and exciting new things to add to your relationship just between the two of you. You can do something spontaneous like play hookie and head to the beach or lakeside for a couple of hours.  Stress causes us to get into a routine, a comfy spot – break out of that comfort zone!

Reflect.  Think about the things that were so thrilling and fun when you first got together! What were some things you did for your partner that they loved when you first started dating? Why not recreate those experiences?  If you don’t remember, have a conversation and ASK what they remember most about when you were first dating.  You may be surprised at the things that meant so much to them that you didn’t think about.

Take a vacation alone.  Isn’t the old saying “absence makes the hear grow fonder”?The truth is that alone time gives you time to reflect and regenerate your own energy. Gives you time to do self-care things without the judgement of someone else. It also interrupts the routine, “wakes you up” in a sense and you start to become aware of the things you love most about your partner, the things that make you feel incomplete without them.

See your partner at their BEST.  I can’t stress this one enough. If you are constantly frustrated with your partner or dreading being with them then try changing those thoughts. Make a list of everything you like and love about them and start paying attention to those things. In the morning say to yourself 3 new things you’re thankful for about them do this for at least 21 days and you’ll see a significant turn around!

What is your best tip for rekindle your relationship?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!