Category Archives: Recruit

Working with your Team

Not only do you have to focus on your personal sales and keeping them up but you need to work with your team.  You may have teammates that do not need your help and are pulling in great numbers monthly but then you have those who are not doing much of anything.  How do you decide where you should spend your time and what you should not do?

Just because one of your team mates is doing great does not mean that they do not require help.  Maybe they are doing a lot of sales but cannot recruit for the life of them.  Maybe you have teammates that have no issue getting a recruit but they cannot get the sales and are frustrated because they are missing out on commissions.

The first thing I recommend doing is contacting your team.  This should be through the phone instead of through email.  Ask them how things are going, do they need help or do they have any questions.  If there have been big changes, or if they are close to some sort of incentive, ask them if they are aware of it.  If this call only lasts three minutes, that is okay too.

If you cannot get a hold of someone, leave a message and suggest you will try again in a few days.  If you get the machine again, you can leave a message.  If you are unsuccessful after two or three calls, an email or text may be the way to go.  Just mention you tried to get a hold of them, there was no answer, and to let you know if there is a better time or method for them.

There are those that do not want your help, and that is okay.  Do not force yourself upon a person because you feel that you should.  They will just get frustrated with you and they will never communicate with you again.  But on the plus side, if someone is constantly asking for help, and you never see results, it may be time to pull back a bit there too.

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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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Creating a FAQ

Do you have a lot of ads posted or find you are getting a lot of inquiries about joining your direct sales team?  Get tired of answering them and feeling like you just keep repeating the same things?  I highly recommend creating a FAQ document that you can use at in person events and through email.  

I had created mine within a year of being in business as I was heavy into recruiting and this answered a lot of questions without me having to repeat myself.  I always encouraged people to ask me more in depth questions but this usually was enough to satisfy them in the thinking process and also to bring up items they may not have thought of.

Topics I included:

  1. How long shipping took to me and one other place in the country that I knew of
  2. Cost of shipping
  3. Where products were made
  4. Level that commission started at and went up to
  5. Quotas
  6. Do you have to recruit?
  7. How credit cards would be processed
  8. Local taxes
  9. Income tax

What you choose to put into your FAQ is up to you.  Look through emails you have had from prospective demonstrators and see what questions are common.  Think back to the questions you asked when you joined as well as those asked by those on your team.  If your company has a Facebook page or there is a page full of consultants, see if any of the frequently asked questions could go into your document.

You also want to keep this short.  One or two pages at the most in a question and paragraph format, preferably a shorter paragraph under 100 words or so.  If you cannot do it that short, maybe it is a question to deal with when talking or you could ask someone else to help you shorten it.

Who to Recruit to Direct Sales?

When it comes to recruiting, it can be tough to know who you should approach and who you shouldn’t.  But I can tell you one method to determine this.. Ask everyone!

In the various resources I read about direct sales, this is a common theme that comes up.  A Direct sale consultant does an event and asks a variety of people if they are interested in joining, gives them information, etc but prejudges others and does not offer them the opportunity.  But in reality, this person is one of the more interested parties.  By excluding them, you have declined them the opportunity to make money for themselves and whatever else their motivation might be.  And all because you pre-judged them and felt that they would not fit.

Now, sometimes this is because a consultant is only looking for certain people to join their team.  I have heard of this especially from consultants who have larger teams and only have so much time when it comes to training.  But, there is no reason that they could not get the person’s contact information and then have someone else contact them about the opportunity.

If you do not feel comfortable asking people, try passing around a survey at the end of the event?  Keep it short and simple.  Name, what event they are at, email address, phone number, if they had fun, if they are interested in having an event of their own and if they are interested in the opportunity.  Have them hand these in to you when they order or in advance so you can discuss when they do order.   This will help to break the ice and give you somewhere to go from there.  You could even say something about how they have not marked off their interest and why is that?  Your goal at a party is always to have a few bookings as well as a recruit lead.

 

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Parties can Equal Direct Sales Recruits

Fall is in the air.  Many people are getting ready to send their children back to school.  But the direct sales consultant is excited about more than the return of the school year – they are excited about people holding parties!  They have been to convention and are revitalized with the new product that has been released and want to share it with everyone!

The fall season is the busiest time for direct sellers when it comes to sales and accumulating any points for incentives.  Not only do many companies unveil more new products for this selling season but consumers are in the mood to spend and are prepared and willing to host parties for the benefits.  But, while they are looking to purchase, they are also looking for methods to create an income stream to pay for the holiday spending.

With this, it is important that you are prepared to talk about the benefits of joining your direct sales company when you are doing a party presentation.  Show them how they can start their business and have a debt free Christmas with just a bit of work on their end. Depending on their success, they may continue well on past the holidays to help with other financial goals.

There is a good chance that your hostess may have already thought about joining up with a direct sales company.  She may not have decided which one or is using her party as a chance to make a decision.  More and more people are getting into direct sales as a way to generate extra income for a multitude of reasons.

One of the biggest benefits people see in direct sales is the ability to control their income and to take home their money the night of the party.  Of course, there are expenses that must be accounted for or money put aside for, but depending on your commission rate and the party sales, a person can easily clear $100 and up for a few hours of work.

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Where Should You Recruit?

The short answer is everywhere you possibly can.

You want to recruit locally and you want to recruit those who are at a distance to you.  Recruiting those who do not live near you can be harder but it is not impossible by any means.  This allows your team to grow wide and then deep where if you only recruit locally it can become tough to recruit after a while (especially in a small community). Of course, it all depends what your goals are with your direct sales business.

English: Uncle Sam recruiting poster.

Skip the Army and Join Direct Sales

Local Recruiting

These recruits are easy to find.  They are the ones that come to your parties, ask questions about the product and are curious.  They may approach you after the party and ask about joining or you may have to talk to them a bit afterwards to find if they are interested.   Obviously not everyone you talk to about the opportunity will sign but if you talk to enough people, you will gain a teammate.

While you may think that local recruits are the best, sometimes they can be more difficult to work with.

Distance Recruiting

There are several methods you can use to find these people:

Attend a local party but are not actually from the area

Find your website through a variety of methods

Someone you strike up a conversation with while you are on the road

These recruits can be tougher to work with as they are not local.  Find out what they want to do with their direct sales business and help them the best you can.  Find them local meetings they can attend or other consultants in their area that they can get together with.  Help them advertise to get parties going and invite them to join any team training you do through online methods or through the phone.

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Tips and Tricks Beyond the Home Party

You’ve mastered the home party, and you think you’re ready to take on some recruits.  Before you commit your time and energy to expand your role in direct sales, you need to have working systems in place for client management.

Client Management and Follow-Up Tips

Before you take on recruits, your client management system needs to be foolproof. If you have to flip through three different notebooks to find a client’s information, you’re not ready. If you don’t have a follow-up system in place, don’t even think about it.

Building your Client Management System

  • A spreadsheet document that contains each client’s contact information, date of purchase and hostess.
  • The spreadsheet should also include the amount of the purchase and the status of the purchase (Backordered, ordered, delivered) with the ETA or the delivery state.
  • Because you read left from right, leave the first column blank for special notes. This will allow you to manage issues like single-item backorders and customer complaints efficiently.
  • It is also a good idea to keep physical copies of invoices to keep track of which products the customer has purchased. In my opinion, the best practice is to maintain an alphabetical file for a year before moving the invoices into a bank box or shredding them to maintain client confidentiality. This generally requires an end-of-the-month purge.
  • For the uber-organized direct salesperson, color-coding can help manage follow-up phone calls. I like to use a 3-color system: (yellow) passive follow-up is needed, (red) when active follow-up is needed and (gray) when all follow-up has been completed. Obviously, uncolored rows will be orders that have been ordered but not delivered. As soon as deliveries are made, the information should be highlighted in yellow to indicate that follow-up phone calls are needed. This may be difficult for salespeople who are mobile, but making notes to update the system will make it easier to manage a large client base.

Fun Follow-Ups for Retention

  • Send holiday cards to your clients at the end of the year along with your business’s holiday catalog. The more personal you can make it, the better!
  • Send a newsletter via e-mail to clients to coincide with major product roll-outs. (Note: This will require you to maintain an e-mail directory. You may have to remove people upon request, and you should never include an unsatisfied customer in the directory.) As your client base begins to grow, you may find that some clients will return to you frequently for information. If you feel it would be more efficient to create a weekly or monthly e-mail newsletter for a specific group of clients who are especially loyal, then you can whip up a short e-mail about a featured product or even use promotional material from your company.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to a client individually to pitch them a new product that you know they will love. The more often you can match up someone’s personal needs with your product, the more trusted you will become. (In the beginning, you can rely on invoices to pitch related items to multiple clients, but eventually, your client base will grow too large. This is why maintaining personal connection is important. After parties, make notes about the personal information you gathered from your clients.)

Granted, you may already have a great client management system in place. In fact, you may be able to offer more advice (please do so in the comment section), but for those of you who haven’t gotten the kinks ironed out yet, you will need to work on adopting a system that works seamlessly and efficiently.

If you are interested in recruiting others, you will need have an organizational system in place (with guidelines such as “follow-up all delivered orders within 2 weeks”) so that you can manage your team and streamline productivity. If everyone is working with the same structure, then it will be easier to lead them to success.

The second element, fun follow-up, is something that you can actually provide for your entire downline – to an extent. Remember, their success is your success; but you also want to allow them to be independent. For example, you can write the mass newsletters and maintain the e-mail director for everyone, but your recruits will need to pitch individual products to their clients and write holiday cards. You can’t require them to follow in your footsteps, but you can certainly encourage the idea. (For example, you can offer to purchase the Christmas cards and host a writing party.) Encourage creativity and ask your team for fun follow-up ideas. Give prizes to the most innovative and effective ideas.

Karen Smith is a freelance writer and business blogger whose primary goal is to inform her readers about pursuing a business degree online. She also enjoys writing about small business trends, Internet marketing, personal development, and sustainable living. Karen welcomes your comments below!

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Writing procedures builds your business

You want to work for yourself so you can keep the profits, set your own rules and enjoy working, right? So things like procedures and manuals seem a bit heavy and boring – especially when you’re busy trying to get things done.

I’m a bit of a free spirit myself – I hate being restricted and having to do things someone else’s way, and I never used to get excited by a procedure or manual either!

Consistency builds strong foundations

Consistency really is a key to business success.

Policies and procedures

Policies and procedures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being consistent builds your reputation and encourages people to come back and recommend you to others.

It also makes life easier for you – for example, if you always put the same information at the start or finish of a presentation it becomes habit and you won’t forget to say anything important.

A written procedure makes it much easier to stay consistent – just the act of writing it down will help cement the steps in your mind.

Once you build a team of consultants, a written procedure is a good way to help them remember their training and do things the most efficient or effective way. This way you get consistency throughout your team, not just from yourself.

Spending time to save time

Writing procedures will take some time – but probably not as much as you expect. Just jot down the steps as you do something and you have the basis of a procedure.

Once you have a procedure written down, it can save you time by:

  1. You don’t have to remember how to do something you don’t do very often (for example recording unusual items in your accounts or completing an online tax return)
  2. Training recruits is easier as you need only show them once and let the procedure remind them
  3. Giving a copy to your team so they don’t have to ask you about basic processes and concepts as often
  4. Ensuring tasks are done correctly and accurately, saving you needing to retrain
  5. Knowing your team has the procedures to do things correctly without extra effort on your part – which means less work for you when it comes to training.

Professionalism starts with little things

Being seen as professional builds trust and credibility for you and your business. That doesn’t mean you have to be impersonal and formal, but you do need to take care of the details.

Professionalism is built on consistency and perceptions.

Once you build a team and need to train people, you will appear much more professional handing out written procedures than giving some unprepared talks without notes. Impressing your team with your professionalism makes it more likely they will act professionally and try to live up to your standard.

Not sure where to start or need to learn more? Tash has written a no-nonsense eBook on writing procedures, as well as giving tips on effective communications in her blog.

 

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Team Recognition in Direct Sales

When it comes to having a team in direct sales, it’s important that you recognize your team for their accomplishments.   By doing this, you will get them to attend any meetings that you organize as well as reading emails that you send out.

Email Recognition

Create a recognition area and list what you are recognizing them for.  I do not believe in listing numbers are everyone has different goals.

For instance:

Top Sales

Jane

Mary

Tina

You can create a variety of headings and recognition such as: new recruits, sales over X dollars, most parties, meeting various incentives (yours or companies) or really anything you want to recognize people for.

In person recognition

Depending on the size of the team, there are a variety of different things you can do.  Pick the same categories as in email recognition but you can do different things.

  • Standing recognition – This one is a good one to use if you have a large team or a meeting with several different teams.  Ask everyone to stand and then they sit when the comment is not relevant to them.  At the end, one person will be standing.
  • Gift – If you have a smaller team, or offering incentives, you can hand out gifts to those that get recognition.  I have seen leaders who give a gift to the person with the most sales, most recruits or various other categories.

If you are looking for some cute ideas as gifts, here are a few to get you thinking (courtesy of The Success Factory)

  • Trial Size toothpaste For always smiling
  • Flower seed packets For helping others grow
  • Chocolate gold coins You’re worth a million bucks
  • Chocolate Kiss You have a sweet heart
  • Stick, magnet, or glue For sticking it out
  • Lemon drops For turning around a “sour” situation
  • Red Hots candy For someone who is red hot
  • Gold stars For reaching for the stars
  • What have you used for recognition?  Does it encourage your team?

Should you be recruiting in direct sales?

If you are in direct sales, chances are you have heard all about recruiting and why you should do it.  But, recruiting and moving up the ladder in your company may not be what you want to do.  And there is nothing wrong with that!  If you are unsure, here are some things to think about and consider.

Time Commitment– Not only will you spend time training, but you will have to find time to look for recruits, talk to them about the business and possibly assist them with actually getting signed up.  Some people only have a few questions before they will sign but English: A simple binary tree diagram illustra...others require a few hours of discussion and questions before they are willing to sign up.  Everyone has a different personality and that is where this stems from.

Training – One of the most important things that you will be doing when you start building a downline is helping to train them.  Sometimes the amount of training you have to do is minimal but sometimes you may find yourself spending several hours assisting them.  Of course, some uplines do not train those that join them but I assuming if you have found this blog, you are actually trying to run your business well.

Availability – Another factor is how much time do you have for training.  I am not saying can you commit to an hour a day, but are you available for your team to get a hold of you?  For me, I cannot help my team out during the day as I work a day job, but I am available to them via email or phone evenings and weekends.  So far this has not been an issue but I think sometimes they forget that I do not do this full time.  While you do not need to be available 24/7 to your team, you still need to make sure that you can check your email or voice mail on a regular basis to help them out.

Helping Everyone – As you build a team, and those people start building teams, you may find that you are helping those who are not in your front line.  This may be because their frontline is unavailable, is not willing to help, or they just do not realize who they should be contacting.  Even though you may not be making much commission off these people, do not neglect them.  You do not know when their upline will leave the company and those further down will move directly under you.

Overall, I find having a team is rewarding.  I enjoy helping those on my team with their problems and concerns and helping them find a way to deal with it.  But if you end up with a person or a team that is needy, it can end up being a bit of a problem.

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