Business Tips and Tricks

How To Get Unstuck

We are at the end of the first “J” month.  In direct sales, June is one of those dreaded months where business can slow down.  Does it really slow down or do we loose our focus?  For those with kids, the summer means juggling activities and keeping them busy.  For others, it means nice weather so trips to the beach, barbecues and just enjoying time with friends and family.

Did you know, when you allow a summer slowdown, you are really forecasting what your business will be like in September and October?  What you do now will effect your business in 90 days…….It will be like restarting your business all over again when everyone else is gearing up for the busiest shopping time of the year.

Here is a simple three step process from one of my favorite business coaches, Julie Anne Jones. to get you unstuck.

Step 1:  Focus On What You Want

I know I am not alone because as  human beings, we naturally focus on what’s wrong and try to fix it, when things aren’t going our way.  The key to changing your mindset is you need to look for a solution instead of focusing on the problem itself.  I have talked about positive affirmations before – bringing the “good” into your universe, right?  One of the easiest ways to do it is to use these to get your mindset working for you.

Grab a sheet of paper or a journal and answer this question:

If the perfect outcome to your problem magically appeared, what would happen (be as specific as you can. Add details and remember to stay focused on what you want to happen, not on what you don’t want to happen). Doing a thorough job during this step will make the next two easier.

Step 2: Activate Gratitude

When I am feeling down or on the “pity pot”, I take a gratitude walk.  Sometimes it is outside enjoying nature but when it isn’t possible, I start writing a list.  Gratitude is the quickest, and easiest way to change your mindset from the negative to the positive. It’s hard to stay stuck when you’re focused on everything in your life you’re grateful for.

This step is fun…create a “Gratitude List” of at least five things you’re grateful for RIGHT NOW.  It can be as simple as “getting up this morning”, or having a roof over your head.  Keep writing for about 10 minutes.   See what happens when you focus on what you’re grateful for and how quickly things turn around for you.

Step 3:  Create Affirmations

Affirmations are positive “I am” statements about the outcomes you want.  You state them in the present as if they have already happened. Here are some examples:

  • I am attracting the perfect clients in my business and love helping them succeed.
  • I am making enough money to pay my bills
  • I am booking parties and love helping people get FREE products
  • I am at my goal weight and am enjoying eating healthy

Can’t wait to hear how your summer turns out…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Can You Beat Vacation Veronica?

How long is this sign on your business during the holidays?  For Vacation Veronica stepped into the picture right around Thanksgiving weekend.  She may have come and gone a few times since them but she is sneaking back to see if she can stay till the spring thaw.

Some will take a holimonth instead of a holiday.  I used to take a holimonth from the Christmas cutoff till after the first of the year.  The end result was the need to kick start my business every spring.

As we creep into the final days before Christmas then head into the week till New Years, the holiday season takes on a life of its own.  The time spent in the office is all about paper pushing.  Now, I am not saying this isn’t productive in some ways but can put a damper on the most productive, money making time of year.  Pushing papers and getting things in order are good things I do in between Christmas and New Years as I prep for the upcoming year.  The truth is, we need to keep working on building our business so in January, we are not sitting around trying to figure out WHY we don’t have any business on the books.

Here are some tips from JulieAnne Jones:

  • If you are a Leader, plan all your meetings for 2018. As Leaders with Thirty One, they help us stay on track with giving us all of the materials we need.
  • Schedule time to connect with your downline to see how you can help them with their goals in 2018.
  • Share with your team some fun ideas for theme parties as well as other tips on how to boost their business in the new year.
  • Call your September, October, November and December guests – you know the “pink bag calls” we talk about. Check in and make sure they are happy with their product.
  • Call your past hostess and check in. Don’t be afraid to ask them about hosting a party.
  • Commit to listen to/ or read at least one training program. Don’t just listen or read – IMPLEMENT it!

As for me, I am excited to be kicking of the new year utilizing the Tag Team Party format.  Since 95% of my business has been online, I have been on the hunt for a way to hold fast, fun and easy parties online.  The format will plant booking and recruiting seeds while guests enjoy a 31-minute party online.

I am tweaking my follow-up system.  With our new ship before the party closes, there have been some challenges.  So, I am trying to get a system together.  The money is in the follow-up and I need to remember it on a regular basis. It isn’t just about the emails or social media, it is also about snail mail AND the phone.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours. Take a break and enjoy your family and friends during the holiday season but don’t neglect your business. If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you? So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Keep Your Team Motivated Over the Summer

There is a sigh of relief among direct sellers with the passing of June.  It is a crazy busy month for most people – end of the school year, graduations, weddings, baptisms, confirmations….. You get the picture.

I have already heard from many on my team, “no one wants to party in the summer” or “everyone is too busy” or “everyone is on vacation”.  I used to be one of those who said the same things.  The end result was – little or no business in the summer.  It translated to little or no business in the busiest time of the year – the Fall.  What happens now has a direct effect on what your business will look like in three months.  Yes, I jumped ahead a little bit…

Think about the people you know who are taking the Summer off from their business.  Are they the same people who take the month of December off? In my early direct sales years, I was one of those people.  I mean, I worked for myself so I could make my own hours, right?  So why not enjoy the break and get back to work in September?  What happen was, I had no business to get back to in September.  I was always starting over.

Summer is a fantastic time to have home parties and help others see the awesomeness of having their own direct sales business. Plus, during the summer, we’re gearing up for the busiest season of the year (the fall selling season), so now is the time to focus on building a strong business.

As a leader, you are an example to your team. Do I admit when I’m struggling?  YES!  But at the same time I offer solutions to help them overcome the struggles.  If you’re a leader, the summer months may take some creativity on your part, but working harder now to keep your team motivated and working will pay off for them (and you) this fall.

Here are three ideas on how to do this from JulieAnn Jones.  If you aren’t a leader, these ideas will help you keep your business on track this summer:

1. Help them set goals for the Fall

I hear the signs and see the eyes rolling.  Who is thinking about Fall, right?  Now, is the time you want to set goals for what you want your business to look like in September.  If you wait till then, it will be too late.  Help them by asking them what they would like to happen in the rest of the year.  The best way is to have them connect with how it will feel to have the money they will make with a full calendar.  What will they use it for?  Encourage them to set specific goals around the income, and the number of parties they want to hold.  With a plan, they will know what they’re working toward now.

2. Give them incentives they really want

What excites your team?  Would a CASH incentive keep them moving forward?  Would fun products? Or how about a trip?  Your direct sales company may offer these along the way but as a leader, you can also offer them.  Keep them within your budget. Don’t know what would get and keep them motivated, ask them.  And what would you like to encourage them to do to earn it?  Is it bookings, sponsoring, sales, or all of the above? Get creative and use the few months to help them work toward a fun incentive (and a stronger business).  I will be using this again this year to help me work towards the Leadership Incentive Trip with Thirty One.

3. Teach them creative ways to work their businesses during the summer months

Yes, you will need to be creative to book home parties in the summer, but fun themes make it a little easier!  How about: Ice cream socials, office parties, block parties, patio parties, BINGO, or Happy Hour parties. How about doing some FB parties to keep things going or to at least fill in the gaps.  Hostess of the Month Clubs.  Trunk parties.  I will admit, there are challenges working from home during the summer.  Encourage your team to share what has worked for them while you share what has worked well for you too.

Don’t be a Vacation Veronica in the summer months so you are a Struggling Sally in the Fall.  An investment of your time in supporting, encouraging, and training your team now will pay off big time this fall.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks

The Party Host Challenge

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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?

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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:

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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

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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.

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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!

 

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