Business Tips and Tricks

In Just Five Minutes

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“The limit is not in the sky. The limit is the mind.” ~Unknown

I have been working with some direct sales consultants on getting organized so that they can maximize their time.  I know you are thinking the usual “physical space” things like their office, their home, their car, etc.  The truth is that it was more about re-framing their thoughts.

Let’s be honest, life gets in the way. Maybe you have a full-time job plus hubby plus kids so who has time for a business, right?  Maybe when you are the local mom taxi.  When you started your business, you were excited and everyone seemed to be on board.  Bookings and sales came easy.

For me, I think friends and family were on board because they thought it was “a phase”.   They thought it would slowly die BUT it hasn’t.  There is something that keeps us coming back (or staying).  Maybe it is the only time just for YOU.  Maybe it is the only time that you get a break from the craziness of being the mom taxi.  Maybe the extra money comes in handy to pay for the kids extras.  Whatever your reason, you are not ready to give up. So the trick is to  earn how to work smarter.  What if you had a list of things that would only take 5 minutes to do?

I asked each girl “What is holding you back from (fill in the blank)?”  The biggest thing was “no time to do ANYTHING”.  We talked about how a typical day went.  As they explained their day, I asked if they had a few minutes in various spots – lunch time, waiting for the kids to get off the bus, etc.  We found small blocks of time (the average was 5 minutes) that they could do something to work their business.

So what could you do in just 5 minutes that would help you in your business?

  • Each morning (or I do mine on Sunday night) list 3 things that you want to get accomplished. JUST 3 and put them on an index card.  Easy to carry around & remember. Cross off as you do each item.
  • Reach out to a customer via phone or text that just received their order for great customer service.
  • Reach out to a past hostess to check in on her life – no hidden agenda, just see how she is doing.  Continue to build a relationship.
  • Reach out to a past (or current) team member to see how they are doing – again no hidden agenda.
  • Post a picture on Facebook with your product somewhere in it. Admit it, we are all posting picture on Facebook with our kids, why not include a product in it.

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  • Use the NEW Facebook Live to share your life/ personality with people.  Remember that people buy from people they like and know. CLICK HERE to see one.
  • Post a question on Instagram or Facebook asking people something that will help you to build a relationship with them. CLICK HERE to see one.
  • Respond with  more than a “thank you” when someone comments on the product that they were carrying or using.  Share a mini catalog with them.
  • Share a catalog/flyer with the cashier as you check out at the grocery store.  Don’t forget to get her name and email address.
  • Write a card to a past customer, hostess or team member to let them know that you are thinking of them.

Am I guaranteeing instant bookings, sales or team members? NO!  What I am saying is that when you consistently do 3 things every day on your business, the rewards will follow.

If you think you can’t work your business because you don’t have time, you’ll never push yourself to start taking that first step, you’ll limit yourself by your minds perception.

Doing what you want to do starts with believing it’s possible, no matter how difficult it may be. Achieving what it’s beyond our pre-conceived limits is what strengthens not only our bodies, but also our own minds.

So, who is ready to find 5 minutes to work their business?  What could you do in 5 minutes to help your business?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Hope Wissel

Operation Zipper Pouch

USA Hero

May is Military Appreciate Month.  I want to THANK our Vets for all that they have done and do for us every day. I want to show those who have come home after serving our country and have been forgotten that we appreciate their sacrifices for us.

When was the last time that you thanked a service man or woman?  Bought them a cup of coffee for no reason.  For me despite the fact that I “heard” the stories from my dad and step-dad about their time serving our country, it never really clicked.  I never really thought about how it directly affected me.

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Then came “Operation Freedom” some 15 years ago.  This is when the commitment of our military men and women and their families HIT HOME! My best friend’s husband, Bill, was deployed for what they said would be 30 days. There were the 3 boys – Sean, Ryan and Shane as well as Jen who were all in school, active in various activities and not really understanding what would be dad’s first deployment. The days leading up to Bill’s deployment were filled with lots of paperwork – wills, living wills, etc. The weeks after Bill left were full of emotions – tears, anger, frustration – it was just too hard for the kids to understand that dad wouldn’t be home for awhile. A 30 day deployment turned into 6 months. Tough times for everyone – financially and emotionally.

When Bill returned home, there were struggles.  Not just financially but emotionally for everyone.  There would develop a new sense of normal in the house.  It was then that I realized what the battle scars of war were all about –   the toughest was the emotional toll which leaves a permanent mark.  On the outside, all may be well but on the inside they carry memories that will haunt them forever.

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Over the last five years, with the help of my family, friends, customers and hostesses, I have been blessed to make donations to various causes near and dear to my heart.  So, I am again asking for your help to make a difference in the lives of the men and women who have protected our freedoms.

For just $25 you can sponsor a personalized Zipper Pouch. I will use 100% of my commission to fill them with candy, trail mix, gum, crossword puzzle book, a thank you card and a small American flag. My goal is 31 zipper pouches sponsored by April 28th.  The bags will be stuffed and delivered to a local program that works with Veterans and their family.   Payments can be sent via Paypal to hopesgiftcloset@comcast.net – you don’t need to have a Paypal account to do this.  If you want, I can invoice you, it that is easier.

So, who is with me? For $25 you can bring a smile to the face of one of our honored Veterans.

If you see someone in the military – stop and thank them, let them know that you appreciate what they are doing for this country.  Remember to STOP and say a prayer asking for the safety of our men and women near and far who serve this country.  Won’t you help to make a difference today?

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Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Are You Building Relationships?

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If you read my blog regularly, you know that building relationships is BIG with me.  I think it is the key to having a life that is full of harmony – personally and in your business.  Today, we are going to talk about building relationships in your business.

Tis the season that you will run in to a LOT of people – old friends, new friends, family. Tis the season to build  relationships, that can fuel your entire year with loyalty, referrals and more!

Let’s start with building Relationships with Potential Anything (customers, hostess, team, etc):

Do you think before you speak, act or even post on Facebook?  How often have you vented on Facebook?  Admit it, we all have.  The truth is that if you are Debbie Downer or Negative Nellie all the time –  nobody wants to buy from you, you probably wouldn’t even buy from yourself PLUS nobody wants to be around you.  Are you constantly posting about “needing to fill your calendar” or needing xxx amount is sales?  Guess what – you sound DESPERATE! People don’t buy from people who are desperate.

People buy from people that they like.  People buy from people who make them feel good about themselves.  Show the honest, real, caring, kind, compassionate, positive, confident, and upbeat side of YOU and guess what? People will want to be around you and as a result will want to buy from you.

How about building relationships with your customers?  I know you are thinking, “they’re already buying from me, what do I have to do?”.  The truth is you want to KEEP their business.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone carrying a Thirty One product and started a conversation.  I always ask if they have a consultant because I would never want to steal someone’s customer.  It breaks my heart when they say “I don’t remember” or “I never hear from them, so do you have a card”.

UGH!  I pray that it is never one of my customers who answer like that…What do you do to stand out from the crowd?  What do you do to let them know that you appreciate them?  Not just when they place an order or maybe all year long.  I will admit I am good at this for about 4 months from the time of the order but then it becomes more difficult.  I continue to work on this (see, you aren’t alone).

Remember that YOUR CUSTOMERS are what fuel your business. They keep you in business. THANK THEM OFTEN! It doesn’t matter how you do it – a thinking of you card, a post on a picture they posted on Facebook, or a phone call just for no reason.  Let them know that you think of them as more than just a paycheck!  Make them feel special!  Make them feel appreciated!  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but believe me when you let them know how much you appreciative them – they will stick with you!

Okay, will they occasional buy from someone else, maybe.  Ask them about those purchases, how they are liking them and make sure they were happy with their customer service experience! More times than not, when you have a super loyal customer buy from another consultant, its because she was helping out a friend with a party or an order. She isn’t trying to hurt you, its not always about you, get over it. She was doing a selfless thing for her friend, make her feel special for doing that. She will remember THAT. I promise you!

The bottom line is that relationships are the meat of our business – our products are just what get us in the door or through that computer screen.  Be someone that stands out and makes a positive impression on those that you come across. Make sure you are remembered as THAT person that made her feel special!

What is your best tip for building relationships and growing your business?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Promote Your Business for Free

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Today is all about promoting your business for FREE!  Yes, I said FREE.  In our direct sales  business we usually put little or no money aside for promotion and marketing.  Most of us are a party plan business so that is where our business comes from, right?  What happens when the well of customers/ hostesses starts to run dry?  What do you do?  Where do you go?

Social Media.  Isn’t this everyone’s first stop – Facebook, pinterest, instagram and the list goes on.  We have seen the pleas for orders, recruits and parties.  This is a GREAT platform if you are share what you have to offer instead of being the pushy sales person.

Get involved in community groups and associations.  The best way to meet new people is to get involved in our community, in a parents group if you have kids or attend a local fundraising event.  Just son’t be “that gal” that’s always talking about her business – let the conversations come naturally.

Use constant branding.  Make sure that everything you do for your business is promoting your brand – the more consistent you are, the better chance that people will notice.  Carry or wear your products, wear company logos or quotes that start conversations.

Generate more referrals.  Get in touch with past clients and offer them an incentive to send you referrals – maybe a cut of the sale, or a discount on future work.  Include referral forms in your hostess packets and give you hostess a gift for getting you new contacts.

Network online.  Get out there and make yourself known! Comment on other peoples’ blogs and articles, or write guest posts for other sites.  I also use “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!” when I end a posting.  It reminds people that I am a Thirty One consultant without selling them something.

Cross promote.  Contact other brands that share your demographic and brainstorm some cross promotions that will benefit both of you. This is part of the reason that I have a Saturday Business Spotlight in my blog.  The businesses that I blog about share the blog and as a result I gain new contacts and customers.

Distribute regular press releases.  Press releases are still a good way to get information out to the public. Make sure yours are interesting and informative or they’ll get lost in the crowd.

Run sweepstakes or giveaways.  A giveaway is an awesome way to get people excited about your products. Chances are, some of the people who didn’t win will still buy something from you, especially if the prize was something you sell!

Donate products to a charity event.  Ok, this one isn’t completely free (you have to pay for the products) but it does give you more than one benefit. Not only are you getting your company name out there for people to see, but you’re also giving back to your community.  I always include a gift certificate (which is FREE until redeemed) with every basket.  This encourages the winner to shop more and maybe even have a party.

Offer a free class or seminar.  Everyone loves free stuff, so use that as a hook to get people to visit your site. A free seminar will give users some great tips or information, but probably leave at least a few of them wanting more.  Share tips that utilize your products without being the “pushy sales person”.

Send thank you notes.  This is my favorite and gets such great response from my customers.  Showing gratitude will make the likelihood of getting return customers much higher. If you have time, a handwritten thank you card will be more beneficial than a form letter.

Out and About bags for kids and adults.  These are the treat bags filled with goodies.  For kids, I include a coloring sheet with my contact information on it along with stickers and 4 crayons. For adults, a bookmark and a few pieces of candy.  All of the treat bags include a mini catalog, a business card and a discount offer.  A great conversation starter or to quiet a crying child.  Not totally free but I get things at the dollar store and use them in multiple bags.

What are some of ways you get free promotion? Let us know in the comments section below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Customer Service is the Key

Happy Monday!!!  Let’s start off the week talking about customer service.  I mean if booking parties at the party is the best way to fill your calendar, right?  What about after the party?  What kind of customer service do you provide to keep them coming back to YOU?

The No. 1 reason why customers bail (on a consultant or a business) is the lack of customer service. The key is to make sure your customers feel wanted so they want to stay where they’re appreciated. But to make customers love you, you’ll have to work even harder.  Here are some tips that I have gathered along the way..

The golden rule is to Never assume. You know what they say “You make an a$$ out of you and me”, right?  You may think you know what customers want. But what if you’re wrong?

1. Talk with your customers. Ask questions and build your approach around the wants, needs and desires of your customer. Not only will you get a better understanding of customer needs, you’ll be able to identify innovative ways to solve their problems and exceed their expectations.

2. Always deliver. To win customers, you need to deliver on time, every time. I communicate ALOT after the party with my customers.  I email them when the party closes and when I receive the shipping information for the party. This way, they know what to expect.  Customers like to know what it happening with their order.

3. Personalize loyalty programs. In order to ensure you have a winning loyalty program, you must plan, design and execute it in a systemized way. I tried the “frequent buyer cards” but they didn’t seem to work for the majority of my customers.  I offer incentives for party and recruit referrals which has also worked on a limited basis.

4. Say “Thank You.” Do you mail thank you notes or postcards to your customers?  I used to do this ALL the time, then I fell out of practice.  I was surprised at how many people appreciated the simple handwritten note.  I am definitely implementing it back in my “after party tasks” this year.  This simple strategy can really make an impact and says a lot about the value you place on your customers.

5. Stay connected. It is recommended that every customer should receive a “touch” at least once a month and, with an email or e-newsletter.  Your “touches” should be more about information or educationally-oriented and designed to add value to their experience with you, rather than just as a mechanism for pushing products or services.  Most direct sales companies have monthly newsletters which go out once a month – AWESOME.  Thirty One also supplies the consultant with an “activity report” that tells us who, what and when our customers read it.  This is a great conversation starting when making those “pink bag” calls.

6. Play favorites. New customers are critical to growth, but you must ensure that current or long-standing customers get VIP treatment as well.  I haven’t found a way to do this yet but I am working on it.  I do have a birthday club where customers are given a discount on their purchase during the month of their birthday.  This has received some rave reviews from my customers.

So when your calendar is light, rely on your EXCELLENT customer service to help you reach your monthly goals.  Connect with your customers on special days (anniversary, birthday, etc).  Make them feel special and they will keep coming back.  A loyal customer is a GREAT referral base for your next party.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!