Archives for June 2012

Your Direct Sales Party: No More Cancellations!

How many times have you spent the afternoon preparing for your direct salesparty that evening, only to call your hostess and find out that she “has to cancel her party,” because “no one is coming?” Your direct sales parties are the life blood of your business and last minute cancellations take a big bite out of your income.

Why do Last Minute Party Cancellations Happen?

Your hostess was really excited about hosting a party when you met her at her friend’s party. After she scheduled the party that night, she drove home and walked into her house. She dropped the hostess packet on the kitchen counter and she re-entered her “real life.” The kids hadn’t been sent to bed yet, lunches needed to be made and so on. The next day, the mail was thrown on the hostess packet and it disappeared entirely. By the end of the first week, you’re lucky if she even remembers she scheduled a party!

How to Prevent Direct SalesParty Cancellations

Your job as a direct seller is to keep her excited about her party! The secret is actually quite simple and direct – stay in touch! Here are a few ways that have worked for me:

  1. Send her a thank you note in the mail within the first 24 hours.
  2. Pick up the phone the next morning and leave a thank you message on her answering machine.
  3. Call to get her guest list within the first 3 to 4 days. This will also help increase sales at your show.
  4. Send out the invitations for her.
  5. Think of some excuse to call her every week until her party. For example, to tell her about the special she and her guests will enjoy or to remind her to tell everyone to bring a guest.

Make these 5 simple steps a habit and your direct sales party cancellations will be a thing of the past!

Your Success Is My Goal,

Linda

Direct Sales Parties: The Secret to Higher Sales!

You are a master at presenting your products at your direct sales parties. You know everyone is having a great time, because they are smiling, visiting and laughing. Yet, time after time you are leaving with discouragingly low sales. Here’s a strategy that is guaranteed to boost sales, bookings and recruiting too!

Your Guests are Ready to Party:

As a direct seller, you know that a great party is the foundation to great sales. So you set the stage for an exciting party experience – lots of friends, an inviting venue and a fun, interactive presentation! You love your products and find the presentation easy. Catalogs and order forms are handed out and you prepare to collect orders! After a several minutes, a few guests hand you their order forms as they continue talking with their friends. You barely get a chance to ask “will that be cash, check or charge?” And, before you know it you hear “It’s getting late and I’d better get home.” And out file the guests one by one. What happened?

The Secret to Higher Sales:

The secret to higher sales at your direct sales party is surprisingly simple — get your guests away from the group while you take their orders; I call it the “Full Service Checkout” it’s simple and direct. And you’ll be providing a higher level of service at the same time! Here’s how:

Before the Your Direct Sales Party:

  1. Identify a spot away from the group to collect orders. It could be in the same room or a separate room.
  2. Make the space look inviting – use a table cloth and set up a small display of products when possible.
  3. Have everything you need ready, including:
    1. Business supplies: calculator, catalog and order forms
    2. Flyers about current specials
    3. Hostess packets
    4. Recruiting packets

During the Party:

  1. Give your guest’s something to write on during the presentation so they can jot down the items that are of interest to them. It could be the order form or a wish list.
  2. Pay attention to people. Watch what they like. Ask yourself, what would make them a great hostess or consultant?
  3. Circulate around the room during shopping time to answer questions and offer suggestions.
  4. When a guest hands you her order form, invite her to come and sit down with you.

At Checkout Time:

  1. Scan the order form and compliment her on her choices.
  2. Make sure she’s ordered everything she needs to be successful. For example, if she ordered a stamp set did she get an ink pad to go with it?
  3. Make suggestions of other products that would enhance her choices. For example, the bracelet that matches the earrings she selected.
  4. Ask if she is interested in taking advantage of the company’s current special, if applicable.
  5. Tell her why you’d sincerely love to have her on your team and schedule a time to get together with her to give her more information about your companies opportunity.
  6. Book a show with her. For example, say “when would you like to do your show?”

Create your own full service checkout and you’ll find higher sales at your direct sales parties every time!

Your Success Is My Goal,

Linda

Sales Training: From Enthusiasm to Skill

Why Sales Training is Important

Sales training is essential for most direct sellers because they aren’t professional sales people. If you are like most direct sellers, your story is similar to this one. You attended a home show and fell in love with the product. After watching the consultant do her presentation, you thought, “I could do that.” During the presentation you heard how you could actually earn money, get out of the house, be with adults, and even have the opportunity to earn a vacation. You think, “Wow, that’s for me!” So you took the plunge and signed up to be a consultant. Your enthusiasm was contagious and your friends all hosted shows. It was fun and sales were great! But lately, you’ve noticed that your show sales are slipping. What’s going on?

Enthusiasm is a great sales tool. Unfortunately, after you’ve done a few shows, it starts to become repetitive and your enthusiasm subsides. Sales trainings are a great to a few more tools to your sales toolbox.

Sales Training: Boost Your Home Show Sales

  1. Get the guests to your shows. High sales begin with getting people to the show and the hostess is the key to the guest list. Many hostesses start to have second thoughts when they think about getting free products in exchange for inviting their friends over. Training your hostess is critical. Here’s how: stay in touch and keep her focused on what her guests are going to get: a great night out and a fun experience. Help her build a big guest list and get her invitations out immediately. I suggest sending the invitations for her to make sure it happens.
  2. Greet every guest when they arrive and begin learning names. Use name tags if you need to. Allow time for mingling before starting your presentation to get to know your guests.
  3. Start every show with an ice breaker activity. It helps put people into a party mood and loosens them up.
  4. Give them a taste, a sample or at least get their hands on the product. How many times have you purchased a product because you got to taste it at Trader Joe’s or Costco? The same is true at a home show: pass around products as you talk about them. Let them try on the bracelet or use the cooking tool. Sales training tip: give them just a taste, not the whole thing – you want them to be hungry enough to buy.
  5. Assume they are going to place an order: at the end of your presentation, hand each person a catalog and an order form. Be available and offer to answer questions during the shopping time.
  6. Full Service Checkout. Create a place to take orders away from the group so you can pay full attention to each customer. Scan the order form, compliment them on their choices and offer additional items that work with the items they have selected. Thank them for the sale and ask them when they would like to host their show (again, presume they want a show, they had so much fun at this show after all!).

Master this 6 step sales training and you’ll be enjoy consistently good show sales.

Your Success Is My Goal,

Linda

Know what to say!

What is relationship marketing?

According to Business Dictionary.com, relationship marketing is:

Promotional and selling activities aimed at developing and managing trusting and long-term relationships with customers.”

This marketing skill doesn’t come naturally to many high powered entrepreneurs; but it’s actually simple to learn. The key is to be patient and to focus on creating a relationship with your potential client. Find out if your product or service is right for them before telling them about it. Here’s a simple 3 step telephone strategy. Imagine you’ve given a presentation about your product or service and you are making follow up marketing phone calls to people who said they were interested.

Step 1: Slow Down

The key to customer relationships marketing is to focus on your client. Slow down and let your client into the conversation from the very beginning. Here’s an example relationship marketing telephone script:

You: “Hi, may I speak to Robert please?”

Client: “This is Robert.”

You: “Hi Robert. It’s Mary Jones calling.”

Client: “Yes?”

You: “As you recall, we met at Chamber of Commerce last Thursday evening?”

Client: “Oh, yes. That’s right.”

You: “Do you have a quick minute?”

Client: “Sure.” Note: usually they say “sure” or “yes,” but if they say “no,” ask for permission to call again and find out when is a good time.”

Step 2: Identify Needs

  1. Relationship marketing is a give and give and take process; so, get your client involved in the conversation. For example:

You: “Robert, I wanted to call and say thank you for attending my presentation last week.”

Client: “Oh, you’re welcome.”

You: “While I have you on the phone, would you be open to answering a couple of quick questions?”

Client: “Yes, of course.”

Ask 2 or 3 key specific and targeted questions to elicit the need for your product or service. Pause to listen to the answer and jot down a few notes while they talk. Here are some examples for a couple of different kinds of products (cookware sales and leadership training):

  1. Qualify the lead.
    • Cookware: “Do you do the cooking for your family?”
    • Leadership training: “Are you a team leader in your business?”
  2. Find out their current level of satisfaction.
    • Cookware: “Are you satisfied with the meals you are currently creating?”
    • Leadership training: “Are you satisfied with the productivity of your team?”
  3. Identify the need for your product or service.
    • Cookware : “What challenges are you encountering with meal preparations for your family?”
    • Leadership training: “What challenges are you encountering with your team production?”
  1. Cement the relationship by showing that you are listening to your client. Using your notes, paraphrase whatever the client said. Pause and let the client respond. They will either confirm that you’ve got it right or offer more information. For example:

So you are saying that…” For example:

  • Cookware: “It takes a long time to plan and prepare satisfying meals and it’s challenging for you because you work full time and have 2 small children?”
  • Leadership training: “You have invested in a lot of sales training to your team, but sales are still well below average?”

Step 3:Market your product

Once you are sure you completely understand the challenges the client is encountering, ask permission to offer a solution. For example: “I have an idea that might helpful. Would you be open to hearing about it?”

Once you’ve received permission, share the information about your product or service. Use some of the same words they used when describing the challenge they are encountering. The time you take to get to know them and their challenge will create a relationship and increase your success rate significantly. Once they have shared their challenge and agreed to listen to your ideas, your relationship marketing success will skyrocket.

Your Success Is My Goal,

Linda

Earn Money: Increase Your Income By Developing Your Direct Sales Team

How to Develop a Direct Sales Team

Team sales the top way to earn money in the direct sales industry. It starts by recruiting new team members. Once you’ve got them on the team, use this 5 step plan to get them trained and productive:

  1. Initial training: get your new recruit started off right by helping her set business goals. Ask her: how much money does she want to earn? What will she use it for? If she isn’t excited about her goal, then when the going gets tough, she’ll be gone. Teach the basics of the business including: how to use the company training resources and how to schedule and do a show. Make sure she understands the compensation plan so she knows what’s required to earn money. In addition, take all new recruits along with you to at least one show to learn by watching you.
  2. Quick start event: Get your new recruit to schedule her first show as soon as possible. Nothing motivates like earning money immediately. Encourage her to host it herself and to invite all of her friends. And, more importantly, ask them to each bring a friend. Encourage your new recruit to prepare and practice her presentation prior to the event and to create note cards for reference.
  3. Individual mentoring: schedule a regular time to talk to your new recruit for 15 to 30 minutes weekly for at least the first 6 weeks. Make sure she is completing enough activities will earn money.
  4. Group trainings: Monthly team meetings are a great way to leverage your time and earn more because you can work with your whole team as a group. Make sure to include the following in each team meeting:
    1. Provide recognition to your top sales performers – give out certificates and public recognition.
    2. Offer motivation to everyone by recognizing small accomplishments like “stepping outside your comfort zone.” Ask team members to volunteer to share their “stepping out” stories. Have everyone vote for the person who stepped out the most bravely in the past month. Present the winner with an award. It doesn’t need to be extravagant. For example we have a team “shoe” that gets passed around to each monthly “stepping out” winner. It’s silly, fun and surprisingly motivational.
    3. Provide time either before or after the meeting for team members to mingle and get to know each other. Camaraderie is one of the best ways to retain your team members.
    4. Always include training at each team meeting to increase skills. For example, ideas how to set goals, meet new customers, increase sales, booking and recruiting. Teach your team how to earnmore by recruiting and developing their own teams.
    5. Encourage team members to get involved in creating the meeting. Anything from volunteering to bring a snack, an ice breaker activity or business training is a wonderful way to get people involved. In addition, it helps develop more leaders in the group.
    6. Finally, foster open discussions about business topics. The ideas generated by a group of like-minded people can be incredibly creative and provide immense value to everyone.
  5. Corporate events: Always attend corporate events and encourage your team members to attend also. Show them how attending corporate events can help them earn money in the long run. Schedule time together at the event to encourage camaraderie.

How can I earn money from team development?

By providing recognition, motivation and training, your team members will become more effective consultants and sellers. And, as they earn money so will you.

Your Success Is My Goal,

Linda