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!

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!

Overwhelmed

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

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!

Direct Sales: 3 Step Sales Success System

Do you feel like you work 24/7 on your direct sales business and yet make very little real progress toward your sales and recruiting goals? The reason is that most direct sellers lack focus on the activities that earn money, the “income producing activities.” When it comes right down to it, the only way to earn money in direct sales is to meet with and talk to people. The key is to talk to enough people. How much is enough? Here’s system that will help you figure that out.

Direct Sales Goal Achievement

If you want to make progress on a goal, it’s essential that you break down the goal into bite size pieces or “steps.” Figure out the number of these individual “steps” it takes to achieve the goal and schedule them into your business. Seems simple, doesn’t it. But it can be challenging when “talking to and meeting with people” are your “steps.” Here’s an idea that works!

What gets Measured is Improved.

The secret is both simple and direct: keep track of your income producing activities and give yourself points. Then compare the points to your income to determine how much activity is needed to produce the results you want. Schedule and complete that amount of activity and you’ll achieve your goal. Follow this simple 3 step plan:

1) Track Your Activity

Use a blank calendar page as your tracking sheet. Each day, track your income producing activities on the current day of the calendar as follows:

  • Each time you attempt to talk to someone about your business (e.g. you dial the phone or approach them in person), make a circle: O.
  • Each time you actually talk to a person about your business, put a slash across the circle.
  • Each time you make a sale or schedule a party put an X through the circle.
  • For each party or appointment that holds draw a box.
  • For each party or appointment that holds and has sales or results in a new recruit signing up draw a box and put an X through it.
  • When you get a recruit lead at a party, circle the box.

2) Score Your Activity

At the end of each day, calculate your points as follows:

Circle O = 1 point

Circle with slash= 15 points

Circle with X= 50 points

Box  = 25 points

Box with X= 50 points

Box with X and circled= 100 points

Here’s an example week:

sample week image

The total is: 350+50+100+50 = 550 points for the week.

3) Calculate your Earnings per Point

Add up how much you earned in your direct sales business for the week and divide by the number of points you earned. The result is how much you earn per point. For example, if you earned $550 and 550 points, you earned a $1 per point. If you earned $900 then you earned $1.64 per point.

Points and earnings will vary over the weeks, so I recommend keeping track of your points and earnings over a number of weeks, to get a more accurate point value. Then all you need to do is schedule enough point earning activities to create the income you want from your direct sales business!

Your Success Is My Goal,

Linda

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