Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I need you...

My dear readers. I am sorry I have been gone for quite a while, you know how it can be over the holidays. I really haven't gotten much feedback in the past few weeks from my readers, and, honestly, I need the feedback to keep going. You see, it's hard to come up with new topics every day that have to do with businesses. There's a lot of information out there but, without your input, I don't know which direction to go. So until I figure out a good process for this blog, and I find out what you all want to read about, the post will be far between. So what are you struggling with in your business? What areas of direct sales do you need the most help in? Give me some direction, and I'll work hard to give you some answers!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hostess Tracking

Good evening readers! How is everyone's week so far? Today I want to talk about a really important subject that's related to hostess coaching: hostess tracking.
    I spoke in an earlier post about layering your prospects and I have to say, that since that post, my number of prospects have been too great to "layer" in the traditional sense. I just haven't had the time to put every new person into a chart and track their process through my company. SO I have put my focus in to two different tracking sheets: hostess tracking and team member tracking. Today we will talk about hostess tracking.
    I just finished updating my new hostess tracking sheet and I'm excited to share the benefits with you. The idea of this tracking sheet is to easily be able to see where you are with your hostess coaching. Each column in the chart is for a different stage of hostess coaching. For example, one column can be for when the hostess gets her hostess packet from you, so in that column (in the row for that hostess' name) you will put the date the received their hostess packet from you. You can do this for their initial email, follow up calls, guest list, and more. By putting in an actual date, instead of just a check mark, you can keep track of where you are in the process.
    Another reason that tracking your hostesses can help you is because it lets you see your own numbers. You can easily go back and see who was a hostess, how well their party went, and how well you did with follow ups and coaching. A tracking sheet not only tracks the progress of the show, but how much work you put into the preparation of the show. You can see where there are holes in your coaching and make improvements as needed.
    So, now you can see how I've been tracking my hostess coaching. I would love to see some feedback or more ideas! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Climb Out of a Booking Rut!

  Hello Readers! I'm back and I'm excited to share some tips and ideas with you! Today's post is all about pulling yourself out of a booking rut. Maybe you've had a recent rash of cancellations, or maybe you're living in a new place, either way you MUST have bookings to keep your business humming. So, what are some ways to pull yourself out of a blank calendar?
   My favorite, and probably most effective way, to get at least one new booking is to do a party swap. Now, I know that I've touched on this before, but I cannot stress enough to you how effective it is! My friend Kathy Jo Henson approached me several months ago about doing a swap and it is STILL giving me bookings and new customers. We have even joined up for other events. It was like a shot of steroids to my business because we also bounce ideas off of each other like power partners. Find someone in your area that runs a small business that is in no way connected to yours. For example, Kathy sells wick-less candles and I sell jewelry; apples to roses, completely different! I held a party for her and she held one for me. Another benefit of doing this is that other business people are more likely to take the booking seriously, and make a real effort to get guests to their show. If you're new to an area and have not made friends yet, you could do an online show or make a promise to return the favor to that person once you've met some new people.
    Another way that I've talked about before is to do a booth. If you're living in the States there are always festivals, conferences, expos, and events that you can get involved in. Think about where your product could best fit: a wedding expo, home expo, craft fair, or even a baby expo. You can keep track of these online and you MUST jump on it when you can because these are very popular. These can require some investment for the booth so make sure you do your research first. Also, if you're military, consider pairing up with your local Spouses club to create the ideal event for your business. This can be fun and it's a great way to meet new people!
    What are some of the ways you pull yourself out of a rut?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Coming Soon...

Hi there Loyal Readers! I hope your Thanksgiving was as incredible as mine was. I am so blessed in so many ways, and it was fantastic to have my husband home this year. I just wanted to let you all know that I will be back on Monday with some amazing things to come, like: interviews with companies' top earners, ideas about implementing a referral program, booth success, and so much more! So stay tuned to this blog for your up and coming business ideas!! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

What do YOU want?

   Hi readers! I had originally planned to talk about strengthening and implementing your business systems, but, instead, I decided to ask you what you would like to see on this blog. I want to know what kind of tips you want to see on here; do you need more networking tips? Do you need more booking ideas? What would you like to get out of this blog?
   I write this because I have a passion for direct sales and I truly believe in this business industry. I share my ideas, and the ideas of others, to help you, the reader, improve on your businesses. In order for me to provide quality content and posts for you, I need to know what you want to see. So please send me an email, or a comment and tell me what you want to know.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holdiay Booking Blitzes

     Here's another idea for you to boost your holiday sales and bookings. Hold a holiday booking blitz! If you are not familiar with the booking blitz, please check out my blog post titled Booking Blitzes. Offer a new kind of show/party to your customers for the busy holiday season like a Holiday Coffee.
    A Holiday Coffee is a show that is more relaxed and the focus is great gift ideas you can offer customers. A hostess provides coffee and light refreshments and people relax as you show them the great deals and ideas you offer as holiday gifts. Some hostesses even prefer to set this up as an open house where they slot the show for a 2 to 3 hour time period and people just stop by as they can. This tactic works well when you are dealing with a group of busy people.
    Create your new holiday show ideas and then set aside your time to do a booking blitz to all of your customers and contacts that haven't had their holiday show yet. Remember to really buckle down during this blitz and try to create an environment with very little distractions. This can be a great way to get some holiday bookings and new customers!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Great Business Book!

    I have recently finished a great business book that I wanted to share today. It's called Endless Referrals by Bob Burg. It provides some really great networking ideas and strategies. I found it to be a really unique book with a system that seems relatively easy to master. I got a lot out if it and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to grow a small business or who is having trouble getting new customers! Check it out on Amazon!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting Help/Assistants

   At some point, once your business is well established, you might start to notice that you need help in your office. So, at what point do you get help, and how much do you need?
    Obviously every business is different but here's some points to keep in mind. When you have a steady customer base, steady bookings, and have started building a team your time will be best spend on your Income Producing Activities. Labeling, mailing, organizing your office, and entering customers might not be the best use of your time. Consider this: if you spend an hour of your time labeling catalogs instead of booking calls, your time spent labeling just cost you the amount you would have made if you had done your booking calls. At some point you will find that these simple tasks (non-IPAs) are holding you back and you may want to hire someone to do them for you. I would suggest, for simple office tasks, a teenager that could use some extra money would be a good fit in your office. They can set up your mailers, label catalogs/products, enter new customers into your database, and more if you have the means.
     You might also notice that most of the "higher ranking" individuals in your company have more than one assistant. They probably hired them once they achieved a larger team and needed help to maintain balance. I had the privilege of working for an extremely successful Sales Director, Kristin Rogers, in her office and I saw the benefit of having steady help in your business. She had an assistant for her personal and household management, as well as an assistant that managed her office. The office assistant did things like answer phones, take and fill online orders, answered team member questions (if possible), managed her schedule, plus all of the previous mentioned tasks. Her home assistant ran personal errands, took care of laundry and dishes, and even did the grocery shopping. What I'm getting at here is that her assistants, her help, allowed her to better prioritize her life. She was able to focus on the IPA's that made her business successful instead of getting swallowed by all of her tasks.
    Maybe it's too early to consider getting help with your business but keep it in your mind. Even help around your home may help you prioritize your life and your business.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Husbands and Your Business

                                                      This is my hero and my husband...

Hello readers! After a week's hiatus, due to illness, I am back with some more thoughts on how to grow your direct sales business. Let's talk about family...
    Getting your family on board with your business can be a challenge, especially if your family members are already skeptics about the industry. But, getting family support, can be the difference between a mediocre business and an incredible business. Since my readers are mostly women, I will refer to the spouse as a husband, not a wife.
   It has been said by many wise women (Connie Kittson, for example) that your husband is your first sale in your direct sales business. You want to show him the potential provided by your company and how you intend to achieve your business goals. Husbands want to know the numbers of your business, they are usually very concerned about the cost aspect of your business, so lay it out in clear terms. Some larger companies may even provide a facts and figures sheet specifically made with husbands in mind. Recruit your husband. Show him the same DVDs and compensation information as you would a potential team member. Understand that most husbands are only skeptical because they want to protect you and your money, so try not to get frustrated when they don't understand.
   If all else fails, prove it to them! Show your skeptics the real money and potential that can be found in a direct sales business. Sometimes it takes your success to shine a more positive light on this sometimes misunderstood business. This goes not only for husbands, but also for the other skeptics that you love.
   Don't give up on your business just because someone else had a bad experience or seriously misunderstands it. After you convince them of the validity and potential of your business, you can learn how to get your family involved in your direct sales business, which is a topic coming soon to a blog near you!! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Get those IPA's!!

    Before I begin this super important blog post, I want to first say that the IPA's I'm writing about are not my idea. I was first introduced to this concept when I was a consultant for a large direct sales company. My director at that time, Kristin Rogers, taught me about this and I wanted to share it because it's critical  for your business. So, again, these are the concepts taught to me by others from a different company than who I'm currently with.
     So, with my mini-disclaimer out of the way, lets talk about Income Producing Activities or IPA's! An IPA is a business activity that will actually lead to money in your pocket. Some examples of IPA's are booking, shows/parties, bringing guests to company or unit level events, team building interviews, or one-on-one product presentations. IPA's are what keeps your business humming along making you money and it's important to track your IPA's. If you're company does not participate in this idea you can create a tracking sheet on your own. First you need to determine how many IPA's you should be accomplishing per week to meet your business goals. The best way to figure this number out is to talk to a person in the position you want to be next. So find someone who currently holds the leadership or sales postion you want (successfully holds it; not struggling to keep that position) and ask them how may bookings they get per week, how many shows they hold per week, how many team building interviews they do, and so on. That should be your goal.
    Next, make a tracking sheet where you can check off your IPA's according to the critical levels of a direct selling business: booking, selling, and recruiting, and if you're already in leadership add training to your list of categories. On your tracking sheet, mark what your goals are for that week in each of those categories and track them accordingly. For example, if you got 2 bookings over the phone last night (way to go!) and then 1 at your show this morning, you would mark 3 down in the bookings category. If you had a $500 show this morning, and a separate sale over the phone this afternoon that was $160, you would mark $660 in the category for sales. Get the picture?
     Income Producing Activities means that there will be a monetary result from your work. Organizing your office is NOT an IPA! Labeling your products or catalogs don't physically bring you money, so if you find yourself spending a lot of time on these things consider getting an assistant! And that's another topic for another day...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don't Take it Personally...

   They will happen if you've been in this industry for more than 30 seconds and, let me tell you, it can hurt. How far your business will go is reflected in how you handle the cancellations that come your way.
   The best method that I've ever hear for getting over the cancellations is to use that time slot for your business at home. For example, if you had a Tuesday 7:00pm show that canceled, you would use that whole time slot to do other business related things like bookings, follow ups, and some administrative activities. If you use that time for income producing activities (like bookings or follow up) you will not be moving backwards due to that one cancellation. If you are warned far enough in advance, you can try to put another booking in that time slot. I might even offer a very special incentive for anyone who books in that spot, so you know you can get it secured.
   The most important thing is to try not to let your emotions get away from you; 99.9% of the time it's nothing personal, and sometimes it can even be rescheduled for a better date. Don't forget that this business is all a numbers game and, if you plan right, all of your shows will even out with the industry percentages. Ask anyone that's been doing this for a while, you will have lots of cancellations during the time that you running your business, sometimes they even be yours. Stuff happens. Stand up. Dust yourself off, and keep going!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Communicating with Your Customers

       It's a brand new month, have you sent out a business newsletter to your customers? It's so important to keep in touch with your clients even after they have purchased from you because it builds your relationship, and therefore their loyalty to you. You don't want to smother them, or come off as pushy, but keeping your product at the front of your clients' minds will certainly pay off.
      I keep in touch with my customers mainly by a monthly newsletter. Most direct selling companies provide marketing tools for you to utilize and stay in touch with your customers in a meaningful, professional way. If they don't provide a newsletter option for you create your own. PC users can use Microsoft Publisher to make nice newsletters that can be emailed or snail-mailed. You can also create a simple newsletter in your word application. You want to proved useful information to your clients but not just sales information. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies you may want to include cooking tips and recipes, if you sell wick-less candles you want to give tips on how to make the fragrance last longer, make-up sellers might give beauty tips, and so on. You want to give your customers more than just a sales pitch, you want to add value to their everyday lives!
      I send out a newsletter once a month that includes new products, monthly specials, and tips. If something changes throughout that month I may send one more email but I try to limit it to two emails. I don't want to bombard them with my business. That's how I communicate with my customers but your business may be different. If you have weekly specials, then one email a week can be really important.
      Even if some of your customers haven't ordered in a while, stay consistent with your communication. You never know when they were already thinking about your product and then your email promotes them to give you a call, or place an order!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Networking with Other Businesses!

    Networking for your business can be an intimidating concept, but it's absolutely essential if you plan on working your business like a business. You want to network not only for customers and team members but also for business friends! So, I want to take a minute to talk about networking with other direct sellers.
    Some people are hesitant to network with "competitors" but keep in mind that if you're working your business with integrity, and treating your customers and team like gold, there is no competition to worry about. Meeting and befriending (and no I don't just mean on Facebook) other direct sellers can lead to more customers, more ideas, and great friendships. You can help each other out and boost the image of the direct selling industry, which pays off for all of us.
   One way to get started on your networking is to do a party swap. This is an idea my friend Kathy brought to me and it has paid off big time! Find a businesswoman doing business in a company that's products are not at all related to yours and ask her if she is willing to do a party swap with you. When she says yes treat it like a normal booking on your calendar and you get to be a hostess for her also. You will meet her friends and customers and she will meet yours. The best part is that its fun and you can make some great friends in the process.
   So get a party going and get to know some of your colleagues! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quick Holiday Sales Idea

          Hi everyone! I wanted to give you a quick holiday sales idea that has had some success with people in my company. It's kind of reiterating on a point I made in a previous post about wish lists but it's a really good idea. People in my unit are having their customers fill out a special wish list with their top 10 most wanted items in the catalog. Next the consultant contacts that person's husband and allows them to purchase whatever they want from that list; it could be just one item, or it could be the whole list! The consultant wraps the gifts and delivers them to the husband so that they can put it under the tree. The great thing about this is that while the customer may know that they're getting something from your company, she won't know what her husband picked from the list, so it's still a surprise! Pretty great huh? I'm calling it the Holiday's 10 Most Wanted List! Give it a try with your customers that love your product and say Hello to holiday sales!

For more information about wish lists see my post titled "The Power of the Wish List".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There's Still Time!

    After a lovely mini-break, I am back and ready to work. I hope everyone was able to accomplish their October goals and finish up October strong. November means the start of the busiest time of the year so make sure you're organized, and have your goals clearly set. My October did not go as I planned, but that is life (especially in the Army). So I'm dusting myself off and hitting the ground running this morning!
   I know that the holiday season can be an overwhelming time for you personally and professionally, but remember that it's not too late to make it an incredible holiday season for your business! Don't look at your numbers and think 'oh well, I'll start fresh at the New Year'. Start today! Don't miss out on all the opportunities that this season can bring to your business. Attend your company meetings (i.e. Unit Meetings, Sales Meetings, whatever they're called for you) and get some ideas on how to start right NOW. You can still pull this off, no matter what your goals are! Do you need an extra $1000 so your family can provide a great Christmas? Do you need extra money to go see family? Don't give up! There's still time for you to reach some big goals.
    The important thing is to make sure your goals are clear. What do you really want to accomplish this season? Your goal should be big enough to scare you but not out-of-this-world big! You want your goal to push you forward and not make you feel depleted, or discouraged. Today, I want you to think about what your goal will be to finish before the end of this year. Write it down! Make it big!

I would love it if you posted some of your goals here or on my new Facebook fan page!
Happy Goal Setting!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Catalog Show Article!

Who Else Wants to Make Money With Catalog Parties?
By Tammy Stanley
Submitted by: DSWA
Imagine calling one of your top recruits one day and saying to her, "So Sally, you sure have been doing a great job of selling. Would you mind sharing with me how you are averaging 12 parties a month?" Then Sally says to you, "I do not know if I should tell you. You may not like what you hear." You of course assure Sally that as long as she is not doing anything illegal, you definitely want to hear what she is up to that is generating so many parties.

After a long pause, she admits to you that three out of every four shows have actually been catalog parties, and that her catalog parties average around $400. If she has been averaging 12 shows a month, and three out of every four have been catalog parties, and the average of those catalog parties are $400, Sally has been generating $3,600 a month from catalog shows.

Now tell me, are you seriously going to tell her to stop what she is doing? Only if you desire to earn LESS money! Sales generated are sales generated. It does not matter if you generate those sales from a home party or a catalog party.

It is not uncommon to hear that a "live" home party is superior to a catalog party, which is why your company may not promote catalog parties. I do not know for certain why your company may not promote catalog parties, but I can take a very educated guess.

At the last DSA (Direct Selling Association) meeting I learned that customer only buys 1.3 times a year. What that statistic clearly communicates is that the consultants in the direct selling industry do not follow up with their customers. Now, imagine yourself in a corporate position with your company for just a minute. Knowing that your consultants hardly follow up with the customers they actually meet in person at a show, what are you going to think the chances are of them following up with people they have never met from a catalog party?

AH! Hopefully now, you understand why your company probably does not promote the catalog party. However, if you think that anyone is opposed to you racking up sales and leads from catalog shows, think again.

The key right now is to jump-start that brain of yours by asking, "How could I set up successful catalog parties?" Now if you are thinking, "Oh, catalog parties do not work for my product," hold on there. The question to ask is not why they do not work, but HOW could you set up a successful catalog party even with your product?

While I was at the DSA meeting a couple of months ago, I read about some distributors for a particular candle company. Knowing that the thing customers wanted most was to smell the different scents, they asked their owner to have some very small samples made up. When he obliged them, they apparently ordered the samples in droves, and began putting together baskets that included all the different scents. They would then give a basket and a couple of catalogs to a "catalog hostess." One distributor found it so powerful that she found a way to have 17 shows going on at the same time!

Now that probably sounds simple because all the samples could be put into one basket. Okay, but remember the distributors had to think of this first. They had to ask themselves, "How could we set up successful catalog parties?"

Perhaps you have a much more diverse product line (immediately the home decor companies come to mind), so the idea of a small basket with samples seems far fetched. What you might want to do is look at the 3 -5 most commonly ordered products. Could you put those together and put them "on loan" for a catalog show.

Back when I sold clothing, there were always a couple of garments in the line that were real "winners." Whenever the company I represented had a sleeveless Turtleneck in the fall, almost everyone of my Arizona customers would order it, and a good number would order it in several colors. I realize now that just giving a hostess that top in several sizes with a few catalogs would have been a great way to encourage hosting a catalog party. If the hostess collected 8 orders for just that one top, the sales would have been over $300, and she would get hers for free.

Certainly $300 in sales is not earth shattering, but would you turn it down? What if you could have 4 such catalog shows a month? Suddenly we are talking about $1,200 in sales. Some direct sales consultants get recognition as being a star with $1,200 in monthly sales. I am sure that a good number of consultants would be happy campers if they had 12 people on their team, 8 of whom average $1,200 a month in sales.

If you have a sales unit, I highly encourage you to take time at your next meeting to brain storm with your unit "How could you set up successful catalog parties." If you developed a system that were simple and effective, you might find that you too could have 17 catalog shows going on at the same time.

Of course once you develop a way to have successful catalog shows, you have to remember that a truly successful show includes follow up. By following up with your customers, you discover how easy it is to get repeat sales and referrals.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Black Friday Ideas Part 1

    Black Friday. The biggest shopping day of the year and a potentially powerful day for your business. So where do you start? How do you take advantage of this retail wonder? I have a few ideas here, but most of all I want all my readers to share their own ideas so that we can all learn new ones. There are so many ways to take advantage of this shopping holiday.
    One of the most popular ideas that I have heard is to have a special holiday open house that's actually on Black Friday. People open their house all day to accommodate the crazy shopping schedule. Customers and friends can stop by at their convenience and shop with your small business. Again, you want to create comfort, as well as, offering your guests gift options that they can't get anywhere else. For more information about holding holiday open houses, check out my blog post for Monday, October 24.
    Another idea requires some bravery; the moving trunk show. Yes, it's literally a trunk show where your set up a display in the back of your car and travel to some busy parking lots on Black Friday to have sort of a booth. I have personally never done this but I've heard some very interesting stories from people who have. Many pre-wrap a lot of the most popular products or gift ideas and have them ready as people visit their "booth".  I assume that they give out business cards, catalogs, and maybe even goody bags (you know how I like those). There could be a problem, however, with the location's security if they don't want you in their parking lot. Some would say 'It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission'. ;)
     You can also create a Cyber Monday sale on your personal website. This seems to be really successful for most businesswomen. The idea here is to create a sale and start letting your customers know about your Cyber Monday deals at least two weeks in advance. Don't drive them crazy with emails though. You want them to be effective, not annoying. I would suggest calling your customers at them end of the day so that you can put a personal touch on your Cyber Monday deals.
      I've said it before and, believe me, I will say it again: It is absolutely essential to provide your customer with that personal touch that their department store or mall can't give them. Gift ideas, free gift wrapping, home delivery, and handwritten thank you notes are just some of the ways to set yourself apart from the bigger companies. Show your customers that you really care about making their holiday season more stress-free and fun, and they will show you a great season!

**Don't forget to check out my upcoming giveaway! Check out my Tuesday post to find out how to enter.**

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do Some Good

    As small business owners, we have the opportunity to use our business to do good for other people in need. I really encourage you to do this because it gives out good "vibes" and you can feel good about where your business is going. You can also meet some incredible people, and possibly change someone's life.
   There are a few different ways to use your business to contribute to charity, and they can all benefit you in so many ways. One way is to fund raise using your business as a vehicle. You can do this on your own or approach a group about starting a fundraiser with you. I am having a super sale on Friday where I am donate 10% of the sales from this event to one of my favorite charities. I'm using the sale and a free gift as an incentive to order on that day. You can do something like this any time of year, and even if you donate all of your profit you can still get your company's recognition sales and write it off on taxes!
   You could also set up a booth at a charity event, like a walk or festival, and again donate your sales, and maybe sales from future bookings, to the cause or charity.
   Don't be afraid to do a charity event on your own! These are incredible opportunities for your business and your community. Talk to your upline about fundraising events they've had experience with.

**Don't forget to check out yesterday's post to learn how to enter into my giveaway!**

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wish List Powers...

 **Scroll down for giveaway information!**
     Let's talk about the power of the wish list. Are you using wish lists in your show? This time of year it's especially important to have your show guests, and customers, fill out a wish list because it can lead to even more sales and customers. At your shows, ask your guests to fill out their wish lists as if money is no object, as if they could purchase everything they wanted. They will fall even more in love with your products if they make their list without thinking about their money situation. Remember, that going to one of you shows should be a fun escape for them, not a stressful financial meltdown.
     During their one-on-one consultation, you can discuss possible payment options, but more importantly, if they have a long wish list, you can talk about how they can get it for free (or discounted) as a hostess. If their list is on the short side, be sure to ask a lot of questions about how they liked the show and the product. The answers can be helpful for your presentation.
    You also want to keep their wish lists for future reference. For example, you can look at several different wish lists to see which products seem to be most popular amongst your guests, which in turn can tell you what products to keep on hand (if you carry inventory) or which products to center your display around. Customers may also call you later if they came into some money, or just want something nice for their birthday, they might say 'what was that one item I liked so much but couldn't get?'. Their guest list will have some answers!
    Another great reason to have, and hold on to, your guests' wish list is for the gift giving season. Sometimes you can call that persons spouse, or significant other, and offer to help them choose a gift for them. That way the spouse knows that their honey will love the gift because they picked it out, but it will still be a surprise. You can even offer gift wrapping (men LOVE that), and all they have to do is pay for the products. It makes their life a lot easier. This can be done for the customer's birthday, Valentine's Day, Christmas or Hanukkah, anniversaries, or just because. If you're nervous about calling someone's hubby or boyfriend, maybe ask your guests about it at your events, especially at your holiday open house.
    If your company doesn't offer a pre-made wish list, consider making a cute one yourself on the computer to hand out to guests at your shows. There's a lot of power in the wish list so harness it for more sales and bookings.

PS Check out my links page to see my best friends fabulous Etsy page. Everyone who 'likes'  
La Sucette on Facebook and comments here about it will get entered to win in my fabulous jewelry giveaway on Friday!! Don't miss out...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Holiday Open House

    It's that time of year again, time for shopping season! It's also time for you to sit down and create a strategic plan for the holiday season and your business. Many people choose to plan their open houses and holiday parties in September, but I wait until it gets closer to Thanksgiving because I never know what my (or my husbands) schedule will hold. Now is the time, if you haven't already, to plan out your holiday open house.
    A holiday open house is basically a chance for your customers and friends to come see what options you have for the gift giving season. Invite everyone because this is chance to introduce new friends to your business and product. Schedule your open house on a day when people should be home and available. You can also schedule your open house for Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) but this does not allow a lot of time for people host parties before Christmas.  A open house means scheduling a large chunk of time where people can stop by during the day, whenever they get the chance. This way, people can swing by in between other events they have that day, instead of not showing up at all.
    They key with your open house is to show your guests how your business can help them with their gift list. Offer gift wrapping, either for free or at a low price, so that you can deliver your product to them already wrapped. This can be a huge stress relief for people with large gift lists. Offer them a payment plan (if your business and finances allows) for large orders. Better yet, offer special hostess benefits for people who host shows between your open house and the holidays.
   Create a holiday setting for your open house, especially if it’s early in the season. Set out holiday treats and candies (you know the stores already have them out), decorate your house, maybe even play Christmas music (I know, it’s scary). That environment will encourage your guests to get some of their gift shopping done with you. Also, make a point to let your guests know that when they do their holiday shopping with you, they are actually supporting a small business in their community. Your product display should be stunning! Take notes from others in your company as to how they set up a great display. Have catalogs and materials already labeled and ready to go. Create little goody bags for the guests that come and mention the good bags in your event invitation to create intrigue.
   Remember with your open house, the goal is to show your customers what your business has to offer that the big businesses and malls can’t give them. You can give them personalized service that they can’t find anywhere else!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Favorites Part 2!

   I'm back to share some more of my favorite things! Unfortunately, I'm not as cool as Oprah so I can't afford to give them out to all my readers, but I want to share them anyway!

Business Books Continued:

Jeffery Gitomer books are pretty amazing. I've read nearly all of them and they are a fun and informative read. His books are not tailored to the direct sales industry, but they can still be applicable and stem some great ideas.

 Favorite Fiction:
Just for fun, I wanted to share some of my favorite books and authors from the fiction category. I read a lot so I could go on forever about which books were great and which weren't but here are some that top my list...
Philippa Gregory is probably my favorite author. Her specialty is British historical fiction and it's incredible. You might have even heard of a few of her books already, the most popular being The Other Boleyn Girl. My favorite one of hers is probably The Boleyn Inheritance.

The Passage by Justin Cronan
Eugenia Price books (hard to find but totally worth it)
The Shopaholic Series is like a look into my mind!
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent (technically non-fiction, but reads like a fiction book; warning this book might change your life)
Marley and Me by Josh Grogan

There are so many more and I wish I could list them all. What are some of your favorite books?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some of my Favs!

    Hi readers! I've been getting some requests for some of my favorite books and resources for your direct sales business (and more), so I wanted to list them for you!

Books for Business:
Build it Big and More Build it Big by the Direct Selling Women's Alliance ( These are the most comprehensive books for women in direct sales. They feature interviews and tips from women who have made it to the top of their company. If you don't have these yet, you're missing out.
Presentations for Profits by Christie Northrup- This is a fantastic book that really focuses on the show, or party, environment. It gives tips on how to handle "sticky situations" and great ideas for theme shows.
Be a Party Plan Superstar:Build a $100,000-a-year Direct Selling Business from Home by Mary Christensen- This is a great book to give to new team members or a friend that's just getting started in direct sales. It covers the basics in an in-depth way and sets out to answer some common direct selling questions.

The above three books are my favorites that are specific to the direct sellers industry. I also enjoy leadership books from John C. Maxwell and the book Never Give Up by Joyce Meyer.

     I am also a member of the Direct Selling Women's Alliance which provides connections, tips, telecasts and more.  I like to go to their site to start getting ideas and learn more about other successful direct sellers. Another site I like, and I've mentioned her site before, would be Allison LaMarr's website, This is a good one that provides tips and deep thoughts for a direct seller. She also has several different products and cd sets that she sells that are wonderful.

  These are just a few of my favorite books and sites. I will give you some more on Friday, including my favorite Fiction books...just for fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Integrity is the Foundation

     In a previous blog, I mentioned that integrity is the single most important thing you can bring to your business and your life. Merriam-Webster Online describes integrity as a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility. So, if you're working your business with integrity, it means that you are a person of your word, you treat other how you want to be treated, you represent your company with pride, you understand the ordeals of your clients and team members, you give credit where credit is due, and you don't cheat the system.
    A person can cheat the system and pressure customers/team members, and they might go first. But in the end they will fail because who wants to buy from a pushy person? Who wants to follow a tyrant? No one. When you genuinely care about the people and the customers you serve, they will care back. They will be loyal and they will follow you far. Treating people with respect is not just good for the heart, but also good for your business!
    Be a reliable person. If you say you're going to do something, do everything in your power to do it. Sometimes circumstances will get in the way, that's life, but "not feeling like it" is not a circumstance that warrants a betrayal of your word. I don't always feel like going to shows. Sometimes I'll have the beginning of a migraine or be exhausted, but if I can be there, I will. I want the reputation that my business is important to me and that I treat it like a "real' business. I bet if you had an actual boss hanging over your head, making sure your presentations get done on time, you would do what you had to do to be there. Treat your business as if a boss is breathing down your neck and the self-discipline you may lack will follow suit.
    Give credit where credit is due. I try very hard to mention the specifics of where I heard an idea. I did not come up with all of these ideas on my own. Some are just common thoughts in the industry that can't be narrowed down to one group or person. Some ideas I get from books like the Build it Big series where an idea in those books will stem into other ideas in my head. I get a lot of ideas from some of the biggest names in direct sales, I put my own twist on them and post them for you to see. I want you to use my ideas, and share my blog with your team.
     Just steer your business with your moral compass (cheesy but true) and you will not be disappointed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Carve Out Some Power

     Happy Monday everyone! Let's talk about the idea of a power hours for your business. A power hour is time that you spend only working on your business, with no distractions. This time can be very valuable especially if you have other commitments, like another job or a family. A power hour allows you to devote a specific and strategic amount of time to focus on you business. During this time you could do booking calls (highly recommended), administrative work, team member calls/training, hostess coaching, invitations, and some organization. If you have kids, get a sitter or schedule your Power Hour for a time when your spouse can be with the kids. You want to have little to no distractions during this time so that you can work smarter, not harder.
    It's important to actually schedule your Power Hour. It's easy to let other things overcome your best intentions to do booking calls, but if it's actually in your schedule, you're far more likely to sit down and do it. Schedule your Power Hours according to the pace and activity of your business. What I mean by that is don't schedule just one hour if you have 5 shows the next week. Schedule according to your business situation. If your running a hobby business, you may only need one hour a week. If it's your main source of income, you may need 2 to 3 hours per day.
   Use your Power Hours wisely. Do your most important tasks first, and organizing your office is probably not the most important task! I like to do thinks in order of hardest to easiest. For example, booking calls I do first because I find them (still) difficult, next would be hostess coaching, then team member calls, and so on. By doing my tasks in that order, I get things that I don't like over with first and move on instead of dwelling on it the whole time. Most people, even after years of experience, don't like to do booking calls, but the cold hard truth is that they're absolutely necessary. So get them over with first! Don't let it weigh you down! Just do it!!
   So, what time will your power hours be? That's up to you, but carving out that essential business time outside of your actual parties, can be that critical inch between an incredible and mediocre business.

**Don't forget to set aside time to carve your pumpkins too! ;) **

Friday, October 14, 2011

Be Prepared

     Today's blog will be pretty short because it's been a busy busy week! Lets just talk about being prepared. When you're on the go, or even on vacation, you should always be prepared for business. Always, always have business cards handy and I suggest keeping a few catalogs in your car, gym bag, diaper bag, etc, so that you can be prepared when you meet someone interested in your product or business. I know several businesswomen who keep a "business bag" in their car. In it they have: catalogs, business cards, order forms, opportunity brochures, and samples (if it's something that wont melt or freeze), and sale flyers. I suggest having a business bag in your car that's handy in case you encounter a great business opportunity. A bag enables you to take it out of your car easily to update it or show it off, like at your child's ball game. Another idea is to purchase a magnetic business card holder that sticks on your car, so people can take business cards in the parking lot. This works better if you already have you business information on your car.
    Just remember to think ahead and be prepared, because the first time you are without your business information will be when an incredible oppotunity pops up! So, follow the Boy Scouts and Be Prepared! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Take the course...

       I have heard Kristin Rogers, a very successful direct sales business owner, say that a direct sales business is the best self-improvement course you get paid to take. Wise words from a wise woman. So, how are you doing in your self-improvement course? Are you taking advantage of all of the growth opportunities available to you? Part of being your own boss means taking responsibility for your own performance. The good new is that you determine the extent and timing of your personal growth. No one is pushing you to go to a self-help conference or read certain books. Your growth and improvement are entirely up to you.
       The bad news is that it may require you to look into places that you've long since hidden. You may have to recognize some of your faults and shortcomings, so that you can improve them. It's the no pain, no gain concept. You might have to suck it up and do things you don't feel like doing. You might not like booking calls, but if you don't do them your business will go nowhere. You will have to learn valuable lessons in self-discipline. Do it anyway! Read the books, listen to the Cd's (even if it's kind of embarrassing; trust me, you get used to it), go to the seminars and conferences. Learn something everyday! It sounds cliche but so many times people aren't really listening to the cliches.
        Wake up and realize that the best of the best are learning something new everyday. The people you want to be like are reading self-improvement books, listening to cd's, and attending seminars. They are constantly striving for their best selves. So why aren't you doing it? Isn't it worth investing time and money in yourself? I know it is.

**In the next couple of days I will be sharing some of my favorite books, cd's, and role models in the self-improvement industry!**

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Go Team!

     It's a cold, rainy Wednesday here in Germany. This kind of weather makes me just want to read a book all day...but life goes on.
   Today I want to talk a little about your team. One of the greatest parts, I think, of the direct sales business is that you are in business for yourself but not by yourself, meaning that you're not alone in your business adventure. Being part of a direct sales business means that you are part of a team or unit that are all working toward their personal goals. So, how active are you with the rest of your unit or team? Do you go to meetings (if you can)? Do you encourage others to reach their goals?
   Being active in your team or unit can bring you motivation and inspiration to meet your own goals. Even if you cannot physically attend meetings it's important to check in with people and be a part of the team. For example, I live in Germany and the rest of the Unit I am in is located in Georgia. I cannot go to meetings but I check in with my Unit Manager and the Unit website/forum. You can be part of a team even from another continent!
   As you build your own personal team, I want to encourage you to really take the "team" idea to heart. Create a name for your team that will follow as you promote yourself higher and higher. Team names help create esprit de corp amongst your team members and they are more likely to stay loyal to you when they're on a real team. Also, if your company has conventions or seminars, your team name will attract attention and earn a fun reputation.
   Don't leave your team members in the dark. Remember, when your team members do well in their business, your business will soar. Help them as much as you can so that your team is truly strong! I want my team members to feel like I am their biggest cheerleader.  Keep track of what's going on in their lives so you can help them mold their business into their lives. If you are like me where you can't attend your Unit meetings, consider holding little get- togethers where your are to help your team members stay on track and in the loop. But, mainly, remember that the word "team" is part of 'team members' for a reason; you are all running this race together!

PS The picture above is from my favorite football team! Go Jackets! ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Booking Boards

   Hello loyal Readers! After a 2 day internet outage, I am back in business! I am so excited about several of my new team members starting their businesses this month! I can't wait to see how far they fly!
  I wanted to write a little bit about time management and your bookings. How do you keep control of your schedule and your bookings? I use a Booking Board at my shows to make sure that my bookings fall perfectly into my schedule. It's not really a board but it's printed on card stock instead of plain computer paper. I create a new one for each show that has my upcoming show times and a line where a guest can write their name in. Sometimes I dress it up by adding stickers or clip art, but the key is to have plenty of show time available. After I "stack the hostess" at my show, I pass the booking board around and guests can put their name in a slot if they already know they're interested in being a hostess. Most of the time, people wait to talk to you before they actually write their name in, so don't be surprised if it comes back empty the first time. They'll put their names down during the one-on-one consultation. I also write down the hostess name somewhere on the booking board so I can track how many bookings I got from their party. Even when the show is over and the bookings are in my system, I file the booking board away so that I can keep track of my own numbers and also check back if my system ever gets confusing.
   There are many different ways to do a booking board. I have seen people do real neon poster boards that people put their name on, I've also seen people pass around their personal agendas. It's completely up to you; after all, it is your business! I do suggest some kind of booking board for your shows because it's less intimidating and it helps you keep control of your own schedule. Right now, my schedule is pretty busy, so I only put down slots that I know I will be available. If you're super flexible in your schedule, you may want to put down slots or times that you know other people are available. Take a look at the numbers from your past shows, which times/days seem to do the best? Take that into consideration when you're making your booking board.

If you would like to see my booking board, leave me a comment with your email and I will email it to you without my company name on it! If you have a booking board idea, please share it! I'm always looking for new ideas to increase bookings!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

        I know it's a few days late, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about Steve Jobs. I am a big Apple fan, but I haven't always been crazy about it. I felt a real sense of sadness and loss when I found out that Steve Jobs died. The loss I felt was really for future generations that may never experience his creativity in it's entirety. To say that he changed the world seems like an understatement for me. Some of his inventions allow military families, like mine, to keep in touch with their deployed loved ones. It helps people hear the beauty of Bach or Led Zeppelin. It's art that works, and I am sad that this man no longer creates his art in this world. The iPhone and iPad has done wonders for my business and made my life so much easier. It's just a little note, but I could not let his death pass by without showing my respect for this man.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't forget to have FUN!

    Brrr! It's a blustery fall day here in Germany and I have been busy preparing for my shows next week. I like to stay prepared for my shows all the time, not just right before a show. I always keep tons of labeled catalogs, labeled literature, and sale sheets ready so that I'm not stressed out the day of my show. I don't like to have to do much on the days that I have my show, because I want to make sure that I have fun at the show and I'm not thinking all about business. If you go to a party with only business in mind people can see it. People can see dollar signs in your eyes, so go to have fun and show off your product. I love to play games and really talk to people at my parties. I focus on being professional, but relaxed so that the guests genuinely have fun. They're far more likely to tell their friends about your show if they had a blast! Don't get me wrong, I take my business very seriously but when I'm a show I want to be a friend and not a salesperson. Salespeople-types tend to irritate people so have fun at your shows! Don't think about money, think about your guests and what they really want or need. It will pay off in the end!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Greatness of the Goody Bag Part 2

     Welcome back to goody bag greatness! Now I want to share with you some ideas on what to do with your goody bags once you've made them, and gotten your guest list from your hostess. It's important to get the guest phone numbers if you can so that you can call each one. When people hear a real, genuine person on the phone they're much more likely to attend your show. Here's your script:
   " Hi is this Lisa? Hi Lisa this is Heidi with XYZ, I'll be the representative at Carla's show on Sunday! I just wanted to give you a quick call because I'm customizing the guest goody bags and I wanted to know if you prefer chocolate or hard candy in your bag?"
     If you have a company where you might have samples in the goody bags, ask them a question that has to do with the samples. For example, if you sell candles/scents ask what type of scent they prefer to try, if you sell skin care ask them about their skin type, and so on. This might give you a second to talk to her, but remember her time is valuable so don't keep her too long. If she says that she can't make it, turn that into an opportunity to discuss the hostess program with her so she can book a show or place an order to help her friend out.
     Make the goody bags super cute, but try not to spend too much on them. Put the guest's names on the bag so that they know that your really created a bag just for them. I love this method because it can create opportunities to make real connections with people. They are more likely to trust you if they see you make an extra effort for them.

Remember to always treat your guests/hostesses/customers/friends like QUEENS...because we all are, and you never know the burden someone carries.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Greatness of the Goody Bag Part 1

     Bookings are our business, everyone knows that, but what do you do to make your booking worth the effort? You coach your hostess (right?) and you prepare your show (right?) but sometimes the turn out is not what you expect. Show attendance is essential if you're going to make your show worth your time. I wanted to give you a quick tip about increasing attendance. This is an idea you should do in addition to coaching your hostess well. May I suggest goody bags?!
     Goody bags for your guests are a great way to increase party attendance, but it has to be done strategically. As we discussed before, in a previous post, sometimes people have a personal wall up that prevents them from giving in to curiosity and going to the party. The strategic use of a goody bag can peak their curiosity even more and show that you are a real person, and not a robot.
    First you want to decide what goes into your goody bags. They need to be fairly uniform so that it's easier for you and no one gets jealous. Find some cute cello bags and put in your business card, cheap samples (if your product/company has them), and candy. If you can, I would suggest getting adhesive magnetic card backings to turn your business cards into magnets, I will post a website below to order these magnet strips from.
   The candy is the key part to the success of the guest goody bag. You want to get a guest list from your hostess that includes phone numbers if possible. You will call each guest about 3 days before your show to introduce yourself and to ask them if they prefer chocolate candy or hard candy for their goody bag. Make a note of who you call and what candy they want so you can put their name on their custom goody bag.
   Ok, now go plan out your goody bags and get them together! Come back here tomorrow to see the script for the phone calls and how you can turn your goody bags into MORE bookings!!

To get American made, adhesive, business card magnets visit:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Taking the high road...

    Recently, I wrote about people with negative mindsets about the direct sales industry, but today I wanted to write about negative people in the direct sales industry. If you've been in this business long enough you will probably have an encounter with a negative minded competitor. It's easy to become upset and defensive of your business when another business person is meddling in your affairs. They might even try to sabotage your bookings or shows. I don't want to scare you; this isn't very common, but it does happen sometimes...
    So what do you do? I am faced with this decision even as I write this. I am dealing with a "competitor" who continuously tries to sabotage some of my business plans. I know the answer should be to take the high road and continue to work my business in a positive way, but I'm finding it very difficult. I want this person to know that they're messing with my income, my dreams, and my goals, but I know this will not matter to them because it is a personal matter. I have to believe that if I continue to work my business with positivity and integrity that this matter will be trivial in the long run.
     Working your business with integrity is the single most important aspect of the direct sales business, and all businesses. An individual who attacks another person's business has no integrity and therefore their business will fail so long as they choose to work that way. This may sound harsh but I want to make the point that, at least in the business world, what you put out is what you get. That's why it's so important to take the high road. If you play into their games you are putting out "bad vibes" for your business, and, I believe, you will get bad vibes in return. So, I will try and control my instincts to protect my business verbally, and I will protect my business by continuing to work toward my dreams.
  Wow, writing this out really helped! Thanks for listening! :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Plant Seeds for Team Members

      In the month of September I grew my team by 4 times! I am thrilled to have so many great, new team members. But how did I do it? Was it special team building appointments? Nope. It was at all of my shows, and, of course, I'm going to tell you how I did it!
     Team building is my favorite part of my business because I love my business and I love to share it with others. With that said, it can be the most difficult part of the direct sales business. I know that the industry average says that there is one new team member at every show. So how do you find out which one, or ones, is your new team member? Plant your seeds of interest! At the beginning of my show, after the icebreaker,  I give a brief story about the reasons why I started my business, and the success I've seen so far. For those looking for something like this, my "why" story might plant a seed of interest into their mind. Later in my presentation, I quickly mention the hostess perks versus what my perks are as a representative, which is another seed I plant throughout my show. At the end, after I have "stacked" my hostess, I open things up for questions and each question gets a ticket for my giveaway prize.  Guests will ask questions to get tickets but pretty soon the questions lead to more interest, and more questions. I always take notice of those who have the most interest in this business, and who has the most questions. That's your lead!
     From there, you can discuss more about the business opportunity as you meet with each person individually. So, be sure to plant little seeds throughout your presentation so those who might have interest can grow into a team member!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bring on October!

         Wow! September was an incredible month for me and my business! I am thrilled to have several new team members and to have made some wonderful new friends. I just got a new laptop today to celebrate my awesome month...paid for by my business. This is why I believe in direct sales so much, it really works if you work, and it provides more opportunities than any other job. I want to also thank all of my loyal readers this month. It means so much to me that you take the time to read my blog. I love writing about this business and I will keep doing it, so long as you stay with me! I can't wait to announce some of the amazing things that are coming soon to the blog; giveaways, contests, product and book reviews, interviews, and more tips and ideas for your direct sales business. How was your September? What are the areas that need improvement in October? For me, organization would be the answer to that question! Comment below to let me know how your month went!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Have a theme!

     Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe it's the last day of September! I'm pretty excited though because October is my favorite month of the year! I am booked solid in October so I'm hoping to meet some pretty big goals next month.
    I have recently been getting very excited by the idea of theme parties. I have been brainstorming on how to make theme parties a big hit. Have you ever held a them party (for your business)? Theme parties can be a great booking tool since they make fun and interesting parties. People love a fun theme and may even be more likely to attend if there's a fun theme to intrigue them. I would suggest choosing a handful of themes that you like and that would be fairly easy for you to implement into your business.I think I'm going to make a theme menu soon for new hostesses to choose from, if they want a theme.
   It's important to remember that if you're going to do theme parties you need to really do them. Make it worth you while by paying attention to details, including invitations, prizes, costumes, and games. You want your guests to have a lot of fun with the theme and be impressed by all of the little details. That's why I suggest choosing only a few themes to offer. You want those themes to be fantastic, not mediocre, otherwise stay away from theme parties.
   Some popular them ideas are:
  • 80's Parties
  • Nightie Night (everyone brings a nightie from home; it's like a girls night out type theme.)
  • Holiday Themes
  • 20's Parties
  • Movie Parties (Choose a popular movie and have the guests dress up like their favorite characters.)
  Those are just a few ideas. I'm still working on some theme ideas that I will share with you soon. Please feel free to share your own theme party ideas! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't be a lion...

           In the animal kingdom, most animals can sense a predator. They can feel the fear and the change in the environment when a predator is near. Have you ever felt like the prey? Maybe you were on a car lot just browsing, or maybe you were in a department store near the perfumes, but I'm sure you've had that feeling before. Sometimes people associate that feeling with the direct sales industry and that can be a problem for you especially if you're new. There are businesswomen out there that are so pushy and aggressive that they are true predators, and they give the rest of the industry, or company, a bad rep. You have probably encountered those people, and lets face it, it can be scary. You will even notice that your new prospects may be hesitant to be in contact with you because they have once been the prey. So, what do you do when you find yourself in front of a person who had once been the prey?
         For starters, don't be a predator, and don't be defensive. I know what it's like when you encounter someone who thinks your whole business is a scam. It's a horrible feeling. I know that you want to be defensive, after all this is your business and your dreams. This is where you really have to control your emotions, and it's going to be tough. Try your very best not to get defensive, angry, or hostile (and if you know me, you know that controlling my anger is very difficult). If their really stirred up about it then you have to accept that you probably wont change their mind. Here's something I would suggest to say:
  "I'm sorry that you, or someone you care about, has had such a bad experience with the direct sales industry, but this business supports my family and my dreams, so I would appreciate some discretion." 
        Obviously you need to tweek that to your own personality and circumstances. When you get defensive, they will become even more offensive and nothing will get done. Don't let them steal your good attitude about your business! This industry really works and there are thousands upon thousands of people that can prove it. If your like me, these comments will irritate for days but keep going. Prove them wrong yourself. Remember, that they were once someone's prey; they might have lost time, money, or more in the wrong business. Don't let them steal your thunder! You really can have it all, and I feel sorry for those that sabotage their own chances.

Hows business going in September for everyone? What kinds of content would you like to see in October?

My readers ROCK!! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Listen to the "Failures"!

           Sometimes, in the direct sales business, you will notice that some of the most successful people begin to sound like broken records: book, sell, book, recruit, etc. Let me tell you, they don't sound like that for their own good! When you're listening to the tips and ideas from someone that you admire, you might take notes, maybe even record their speech, but what do you do with all of that information when you get home? That's where things really count! You can spend all of the money in the world on cd's, coaching sessions, seminars, and conferences, but if you get home and just sit on it, it all is worthless. The message that I'm trying to send here is that these people that you admire have been where you are right now. So if they tell you to network, you'd better network! If they tell you that it's a numbers game and that everyone will have cancellations, you should believe them and keep going! The tips and ideas from the successful people in your field should be treated as direct orders (that's for all you military wives!) because they have failed more than anyone, and they know the road to success. All of this might sound cheesy or even a little bossy, but I just want to encourage you to get your money's worth from the training and inspirational purchases you make! You should copy your role models. I don't mean be a clone, I just mean copy their business plan because it works!
     And you should have a business role model! I have a few different ones and I really listen to what they say, because I want the success that they have.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Booths 101

        I am SO excited! I am running an event on Black Friday that's just for shopping! Home based/direct sales businesses get to set up their own booth and people from all over come to do their holiday shopping with real businesses. So, while I am planning this fantastic event, I wanted to take a moment to talk about fairs and festivals. If you've never participated in one of these events you are missing out on some great networking opportunities. Setting up a booth at a fair or a festival can open new doors for your business, and it can be fun!
   When you set up your booth or table, you want to make your product display sensational. The idea is to really attract people and to stand out among the crowd. Make sure that your company name can be easily seen and that everything on your table is properly labeled. I recommend that you dress in a business casual sort of way because it makes you both professional and approachable. Some companies actually have specific guidelines as to how to dress for a fair. Remember, no matter what, that your booth and personal image will be a direct reflection of the company you represent.
      To bring in leads from your booth, you will want to have a drawing. You can give away products, gift cards, and even gift cards to places like Starbucks (unless of course you sell coffee). You want to have a poster that shows what's being given away. Have hundreds of drawing entry slips and dozens of cheap pens on hand for people to fill out, and also a cute box for the drawing slips. The drawing slips should get the following information:
-Do they have a consultant/representative that they currently buy from?
-Are you interested in earning money, earning free products,or just having a girls night?
-Get their name, email, phone number, and zip code ( I dask for the zip code because it's quicker for them, to write than the whole address  but it still lets you know where about they live, in case they live out of town.)

These slips are your new leads! You can use a similar method as the working women week method to track and call your new leads. Don't forget as you make great connections, to make little notes about who you talked to and who had a lot of interest in your product or company.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Do it anyway!

     Do you have a goal poster, or a dream board? All of the successful people in the direct sales industry, and business in general, agree that to make your dreams come true you first have to visualize them. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't have one...yet. I know how important it is to really see your dreams and how it can really clarify your focus to see it on paper. So I want to encourage everyone to put their dreams down on paper. Why wait until it's too late? Find some quiet time to sit down and really think about what you want out of your business and out of life. Set a date with yourself if you have to because it's that important to clarify your focus. Once you're able to truly visualize your dreams and goals, you will be able to have that laser focus you need to push through some of the tougher parts of life. Because that's all that separates us from the ones who are already living the dream, it's the laser focus that they have to overcome their obstacles. That's the only difference. When it gets tough or uncomfortable for them they look to their dreams and ultimate goals, and they do it anyway. Look up that song by Marina McBride called "Do It Anyway" and really listen to the lyrics. So make that cheesy goal poster, clarify your dreams, and then shout them from the rooftops! Because how will anyone else know that you made it if they didn't even know your goal?

Give me an update on your 30 in 30 challenge! I'm almost done with just 5 people left to see!! How is your business going in September? Stay tuned for some exciting giveaways in the next few days!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Did you ever have a day when you felt overwhelmingly blessed? I did today, well this whole weekend, and I am so grateful for the blessings in my life. I'm going to try harder to remember how blessed I am when I'm going through a rough patch. I am thankful for my wonderful family, that my husband has a steady job, that I have my own business, that it's fall, and for the cheese I bought today. I LOVE LIFE!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Master your close

      Earlier in my blog, I wrote about mastering the basics of your business. We talked about memorizing your show from start to finish, and to really understand the processes of your business. Now, I want to write a little bit about how important your show close is. Never underestimate the power of a great close, it has the ability to transform a show from mediocre to outstanding. And, with your business, you always want to be outstanding. You always want to set yourself apart from others as a professional and expert in your business.
     Make sure your close includes the mention of your second appointment (if you are a 2 appointment business), and the impending one-on-one consultation that's about to take place (don't use the word 'impending' in your presentation though; it sounds scary). Explain that you would love to get their opinion of your products and presentation, so you will be meeting with them one at a time. If your company is offering specials, or sales, I would mention them again during the close portion of your presentation. The close is also a good time to tell them that they can get some of their most desired items for free, or discounted, by being a hostess. Make sure you are gracious to your hostess and her guests during the close, and thank them for giving you their time. You want to end by leading them to eat the refreshments and them taking the first guest aside for their individual close. I usually say something like this:
     "Lisa has put out some wonderful refreshments for us tonight so grab something to eat and I'll start meeting with you individually. Does anyone have to leave soon?"
By adding the question on the end, I can determine who to meet with first and get the chain going.
          So, write down and practice your show close. It can be a tricky area if you're new to business so get some opinions on your specific close. Memorize your close! It's essential for any serious businesswoman!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Getting your family on board...

     One of the biggest challenges that I have seen in this industry is the conflict with skeptical family members. Maybe it's your husband, or maybe it's your parents, but if someone important in you life is not on board with your direct sales business, it could become an uphill battle. I have heard many stories about husbands who just plain won't allow their wife to have a business. Many times the wife feels that dream within her heart but her husband keeps putting it down. People are not trying to be mean or cruel towards your dream, they simply don't understand the possibilities that can be achieved with a direct sales business. For an outsider, it can be hard to understand the potential and the security that can be provided with a business like this. Maybe you were a skeptic at one point in time, and now you're loving your party plan lifestyle. To most people, the direct selling industry can be a scary place. People assume that one bad experience covers all of the companies. It's your job to explain to your family the potential earnings from your business.
     A skeptic wants to see facts and proof to change their mind. You want to sit down with your family with actual facts in hand to show them how the business works. Get literature from your company about building a business and show your skeptic what is possible. Try not to be defensive. Come at this from a standpoint of information not force to change their mind. It's possible that a simple talk won't be enough for them, in which case I recommend bringing in someone who has already gotten to where you want to go. Talk to your recruiter or manager about how they handle the situation. And, most of all, show your family the fruits of your labor when you have a great show, or day, share it with them. Let your family take part in your successes and soon they will be cheering you on. Check out some more tips on family in the Build it Big series of books!