Why Back to School Sales are Great for Direct Sellers

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Depending on the supplies that you use for your direct sales business, back to school sales can be great for your business pocketbook.  You can get great deals on those products that you need year round.

Typically at this time of year I will pick up the following for my business:

Pens – A few boxes will go a long way, depending on how many people steal your pens

Paper – I try to use as little paper as possible, but sometimes it’s just easier

Stapler and staples – You probably don’t need this every year

Pencils – These always come in handy if your pens won’t work.  Can be particularly useful if you live in a colder climate where pens can freeze (great for using with mileage books)

Pencil Cases – When you buy pens and pencils, you need places to store them in.  This is especially true when doing parties where you are likely taking at least a dozen with you.  Also convenient for holding other items like business cards and calculators.

Notebooks – I keep one in my car for mileage and usually one in my party bag for notes to myself or to make notes for customers

Page protectors – These are great to put copies of specials in.

Duotangs – Folders with prongs in them.  If you like to give customers information to look at, this can be a great way to organize it.  Page protectors work great in here as the paper does not need to be replaced as often.

Flash drives – These have many names but they plug into your computer.  These are a great method for backing up data which you should be doing on a regular basis anyways.

Organizers – Back to school is a prime time to buy organizers and planners.  Students use them to track homework assignments and due dates but you can easily adapt them to your business needs.

Storage items – As back to school also means going off to school, you can find all sorts of storage solutions on sale.  This is a great way to get paperwork or inventory off the floor and into a system where you can find it later.

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Should I Purchase Phone Leads?

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With a direct sales business, sometimes you feel like you have exhausted all the avenues of finding sales leads. While researching other sources of leads, perhaps you’ve heard about purchasing phone leads for multilevel marketing. Is this a good idea?

A Cisco 7960G IP telephone

A Cisco 7960G IP telephone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Generally speaking, purchasing phone leads is not the best way to get leads. One problem with lead generation companies is that the leads are not well-screened. The person you call might have no interest whatsoever. Lead companies sometimes recycle their lists so they can sell them to other people so you may be paying for people who have already been contacted by several of your competitors.

Another problem with purchasing leads is that many of them can be outdated. You have no way of knowing when the contact information was collected and people could have moved or changed phone numbers in the meantime. It’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting when you spend money on phone leads.

The best way to get leads for party plans and other direct sales businesses is by using your own website. That is the only way to ensure that the leads are genuinely interested. If you have the budget to buy leads, there are a few more cost-efficient ways to invest that money in your business. You could hire a writer to write a few articles about party plans and then use them to get backlinks to your website. This will increase your exposure and search engine ranking. Set up a contact form on your website to collect phone numbers and then you have your very own targeted phone leads.

If you are really stuck and looking to purchase phone leads, you need to conduct some research to make sure you are buying them from a reputable company that does not resell their lists.

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How to Deal with Family Disapproval

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Even though there have been various successful multilevel marketing businesses over the years, many people still have problems with their family disapproving of what they do. Their objections can range from worrying that you’re being “scammed” to religious objections. Either of these may be difficult to handle.

Spoon of Disapproval

Spoon of Disapproval (Photo credit: eightson)

One way to deal with your family’s disapproval is by offering PROOF. Whether it’s proof that you’re NOT being scammed or proof that your religion WANTS you to have a viable income, proof may be the only way to convince your family that there’s nothing wrong with direct sales or MLMs. The next step is how to prove it.

First, let your family members try the product you’re selling through network marketing. Many times, this is all it will take. Once they try your amazing product, it’s possible they’ll totally understand why you’re selling it and get on board. They may even want to sell it, too.

Religious issues can be more difficult to get past, although it can be done in many cases. Proof may, again, be involved in dealing with these family members. Prove to them that you won’t be working on the main religious day of the week. The beauty of a multilevel marketing business is that you can work when you want. You may need to prove that it’s not going to take you away from your family any more than a normal job would. Your product can be anything you want, so it doesn’t have to be “sinful” product.

In the end, if you cannot get your family to accept your proof, you’ll have a decision to make. Consider your own happiness in the process.

Should I have a WordPress sites for my Direct Sales Business?

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Yes! Of course I am going to say Yes you should have a WordPress site for your direct sales business. I am a firm believer that self hosted WordPress is the best system that you can use to build your website. I realize that most direct sales businesses offer you a company website, but they do not offer the flexibility that your own site offers.

WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

With a WordPress site you can create great capture pages, blogs, sales pages, squeeze pages, and more. You can even create a nice little “community” type website for your team. It can be completely private like a membership website and you can do it relatively easily once you learn about all that WordPress can do.

Of course if you are not interested in learning how to build a site on your own there is another reason why WordPress is perfect; It is easy to find someone to build it for you at a price you can afford. It is such a commonly used platform that you can find someone to build your site with all the bells and whistles that you need without spending 10,000 dollars.

In fact for well under $1000 dollars you can have a wonderful site that does what you need if you use WordPress and use their free plug ins, and use free templates. You can even do it yourself for far less than that. I’m not kidding about this. Take a look at our Business Directory and you will find someone who can help you.

Alternatively just ask around. If you know someone who has a site you like, ask them who did it, and ask them how much it cost. You might be surprised!

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How To Get People To Come To Your Online Party

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As a hostess, deciding to have an online party is a very smart one especially when it is difficult to get your friends and family together in your home for an in home party. Keep reading to find out how to get people to come to your online party once you have chosen a date, a place and a time for your party.

computer

computer (Photo credit: jaci XIII)

Tell your friends.

You should be sure to tell all your friends and family about your online party. Send out emails that give them the time and the URL of the website where your party is going to be held and be sure to let them know how very excited you are about the party and how happy they will be if they decide to stop by.  Evite.com is a great site to utilize to send online party invitations. If there are going to be any specials on certain products or free shipping or anything being given away, be sure to let them know at that time.

Choose Incentives.

While we are on the topic of giving something away or planning specials, know that this is something that you should definitely plan on doing. Everyone loves to get a special deal on something they plan on buying –  and who doesn’t love having a chance to get something for free?

Advertise your party wherever possible online. Take the time to find great places to advertise your upcoming online party. Make sure to pay attention to the posting rules in the sites you are looking to place an advertisement. You do not want to be accused of spamming. Forums for moms or for moms that work from home are excellent places to start advertising your online party.

Have Fun.

Make sure to really share your enthusiasm about your upcoming online party. If you are excited about the party and the products that are being offered, then it is very likely that you will get others interested and excited too.

These are just a few ideas that you can use in order to get people to attend your online party. Remember to follow up with last minute reminders and you are sure to have a fun and hopefully very profitable online party.

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Picking a Consultant to have a Direct Sales Party With

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There are many direct sales consultants out there that would all love to host a party for you.  But how do you decide which one you want to invite into your home?  There are a variety of methods that people use and which one you pick is up to you.

choices

choices (Photo credit: danielmoyle)

Booking at a Party – Quite often people will book their party with the person who was the consultant at an event they attended.  A lot of people do not know half a dozen different consultants with each company so they pick the person that is easiest and that they have met already.  But if you do not get along with this person, there are other options.

Ask Friends – If you have not been to a party recently and are looking for a direct sales consultant, you can try asking friends if they know anyone.  You may be surprised at who they know and that they can hook you up with.

Company Website – A great method to find consultants is to visit the company’s website.  Chances are there is a spot where you can enter where you live and it will list several consultants in the area that you can get in touch with.  If you are not sure, pick a few different ones and send them a few questions.  See how they respond and see which one seems to mesh with you the best.  Even if you do not see anyone in your area, you can contact the company and they will find someone for you.  I recently acquired a customer who did this – the consultant search wasn’t working for her, she called my company and they sent me the lead.

Local Classifieds – Another place you can look for a consultant is your local classified ads.  Depending on the website you are using will determine how successful you will be.  I know that I have difficulties getting ads posted on some sites as others like to report them so that they are the only ones.

Facebook – Try searching for the company you are looking for on Facebook.  I find that those who are local to me come up first in my searches.  If the consultant has a fanpage or information in their profile, they should come up.

Search Engines – Go to your favorite search engine and type in “Company Name” and your city.  I have had a few people tell me that they located me that way.

Between all these methods, you should be able to find someone to come in and do a party for you.  If you can’t, it may be an indication that you should join the company as you may have an area that no one is in yet!

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Increasing Party Sales as Host

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As a host of a direct sales party, there are some things that you can do to increase the amount of sales that you get and therefore, increasing the amount of product that you get for free or discounted.        free

Invite Everyone – Invite everyone you know to attend.  Even if you do not think that they will attend or that they have any interest in the product, invite them.  Some people will surprise you by showing up and being your biggest spenders, or even booking their own party.

Remind People – Remind people of your event.  Some people book their schedule a few weeks out but some people cannot tell you what they are doing until a few days before the event. For this reason, make sure to send a few reminders and call a couple days before the party to remind them that it is almost there.

Collect Outside Orders – If you have people who tell you that they wish that they could attend, but cannot, give them a catalogue and tell them that they can still order.    Sometimes they just tell you that they cannot attend as they do not want to attend or spend money, but by offering to show them a book, you will find out who truly wants to attend and those that are just avoiding it.  Remember, not every product works for everyone, so if they just do not want to attend, that is okay.

Give Testimonials – When you invite people to the party, make sure you tell them how much you love the product.  This gets people excited to attend and prepared to spend some money at your event.  If they need to speak to their partner before spending money, this allows them an idea of what they may want to buy and establishing a budget.

Share the Website – Even if your consultant does not give you a website for people to check out, find the companies website and share that with those you invite.  They can then see the product in advance and start planning what they may want to buy.

 

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Can I bring kids to the party?

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This is a question to ask the consultant as everyone feels differently about kids at the party.   There may be rules about having kids at parties depending on the product but for the most part, kids can be allowed if the hostess wants them there.

Alpaca Bites Kid Goat

Alpaca Bites Kid Goat (Photo credit: Tc Morgan)

One thing to consider is if your kids can behave for an hour or two while the event is going on and ordering is taking place.  If you do not think they can, it may be best to leave them at home or not attend.   Maybe their grandparents would like to watch them for a few hours or they have friends they would like to visit.

If you feel that they can behave themselves for a few hours, it likely is okay, but check with the consultant.  Depending on the product, kids may not be welcome due to the break-ability factor or due to costs.  I find at my candle parties the kids are sometimes the most engaged as they enjoy sniffing all the scents and they make no secret as to what they do and do not like.

One exception to this is adult toy parties.  Anyone under 18 or the age of majority where they live is not allowed.  This is not because the consultant does not want the kids there; it is due to the law.  A consultant can be fined and have her business shut down if she does not follow the rules.  If she is not sure, she can also ID people.  I know of reps that have left as there were minors in attendance who would not leave.

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How to be a Good Customer

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One of the biggest frustrations for a direct sales consultant is dealing with customers or hostesses and not getting any resolution.  So here is what you can do to be a good customers or hostess.

First customers

First customers (Photo credit: stavos)

Respond to Phone Calls – If your direct sales consultant contacts you, please return their calls.  They likely are not calling you just to chat as they have other people to be in touch with (and quite honestly, a lot of reps do not like making calls, so it’s hard work for them to do!).  Chances are they will leave a message if at all possible to tell you why they are calling – so please return their call with the information they have asked of you.

Respond to Emails – Just like the phone, please respond to emails they send you.  The consultant may know that you prefer email or they may prefer email.   In a perfect world, they will call you but they may try email instead or especially if you do not return their phone calls.

Make a Decision – If you tell the direct sales consultant that you want to host a party, but when they call to schedule you, and you keep putting them on, please quit.  If you do not feel that you can host anymore due to changed circumstances, tell them this.  If you cannot host for a few months, please ask them to call you back in a few months time.   This should not be a problem for the consultant and they will appreciate you letting them know.

Fill out your Form – When you are placing an order at a party or outside of a party, please fill out the form completely.  This means item number, name of product and the price.  Sometimes people do not have the right number for the right product, and this can help clear up any confusion.

 

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What Direct Sales Consultants Want You to Know

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There are several things that a direct sales consultant wants their customers to know.  Here are some examples:

Tupperware home party in Sarasota, Florida

Tupperware home party in Sarasota, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

  • This is a job for us, not a hobby.  We are taking time out of lives to come to your home and present our product, and we expect you to do your part to make the party successful.
  • Please do not ignore us.  We have been doing these parties for a while so we know what steps to take to ensure that your party is a success.   Listen to our suggestions and if you do not agree with us, please ask us the reason behind it.  There is likely a good reason due to past experience.
  • If the party starts at 7 pm, please stress to your friends to be at your house by 7 pm.  It is disrespectful to me by not starting until 7:30 not to mention for those that showed up by 7 pm. If you know people tend to run late, tell them 6:30 or 6:45 so that they arrive on time.
  • Not all of us do this full time.  For this reason, do not expect us to return your phone call within 2 hours.  Please give us the courtesy of 24 hours before you look for another consultant or decide that we are not interested in helping you.  If we are at our other job, we likely cannot return your call immediately.
  • For me, a good party has to do with how many people buy.  This should be true for you as the more that buy, the more free items you get which is likely part of why you invited me.
  • Keep food and drinks to a minimum before the party.  I do not want to hang around for 3 hours because everyone is too busy eating.  I have family and friends that I have left to come do your event; I would like to get home to them.

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