Business Tips and Tricks

Growing Your Business Online

Over the last three months, I have seen a change in my business.  After talking to other direct sellers, a lot are seeing the same thing.  Many in direct sales are seeing their business move to more online sales/ parties and less “home parties”.  I LOVE home parties.  I love connecting with women and getting to know them.  I love seeing them smile as they spend time with friends, reconnect and relax.  That is what makes me smile. So I need to learn how to do the same thing online.  Is it possible???

You can imagine how I struggled when I found my calendar empty with the exception of some Facebook/ online parties and a few vendors events.  Those inner gremlins began to jump for joy as they saw the perfect opportunity to play the “negative” mantras and the comparison game.  It was tough squashing them but I had to give it a try.

I went on the hunt to find new ways to connect with people on Facebook or to engage my customer base from the last 6 1/2 years.  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  I knew I would try things which would flop while other things would be a success.  I was willing to commit to it because I wanted to continue working my business full-time and make a difference in the lives of others.  Even tougher because I am a little tech challenged.

I tried Facebook parties before.  Some were successful while others flopped.  I looked at the differences.  Hostess coaching played a huge factor in those which were successful. Hostesses who wanted to earn FREE product and were willing to at least do a little bit to help make the party a success.  Flops were usually associated with no participation from the hostess or I was using other people’s scripts and not making them mine.  Admit it, you have done the same thing!

I looked for people who were successful in running their direct sales business solely online.  I looked for tips and tricks from other direct sellers.  I was bound and determined to make it work.  Here is actually a blog post I wrote almost 4 years ago which talks about this exact subject:

As Jason Dorsey says – you need to communicate with different people differently.  In Inc. Magazine there was an article on “4 Tips for Using Social Media to Sell“.  I love that Matt Heinz talks about “social selling” instead of “social media”.  Here is a link to his book “Successful Social Selling”  Here are the 4 key principles shared in the article:

  1. Getting more “followers’ in not a goal.  “There is no connection between the number of followers or likes and your amount of sales.”  So true!  I have been doing this through my blog but now I have ventured into the social media realm to do the same thing.  Sharing products and information by offering people an opportunity to experience Thirty One products without the HARD sell.
  2. Connection is not engagement.  Selling comes from interaction and not just pushing my message or expertise.  I am learning to respond to each person who comments on a post, especially the engagement ones.  You need to INTERACT with people to build a relationship with them whether online or in person.   
  3. Buyers signal by declaring problems.  I am still working on this one. LISTENING for signals when you are face to face is one thing but I find it so much more difficult online.  I worry about giving a “sales pitch” or “being pushy” when I “think” I hear those signals.  
  4. You are not in control.  This is so tough for those like to be in control!  “If you tweet, blog, or post about a solution, idea, or product a person doesn’t need, they won’t necessarily connect with you. If you are listening to the social Web and hear someone declare a problem you can solve or a question you can answer, giving you an opportunity to send a relevant response, then you are truly engaging.”

It has only been three months of consistently trying things online and it is working.  I will admit, I stress at the first of the month when the calendar looks light BUT then I get busy.  Over the last 3 months, I have met my personal sales goals and my team has met theirs and almost ALL of us do just do things online.  Consistency is the key.

So, what are your thoughts on social selling ON social media?  If you use Social Meda, what platforms do you use and are they creating business opportunities for you?  Please share your thoughts…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Emotional Shopping

emotions - smiley faces

Another Monday morning…The month of September is going by so fast with the stores already stocking holiday items hoping to get people to start shopping early.  In direct sales, we LOVE the holidays because 70% of our business occurs during these 3 months.  Traditionally, the sales made during the holidays help propel us through the winter months with home parties.

Do your customers make decisions based on careful consideration and lots of good information?  I don’t know about you but most of my customers impulse (or emotional) shop at my parties.  There are the rare few that think about budget, use, and gift possibilities before they shop.   Do you know what the six emotions are that effect all buying decisions?  I didn’t but with the help of Inc.com, I do now.

1. Greed. “If I make a decision now, I will be rewarded.”  Okay, so if we have a GREAT monthly special, people shop because they can get a great deal.  Greed, I don’t know if I would call it that or not.  My customers LOVE certain monthly specials especially when products are more than 50% off the retail price.

2. Fear. “If I don’t make a decision now, I’m toast.”  Buy it or lose it feeling.  Definitely an impulse decision but not one that I run across very often.

3. Altruism. “If I make a decision now, I will help others.”  People like to buy things that serve multiple purposes – they get a great deal PLUS a cause near and dear to their heart receives a donation.  A win-win for everyone, right?  This definitely helps my monthly sales especially during fundraising season.

4. Envy. “If I don’t make a decision now, my competition will win.”  Envy or is it the comparison game.  The old “keep up with the Jones’ theory”, right?  I want what they have – does that really happen in this day and age?

5. Pride. “If I make a decision now, I will look smart.”  I can’t say that I have every come across this with my customers.

6. Shame. “If I don’t make a decision now, I will look stupid.”  Really, do people really buy for this reason?

What is the emotion that you find most prevalent in you customers?  Do you appeal to that emotion when you are talking to them or presenting a product to them?

According to Inc.com, it is not the information itself that is important, but the emotional effect that the information has on your audience. This is an essential distinction.

Isn’t that why we share our emotional why at parties?  We talk to our party guests based on the feelings (and products) that they can emotional relate to, right? So, do you plan your party presentation to have an emotional punch?  If so, share some of your best tips with us..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel, So You Want to be a Leader?

Want Your Family and Friends to Understand

Easter Monday…leftover food, half eaten Easter baskets and maybe with any luck the kids are headed back to school.  I always remember that some of the schools had their Spring break BEFORE Easter while others had them AFTER.  We have created some great memories with our family and friends that will last a lifetime.

Now, it is back to work for most of us even those in direct sales.  As you reflect on the last few days of this holiday/ spring break, is there something that you wish your family and friends understood about YOUR business? An interesting article by Kevin Daum talked about this exact thing.  If your direct sales business is your full time job or that is your goal, everyone around you may be wondering WHY would you want to be an entrepreneur, right?  Here are some of Kevin’s thoughts (and some of mine):

1. Entrepreneurs are benevolent narcissists. There is no question that many entrepreneurs act as though they are the center of the universe. Over time, I have learned that in order to make visions come true, I must constantly sell and recruit people to my mission. So yes, my world revolves around my vision and ambition. That is the narcissistic part.  I LOVE Thirty One and what it has done for me personally and in business so I want to share it with EVERYONE and anyone that wants to listen.  I want other women to know what this can do for them.

2. Once entrepreneurs decide to take action, they commit. There is an incorrect assumption about most entrepreneurs that they are impulsive.  My hubby would definitely say that I was impulsive – I want it when I want it.  Not always great for running a business but that is where he helps to balance me out.  I have to admit that when I was creating my own product (preemie baby clothes) many years ago, I was not ready to commit and take action.  I had very little business sense just a  lot of desire.  In direct sales, I find it easier to be focuses and manage my time and money.  I learned from my mistakes – okay, so I am still a work in progress.

3. Entrepreneurs feel angst about time.  It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that sometimes I am moving so fast I forget to show it. You need to be gently reminded them that not everyone moves at our pace. For those of us in Leadership who are looking to keep moving, this could be a problem.  We know to earn the next trip or move up another level, we need to rely on others as well as make things happen ourselves.  UGH!  In the mix, we may sometimes forget that it is not about what we want but about what they want or need.  They may looking to make a few extra dollars while we are pushing for Leadership.

4. Every day with positive cash flow is a good day.  Sounds like my hubby reminding me that I need to watch my expenses because YES, I am the one who likes to give away the shop.  Our AWESOME products, hostess benefits and perks being a consultant are the best reason to be a part of Thirty One.  It is nice to thank some one for their business or for an AWESOME party but it doesn’t mean that you have to loose money in the deal.  I am a giver so this one can be a struggle.

5. For entrepreneurs, working means fun and relaxation. Contrary to popular belief, most entrepreneurs are not workaholics.   Okay, so I am a recovering workaholic.  I LOVE my Thirty One business and it is fun and relaxing.  I feel blessed that the things I love to do are also the things that make money and give me a sense of accomplishment.

I would love to hear your thoughts… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel, So You Want to be a Leader?

Social Media vs Social Selling?

Are you looking for a new way to reach your target populations?  Are you tired of feeling like you are technically challenged?  It seems that EVERYONE is turning to social media – twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram and just when I think I know what is happening (or what I am missing) another social media format pops up.

As Jason Dorsey says – you need to communicate with different people differently.  In Inc. Magazine there was an article on “4 Tips for Using Social Media to Sell“.  I love that Matt Heinz talks about “social selling” instead of “social media”.  Here is a link to his book “Successful Social Selling”  Although I still have my doubts on whether or not you can actually SELL on Social Media, I am game to try anything ONCE.  I believe that it is an AMAZING way to start to build relationships with potential customers but I am not convinced that it is a way to make sales.  Here are the 4 key principles that were shared in the article:

  1. Getting more “followers’ in not a goal.  There is no connection between the number of followers or likes and your amount of sales.”  THIS makes sense to me.  I have learned this through my blog.  Sharing products and information is offering readers an opportunity to experience my Thirty One products without the HARD sell.
  2. Connection is not engagement.  Selling comes from interaction and not just pushing my messages or expertise.  I don’t have as much interaction on my blog as I would like but it is definitely true with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.  I have to learn to INTERACT with people by posting/ responding when potential customers post on my page.
  3. Buyers signal by declaring problems.  I think this is tough!  LISTENING for buying signals when you are face to face with a customer is one thing since there are key words that we can LISTEN for.  I find that written messages are often edited so that we don’t get the “sales pitch” – or at least mine usually are.
  4. You are not in control.  Getting followers, and then provoking them to buy your products as a result of your posts rarely happens.   “If you tweet, blog, or post about a solution, idea, or product that a person does not have, they won’t necessarily connect with you. If you are listening to the social Web and hear someone declare a problem that you can solve or a question that you can answer, giving you an opportunity to send a relevant response, then you are truly engaging.”  I am not sure that I agree with this.  I have found that by sharing a variety of ideas, products or solutions – I get more interaction from my customers.

So, what are your thoughts on social selling ON social media?  If you use Social Meda, what platforms do you use and are they creating business opportunities for you?  Please share your thoughts…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.