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

Born to Recruit?

Now that you have decided to go into Leadership and GROW your team, do you have what it takes to lead a quality Direct Sales Team?  As I have said many times, I originally FELL into leadership – my first 2 recruits were so excited to be a part of Thirty One that we learned along the way.  It has not always been a smooth ride, there have been mistakes, kit-nappers and God has chiseled my toughness a little to let His light shine through.

For those that are just starting this journey, here are some tips from an article by SalesMomsNetwork.com:

1.  Lead By Example.  Where the leader goes the team will follow.  This was a learning lesson early on for me.  When I started with Thirty One, it was a hobby.  I had some dreams but I lacked FAITH and BELIEF that I could achieve those dreams.  When I met my first recruit at a vendor show, I told her – I don’t do home shows.  Catalog parties and vendor events were going to be the way I did business.  I believed in being honest – OK, well I lead them to the same type of business – a hobby.  When I got my first request for a home party from a Home Office lead, I gave it a shot.  UGH!  I was awful, the party was boring BUT it was my first party over $500 and the hostess booked a catalog party the next month.  Guess it wasn’t all that bad, right?  Now the light bulbs started to flash.  Maybe I could do this? Maybe home parties were the way to go?  Do you think that is why they call it a “party plan business”?  So, as I changed the way I did my business so did my team.  Now I lead by doing a minimum of 2 parties a month with at least 10 people per party and one recruit per catalog season.

2.  Time Management.  WOW!  Managing a direct sales team is like being in an office managing staff.  Time management now includes office hours and hours that I work my business because after all, I am also a consultant.  New team members require TIME and if you are not ready to help them walk every step of the way in the beginning, maybe now is not a good time to recruit.  Most direct sales companies have LOTS of training tools but new recruits will have lots of questions, need help doing their first party and generally morale support.

3.  Knowledge.  You need to educate yourself not only on the products but also on the company’s policies and procedures.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others who have been in the business longer, they can be a GREAT resource.

4.  Experience. By doing parties, participating in training calls and asking questions, you will gain experience.  Thirty One believes that recruiting can begin in the first 30 days and they provide the tools necessary to do that.

5.  Longevity.  This was an interesting point – is this a short-term or a long-term business for you?  If it is short-term to pay off a debt or for some extra money, recruiting may not be for you.  New consultants want to be part of a team that is growing and know that their up-line is going to be around for awhile.

6.  People Person:  If you don’t like being around people, aren’t willing to step out of your comfort zone or don’t enjoy helping people – recruiting may not be for you.  

I talk about all of this not to discourage anyone from going into leadership, only so that you look at the full picture.  Are you in leadership with your direct sales company?  If so, what do you know NOW that you wish you had of known when you first made the decision to move up the rungs of leadership?  Please share them with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Hope Wissel, So You Want to be a Leader?

Another Blogging Anniversary

WOW!  Five months ago I took a challenge from Vanessa Coppes to blog EVERY day for 30 days.  After I started laughing because I thought for sure that I didn’t have the time, I was up for the challenge.  Of course it comes with reservations on a daily basis that anyone wants to read what I have to say but I have to admit I do love blogging.

I know that I have written several times about blogging and each time I hope that there is a new tidbit of information that will help you along the way.   Today’s tips are from the Sales Moms Network about blogging for your business:

  1. Organization:  Keep it clean and organized.  Considering I am a “hot mess” some days, this can be tough.  Simply stay focused on several topics or categories so that your readers can find what they are interested in.
  2. Color Scheme and Layout:  It should be easy on the eyes and appealing.  I try to stay consistent in all of my color schemes on social media as well as in print.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a PINK and BLACK person.  Make sure your layout is user friendly.
  3. Content:  Relate the content of your posts to your business but DON’T just fill it with sales pitches and advertisements.  Give your readers information.  Share what you know or have learned.
  4. Graphics:  When possible post pictures.  I slack off of this sometimes but really need to get in the habit of having a picture of some kind in each blog.
  5. Engage Your Readers:  Post a challenge, encourage them to share their ideas on a product or a topic.  This takes time so don’t worry if no one is posting, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t reading your blog.  Someone suggested running a contest so I think that will be something that I will kick off at the start of each Thirty One catalog season.  Watch for details!!
  6. Back Up You Blog:  WOW!  This is a good reminder for me.  I haven’t done this yet and I can’t imagine loosing 5 months worth of daily blogs.  Note to self – BACK UP BLOGS TODAY!
  7. Consistency:  To get people to read your blog you have to be consistent.  Maybe daily is too much for you, how about weekly then – monthly may be too long to wait between postings to gather a following so be aware.

Believe it or not (I know I didn’t think it was possible), I can’t imagine a day without blogging.  Who would have thought that a 30-day challenge would turn into a fun adventure.  I love sharing tips about direct selling, my life’s journey and my walk with God in the hopes that it will inspire others.   Have you thought about blogging?  What are you waiting for?  I challenge YOU to try it – set a goal for 30-days and see what happens.  Who is ready for the challenge?  Share your thoughts to encourage others…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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Business Tips and Tricks, Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Hope Wissel, So You Want to be a Leader?

Blogging Changes Lives

I know you are thinking – why is she talking about blogging AGAIN?  First, I can’t believe that I have been blogging daily for over 4 months.  Who would have thought a simple challenge from Vanessa Coppes of ETTM would get me obsessed with blogging?  Do I struggle some days finding a topic? YES!  Do I wonder if anyone actually reads them?  YES!  It is the occasional comment or message from a friend or reader that keeps me going, wanting to write more and share more.  I was surprised a National Conference at how many people actually read my blog!  It was humbling to think that people read AND shared it with friends, family and team members.

The Sales MOMS Network actually did a story on Blogging for Direct Sales“.  There are some great suggestions in there on how to get started if you are in direct sales and are considering blogging.  It can be a little scary at first but the benefits far outweigh the scare factor.  The also shared a blog on “The 7 Tips of Basic Blogging”.

Another blog that I follow is by Women Living Well who shared how FIVE years of blogging had changed her life.  That is ALOT of blogging.  She shares how writing of other others in the blogging community has changed her – I can so relate to that.  I remember the first time that Deb Bixler included my name in a tweet – I was shocked, honored and for those that know me – yes, I cried just a little but they were tears of joy.

Looking for a way to get started – try the The Editorial Checklist Planner”  by The House of Papier.  I had the chance to hear Melissa share at an ETTM meeting and she was AMAZING.  Her book is a BIG help for those of us who blog on a regular basis.  I tend to think of topics all of the time so this helps to keep me at least a little organized.  I mean who wants to read the same blogs all the time, right?

Are you considering blogging?  What have you got to loose, right?  Will it give you instant business?  Probably not.  Will it help you to develop relationships?  Absolutely.  I know for me, it has changed my life.  It has helped me step just a little further out of my comfort zone by sharing sides of myself that very few people know.  I LOVE helping others to grow – personally and professionally to be the best that they can be.  Remember “You can’t fail if you don’t stop BEFORE you SUCCEED.” Wise words from Mary Christensen.

I challenge each of you to move the walls of your comfort zone so that you can grow.  It it isn’t blogging, maybe it is picking up the phone and making calls. Or is it sharing the gift of your business with someone that you don’t know?  Whatever the wall is – step beyond it and experience the greatest gift of all – overcoming your own personal FEAR.  I look forward to hearing about the walls you are moving – please share.  If you are blog or are starting a blog – share that information below so we can all check it out.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Hope Wissel

Summer – Busy or Not?

The school year is quickly coming to an end.  The hazy, lazy days of summer are about to kick in.  Do you have a plan for your business?

Last summer, my business DIED!  I am sure there were people who wanted to have parties, even those who wanted to shop.  I had solutions for their organizational problems during the busy summer months.  So, why did my business DIE?  I didn’t prepare for the summer, I was taking a summer vacation from business even though I didn’t have any school age kids.  WOW!  Did that make for a tough start to the Fall even with new prints and products.    I found a million reasons for NOT working my business but this year will be different.  I began looking for my June parties in April and continue to ask people about booking parties for the balance of the summer.  What mom wouldn’t want a “Girl’s Night Out” during the hectic summer months?  

Here are some tips from Sales Moms Network for those who have children:

  1. Plan now for your kid’s summer schedule.  
  2. Have a Summer Fun meeting with your family and create a list of things to do.
  3. Get your kids organized.
  4. Have a Plan B with sitters, etc that can help if Plan A falls through
  5. Keep your sanity throughout the summer by WORKING YOUR BUSINESS.  That may mean attending training, networking sessions, etc.
  6. Be ready to do business while you are on the move.  Keep a mobile office in your car ready to book, sell & recruit.  
For those of you who don’t have children or they are grown, these tips can still work:
  1. Plan your summer vacation or weekend getaway.  Have something to look forward to while working your business.
  2. Talk with family & friends to create a list of things you want to do this summer.  Planning & scheduling will help you to still enjoy the summer while working your business.
  3. Get organized.  
  4. Have a Plan B. If a party or event falls through, be ready with a backup idea to keep the business momentum going.  
  5. Continue to work your business like a business.  If you want a seasonal business, GREAT but most of us would prefer to have year round customers, parties and income. 
  6. Be ready no matter where you are to book, sell, recruit.  Use your products.  Share tips with potential customers on how you can make their life easier with your products.  Always carry a mini catalog or information with you (whether on the beach or shopping) and make sure that you get THEIR contact information even if it is just their email address.
It is not too late to get ready for the lazy days of summer.  Look for vendor events to expand your customer base – there are lots of festivals, etc in the summer.  Call customers & past hostesses – encourage them to book by offering an extra free gift.  The possibilities are endless.  I am determined that I will meet my goals during the summer, will you?

Blow off the summer haze and get busy.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.