Monthly Archives: January 2013

5 Ways to Find More Guests for Your Parties

Finding people to host a party in exchange for cash or products is usually pretty simple.  Finding people to attend each party isn’t.  If you’ve built up a dependable group of customers but have trouble finding new folks to sell your stuff to, experiment with different ways to find party guests.  After all, more guests equal more income, right?

CRAIGSLIST

Craigslist isn’t just a creepy hangout for predators and scam artists.  Many direct sales experts use this site to advertise upcoming parties and events, post product specials, and link to their website.  Place your ad in the “General” section if you’re worried about getting flagged.

FLYERS

Good old-fashioned flyers never go out of style, so print a few colorful pieces and hand them out around town. Put them on grocery store boards, in the waiting room at your doctor’s office, and at the local laundromat.

INCENTIVES

Reward current clients for referrals with a fun gift, like a full-sized bottle of moisturizer or an exclusive sample of a new scented candle.  Cash prizes and gift cards also work well, so consider offering them to the person who brings the most party guests to your next event.

NETWORK

You can’t invite more people to your parties if you never meet anybody new.  Attend local networking events in your city, or chat with other business owners online.  Your new Avon friend might know a few people who want to buy your Pampered Chef products.

FACEBOOK

Social networking is an excellent way to find attendees for your next event, but tread with caution.  Post too often, and people will unsubscribe to your posts.  Post too little, and nobody will even know that you sell Scentsy.  Aim for 3 to 5 posts per week, and make sure you balance them out with other non-sales posts about your life.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s easy to fall into a comfortable rut after you’ve been doing direct sales for awhile.  No matter how much you make now, you can always make more.  Find more party guests and watch as your income grows each month.

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How to Set Up Your Business’ Toll-Free Number

Toll-Free numbers are a staple of any business looking to reach beyond the constricting borders of their own local area code. In the days of land lines and long-distance service they were absolutely essential to businesses that relied on customer contact – the value of allowing customers to call without incurring any long distance charges far outweighed the costs.   

Now, in the days of wireless phones, e-mail, and social media, fewer customers need to dial that toll-free number to reach your business at no cost. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that the toll-free number has lost its value – the convenience and ease of remembering a well-crafted toll-free number have supplanted potential customer cost savings as a primary reason businesses still rely on the toll-free number.

Getting a Toll-Free Number

At one time getting a toll-free number meant calling up your telephone provider and ordering a new phone line dedicated to your new number. Today there are many providers to choose from online, and they no longer require a dedicated phone line to use – they can forward to your existing land line. You can even set up a toll-free number that dials to your cell phone if you wish.

Cost

Costs vary among providers, but the common model of pricing is very similar to mobile phone pricing – a set number of toll-free minutes for a set price per month, with somewhere between 5 and 25 cents per minute in excess of the monthly limit.

Advantages

While many customers no longer actually need a toll-free number to call your business with no charge, do not discount the attractiveness of providing one to potential customers – it is still a free service! Toll-free numbers are convenient, easy to remember (especially in cases of “vanity” numbers), and present a “big company” feel to your customers. Toll-free numbers move with you – to new facilities and land lines – very easily, ensuring your customers reach you even if you change or add or move phone lines.

The cost to a small business with low toll-free usage is very low, and is expandable – a business only pays more as its usage grows, keeping costs from being prohibitive to start-ups and smaller businesses. Nearly everyone can afford toll-free numbers now unlike in the past.

Technology has changed the way businesses operate, especially in how they maintain contact with their customers. The toll-free number, while now one of many contact options, is still a valuable addition to any business looking to expand its customer base.

Author Bio

Lyndsi Decker is a freelance wrote and is currently promoting Bell long distance plans. When not blogging about business she is training for marathons.

 

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Recruiting in Direct Sales

If you have been in direct sales for any amount of time, likely someone has talked to you about recruiting and building a team.  Maybe it was because someone approached you about signing up or you were interested because you wanted to expand and increase your income.  Regardless, there are several things that you will want to know when it comes to finding direct sales recruits and to help you decide if recruiting is something that you want to do.  

Should you be recruiting in direct sales?

Where to find Recruits

Recruiting Using the Internet

Building a Team in Direct Sales

Who to Recruit to Direct Sales?

One thing that I have found handy is to have a recruit kit ready to go.  Having a paper one that you can mail out to potential recruits or hand out at parties is important and it is also important to have one that you can email.  I also created a FAQ that I could include as I found it much easier than typing/answering the same questions every time.

Create a Recruit Package

Create a Recruit Letter

Recruiting Questions You Will be Asked

Once you have people on your team, you can’t just ignore them.  It is important that you help them with their business and get them going.  Some people will not require much from you while there will be others who you will need to take under your wing and help out.  It can be tough to figure out where to spend your time and who to work with, but hopefully I can provide you with some assistance in the below articles.

Helping your Recruit Wait for Their Kit

Working with your Team

Team Recognition in Direct Sales

 

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Social Media

There is a good chance that you are using your Facebook or Twitter to promote your business. But is it working for you or do you need to figure out how to use these methods better?   Maybe you haven’t started using them but would like to be but are not sure how to get started.  Here are a variety of posts on different social media platforms.  Most of these were guest posts as I do not know a lot about social media myself but am always trying to learn.   

General

Will Social Media help my Direct Sale Business?

Using Social Media to Promote your Direct Sales Business

Where Social Media Lets You Stand Between Your Business and Customers

Social Media Marketing and Direct Selling: 3 Fast Ways to the Young Consumer’s Heart

 

Facebook

Based on what I see, Facebook is the most used social media platform out there.  If you are not on there and promoting yourself, what is holding you back?

Creating a Facebook Fanpage for Direct Sales

Using Facebook to Promote your Business

Twitter

Twitter can be a little intimidating and has scared of many people but if you use it properly, you can do quite well with it.

Twitter and Direct Sales

Other

There are so many different platforms out there that it can be hard to keep track of them all.  Here are a few other ones out there that people have written about.  Check them out and see if you think they can be helpful for you.

Interesting Pinterest Marketing Campaigns

Why Instagram is Great for Your Business

Using BizBrag to Promote Your BusinessAre there other social media platforms you are interested in learning about?  If so, let me know and I will see what I can do about getting you information.
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Inventory with Direct Sales

One thing that anyone who has been in direct sales for any amount of time will tell you is that you will end up accumulating inventory.  It can be due to sales just being too good to pass up, earning product for various incentives, or due to product you purchased to display that is no longer in the current catalogue.  Regardless of the reason, it does not just have to sit and collect dust in your home; you can do a variety of things with it to help increase your sales or at least get it out of your home..  

Here are a few ideas to help you to figure out what to do by either giving it away or discounting it to sell it.

Getting More Bang for Your Buck with a Giveaway
8 ways to Reuse Extra Stock in Direct sales
Dealing with Stock
Ideas on Discounting Inventory

 

If this stock is sitting around at your house, not only is it not making you any money but it needs to be stored.  While you likely know how to store it, there are a few things that you need to consider while it is at your house waiting for its next home.

How to Store Inventory

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Direct Sales Trade Shows

Trade shows can be a big part of your business and as a result it is important to know about them.  One of the biggest things to know when heading to a trade show is what you hope to accomplish for your direct sales business.  For some people, they are there just to get contacts and customers.  Others hope for bookings and there are others who are looking for teammates.   Knowing your goals in advance is helpful for determining how to approach the event.   

Be aware that some companies do restrict what you are able to do.  I know of a few companies that do not let the consultants sell off their table but they can take orders.  If this is the case, you likely will want to aim for bookings.

Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show
4 Tips for Direct Sales Trade Show
Having a Successful Direct Sales Event

How to Setup Your Table

If you are not able to get out for trade shows, you can find them online.  They can definitely be harder to do as you do not have the captive audience that you would have in person.  You also need to either type your presentation in advance or be a fast typer as you typically have limited time.  That said, here is some advice if you happen to find these types of events.

Direct Sales Online Vendor Events
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 2
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 3

 

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Using the Phone – Customer Calls

When it comes to the phone, many of those in direct sales are afraid of it or do not want to go anywhere near it.  But there really is no reason that a person needs to be afraid of the phone and there are actually ways that a person can prepare themselves and take that fear away.

Why We Avoid Customer Calls

Lightening up the PhoneTelephone

Making Successful Direct Sales Phone Calls

Don’t forget your manners when you are making customer care calls.  If you aren’t sure what you should or should not be doing, read this article as a bit of a refresher.

Proper Phone Manners for Direct Sales Consultants

And if you get that dreaded voicemail, there is no reason for you to freeze up and hang up as quickly as possible.  If you prepare in advance, it is easy to leave a good voicemail message that will get you a call back.

Leave Voicemail that Gets Results
Creating a Good Voicemail Message

 

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Advertise your Direct Sales Business

Just like any business, if people do not know that you are out there, then chances are you aren’t going to be making the sales that you want to.  So it’s important that you get out there and do some advertising.   That said, there are many different methods of advertising out there.  You can go online, you can go offline, you can find free advertising and you can find advertising that costs money.  It is up to you and your time and your budget.  

I have written several posts in the past about this topic so I am leaving you the links to visit them instead of posting them again.

Free Methods of Advertising

Typically, these methods of advertising will cost you money.  There may be some that cost you minimal dollars but I felt that it was close enough to free that it could be called free.

Free Online Advertising

Free Offline Advertising

Advertising your Direct Sales business by Guest Posting?

Paid Advertising

These methods can be on and offline but they will likely cost you money in order to do.  You may get lucky and find that the cost is very minimal or free, but typically, these methods will require money.

Paid Online Advertising

Offline Paid Advertising 

Direct Sales Online Vendor Events

Advertising that Costs Money

I have put these ideas separate as they not directly advertising but they are ways to help you advertise that will cost you money.

Making Your Business Cards Work for You

Places to Leave Direct Sales Catalogues

Business Supplies

Need help writing your ads?  See if these ideas help jazz them up!

Advertising your Direct Sales Business

 

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Getting Started down the Direct Sales Path

Congratulations on deciding to start a direct sales business!  You are likely excited to get going but you have hit a roadblock for some reason and you have found this blog.  Without further ado, I am going to provide you to some links on this blog that should be helpful for you and your search.

Still looking for a company to join?

Picking the Best Direct Sales Company

The Top Direct Sales Companies

Before Joining Direct Sales

What Type of Direct Sales Company Should I Join?

Maybe you have joined already but are anxiously awaiting your kit?  Here are some ideas of things that you can do while you wait for it to arrive!

Tips for Waiting for your Direct Sales Kit

Learn Direct Sales Terminology

Maybe you have taken a bit of a break from your direct sales business and are getting ready to get back into it.  No need to fear, it’s a bit like starting from scratch but a bit less waiting.  Here are a few ideas to get you going while hitting the ground running.

Re-Starting Your Direct Sales Business – Getting Up to Date

Getting those Direct Sales Bookings when Restarting

Places to Leave Direct Sales Catalogues

Regardless of where you are, or even if you are just looking for some new ideas, it’s a good idea to do as much as you can while you are full of energy and passion for your product!  It is contagious and people will respond to that energy positively!

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Tax Review for Direct Sellers

It’s the New Year!  While I know you are busy working on getting sales going again and keeping those resolutions, one thing that you should be thinking about is getting your taxes ready.  I know some people like to file as soon as they possibly can in February so here is some past articles about taxes to help you either finish off your 2012 year or to get 2013 started on the right foot.   Tax

These articles cover all sorts of topics from what you can and cannot use as a business write off, how to keep track of everything through the year so you are not as overwhelmed and how to get the most bang for your buck.  Of course, please remember that I am not a tax accountant and that you are best to talk to your personal accountant to know what will work best for you and your situation.

A Quick Tax Overview – Direct Sales
Keeping Track of Papers for Tax Time
Tax Information – Advertising Write Offs
Tax Information – Vehicle Write offs
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