Business Tips and Tricks

Do You Have a Focused Weekly Plan?

unknown-1

No this is not a sales pitch for Passion Planners even though it has saved my life more than once.  This is about having a simple, focused, and consistent schedule whether it be for you, your family or for your direct sales business.

As women, we have at least three or four balls juggling at all times: work, children, home, direct sales business and oh, course there is our life on social media, right?  How quickly do your best laid plans for the day go array when you get lost in the black hole of social media?

Yes, it is FRIDAY and I am already talking about next week.  WHY? Because I have found when I take about an hour or so on Saturday or Sunday to plan out the upcoming week, this get done.  I know, many nights you fall into bed feeling like you worked your butt off but yet feel like you got absolutely nothing accomplished. Been there, done that and have more than one t-shirt!  Some weeks, my planner looks like this:unknown

Nothing written in except maybe a doctor’s appointment or two.  It is the weeks like this when I squirrel.  Running around putting our fires and trying to get something, anything accomplished.

Squirreling find come with the MS – the truth is I have squirreled for years when I worked from home.  A load of laundry here, wash the dishes there, oh and I went to look for something in the “junk drawer” so I spent time cleaning it out.  For women who work at home (not just in direct sales but also as moms and wives), having a focused plan each week allows us to get so much more accomplished with time to spare.  Yes, you can have spare time to just sit and enjoy your coffee before it gets cold!

As we head into November which is the true start of the busy holiday season, I am trying something new (for me).  I have heard it a million times but always found a reason NOT to do it.  A simple “days of the week” system to help you stay focused and work your biz (or your home) with intention.  This is a system you can tweak to fit YOUR needs but at least give it a try…..

Me Monday:  A clear focus starts with a strong personal business.  Spend the first day of the week working on your personal calendar. That includes booking parties, scheduling Facebook Party posts and hostess coaching for up-coming parties. When your calendar is full, you’ll feel more confident and ready to tackle the rest of your goals. Go you!

Team Tuesday:  Follow up with sponsoring leads and set coaching calls with anyone on your team who wants more support.  Being an effective coach is about asking the right questions, being a good listener and stay in the reality zone.

13710013_10157280658795220_3621804307325745350_n

Win (Woohoo) Wednesday: This is the day for me to connect with my team and my customers.  I am planning to celebrate the past week’s accomplishments, give reminders on upcoming events and encourage different aspects of training linked back to the weekly calls hosted by the company.  This is also the day I am going to introduce our “team consultant of the week”.  This will give team members an opportunity to get to know each other building a stronger bond of support.

Thank You Thursday: Keep your hostesses and customers coming back by saying THANKS! Use graphics on Facebook Parties, Facebook Live shout outs to your $500 Club Hostesses ($500+ Parties) and handwritten personal notes to all. Don’t forget to include a reminder to send referrals your way for a bonus gift!

Follow-Up Friday: Congrats! You made it to Friday and you had a focused, productive week.  Take some time on Friday to follow-up with anything left on your to-do list and get ready to enjoy the weekend..

Mind you, in the midst of this focused plan, emails and social media seem to be missing, right?  The truth is, my notifications for Facebook are turned off on my phone and on my computer.  When I am working in my office, I close both my email and my social media windows.  Then I set aside some time to check them and respond BUT only for a short period of time.

What are you best tips for staying focused when working your direct sales business OR managing your household.  Share them with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

#BeYourOwnBoss

imgres

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.

47d644c554d140b090d5d19a5287a23f

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!

 

Business Tips and Tricks

Now What?

12552766_10205895290404559_2794203553975549371_n

So, you decided to join a direct sales company for some extra money, some girl time. or fill in the blank.  Now the kit or enrollment package has arrived and you are wondering what you got yourself into, right?

I love these simple steps from JulieAnn Jones that breaks down the areas you will need to master to be a success in your direct sales  business.

#1: Parties and Bookings

If you joined a party plan business, this is the lifeblood of your business.  Now, there are a variety of different types of parties – home parties, catalog/online parties, Facebook parties, restaurant parties and open houses.  Honestly the best parties are home parties because face to face is the best way to build relationships and get more business.  Sales, sponsoring, and more bookings all flow from there.  Be ready to show potential hostesses why having their own home party is a great idea.

#2: Hostess Coaching

Your hostess is the key to a successful party, and parties are important (see #1 above). So a huge part of your job is creating a strong connection and building a relationship with your hostess.  When they are excited about the party (whatever form), it will get their guests excited and then they will want to book a party.  You want to make sure that they have everything they need to make their party is a success.

#3: Sales

I think this is almost as important as parties and bookings. You have to love your AMAZING product and use it.  I mean, how can  you tell people how wonderful it is, if you are not using it.  You don’t have to be “that pushy sales person” to be good at selling it.  “The key is to figure out how to share with people in a way that peaks their interest and desire to have your product.

#4: Sponsoring

I can hear the groans and see the rolled eyes.  A million reasons why you don’t want a team are already formulating in your head, right?  The truth is that to make any real money as a direct seller, you have to grow a team of successful consultants.  No, not an MLM scheme. You to create additional income as you support others and make money based on their efforts. Your mindset around building your team are crucial to your success in this area.  Honestly, I was there – I never wanted a team in the beginning. Now, I can’t imagine a world without the friendship in addition to their valuable addition to my business.

#5: Systems

I have learned the hard way that you will work harder when you don’t have a systematic way of working. That means you have to look at not only what you do on a consistent basis, but why you do it and, most importantly, whether or not it’s truly supporting you and your dreams.  As a leader, you have to make sure that everything you do is duplicatable and easy to teach your downline. Without this critical element, you truly won’t succeed as a direct seller.

You can grab a copy of JulieAnne’s “Book Yourself Solid In The Next 30 Days” roadmap by just subscribing to her mailing list.  Click here to grab your roadmap now!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Are you unapologetically you? 

Mondaysedited

WOOHOO!  Yes, it is Monday!  And NO I do not dread Mondays for so many reasons….I have been told that I am WAY to cheery in the morning especially on Mondays.  That is just the way I roll.

I want to ask you a question, and I want you to answer it honestly….

Are you unapologetically you?

Are you truly embracing everything that is about you?

Are you living your authentic life?

I know, tough questions for a Monday morning, right?  These are the questions that I have been asking myself for the last few days.  I want this year to be different.  Isn’t the definition of insanity “doing the same things and expecting different results?

2015-04-14 17.40.37

In direct sales, as with most jobs or business, we tend to have an imagine in our mind of what we “should” be or do.  We think that we “have to” do what Jane did because she was successful so I will be to.  I have been guilty of those same thoughts.  Not so much the comparison game but I think of it more like “keeping up with the Jones”.

What would happen if you let your personality shine in your business?  What would happen if you are not acting/thinking/doing business like someone thinks you should?  Think about it…

If you are in direct sales (especially a party plan business) there are some basics to business that should not be changed – book, sell, recruit.  That doesn’t mean that everything you do is going to necessarily look like what every other consultant is doing in your DS company.  Your parties may not look like someone else’s.  Does it mean that you won’t be successful?

Newsflash

You don’t have to wear certain clothes to be successful. You don’t have to talk a certain way to get people to like you. You don’t have to promote your business according to someone else’s rules.

This is your business. This is you and every wonderfully, lovely, messed up, beautiful part of you. Be yourself and people will come running. Be someone else and people will run away.

I started the New Year knowing that this year would be different.  I have squashed my inner gremlins or at least most of them. I have embraced the things that I am good at (or receive compliments on).  I am not doing things the same as everyone else.  WHY?  Because if it doesn’t feel right, I’m not doing it.

I am being true to who I am even though there are times I don’t know who that is.  I know that I want to be happy.  I want to bring happiness to others.  I want to help others to realized their potential.  I won’t be dressed to the nines because jeans are my friend.  I won’t have the perfect presentation but it will come from the hear.  I will be ME!  The good, the bad and the ugly!

Will you be your authentic self this year?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Tips for a Successful Vendor Event

001

I LOVE the fall…. time for hoodies, jeans, boots and LOTS of craft/vendor events.  I am a crafter at heart so when I started in direct sales, I wanted to figure out the best way to use these for my business.  I can remember telling my sponsor “I am only going to do vendor events, no home parties for me”.  Well that worked for sales in the first year since I was still working a crazy busy work schedule.  When I decided that I wanted Leadership, craft/vendor events took on a whole new meaning.

They went from being all about the sales to all about getting outside of my own circle and building leads with potential customers, hostesses and team members.  Don’t get me wrong, sales are GREAT but they are the cherry on top of the cake.

Here are some tips for making the most of your next vendor event:

1. ARRIVE EARLY.  I love being early.  I know that it only takes me about a half hour to set up but arriving early has its perks.  Honestly, some event coordinators don’t pre-assign tables which gives you a chance to scope out the best spot.  I ALWAYS take an end spot.  Being early will give you more time for unloading and booth setup, and less problems with parking.   The best thing for me about arriving early is that I get to walk the event before it starts, talk to other vendors while they are setting up and maybe even help them.  It is my social time before the event begins.

2.  STAY FOR THE WHOLE EVENT.  We have all been at shows where things are slow or there isn’t a lot of foot traffic but I  NEVER leave an event early.  It is simply bad form to be packing up and leaving, while customers may still be browsing other booths. You never know who might stop by, and the end of events is often the time that vendors network with other vendors.  Some of my best customers of the day could be other vendors.

3.  STAND WHEN POSSIBLE. First impressions are lasting impressions. This is the best way to engage with your customers, move about your booth freely, and present the best possible, positive experience.  You will be able to pull product more easily, or direct to various display pieces that might be of interest to passers by.  Remember that direct sales is about building relationships.  You can’t build relationships if you are buried behind the table reading a book until someone asks you a question.

4. NETWORK WITH OTHER VENDORS.  Vendors will often refer events to other vendor friends. Talk to vendors around you.  You might not gain customers, but at least you’ll gain relationships that may yield future event leads.  Networking with other vendors is a great thing to do when the event traffic is slow.  I always offer them a discount if they place an order – who knows where a $5 coupon could lead.

5. ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS.  I know that this may be a no brainer, BUT how many times have you seen a vendor sitting behind their booth, staring at their phone , and NOT engaging with their customers?  I don’t mean give them a sales pitch.  I mean a simple “hello” or “how is your day” or if they hesitate at my table, I usually ask them “what caught your eye”.  Greet each passerby and invite them to view your product and display.  Ask open ended questions to start a dialogue that will hopefully move into building a relationship. Ask a question then LISTEN!

6.  OFFER A WAY TO COLLECT CUSTOMER INFORMATION.  Remember the money is in the follow-up so the primary goal at a vendor event is hostess, customer, and team member leads.  Offer a raffle entry or a drawing where all your leads can enter and provide their contact information.  People like the chance to win.  Then, be sure to follow-up with those leads within a reasonable amount of time.

013

Vendor events are what you make of them.  No matter how “bad” they may seem on the surface, you want to make an impression on the event coordinator, the other vendors and your customers.  You want to be known as someone who is respectful, reliable, and relational.  Believe it or not, you will soon build a network of other vendors who will invite you to participate in future events.  You can ROCK your vendor events, just by being a good vendor!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!