Tag Archives: Business and Economy

Party plan or Independent seller?

While you are an independent consultant within your party plan, for my purposes here, someone who is independent is a person who gets a wholesale account and does their own thing.  Which is better?  Let us look at both.

Party Plan:

Support – You have support from your upline, other consultants and the company.

Costs – Minimal costs to get started.

Research – The party plan does the research to help you determine what products should sell best.  This may not be true in your particular region, but overall, the company feels these are the best products.

Brand – If you stay with your company for any amount of time, and there are other consultants, you will help to develop the company’s brand which will help to increase your business over time.

Technical – You do not have to set up your own website or find suppliers to buy product from.

Independent:

Control – You control everything that you do – from your website, the products you sell and the price you sell them at.

Support – Chances are the wholesalers you are buying your product from will help you to a degree as they want you to keep buying from them, but they are not on the frontlines, you are.

Costs – The cost of getting setup and running varies depending on what you are selling and how much product you want to offer.  Expect to spend several hundred at a minimum for product and then you likely will need a website.  If you plan to sell like a party plan, you will also have to come up with incentives, etc which will come out of your own pocket.

Research – You will need to figure out what types of product are going to sell where you live and where you are selling as well as a good price point.

Brand – Consider yourself starting from the ground up, as you have no personal store brand to assist you.  Your product may have its own brand which will help you to get started, but it may not carry you that far.

If you are looking for simple and easy, a party plan is likely the way to go.  But if you prefer to do things yourself, then being totally independent may be your preference.

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Talent Search: Five Ways to Recognise a Superior Salesman

Not everyone has what it takes to succeed in the world of sales. For every person who can make a thousand-pound sale in one phone call, there are several people who struggle to connect with customers. Learning the five things you should look for in a salesperson will help you find the right man or woman for the job.

Tenacity

A good salesperson is someone who is tenacious and has a never-give-up attitude. When that person hears someone say no, the individual steps things up and does whatever it takes to make a sale. This might involve offering a larger discount, showcasing the benefits of one product over another, or calling that client back on a regular basis until the customer agrees to buy.

Friendly

People who are naturally friendly succeed in the retail and sales worlds more often than those who are cold or a little withdrawn. Customers want salespeople who can walk a thin line between being friendly and being a little too personable. This approach does not work for all customers, but is wonderful for many others. The salesperson has to be able to give the customer a feeling of camaraderie in a short span of time.

Outgoing

The sales world is a field dominated by extroverted and outgoing people, and there is no room in that world for introverts. No one can expect to make a sale without having an outgoing personality. These are the people who can make clients instantly feel comfortable. They can make small talk, remember names, make jokes, and make customers want to buy. Their comfort creates the client’s comfort, and thus they are much more likely to buy. They are also able to ask the questions that other people may shy from without a hitch in their step.

Self-Starter

Self-starters are the people who can make decisions on their own and work away from the office. They do not need someone standing beside them or holding their hand, and they can work in an office setting or on the go. Finding these salespeople isn’t always easy, but you can use job sites to find the right applicants. Sales Vacancies and similar sites let you search job postings and find qualified people looking for jobs when you post a listing.

Disciplined

According to Lawrence Watkins, discipline is one of the most important skills necessary in a qualified salesperson. Watkins points out that those with discipline have the ability to follow through and make sales after others would give up. It might take twelve cold calls before finding a sale, or it might take a dozen calls before a client agrees to buy, but a disciplined worker will stick with it.

The best salespeople have a variety of skills and traits at their disposal. They never give up, they follow through with clients, and they can work in a variety of different settings. Use this list to narrow your search.

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A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with her here. If you need professional training resources and staffing help for sales positions, Anica recommends you check out Sales Vacancies.

 

 

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How Small Businesses can Deal with a Bad Economy

A bad economy does not mean the end of a small business. It just means getting more creative and finding other solutions to a problem.

For many businesses, keeping afloat during economic turmoil can be difficult. No matter whether the problem is the general economy or specific competition from other businesses, there are things that can be done to help the business weather the storm. An advantage of small businesses is that they are flexible and they can make changes quickly, which large businesses can’t.

English: Water Customer Service Center - 4200 ...

Direct Sales in a Bad Economy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Customer Service

One of the biggest things that a small business can do is to make sure that they have excellent customer service. If the owner is not sure if the store has this, it is likely best to think that they do not and train the staff. Doing things such as special orders or making sure to assist the customer can go a long way. Customer service does not have to be difficult; it is paying attention to a lot of the little things.

Quality

Another factor is making sure that the business keeps up with the current trends. The moment customers think that you are falling behind they will start to leave you, feeling that you are not going to succeed. Cash flow may cause issues with this, but you may want to decrease to bringing in seven new items instead of 15, or making other small changes.

Cash Flow

Of course, you cannot forget about the money that is or is not coming in. Regardless of the state of the economy, it is best that you do not overextend yourself beyond what the business cannot comfortably afford. Many businesses end up failing because they try to do too much at once, when they can’t afford it.

Be Creative

Due to the small business being able to make decisions quickly compared to the large stores, the small store can seize this opportunity to do something special or unique. Maybe host fashions shows when a new line of clothing comes in, or have a special night for key customers to see the new collections. Make your customers happy and make them feel special and they will continue to patronize your business.

Check Efficiencies

There may be things that your store can do to make itself more efficient which will help with cash flow and customer service. It may be investing in some software that can create notes to go to customers, finding a better way to unpack and sort inventory or a better way to show off new product. Chances are there is something that can be done in a better way to increase sales.

No matter the type of business you are in, chances are you can find some methods that you can use to keep your business afloat in bad economic times. Choosing to slash prices is not the way to compete, as people will come to expect it. Instead, improve other methods. People are willing to pay more if they feel they are getting value for their money.

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Why hostess coach?

  • To help the hostess to be successful
  • To get the hostess all the products she wants for free
  • Make sure that your hostess knows what is expected of her
  • To let the hostess know what you expect from her
  • To make sure the party is a financial success from the consultant’s point of view
  • Let the hostess know she does not have to go overboard with snacks
  • Support your hostess to success
  • Lets your hostess know that the party is still on and allows them to feel comfortable with you

Why do you feel that it is important to coach your hostess before her party?



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Methods to Increase Sales

There are many different things that you can do to increase the amount of sales that you are submitting each month.  I have discussed these methods over the last two years so feel free to peek at some of the past articles to see what you have been missing or you could improve.   

Offering free shipping?  You may be better off to offer free product instead!  Read more here

Are you telling your customers about all the different ways that they can use a product?  Do you ask them if they can come up with more ideas?  The more ways to use something, the more likely someone will buy it.

How about upselling?  Don’t know what that is?  Learn about upselling and more simple methods to increase your sales.  Increasing sales with simple methods

Have a hard time remembering all these things? What to upsell together, what ways to use a product?  Use cue cards to make some notes and tell people its so you don’t forget all the wonderful information about a product!

Another great method to increase sales is to put packages together and discount them.  You don’t need to discount them by much, just enough to make people think that they are getting a great deal.  Sometimes just making the decision for the customer is enough, as it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

Of course, having more parties will increase your sales.

How about shopping clubs?  These are popular with a lot of people.  Get a set amount of people to commit to a certain amount in purchase each month and you are set.  More about shopping clubs.

Here are a few other articles that you may find helpful when it comes to taking steps to increase your sales.

Increasing your Sales
Offering Party Perks on your Own
Why Discounts can Be Dangerous in Direct SalesReferral Program
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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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Party for One, Please

Sometimes it happens where your hostess is excited and she tells you that she has 10 people who are coming to the direct sales party.  You arrive at the appointed time, get into the house and get your display all set up.  The appointed time comes and no one is there.  You and the hostess decide to wait a little bit, still no one.  Getting antsy as she has all this food and no people, she starts calling around to her friends to find out that no one is coming.  But there is no need to panic; this can still turn out okay!

Do a Modified Presentation

You still have one attendee – your hostess.  You have already driven there, setup and booked your evening.  So you may as well do your presentation for her.  With only one person, it should be relatively easy, painless and quick.  You know she is interested in the product or she wouldn’t have booked the party.

One on One

A great thing about this party is that it is one and one and cozy.  Your hostess will feel comfortable asking you questions that she may not have with all her friends around.  You can also get to know her a little bit better and share information that you may have not been able to with everyone else around.

Orders

This is where it can get tricky.  Hopefully she had already gotten a few outside orders before you showed up.  Now that she has seen the product, she can be a spokesperson and try to get a few more orders.   If she saw a few items she had been hemming and hawing about, and decides that she wants them, she will hopefully go to the effort of drumming up more business.

Another Party

It is a good idea to try and get this hostess to book another party with you.  While there is no guarantee this will not happen again, it is a rare occasion when no one shows up so hopefully next time will be more successful.

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Picking your Direct Sales Sponsor

So you have done your research and found the company that you want to join.  But you need a sponsor.  How do you pick the right one?  Well, only you can do that but here are a few ideas to help you.

What do You Want? – One of the first things that you need to know is what type of sponsor you want.  Do you want someone who will be there to help you whenever you ask or someone who will leave you alone?  How about having a sponsor who will call you once a week to see where you are at?  Do you want a sponsor who already has several people on their team or someone who is just starting to recruit?

Interview – Start by talking or interviewing your potential sponsor.  If you are considering someone local, see if they will get together with you for coffee.  If they are not local, see if you can set up a phone call with them or an online chat.    I will be posting a list of questions to help you later in the week.

Catalogue – If you have not already seen the product or a catalogue, ask your potential sponsor to send you one.  Chances are they will also include some other information about the company to help you with your decision.

Training – What kind of training do they provide for their team?  This will vary depending on whether you are local or distance to them.    If you are distance, do they have other people on their team who live at a distance and how do they handle that?

Attend a Party – If you did not find your potential sponsor by attending a party, you may want to ask if you can go to a party with them and see what one looks like.  This can be especially helpful if you have not experienced a party with this company.

What other methods do you use to pick your sponsor when joining a direct sales company?

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Placing an Order for a Customer – Accounting Ramifications

This question came to me from a reader.  I did answer her privately but I thought I would share with my readers as well. (This version of the question is not an exact replica; it is my version)

When you place a transaction for a customer – the order is just theirs and you use their credit card, how do you account for it?

Credit Card

There is a simple answer for this.  The only accounting you need to do is for the commission that you receive on the order.

It is not going on your credit card so you do not need to account for it there and it was not part of a direct sales party so you do not need to add it into sales anywhere.  The only thing you are going to know about is how much you received at the end of the day.  If you have a website, treat it the same way you treat any orders you get from there – you only record the commission.

Now, if you were using the customer’s credit card as part of a party order, then it is a different issue and the answer depends on how your direct sales company handles credit cards.  If your company accepts cards on your behalf you are going to treat it differently than if you have to process the card with a third party processor.

Regardless, points to you for being on top of things and getting your bookwork done.  Many people just ignore these types of things or will just fudge them in to make the books work whether they are done correctly or not.

Do you have other questions about how to account for something in your direct sales business or about any other aspect of your business?  Please use the contact button and let me know so that I can help you and share with my readers!

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This post sponsored by:  Amazon Promotional Code

 

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