Business Tips and Tricks

Lost Customers and How to Find Them?

Over the last six plus years of selling Thirty One, I have customers who are MIA.  They have stopped buying from me or have moved or just unsubscribed to my emails. I am sure I am not alone, right?  As I was going through my list of “holiday shoppers” for the last few years, there were several names or customers I haven’t seen in awhile. It gets my curiosity up…. why?

My follow-up process has changed some what over the last few years.  Now I try to stay engaged with customers. Yes, there are random phone calls unanswered.  Emails ignored.  And even Facebook posts or private messages which have been deleted, ignored and in a rare occurrence even blocked!  Has this happened to you – customers just quit buying from you without any particular reason?

The real reason for this, are you ready?  You may not want to hear it….. is indifference!  Okay, I know you are saying – I call, I text, blah, blah, blah.  Our company sends the monthly newsletters to alert our customers about the specials.  If we are honest with ourselves, have we really kept in touch with our customers?  I don’t mean those calls to BOOK, SELL, RECRUIT.  I mean just a call to check in – do you like the product, thank you, happy birthday, whatever the reason to call, text or email.

I can’t tell you the number of times a customer answers the phone, hear it is me calling and there is dead silence on the other end of the phone.  They have already decided I am calling to sell them something or to book a party.  Knowing this is their mindset, I usually start with “I’m not calling to sell you something or book a party, I just wanted to check in”.  I can almost hear the sigh of relief on the other end of the phone.  Do I ultimately want a sale or a booking? YES!  But I want to build a relationship with them.  Did you know it can take up to 5 non-sales contacts before someone feels comfortable buying from you?

How often are we focused on getting new customers?  Think about the leads you call from a vendor event or a potential recruit or a potential party hostess.  We are persistent in building a relationship with them to get to the “prize”.  Yet, those people who are already in our customer base may only hear from us when we are selling or booking.  

Statistics show 55% of our customers take their business elsewhere because WE, as direct sellers, show no interest in keeping them around. YIKES!  That is a lot of lost business.  I have talked about the importance of follow-up in the past but if this statistic doesn’t convince you, nothing will.  Picking up the phone for some is the hardest thing to do but it is one of the MOST important things we can do as direct sellers.  For me, it is about making sure my customers are happy with their product and for them to feel comfortable coming back to me – even if it is only once a every year or two.

Let’s be honest, how often have you been at an event, offered to put someone on your mailing list, then never followed through?  I don’t mean the occasional slips through the cracks kind of mistake, I mean the norm.  I have a graphic I send via email to everyone who stops at my table and leaves their information at a vendor event.  Just a little reminder from me.  Then I add them to my email list so they get the company emails and any other special emails I send out.  That is about it, unless there has been a specific request for something.

What about the person who wants you to contact them about a special or a product they were interested in?  Thirty One has specials which are repeated every year (large utility tote, medium utility tote, lunch totes and inserts) and I have a list of people who are interested.  It is a running list so when the special is approaching, I can reach out to them and secure their business.

I know some direct sellers who are AMAZING at follow-up.  They have awesome systems to ensure they are engaging customers on a regular basis.  These consultants I am sure are not loosing customers or at least not at the rate others may be.

I struggled for awhile to find a system which works for me.  This one has been working for me so far and only takes a few minutes to complete.

  1. Email thank you when an order in placed (online or at a party)
  2. Email with shipping information when I receive shipping notice
  3. Mail a handwritten thank you card with a business card
  4. 10 days after shipping notice, call to be sure order received & they are happy with their purchase
  5. Tag for 75 days, send a postcard reminding them of the 90 day warranty on their order.  This is another chance for them to return a product they may not happy with.

Then I am stuck!  I leave those people in my data base never to be reached out to again UNLESS they mentioned something in the conversations I can tag them for – vacation check-in, looking for a specific product/print/special or health struggle.  A tickler file helps me to keep things in order on a monthly and daily basis.

I am sure I am loosing a few customers along the way but I don’t think it is as many as before since I have a system.  Finding a system which works for you can be an issue or it can be an excuse to avoid doing those things we don’t like to do?

So, what about you – are you loosing customers?  Or, are you one of those AWESOME direct sellers with a system to keep you connected to your customers?  Share your struggles and your successes!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#hope

Unclutter Your Life

Drawing Lines in the Sand

Every once in awhile I get stuck, okay maybe more often then I care to admit.  Stuck on what to write about, stuck in my weightless journey, stuck in the comparison game – you get the picture, right?  What about you, are you stuck?

I was on a roll, the scale was steadily going down then something happened it STOPPED. When it stops (or creeps up), I get obsessed with getting on the scale every morning.  When the scale doesn’t move at home, the inner gremlins have a field day.

My business was on a roll (still is just not as crazy busy) and the inner gremlins started to creep in then the comparison game started.

So, for all of you who are with me, today is the day we draw a line in the sand… This is the day we SERIOUSLY hit the reset button and move forward.  

I often talk about setting the RESET button but truth be told, it tends to be just words. Am I committing to it or am I just going through the motions?  OUCH!  I have been going to weekly Weight Watcher meetings (I love my Thursday morning family) because it has been a BIG part of my weight loss journey and hitting goal.  Lately, I have been there in body but not in mind.  Focused on the number on the scale and missing the message.  Letting the inner gremlins talk about “wasting the money” since I am not at goal (just 8 pounds to go). You know what I mean, right?  You are there, half listening but the message doesn’t really sink in.  Or, you are listening and at the same time checking emails or scrolling through Facebook?  I have been a meeting person in some form since NA and found  it has always been my mental health therapy for the week when I am present!

So, let’s turn this around – whether you are stuck in your business, in your weightless journey, your job or_______________(you fill in the blank).  Join me in drawing a line in the sand and moving forward.  Step over the line and out of your comfort zone

Here are some inspirational thoughts which might help you:

  • “I’m not perfect, I am HUMAN”.  A cliche saying for some but it is a reminder I need – a dim light bulb moment.  It may not rock your world but it may remind you how often you compare yourself to others.  Time to get rid of the ANTs!  No, I don’t mean the little annoying critters, I mean the “automatic negative thinking”.  Did your light bulb go from DIM to BRIGHT.  I have ANTS!  I am not perfect but no one is.
  • This is a journey without a finish line!  Thank you Lynn for reminding me of this fact every week.  I am always looking for the finish line and it keeps moving.  My weight loss has been a LONG journey.  Losing 120 pounds took an eternity but it is okay because I did it.  The journey will continue even after I reach my goal weight.  A light at the end of the tunnel – NO!  It will just mean no more monthly payments to Weight Watchers but this time, I will not stop going to meetings.  Once I reach my goal weight, my goal will change to MAINTAINing it.
  • OWN your journey!  This means squashing all of those inner gremlins who like to play games.  This is your journey, not anyone else’s.  You need to focus on what matter’s most to you.  When we play the comparison game, we lose perspective on what is important to us and try to live in someone else’s shoes.  The woulda, shoulda, and coulda becomes a way of life instead of being present in YOUR moment.  Be present in your journey.
  • Lastly, Enjoy the journey – thank you AnneMarie.   You always inspire me.  Your positive attitude helps me to put things in perspective.  I need to slow down and enjoy this journey.   It is a roller coaster ride and I am NOT a fan of roller coasters but I need to enjoy it.  We are always rushing to something or somewhere when we need to “stop and smell the roses”.

I am again drawing a line in the sand.  I have again found the strength I sometimes think is not there.  Thank you to my Weight Watcher family for these weekly reminders and lessons.  I have been applying them to my business as well as working my weightless journey.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Clear the Clutter

Make a Clean Sweep

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Okay, you can stop laughing now because for those who know me they know I am NOT the “cleaning queen”.  I am always amazed at the similarities between reducing clutter in our home and our weight loss journey.  The truth is when we reduce clutter – mentally and physically – we lighten our journey.  Who doesn’t want to be lighter, right?

Organizing your physical space – as well as your mental space – can banish distractions so you can focus on things which really matter to you.  What matter’s most to you?  For me, in addition to my faith, family and business…..my health and weight loss journey has become something which is in the top 5 of my “what matters’ most” list.

Did you know a chaotic environment can leave you open to making unhealthy food choices?  According to a recent study, disorder leads to stress and stress spikes your body’s cortisol levels which in turn may make your body hold onto excess weight.  Hmmm.. can I use this as a reason if I don’t loose any weight this week?  So, a clean sweep not only helps you to get organized BUT it also promotes healthy behavior like eating fresh fruits and veggies, moving your bike to the front of the garage instead of buried in the back and having a serene bedroom for a good night’s sleep.  Plus all of this moving around is exercise (yes, I went there) so you are getting double benefits.

Physical space is often easy to unclutter because we see it every day.  What about making a mental clean sweep?  This isn’t always so easy.  Here are some tips to help you on this project:

  1. Write Down Your To-Dos.  No matter how good your memory is, we all forget things.  Lately, I forget more often than I care to admit.  The thing is when we record tasks and reminders on paper or on a digital list (if you are tech savvy), you free up your brain space.  When you free up your brain space of your to-dos, you have space to get creative, dream and work on ideas floating around waiting to be discovered.
  2. Create Email Folders.  I know this may be a no-brainer for some but I know people who keep everything in one “general” folder then spend countless hours searching for things.  A waste of time and energy.  I have have become more specific with my email folders – bills (to pay & paid), upcoming events, follow-up, potential hostess, team news, and the list goes on.   When was the last time you went looking for an email only to find oodles of them and you couldn’t find the one message which told you what time to be at a meeting?  Make folders which work for you then as you read an email – delete, move to an action file or save.  The key is to not touch an email more than once, if possible.  I used to use this same theory in my office – it saved me moving papers from pile to pile and getting nothing accomplished.
  3. Speak Your Mind.  Yup, I struggle with this one.  In a perfect world, I would be comfortable telling others when I feel slighted, bothered or angry.  Since we don’t live in a perfect world,  I have a hard time speaking my thoughts especially if they don’t agree with others in the room.  If you are good at doing this – AWESOME!  Keep it up.  If you aren’t, why not try speaking your thoughts out loud in an empty room.  Sounds silly right?  The truth is when you voice your opinion, share your feelings and hear yourself out – you can let go of the feelings continuing on with your day.  Believe me, this does work.

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Now, it is your turn… what steps are your going to take to organize your physical space?  Need some help, ask me about an “organizing session” and let me help you with a difficult space.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

UNPLUGGED

why unplugWhen was the last time that you totally UNPLUGGED from technology? I know that may be scary to some and I thought it was totally impossible. I mean I have my own business and my family is stretched out all over.  I rely on social media and technology for a large portion of my communication with family and friends. What happens if……?

The truth is that this weekend while I am at National Conference, I will be “unplugging” for long periods of time.  I know it may not seem like as your news feed on Facebook is flooded with moments in my pink bubble yet I am.  This is a time for me to fill my cup and build relationships with my Thirty One sisters.  Will the world end? No.

I am sure there are a million reasons you can think of as to why you should NOT unplug, right? BEFORE technology took over our lives. we used to call people on the phone.  if there was no answer, we kept calling.  If they had an answering machine, we would leave a message. The truth is business survived and thrived.  Our relationships were probably stronger because we had real lace to face conversations instead of “pictures” and snip its on social media.

The first time I totally unplugged was on our first cruise.  I was filled with the fear of “what if”.  Then each time got a little easier.  The first 24 hours are always the roughest then as time went on I actually didn’t think about it. I was enjoying building relationships with people face to face.  I found that I even enjoyed being “unplugged” for short periods of time.

I haven’t totally unplugged in a long time, although I have changed some things so that technology does not consume my life.  What about you?

What effect is technology having on your life? Does it consume your time, maybe your money, and without a doubt your energy, right?  How often do you check email as well as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites?  Are you obsessed with seeing what others are posting? Does it distract you from living in the moment?  And worst of all, do you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?  I have learned through my recent health challenges that being in the “moment” is much healthier for me mentally, physically and spiritually.  I have always said “there is no PURSE (substitute your product or reason for constant checking) emergency”.  I finally took my own advice.

Do I still check email in the middle of a meeting; while stopped at red lights; in the middle of dinner with my family; and as soon as my eyes popped open in the morning?  No.  I am learning to put the phone or the tablet away.  I even stopped having notifications show up on my phone.

The fear has subsided.  I am no longer afraid.  No longer afraid of missing out: on booking a party or the next big potential customer or potential team member; or maybe someone on my team needs.  I no longer worry about family being able to reach me. HELLO, we have mobile phones, right, if there is an emergency.  The fear of not being “in the know” or worse yet, having people go elsewhere for orders, parties or information is CRAZY!

Check out these tips for unplugging and re-claiming your life this weekend. Honestly, who would want to have their own business if you had to be accessible 24/7?

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Notifications from my phone are gone!  Yes, I still have apps but the only notifications that I get are text messages.  I start my morning with devotions and coffee – social media comes later.  I don’t even have multiple tabs open on my computer when I am working.  I have scheduled blocks of time to check email, Facebook and my other social media accounts. Believe it or not, I actually am and feel more productive in my business and in my personal life.

What will you do to #UNPLUG?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

Digitial De-Clutter

Who would have ever thought that this “non-techy” person would be a digital hoarder?  I save everything…photos, emails, old notes, bill receipts, even music.  I am sure that I am not alone, right?  I even found emails and files from the 90’s when I managed grants.

When was the last time that you went to take a picture and found that your phone is out of memory. During this picture taking season of weddings, gradations, birthdays, anniversaries and countless holidays you don’t want this to happen.  Are you a hacker’s dream – the kind of person who stores everything “in the cloud”?

I found some tips about spring cleaning your digital life.  I have talked about cleaning out and getting organized but this is always an area that I tend to forget.  IT experts say it’s a good idea to clear out and refresh your digital spaces at least once a year. It keeps them running smoothly and protects your security. It’s a hassle, right?  Who wants to spend an hour or two getting your digital house in order.  The truth is that doing it could save you a huge amount of time, money, and heartache in the future. Here are few tips to get started.

Close unnecessary accounts. UGH!  That would mean that I would have to remember ALL of my online accounts. There’s email (I have four of them), social media, online shopping, banking, subscription services, and countless others that I am sure that I don’t remember signing up for until I get a random email.  If you are like me, they all share passwords and security questions which are a hacker’s gateway into your private accounts.  Take stock of your old accounts and delete anything that you don’t use regularly.

Switch up your old passwords.  When was the last time you changed your passwords?  Were you locked out of an account?  Maybe your forgot your password?  Or maybe the website told you it was time to change them.  The truth is that you should change your passwords every 6 months.  YIKES!  The new security settings on websites require you to add symbols, etc. for added protection so they are less likely to be hacked. Cyber security experts recommend enabling two-step authentication whenever possible.  I know a pain, right?  There are password managers like LastPass or DashLane. These catalog your credentials and create new, secure passwords when needed.

Change Privacy Settings:  When was the last time that you checked the privacy settings on your accounts?  I didn’t even know that some of them had privacy settings!  Haven’t touched an app in ages – delete it!   I am sure you have heard this a MILLION times – DON’T use the same password for all of your accounts.  If one site gets hacked, then they can use your email and password to access your other, more sensitive accounts.

Picture Storage: Do you use Facebook as your digital scrapbook?  Social media experts say that “social media is NOT a good place to archive your life.  It becomes this publicly accessible list of everything you’ve done and thought and said.  Imagine a world where your past relationships, long-forgotten stray thoughts, and personal baggage are not on display for any casual acquaintance to peruse!  I love DropBox or Google Photos to keep pictures in.

Clean up tools:  IT experts suggest using Facebook Timeline Cleaner and TweetDeleter that erase old posts in a few clicks.   Recommendations range from deleting personal social-media posts after a few days or weeks, depending on the platform, and after a year on professional accounts.  What do you think about this one?

Check it before you chuck it. Cleaning out old, unused, or broken devices lying around?  Are you ready to sell, give away, or recycle them?  Before doing so, think about what’s on them.  How about that old Playstation?  It could have personal information on it, such as your credit card information, name, address, and photos.  Before putting it on the curb, selling it at a yard sale, or trading it in at a place like GameStop, wipe the data using the system’s factory reset.  The goal is to make it as inconvenient as possible for someone to steal your data.  Remember to wipe the data from those old mobile phones too!

I will admit that I never think about where identity stuff lives.  Guess you will find me cleaning out my digital space on the next rainy day!  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!