Monthly Archives: January 2012

Do you really provide an in home party?

This may seem like a silly question and one that you reply “Duh!” to, but hear me out.

When you mention to someone that you do home parties, how often does someone give you a horrified look and then runs away from you as fast as they can?  Quite often?  Then maybe it is time to re-look at what you do and consider renaming your event.

Oohh.. did you see that?  I called it an event!  That is a start!  Let us start by calling these “In HomEnglish: Screenshot taken from the video link ...e Events”.  Doesn’t that sound a bit nicer than an in home party and something that maybe isn’t so scary?

Let’s take it one step further.  What type of products do you sell that you could have an event for?  If you sell food products, maybe you want to have a “Tasting Event” instead of a tasting party.  Its interesting how one word can make a difference as an event just sounds that much nicer and less intimidating.  It also tells people that something is going on with food, they get to taste it but an event says that they do not have to come out and spend money if they do not want to.  There are too many people that associate an in home party to spending money that they run far away from you.

As well, in this context, event becomes a bit of a novel idea which may compel more people to come out and see what is going on.   They have not been to an event before and they are curious.  As a direct sales consultant, you can run these differently than your regular in home party and make it more interesting and interactive for the guest.  Get them involved – taste the products, help you put them together, or whatever they can help you with – and see if it doesn’t help to increase your sales at the end of the night.


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Talking to your Upline in Direct Sales

I think when it comes to direct sales, a lot of consultants do not want to bother their uplines with their problems.  But in reality, that is what your upline is there for.  They want to help you to be successful in your business.  And remember, they are getting paid for the sales you make so make them do some work for their money!

I have had this happen twice with my downline.  I send out a monthly newsletter and if there are some really important company changes I will send them out as well.  I sent one out last night and got a reply from one lady saying she had resigned from the company.  I won’t get into specifics here as it does not matter but essentially, it seems that there was a mis-understanding which resulted in her no longer being a consultant.

But if she had spoken to me earlier, we would have had a chance to clear up this mis-understanding.  There are people higher up in the business who have more ability and connections than I do.  For instance, my upline has the ability to get in touch directly with a sales manager who is there to help consultants work with the company.  Part of that job is to help clear up any issues that may arise.  While any consultants can actually get in touch with her, many people are not aware of this person and just assume that they need to deal with things themselves.

But just like an out of the home job, if you do not get satisfaction with the first person you talk to, you are able to go up the ladder and talk to someone else.  Sure, you may not end up getting what you want but there are always levels that you can go to until you get all the way to the head of the company.

Regardless, the idea of this post is to let consultants know that there is always another level you can go to when you have an issue but make sure you talk to your upline – or their upline – if need be.


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Motivating your Direct Sales Team

If you have a direct sales team, one thing you may have to do occasionally is help motivate your team and get them going.  This can be difficult if you do not know what their goals are or what they want to accomplish.  Thankfully, it can be relatively easy to ask them this question.

The first thing you need to be able to do to motivate them is to know what they want to accomplish.  Do they want to make sales, recruit or do something else like fundraisers?  What are they currently doing?  What is holding them back from doing something if they are not doing anything?  If you do not know what they want, you cannot provide ideas.

Next, give them ideas or create challenges for them to make these goals.  For instance, if they want fundraisers but they have not approached anyone, challenge them to approach five people in the next week.  They may protest that they do not know five people that would want a fundraiser but they could be surprised.  Ask if they know anyone involved in sports, in music, or even anyone who may be battling an illness and could use some extra funds to help pay medical bills.  These are all people they could potentially approach about a fundraiser.  Is everyone going to jump at the chance to do a fundraiser – no – but, it will help the person get comfortable talking about it and you never know what may come of it.

Make sure to check in with them a week later or whatever deadline you set to find out how it went.  If they were successful, congratulate them and ask them how it felt, if they feel confident doing that going forward and possibly give them another challenge.  If they were not successful, ask them what happened.  Was it something they chose not to do, did they ignore the challenge or did something come up in life that just prevented them from being to do this?  Maybe you can re-challenge them or change the challenge a bit to make it easier for them.

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Should you eat at an in home party?

I do a lot of browsing on different forums as part of research for this blog as to what to write and to offer my help and assistance.  You certainly learn interesting things!

A topic that came up recently on a direct sales forum was gaining weight when doing in home partys as you tend to snack when the guests are snacking and how you can prevent this from happening.  There were several suggestions which I am going to share with you.

English: A Hostess CupCake, shown whole.

Image via Wikipedia

Eat before going – This way you are full and do not feel the urge to snack

Politely decline – Thank the hostess for the offer but decline.  You can combine this with stating that you had eaten before hand and that you are not hungry.  This is what I tend to do myself.

Just have a nibble – Another suggestion is to stick to the healthier items that are available, if there are any.

Bring a Snack – Someone suggested that you could bring your own snack to eat while the others are having something.  This way you are guaranteed to have something that is better for you.

Do you have refreshments when you are doing an in home party?  If not, how do you handle it when the hostess invites you to help yourself?


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Why close the direct sales party that night?

Quite often our direct sales hostess asks us to leave the party open for a few more days so that they can collect moEnglish: Screenshot taken from the video link orders.  This is especially true if they did not get as many orders as they would like and they are trying to collect more hostess rewards.  Overall though, this is not worth doing and this article explains why.

1)      Product Delivery – The simple truth here is that the longer it takes for you to order, the longer it takes for customers to receive their product.  If a customer doesn’t have their order within two weeks, they start to wonder about where their product is and if the direct sales consultant that they ordered through is trustworthy.  They likely will not even consider that it is due to the friend who didn’t close their party.

2)      Penalizing those in Attendance – When you hold the party open, it looks like you do not value those that made the effort to come out and actually attend the event.   It says that you value those who could not attend more than those who actually adjusted their schedule to be there.

3)      Outside Orders – In my experience, a hostess rarely gets any orders once her party has finished.  For those of my hostesses that have, they tend to be small orders and hardly worth the time that has elapsed.

4)      Excitement – For those that leave saying, I will contact you in a day or two with my order, you are not likely to hear from them.  They are trying to leave without spending anything but getting you excited that they might.  Once they get home, your product disappears from their mind and they forget about you and the possibility of ordering.  Unless you specially call them up and remind them, you are not likely to ever hear from them again.

5)      Time – If you leave the direct sales party open, you have to find time later to get in touch with your hostess again and close it out.  If the hostess isn’t ready, you may find that they are avoiding you until they are ready which can make it very difficult.  Unfortunately, I have heard stories like this.

If you do your direct sales hostess coaching properly and keep in touch with your hostess, they should be prepared to close the night of the party.  If you have to keep it open, I recommend no more than a day and this should only be to allow the hostess time to decide what she wants.


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Waiting for your Direct Sales Kit

Congratulations on taking the plunge into direct sales.  Chances are you are pretty excited about getting started but have to wait a few days or a week or two in order to get your kit.  But there are some things that you can do to keep yourself busy while it is in transport.

Backoffice – Get comfortable with the computer system your company uses.  Log in, play around.  Enter a fake order to see how that works – just don’t submit it.

Manual – If your company has their manual online, go find it and read it.  While you are there, download the other documents they have available to look at.

Schedule Events – You should be scheduling as many direct sales events as possible in the first month to get your business of to a great start.  This is especially important if there are incentives in the first month or two for a certain amount of sales.  If you are not sure if there are benefits, ask your upline.

Debut Party – If your direct sales company is new to your order, plan a debut party at your house and invite everyone you know to attend.  This way they can see the product and plan their own party or it will cement their commitment.  You will want to be tracking your parcel to determine the best time to do this.

Contact Everyone – Think of everyone you know from all the areas of your life that you could possibly invite over.  People from work, from church, from groups you belong to, groups your spouse or children belong to, people you encounter often, anyone else you can think of.

Watch your Upline – If at all possible, attend an event with your upline to see how things go.  This will likely make you more comfortable when it comes to your own event.

Business Cards – Order your business supplies.  You can buy from your company or a variety of places.

Labels – Create labels for your products and your supplies.  I use a regular address label to put on the back of my catalogues (the catalogues tend to be glossy so stamps don’t work) and I use return address labels for the bottom of my products.

Meetings – Find out if your direct sales upline has meeting you can attend.  If you are not near your upline, you may be able to find other meetings in your area with other teams.  If this isn’t possible, see if there is phone training or other training available.

Money – Open up a separate bank account and credit card for your direct sales business.  This may seem silly, but if you are ever audited, you will be thankful.  Your bank likely has an option for a free bank account and some sort of free credit card that may also have points.

Taxes – Without getting into a lot of detail here, start thinking about taxes.  For the sake of this article, just accumulate everything in a box to deal with a bit later.

Organization – Figure out how you are going to keep organized.  Boxes, filing cabinets, envelops, etc.  All these are helpful. The dollar store can be a great source of supplies and you can put that receipt in your tax box!

While all these things seem cumbersome and a lot of work, several of them will only take a few minutes to figure out and get setup.  This way, once your direct sales kit arrives you will be ready to hit the ground running.

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11 Quick and Easy Ways to Advertise your Direct Sales Business

Advertising your business does not have to be an expensive and drawn out affair.  Here are some ideas that do not require a lot of time or effort but will help you get your name out there.

Business Cards – These are a necessity.  There are a lot of different places to purchase cards.

Newspaper – This is one you have to be careful with.  Many ads charge by the word so it can be easy to get carried away and have an expensive advertisement.  Choose carefully.

Have an Open House – Invite everyone you know to come check it out.  Make it casual, come and go and let people just check things out.  No pressure.

Announcement – Send a letter or announcement to everyone you know that you have started this business.  Maybe it could go out with the invitations to the open house!

Fundraiser – If your company offers a fundraiser program, offer to do one for a group or organization you are involved in.  If they do not offer one, create your own using the hostess program.

Flyers – See where you can place flyers and put them up.  Make sure you go by once in a while to see if a new one needs to be put up.

Donations – Offer a donation of products in exchange for advertising.  You could talk to the local radio station, your favourite charity or anywhere else you can think of.

Schools – If you have children, visit their school and see if you can ut flyers or samples out for the teachers.

Offices – Visit offices and see if you can leave them a basket of product for a week to try out.  Offer to come back and have a lunch time ordering session if anyone is interested or has questions.

Website/Blog/Facebook – If your company does not offer a website, you will want to create one (check any company rules first).  If they offer one, get it setup!

Newsletter – Start collecting address for a newsletter.  Offer specials that are only for those who are signed up on this list.

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Getting Started

You have decided to start your own direct sales business.  Congrats!  Now, what should you do?  Here are some ideas to help you get your business off to a good start.

What to do while you wait for your Kit?

Ideas to help you get Bookings

Tips to help you with Direct Sales

How to be taken Seriously as a Direct Sales Rep