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...