Business Tips and Tricks

Why Empathy is Good for Business

Today we are going to talk about “empathy”.  By definition, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  

I know you are thinking you work hard, isn’t it enough for a successful business?  The truth is there are a lot of great traits which go into being successful but in my own life, I have found empathy to be the most important quality.

As a social worker in recovery, I was able to relate to the struggles of my clients.  I was able to share my strength, hopes and experience.  I was able to let them see I had been where they were and had come out of it.  I was able to help some kick drugs, leave abusive relationships, overcome homelessness and get employment.  Was everyone successful? NO!  Some didn’t really want to move forward and weren’t ready to work hard.  I find the same thing when working with other direct sellers.

So why is empathy good for business, especially in direct sales?  

1. Empathy increases the know/like/trust factor

Regardless of the products you sell, people are more likely to connect with, relate to, and ultimately hire/buy from you.  Which of these people would you connect with?

* the person who shares the good, the bad and the ugly of where they were, of their product and offers to help you.
* the person who’s somehow a “natural”.
* the person who doesn’t tell you anything about themselves or their background.  The pushy sales type.

I bet you connected with the person who knows your struggle, didn’t you? It’s human nature! We’re more likely to know, like, and trust people who are similar to us. And – as I’m sure you know – we’re more likely to buy from people we know, like, and trust.

2. Empathy shows you have walked the walk

When you can show your clients you’ve been where they are, found a solution, and emerged triumphant, you’re modeling success.  You are demonstrating you’re empathetic to their struggles.  You are living proof they don’t have to stay stuck where they are! Living proof makes for pretty convincing marketing.

3. Empathy helps your clients/customers/team be more vulnerable with you

When you show them you understand them, you’re helping them feel safe. You’re showing them they can be honest and vulnerable with you. When you say “I get it. I used to be (fill in the blank),” you’re making it easier for them to open up to you.  And the more they open up to you, the more you can help them, and the better their results will be.

4. Data without empathy is meaningless

I look at data to see which blog posts people read, which tweets they liked, and what they purchased. But I want to know more.  I want to understand why they read the blog post or what problem I helped them solve.  It is with this information, we can move forward in our business.

So how can you show more empathy in your business?

  • What have you struggled with?
  • What hurdles have you overcome in your business?
  • And how does this make you uniquely well-qualified to help us overcome something similar?

Whatever your backstory is: share it. Help people to know, like, and trust you. Show them how you can help them overcome what they’re struggling with.

If you don’t know what they are struggling with or how you can help, ASK!  They will tell you.  It’s hard to empathize when you don’t know what they are struggling with, right?

I would love to hear from you.  Share your story with us.  Let us know how we can help you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Travel Tips

Travel Tips + Free Printable

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Tomorrow morning at 7AM, I head on the road to my “pink bubble” in Columbus, Ohio.  Yup, I am still working on packing – truth is, I haven’t even started!

Since I am sure that I am not the only last minute packer, here are some travel tips courtesy of “iheartnaptime.net“.  Yes, I am using her free printable packing list so I don’t forget anything.

I love to travel. When Belinda was younger, I used to spend weeks getting things together – snacks, clothes, accessories, etc.  I checked and double checked to make sure that we didn’t forget anything.  Of course, we usually did.  Now traveling with hubby, I seem to wait till the last few days to get things together.  When I traveling on my own, make that the last day or two.

Tip 1: Fill a pill case with any medicines you might need and label them.  This is for all of those “just in case” medicines so you aren’t hunting for things while you are traveling.

Tip 2: Use a contact case to store smaller items like earrings. It also works great to fill with makeup, like foundation so you don’t need to bring the whole container. 

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Tip 3: Place a garbage sack in your suitcase to fill with dirty clothes.  We usually use the plastic laundry bags from the hotel but this makes so much more sense – especially on a road trip!  Plop the bag in the car and just carry it right to the laundry room when you get home.

Tip 4: Place your necklaces between two pieces of sticky (plastic) wrap, so they don’t get tangled.

Tip 5: Fill travel containers with shampoo and lotions. Then keep them in a bag in your suit case so it’s already packed.  This is so much cheaper than buying the travel size bottles, too.

Tip 6: Place a fabric softener sheet in your suitcase to keep everything smelling fresh and clean.

Tip 7: Place your shoes in a zip top bag to prevent dirt from getting on your clothes. OR use those throw plastic shower caps that you can get at the dollar store.

Tip 8: Place your favorite snack bars (mine are Aloha bars or Graze snacks) in a snack bag on a  so you always have a tasty and healthy snack.

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Bonus: Print out a packing list from “iheartnaptime” to keep track of everything. It was a HUGE help for me.

Source: 10 Essential Travel Tips + Free Printable Packing List – I Heart Nap Time

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Celebrate and Connect, Hope Wissel

Women on Fire

super day

As I entered Super Day, I had an overwhelming feeling that God was there nudging me to DREAM BIGGER.  To have faith in Him to provide the way as long as I was ready to do the work.  The speakers for Super Day, brought everything into the light for me.  A true AHA moment or should I say, a smack on the head!

I have talked forever about my struggle with my why and what success is for me.  I may still struggle but if I reflect on the lessons of this day, I will be able to put things in perspective.  Debbie Phillip from Women on Fire kicked things off.  I knew I was in for a treat because she was recommended to me by someone who changed my life – Stephanie Dalfonzo.  Women on Fire provides support for your dreams, strategies for your goals and inspiration for your passion.  Debbie Phillips did all of that for me in her brief talk.

“Networking is dead – long live community”…. WOW! Those words hit me hard because I really believe in networking.  When she talked about the 5 ingredients to creating YOUR community, I realized that is really what I was doing… So, here goes:

  1. Purpose – What is YOUR purpose for your business?  Mine is to carry the Thirty One mission of providing women with an opportunity for financial freedom while sharing fun, functional and affordable solutions to life’s challenges.  This could be by providing them with the Thirty One opportunity, helping them plan a much needed Girl’s Night Out or helping them to organize a room in their house.
  2. Philosophy – What is the foundation of your business?  Here are some questions that may help you with this one – I know it did me.  Do you treat others & yourself as someone special? Do you give before you ask?  Do you invest in others?          IMG_0154
  3. Behaviors – The recommendation is to pick behaviors that you want in your community and begin to choose who will be a part of that community.  Here are some behaviors: cheer on the success of others, invest in self, ask for help, be aware of the impact on others, honor and appreciate those who support you, always play BIG, and never compare yourself to others.   For me, the behaviors that I want in my community are: cheering on the success of others, ask for help, honor & appreciate those who support you and lastly, never compare yourself to others.  The other behaviors are good to but I find when I surround myself with people who have these similar behaviors – we all GROW together.
  4. Communication – This is something that we hear a lot “people do business with people they know, love & trust”.  You need to be consistent in your communication and you need to have FUN because both of these traits transfer into reliability in the eyes of our customers.  Pick a form of communication that is good for you (and your community) – phone, email, text?  For me, I am still trying to find the perfect form of communication.  I have learned that it varies with the people that I am interacting with in my community.
  5. Rituals – are a form of comfort sort of like comfort good.  Your community can count on you and those in it for comfort when you are tethered together for a purpose.  Providing support and encouragement during all aspects of our community members lives help them to feel support and comfort.  It is not just about the sale, it is about making them feel special and important because YOU may be the only one in their life nourishes them in this way.

Are you ready to build your community?  As you build your community, you will begin to book, sell and recruit – the basics of our business.  When we take the focus off our needs and wants, place them on the wants and needs of the community, we will reap the blessings that God has for us.

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What are some of you rituals?  Are you networking or building a community?  Share your stories with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Blogging, Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

After a Conference

The last day of April and I am already counting the days till Thirty One’s National Conference in Columbus. 83 days if you were wondering or at least until the day I leave….

Nataly Kogan, another blogger, wrote a great article about “10 Tips to Maximizing Networking After a Conference” which made me THINK!  Okay, so I do that ALOT and I am sure you do too.  The question is, though, do we take action on the things that make us think?  Interesting thought, right?  I just got back from the “Mom Grows A Business” conference and I wanted to really maximize on the connections that I made and not just do the “Facebook friend” thing.  I mean there were some AMAZING people who I would love to be able to share Thirty One (and my blog) with.  Oh, I realized that I didn’t have my blog on  my Thirty One business cards – HELLO!  Guess I will need to change that with the next run.

So, I gathered up the business cards and tried to figure out what I should do to maximize my networking efforts.  You can follow the link to get the full article but here are just a few that I might actually be able to (or am willing to) do:

  1. Organize all the business cards you collected into two piles: Now and Later. Okay, so I didn’t manage to get this done in a timely manner but I can see where it would help to know who I wanted to reach out to right away.
  2. Make notes on the back of the business cards you collected to help you with your follow-up. I actually do this when I gather the cards if there is something that I want to remember to do when I return home.  If I think a product would work for them, I might note that as well.
  3. Don’t send out any follow-up emails the day immediately following the conference.  Definitely NOT that efficient so I don’t have to worry.
  4. Personalize every follow-up email you write.  This is where note-taking comes in handy!
  5. If you have a blog, write a post about the conference the day of or the day after. YEAH!  Score 1 for me, I did this!
  6. If you choose to blog about the conference, make it useful and interesting to read.  Another point for me.
  7. In your blog post include links to any blog posts written by people you met at the conference. WOOHOO!  Another point!

Okay, so I may not be the best at follow-up after a conference but I am getting better.  Of course, going to Thirty One’s conference is so much different because we are all there with a common purpose – CELEBRATE, ENCOURAGE, REWARD our Thirty One family.  I still come home with lots of business cards and notes on the back to follow up with people on their ideas or to share information that I have with them.

What are YOUR best tips for follow-up after a conference?  Share them so we can all learn together.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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

One Surprising Change

do and done

Can one small change really make a difference?  When I began my journey with Thirty One, I was working full-time and NEVER thought that direct sales would be for me.  I wanted the discounts.  I had been in business for myself before and loved it but I didn’t want to be that pushy sales person.

My why  has changed.  I realized that Thirty One is not just about the bags – it is about changing lives.  Those changes can include: financial freedom, self-confidence, a new career, friends or just learning how to set goals and DREAM.  No, this isn’t a recruiting message – unless you are looking for that.  This is about how one small change made a difference in my life, gave me confidence and helped me to start growing my business to reach my ultimate goals.

I am sure that some of you are thinking, “one small change” doesn’t make a difference. I am hear to tell you – it DOES!  When I first decided that I wanted Leadership with Thirty One and that I wanted to make this my full-time business – I had doubts, I made excuses for why I didn’t reach my goals, I had fears, I worried about what others would think, I wanted my team to like me and most of all what if I failed.  Can you tell that I lacked a little bit of self-confidence?

The change started gradually when I left National Conference in July 2013, I was humbled as I walked across the stage to be acknowledged as a NEW Director.  I still cry when I think of that night – tears of joy and accomplishment.  When I returned home, I still had some fears, doubts and of course those excuses that keep you from reaching for the stars – my next goal of Senior Director

Being part of a networking group (ETTM), helped me with my confidence.  They are an AMAZING group of business women who nudge, encourage and sometimes give you that SMACK on the head.  Then there is my Thirty One up-line who always seems to know what I need to hear, who also gives me a loving SMACK on the head.  Yes, these loving SMACKS have helped me in so many ways.  I prayed and asked for guidance, I asked other prayer warriors to pray for my business and I ACCEPTED the fact that if I work hard, follow God’s plan for me and the recommendations of others – I will be blessed beyond measure.

My small change was – to value myself more.  To not let fear and doubt determine who I am.  Yes, I may fail and I may not always reach MY goal but I know that doesn’t determine who I am.  I value who I am as a person, a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend and a leader.  WOW, did I actually say that! I am not perfect. I know that I will stumble along this journey.  The bumps in the road are lessons and don’t determine who I am as a person.  The goal of valuing myself more is not an easy or me since I have always let others determine my self-worth. I began focusing my energy on reaching MY personal goals.

Although I fear the unknown sometimes, I have to go for it. No matter how many times I fall I will keep getting up to face those fears.   I’ve learned that while some climb the ladder by skipping a step, taking one step at a time is not a bad thing. At the end we both will make it to the top.

Stop and think about the successes you’ve had. You may be discounting the progress you’re making.  There’s one thing to keep in mind: Your success is a powerful and motivating story for those who are still finding their way.

Share your stories. We’d love to hear them. Why don’t you start by putting something in the comments?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!