How to Book Parties After The New Catalog Comes Out

It’s summertime and that means a new catalog for most direct sales companies.  It is so exciting to go to convention and discover all the new and exciting products and innovations in store for our clients in the upcoming season.  I actually remember embracing my new catalog to my chest with visions of full calendars dancing through my head as convention came to a close and the trek home began.

It’s a natural to think about calling all your clients and “inviting them to be the first to have a show with the new catalog.”   And, it might actually work with a few clients.  But before you pick up the phone, stop and think about it for a minute.  When was the last time you could hardly wait to host a party with some other companies “brand new catalog?”  Even with the product you love, it’s rare that you are such a huge fan.

In my experience it’s the consultants who are excited about new catalogs — not clients.  And by “inviting them to be one of the first people to view the new catalog” we are assuming that the new catalog is important to them. And, it’s possible that it is — the problem is that we are assuming it — not asking them questions to find out if it is of interest to them.  No one likes to have people make assumptions about them.

Instead, ask questions to identify a need for a home show.  For example: ask, “What do you enjoy doing when you get together with friends?”  Jot down their answer.  Then ask “what is the biggest challenge you have with (whatever challenge your product solves)?”  Then ask how it would feel to ________________ (get together with the friends in the way they like to socialize) and learn how they could ____________ (solve their challenge)?  If she says “that would be great,” then you can invite her to host a show.

This is the perfect time to host a complimentary training on How to Book Your Fall Calendar (following the release of a new catalog).

Or, if you don’t have a team, consider joining me for the Effortless Phone Calling Mastery class. Want more information?

Click the CONTACT button to email, call or schedule an appointment for a conversation!

Private Coaching

Learn proven strategies for success from someone who’s already accomplished the goal you’ve set for yourself. Be held accountable. Get feedback about what is working and fix what isn’t. Once you have created and customized your phone calling script and tried it out, the one-to-one private coaching sessions with Linda Sturdivant will take your sales skills to the next level by helping you fine tune your strategy. Ask your questions. Learn how to handle unexpected responses. Learn new strategies for unique situations. Find out how to start a conversation at a networking event to create a warm lead for your product or service. Multi-session discounts available. For additional information click here to schedule a 30 minute consultation with Linda.

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Annihilate Your Phone Calling Phobia and More!

Your time is extremely valuable, so instead of trying to work harder, I’ll show you exactly how to work smarter. One of the most important concepts in the training is leverage. You see, if you know how to focus on your most important tasks, you can earn more and work less!

The core training is delivered on 5 online audio Cdsand/or MP3 files. You can play them online or download them to your favorite device and listen to them in your car, on your bike, at the gym, walking the dog, etc.


Easy Goal Setting!

ChessDoes this sound familiar?

  • You return from convention all excited about the new products and can picture your clients loving them!
  • The company announced a great reward for building your business such as the next incentive trip or a bigger commission check.
  • You have resolved that this is Your Year to Succeed!

Before you have even unpacked your suitcases, that familiar voice in your head starts up again, and you hear, “you’ve felt this way before and you didn’t achieve your goals.”  And, “what makes you think you can do it this time?”  You find yourself questioning yourself yet again.

How can you switch gears?  How can you preserve the enthusiasm and optimism you felt at convention?

Instead of thinking about goals you haven’t achieved, think about the ones you have achieved and ask yourself what did you do to make that goal a reality?

We have all achieved goals in our lives.  For example, did you learn to drive a car?  Make the cheer team in high school?  Get into to college?  Complete college?  Did you get a job?  Have you planned a birthday party, a wedding or another event?  Have you achieve a weight loss goal or run in a 10K race?  Did you move out of your parent’s house into your own home?  All of these are goals you have achieved.  And each goal achieved leaves clues which can be leveraged to find out how to achieve any goal you set for yourself.

The clues you gather can be combined to create your own personal goal achievement strategy.  This strategy will leverage your natural strengths and minimize your weaknesses.  It’s a tool box of what has proven to work for you.  And it can be used over and over again.

How to Create Your Own Personal Goal Achievement Strategy

1)  Make a list of goals achieved. Take out a sheet of paper and create two columns.  On the left, make a list of the goals you have achieved in your life.   Select 5 or 6 goals.  Leave spaces between the goals as you write them on your paper.

2) Ask yourself, “what did it take to achieve that goal?”  In the right column, next to each goal you have achieved, ask yourself the question, “what did it take to achieve this goal?”  Then jot down each idea that comes to you.

Here’s an example:

Goal I Achieved What did it take?
Ride a bike I wanted it very badly – refused to give up.
Learn to wear contact lenses I wanted it very badly – refused to give up.  Worked on it every day.
Get a job in high school I applied for a lot of jobs.
Lose weight in college I tried many different things (increasing my exercise, diets I read about in magazines).  Eventually joined Weight Watchers and found that accountability, support and tracking made a difference.  I kept track by writing down what I was eating at every meal.  Meal planning.
Graduate from college I wanted it very badly and refused to give up.  Worked on it daily.  Created a schedule for myself to make sure I got things done.
Got a job after college I applied for a lot of jobs.  Asked for help.  Worked on it every day.  Refused to give up.
Planned my wedding Help from my fiancé, best friend and family.  Was very organized: kept a lot of lists and checked things off as they were completed.  Reviewed the progress daily and worked on it every day.
Became a Director and cruise earner in my direct sales company I tried many things and learned new skills.  I refused to give up.  Attended team meetings, read books, attended convention. I got support by hiring a coach. I made a plan, reviewed it daily and tracked my progress.


3) Review your “what did it take?” column and find the things that worked for you.  Looking at my list I see the following patterns:

  1. I wanted it badly and refused to give up
  2. I tried a lot of different things (different diet and exercise plans, applying for a lot of jobs) until I found what worked.
  3. I got help (Weight Watchers, getting a job after college and planning the wedding)
  4. I created a schedule for myself and worked the schedule
  5. I got organized so I knew what I needed to do each day.
  6. I reviewed my plan daily and worked on it every day.

This is my Personal Goal Achievement Strategy

Once you have created your list, ask yourself how you can apply the ideas on your list to accomplish your current goals.  This is your Personal Goal Achievement Strategy which will enable you to achieve your goals with ease!

But I Can’t Make Phone Calls at 7 AM!

On the phone in my PJs

“The greatest gap in life is the one between knowing and doing.”
–Dick Biggs, author

I had quit my dream career as a Labor and Delivery Nurse to stay home with my third grade son, so I could advocate for him at school and make sure he got his homework done successfully each day.  My plan was to build my direct sales business and replace my salary as an RN.  After all, direct sales allows us to control our own schedule.  That sounded good to me.  The problem was that I was pretty much clueless about how to be successful in direct sales!

I figured it certainly couldn’t be any harder than starting an I.V. in the arm of a woman in labor, right?  So, I read books, listened to tapes and attended all of my upline’s team meetings.   At the team meetings, when my upline asked a question, my hand was the first one in the air – I “knew” all the answers.  Yet, looking around the table, it seemed like everyone else was doing more business than I was.  It became abundantly clear that knowing and doing are two completely different skills – could I conquer my procrastination?

Brian Tracy taught me to do the most important tasks first each day in his book Eat That Frog.  And, since my calendar was empty, I knew that the most important task was to talk to people.  I had already talked to all the people I normally interact with, so my focus turned to making phone calls.  My inner voice screamed, “But, you cannot make phone calls at 7 AM!”  So I asked myself, “What could I do at 7 AM to help me get my phone calls made at 7 PM?”   And, I made this list:

  1. Decide who I was going to call at 7 PM.  Put together a list of names, phone numbers and reasons for calling.
  2. Make a commitment to making phone calls by calling my husband and telling him “I will make phone calls at 7 PM tonight.”   By the way, his reaction to this announcement was a confused “ok?”  No matter – I was making the commitment for me, not him!
  3. Identify the next three dates available to do parties.
  4. Have my customer care notebook and flash cards ready.
  5. Prepare a reward for myself.  I set up my DVR to record my favorite programs and saved them to watch after making my phone calls.

And it worked!  I actually made phone calls that night. Finally I connected knowing and doing and conquered my procrastination!  By repeating these steps I discovered it was actually easier to make phone calls than to start an I.V. in a woman in labor.  And, within three weeks my party calendar was full too!

More Time!


Do you feel like you are busy all the time but never get anything done?

Are you constantly playing catch up?

Do you feel like you need an extra 8 hours in your day?

It is possible to actually create time in your day.  I’m not taking about a time machine.  I’m talking about leveraging the time you have to get more done.

Does that sound impossible?

It’s not.  Research shows that for every hour you spend planning, you get 3 hours in return.  Here are three examples:

  1. Create time by planning your weekly menu and making a shopping list.  You have created time by making fewer trips to the store each week.
  2.  Create time by doing all your errands on one day, instead of making separate trips to the grocery store, bank and post office.  You have created time that you can use in another way.
  3.  Create time by planning your business activities in logical groupings and spend less time spent procrastinating.   You have created time that you can use in another way.

Here’s how to get your planning under control and get the results you want.

Once a week spend 20 to 30 minutes planning the week, using this 5 step system.

Create three columns on a sheet of paper and label column 1: “Capture”, column 2: “Results and Why” and column 3: “Actions”.

  1.  Capture – in column 1 write down everything you need to do this week.  Just write it down like you are brainstorming – no editing, prioritizing or arguing about what’s important.
  2. Outcome think about what you want to accomplish this week, what are your “outcomes” for the week?   Your outcomes must inspire you – this is NOT a “to do” list.  For example – “book 3 parties” or “clean the house” isn’t inspiring.  “Create Financial Abundance” or “Create a Nurturing Environment” is inspiring.  Write your “Outcomes” in the middle column, leaving some space after each one.  Circle each Outcome.   By circling the result it creates a “Target” for your eye to settle on when you look at the page.   Below each circled outcome, jot down one or two reasons you want to accomplish this outcome.
  3. Write down Actions you can take to accomplish your Outcomes in column three.   Your actions could be some or all of the items on your Capture List, plus additional actions that you think of.  Determine your absolute MUSTS.  Put a    star next to the Must Do items.  Keep in mind that 20% of your actions result in 80% of your results – so make sure you are doing the most important things.
  4. Create Blocks of Time to accomplish your actions by specifically scheduling time to do them in your day planner for the week.  Group similar items together (such as running errands, or making phone calls).  Make a commitment to following your plan.
  5. Celebrate! Cross things off as you accomplish them.  Feel good when you’ve finished your day.  You’ve done the right things, instead of just keeping busy!

You have just created time for yourself.  Create time for yourself on a weekly basis and your results will sky rocket, with days that are more productive, less stressful and end with a feeling of satisfaction for a job well done.

Time Mastery

The Secret to Making Changes Easily

business woman biting her nailsThe reason most of us don’t make changes is because change is scary. It’s scary to quit your J-O-B and build your direct sales business. It’s scary to send your child to school the first time or away to college. When change occurs, it causes our “fight or flight” system to be activated and we feel anxious, “butterflies” or even nauseated. While this might seem counterproductive, it’s really our body’s way of protecting us. When human beings were hunter-gathers, change was not just scary but actually dangerous. We needed to be prepared to flight or flee in an instant. When we got scared, the fight or flight response causes our blood to flow to our arms and legs and away from our brain. Thinking is not what our body wants when confronted with a dangerous situation. Being prepared to flight or flee is what’s necessary.

The same thing happens when we try something new in our business or our lives. If it’s a new party presentation, making customer phone calls or even just going to a team meeting, it can be scary and our body tries to protect us by activating the flight or flight reaction.

Why is this important?

The reason that it’s important to recognize the flight or flight reflex is that once you know it happens, you can formulate a plan to work around it. Make change less scary by by taking tiny steps so you don’t set off the fight or flight alarms. For example, consider the story of the woman who purchased an expensive luxury car and parked it in her driveway one winter night. This car was equipped with a motion sensor – if you touch the car an alarm sounds. One night, when the car was in the driveway, it snowed. When the woman came out in the morning, her car was under a pile of snow, yet the alarm had never sounded. Why is that? Each snowflake was so tiny and light that it did not active the sensor. And that’s the approach that will work best for us too.

How to make change easy.

When you decide to make a change, make it easy and less scary by doing it one tiny, tiny step at a time. So tiny that you absolutely KNOW you can do it. For example, if you are scared or anxious about making customer phone calls, start by practicing your phone calling system alone in your office. Say each word out loud and practice using the words you’ll use when you eventually pick up the phone. Repeat this daily at the same time (the time you’ve decided to make your customer phone calls) until you feel ready to move forward. Next, make a phone call to a friend and ask if you can practice your new phone calling strategy with her. Continue making practice phone calls daily with your friends until you are ready to move to calling your most friendly customers. Once you are ready, ramp up to making 2 phone calls a day and so forth.

What’s the secret?

The secret to making change less scary is to take the action each day that you absolutely KNOW you can do. If you feel any anxiety about it at all (remember that’s your “fight or flight” reflex being activated), then back off on your goal a little bit. Back off just enough so you don’t feel scared or anxious, but continue to take action. Each day ask yourself “what one small step can I take to ________(whatever your goal is)?” Then take that small step.

What’s the reward?Woman happily on phone

Eventually, you’ll be making your phone calls with ease. You won’t be scared or anxious any more. And if you’ve been practicing at the same time each day, you will have a powerful success habit too!

There are several good books about making changes easier by taking small steps. I recommend One Small Step Can Change Your Life, The Kaisen Way by Robert Maurer.

Your success is my goal,
Linda Sturdivant

Easy phone calling strategies

easy_buttonDo you have a nagging little voice in the back of your head that tells you that you “should” make customer phone calls?

Do you dread picking up the phone?

You know it’s important, yet phone calls are one of the hardest parts of a direct sales business.

The secret to making customer phone calls easily is to create a habit.

What is a habit?

A habit is a regularly repeated behavior pattern that happens without having to make a decision to do it.  For example, do you “decide” to brush your teeth each night?   No, you don’t decide, you don’t think about it, you don’t worry about it, you just do it. And you do it regularly.  And, because of that, you are successfully chewing your food at mealtimes!

How much stronger would your business be if you made customer phone calls as easily and as consistently as you brushed your teeth?

How to create a habit of making customer phone calls

All habits have three characteristics in common.

  1. There is a cue that reminds you to do the behavior.  Getting ready for bed is the cue to brush our teeth.
  2. Every habit includes a routine or set of behaviors that are repeated each time.
  3. The behavior results in a reward or positive reinforcement.  The reward for brushing your teeth is the clean feeling you have in your mouth.

To create a habit, decide upon a cue, set up a routine and identify a reward you will give yourself.  Here is an example of a customer phone calls habit:

Cue – Eat dinner.

Routine – Walk to office, pull out Flash Cards and list of people to call, put headset on  and make phone calls.

Reward – Watch TV

To create your own Customer Phone Calling Habit follow these easy steps:

  1. Decide when you will make your calls – do it at the same time each day or the same time each week and link phone calling to another habit in your life.  For example, make calls every night after dinner, or each afternoon when the kids do their homework or every Tuesday and Thursday when the kids are at hockey practice.
  2. Prepare ahead of time
    1. Create your list of customers to call prior to the time you plan to make the calls.  Make your list very specific and include names, phone numbers and why you are calling them (e.g. answer questions about the products they purchased, thank you for coming to the show last week, hostess coaching, etc)
    2. Collect all the materials you’ll need.  For example: Phone Calling Flash Cards, customer contact notebook or database, computer or a pen, your headset, etc.
  3. Decide on your reward.  For example: push the “That Was Easy” button your desk, stand up and cheer, watch TV, listen to music, read a book or go for a walk.
  4. Commit to making your customer phone calls by making a public declaration.  For example, do one or more of the following:
    1. Call your husband at work and tell him when you are making calls that day
    2. Write it on the family calendar or put a note on the refrigerator
    3. Announce it to your kids (e.g. “I will be making customer phone calls while you are at hockey practice today.”)
    4. Announce to your family that you won’t ___________ (fill in the reward you have set for yourself) until you make your customer phone calls.
  5. Do it — make your customer phone calls when you say you will.
    1. If you hear a voice in your head undermining your decision, then repeat the following affirmation to yourself over and over again as you approach the phone: “I’ve decided to do this and I’m just going to do it.
    2. Have a success ritual you perform before you pick up the phone.  For example, stand up, put your shoulders back, and state “I am committed to providing exceptional customer service” in a strong voice.
    3. Make a minimum of one phone call.  Make more if you like, but don’t “force yourself” to make too many at first.  To begin with you are building up your customer phone calling habit.  Once the habit is established, you can gradually ramp up the number of calls you make each time.
  6. Reward yourself.  Always give yourself the reward you have planned.

Repeat this process over and over and you will find yourself with a powerful Customer Phone Calling habit that will transform your business and make customer phone calls as easy as brushing your teeth!