Business Tips and Tricks

Success in Direct Selling

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Half the summer is gone and you maybe you are starting to think about “back to school” shopping.  Maybe you are wondering what you will do when ALL of the kids are in school. Maybe you are wondering HOW you will pay for all of those activity fees when school starts. Or maybe you will be dealing with “empty nest” syndrome as the kids head back to college.

I am sure that your Facebook news feed is FULL of offerings for direct sales opportunities.  It is National Conference time and everyone is on their “pink (or whatever color) cloud.  Have you thought “I could never do that”?  Or maybe you have been intrigued and thought “if she can do it, so can I”?  Maybe you wondered if you could really make money.  The truth is that you can!

Maybe you have you have decided to take the  BIG step and join a direct sales company. You think you know WHY you want to join?  The truth is, if you don’t – that is okay because it will probably change many times during the course of your direct selling career.

Have you joined a company that you “love the product” or “just want the discounts” or think “I could have a new career”?  You have hit “submit” and then it hits you – NOW WHAT? Most direct selling companies offer online training that will guide you through the company and its products. Most say the same thing – BOOK, SELL, RECRUIT! I mean that is the key, right? Well it may not always be that simple. 

Here are some of the main keys to having a successful direct selling business:

  1. Keep your calendar full. Whether it is one party a month or one party a week – how busy you want to be is based on your income goal for the month. Whatever your goal is – add ONE.  Just in case there is a last minute cancellation.  Always have a backup plan for cancellations.  Encourage your hostess to have a catalog party so they still reap the rewards if a home party didn’t work out. Have a list of potential last minute hostess/ friends that help out in a pinch. Switching potential cancellations to catalog parties is relatively easy.  But a back up list of last minute hostesses is a BIG help – you know the ones who can throw a party together at the drop of a hat and who LOVE your product. By keeping your calendar full, you are able to meet your goals each month.
  2. Make it look easy. I know you are thinking, how can I do that when I don’t have a clue what I am doing, right?  JulieAnne Jones suggests doing things the exact same way all of the time. Do you think that is boring? Well, she was tops in her direct sales company without really understanding why. The trick is that you are easy to duplicate so it is not so intimidating for new recruits.
  3. Be an expert on your product. I LOVE telling my hostess that our products sell themselves. While that is true, it is great to have lots of ideas on the benefits of your product as well as how it can solve various problems. Solving problems for your customers is key whether you are selling cookware, food, makeup or bags. Gather information from your customers on how they use a particular product and add that to your arsenal of product benefits.
  4. Recruit often. I know you don’t want to be a leader, right? OR You don’t want to be a pushy sales person. WRONG! If you believe in your company (as I do) and the opportunities that it offers (free trips, commission, incentives, bonuses, etc) share that information with others. They will want to join you in your journey because they are just as excited as you are.

Here is to your success…There are a lot of resources out there besides the specific company that you are selling for – check them out. The Direct Selling Education Foundation has some amazing resources.

Feel free to share your direct selling success stories. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Want to Be Taken Seriously as a Business Owner

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I have been in direct sales for almost 6 years and for most of that time, it has been my primary source of income to pay bills.  Yet, when asked “What exactly do you do?”, I stumble looking for the right words so that I avoid the preconceived idea that many have of direct sellers.

Some would say “your why” isn’t big enough. Or it must not be a business, it is just a hobby.  The truth is that the “people pleaser” in me was seeking approval from everyone else while I lost sight of what it was that I wanted out of my business.

Over the last 6 weeks, I have been working with a business coach, Desiree Wolfe, who has helped me to get clear on what I wanted from my business and who my ideal customers were.  I have been changing things up in my blog, on my Facebook page and other social media and the results have been AMAZING.

The truth is that I can and do make a real, sustainable income from my direct sales business – it is so much more than just a bag.  I am practicing NOT getting frustrated and a little defensive with people who aren’t familiar with the industry.

So after lots of brainstorming, numerous conversations about my business and suggestions from my coaches, I’ve come up with a plan.

Here are 3 simple tips and a few helpful facts for next time (because there will be a next time). How to be taken seriously as a business owner

1. Take your business (and yourself) seriously

Let’s be honest, we have all said “with confidence” that we are in business for ourselves, right?  We try hard to convince others that it is a viable source of income, the truth is deep down, you are a little hesitant which makes it difficult for others to take your business seriously. When you seem unsure, you’re bound to get doubts and questions. Lately, I am more confident about my business and as a result, others are willing to listen and accept it as a real business. Have you also noticed that when you are more confident, people are much more likely to take what you’re saying seriously? No matter what you are talking about….

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2. Create a killer product

If you are in direct sales, you already have your product.  The question than becomes “do you love your product?”.  Do you believe that your product meets a real need. When you are sharing product solutions that meets someone’s needs, the product will sell. And the ripple effect is that you will quickly gain respect from others.  The best way to silence the doubters is to have success – whatever that means for you.

3. Help others catch the vision

Casting the vision for your business to others is probably one of the best ways to gain support.  I have always known what I wanted in my heart BUT I struggled with conveying the vision to others.  I am ready to share my vision with the world!  I’m working on mini videos that help me to share the vision not only with my team and my customers but with everyone.  I want them to know that this “bag lady” is on a mission to make a difference.  Having a plan is important for your business because it not only keeps things on the right track; but it allows others to see the direction your headed in.  I find it funny that as a grant writer, I always had a plan yet with my own business, I struggled.  I now have a plan and I am gaining the respect of others by sharing where my business is, and letting them know where I believe it is going.

Starting a business is not something to be doubted or ashamed of. The next time someone asks you, “what do you do?” (because they will), you can tell them with confidence that you’re a business owner, share your vision, and provide them with the facts. You never know – they might end up being your biggest fan.

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Some content courtesy of Elle and Company.  What is your best tip for being taken seriously as a business owner?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!