Monthly Archives: December 2011

Article: Recession Drives Women to Direct Sales Companies

Kundrod, who formerly worked as an internal project manager for an e-learning company, began to suspect in February she might lose her job. That’s when she began selling Mary Kay cosmetics as a precaution to guard against lost income.

“Mary Kay started as a plan B for me,” Kundrod said. “And I did lose my job in June. And so, it quickly became a plan A. And so I really just haven’t looked back, and it’s been great, and I’ve been able to support myself with it.”

Kundrod says her income per hour with Mary Kay is comparable to what she made at her last job. She’s also found satisfaction in helping women look and feel their best.

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How often to back up your Direct Sales data?

As part of the discussion on backing up your data, one of the topics that comes up is how often you should take care of this chore.  A lot of it depends on how often the files change and the importance of the files themselves.Backup screenshot

Monthly – I think at a minimum you should back up your files on a monthly basis.  I don’t know about you, but I accumulate quite a few files each month such as sales specials, invoices, or random documents on a variety of different things.

Important Files – whenever you have some important files that you cannot bear to lose, you should back them up.  A great example of this is when you have updated or finished your accounting.  For most people, this is a dreaded chore and not one that they want to re-do.  Make sure you have a copy of it made so that you have it somewhere if need be.

File Syncs– If you are using online storage or if you have backup software, you can set them up to automatically backup your files without even thinking about it. This would only work with files that are on your computer’s hard drive versus on a flash drive, but this can be a great way to make sure you do not lose your files.

Backing up does not have to be difficult or time consuming.  If you have a calendar, mark it down or set a reminder on your phone or somewhere else.  Set the backup to go while you do other things such as clean up or watch tv.

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Backing up your Direct Sales Data – Online Options

When we think of our direct sales business, we think of things like getting customers, booking parties and finding people to join our team.  We prefer to ignore things like taxes, filing and other organization tasks (unless we enjoy those things).  Quite often we do not think about our data and how lost we would be without it, until it actually is gone!

Recently I lost my flash drive for a day or two.  I was lost!  I don’t know about you, but I keep most of my important files on there and do not copy it over to my actual computer all that often.  Once I found the drive, I quickly did a back up just in case!  (Note:  If you have cats and lose anything, open all the doors around where you last saw that object first, they like to bat things!)

There are several different options when it comes to data backup for your direct sales business.  You can find some that are free and you can find some that are paid.  Here are a few different options for you.server farm

Dropbox – This is a free online storage option – you start with 2 gigs of space and if you refer people and they sign up and download the system, you will get an additional 250 megs.  The free system maxes out at 8 gigs.  One of the great things about this site is that you can also share your files with others so you could have files on there that your team can access as well.   These can be put in their own special folder so that they cannot access your more sensitive data.  Consultants with my company are using this system to share all sorts of files with each other.  So much more convenient than putting out requests for created files!

Mozy – This is another site that I have heard great things about when it comes to backing up your data.  You can get a free account at Mozy which will let you backup 2 gigs worth of data at no cost but still enjoy all the security that the site offers.  The next option starts at 50 gigs for $6 a month nd if you sign up for a year at once you will get a month for free.

Do you use a different online storage site?  I know there are many different options out there and some are better for different options. Please post in the comments and let us know what you are using for online backup systems.

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How to Lose Direct Sales Customers

For some in direct sales, they have too many customers and want to get rid of some of them.  If that is the case, here are something’s that you can do to lose those pesky customers.

Customer Service– Never get in touch with the customer again.  Do not follow up, do not add them to your newsletter list.  If they call you, do not return their phone c

Customers are Ignoring You

Image by ronploof via Flickr

alls to see what they wanted or to book them.

Don’t Deliver Product – This is always a great way to lose that direct sales customer, but you may also lose your ability to sell with your company.  This may not be the best method to use to get rid of customers.

Do not Hostess Coach – If you have a party scheduled that you really do not want to do, it is best not to show up for it.  This is guaranteed to leave a sour taste in the mouth of the hostess and her friends and you will not hear from them again.

Pass them On – A less harmful method of losing customers is to pass them on to another rep.  This is especially great if the customer continues to contact you even if you have followed the previous steps and they persist.  Other reps may be grateful to take them off your hands.

Be Honest – You could simply tell the people that you run into that you are no longer taking new clients and give them the business card for someone else.  This hits two birds with one stone as you never have their contact information nor do they have yours to get in touch with you in the first place.

If you cannot tell, this article is truly in jest and I highly advise you do the opposite of what the advise in this article says.

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How to be Taken Seriously as a Direct Sales Consultant

For many people in direct sales, those around them do not take them seriously enough which causes them to lose confidence in their abilities.  But fear not, there are things that you can do to show those doubters that you are serious about your direct sales business.

Talk the Talk – Prove to them you are serious.  Work your business by going to the meetings, doing some advertising and get events on the books.  Attend trade shows to find new clients and keep up on the training and changes within your company.  If you do not know about a change in the commission schedule which happened three months ago, you do

English: "Wilshire Room," company in...

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not look very serious.

Treat it like a Business – Treat your direct sales business like it is a real business.  Too many consultants just treat it like a hobby, ignoring it the way they ignore a book they do not like.  But if you are working it constantly, you shoul

d be seeing the results.  This means getting tangible results from your efforts such as putting out advertising and getting parties booked from it.  It means taking the time to make customer follow up calls in order to increase re-orders and

bookings.  It may mean setting office hours in which you close the door to a room to do these tasks.

– One of the best things you can do to show others that you are serious is to attend the training meetings that happen.  Some may be in person while others might be over the phone or online.  Regardless of the method, attending these can provide valuable information to help you with your business.  If you are not able to attend due to a conflict, make arrangements to get the information in another method.

One on One – See if your upline can provide you with one on one training.  I have done calls directly with my upline to discuss issues that I am having with my business.

Pacing Partner – Some people like to have a pacing partner to work with who has similar goals to work with.  It may work better if they are also at approximately the same place you are with your business.  The idea is to keep in touch on a regular basis to update the other one on how they are doing.  Notes can be compared and ideas exchanged on what may help.

Some of these training methods will not be directly noticeable to those around you, but if you take the steps to work your business, it will end up showing up to them.  They will see the increase in the direct sales events you are doing and the increase in revenue and will have no choice but to believe you are capable.

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Is your Direct Sales Competition Really Competition?

I hear it a lot – similar companies are the competition.  But is this really true?  Yes, there are multiple companies selling candles or kitchen supplies, but do they realy compete with each other?   Let’s break it down a bit.

I’m going to use candles as an example as it is the industry I am in.

Focus – All candle companies sell wax.  But how they present it is different.  Some companies focus on tealights, some focus on jar candles, and others focus on warmers.   They do overlap a bit, but each has their own focus which tends to be different.

Features – Chances are, the products you sell have a feature of some sort that makes them stand out from the others.  For instance, many companies in the wax industry have a wax melter of some sort.  But they are all different and people may choose one over the other for this reason.  Some work with tealights to melt the wax, some use a heating element which is warmed by a bulb while others use electricity.

Product Line – Even though there are multiple companies within the wax industry, they all have different product lines.  One company has moved a lot more to home décor and less focus on their wax; one company focuses on their warmers and the wax for them and another focuses on their jarred candles.  Each of these is different and unique from each other but there is overlap as each does have some home décor or a warmer, but those may not be their complete focus.

Price – Price can certainly be a factor.  I know that within my company, some of the direct sales consultants have done some investigating, found out the prices of the other companies products as well as burn times, and calculated it down to price per hour of burn time.   The prices may be comparible or they may not be, but this could be to your advantage if yours is lower.

Take a look at your direct sales company and compare it to those that you consider competition and decide if they really are.  Are they selling the exact same thing you are selling or are they selling a different or poorer version of what you have?   Does yours have a feature that theirs doesn’t that makes it better? Are they outsourcing to answering services to make their calls? Play those up!

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