Tag Archives: Consulting

Book Review: The Women’s Home-Based Business Book of Answers

By Maria T Bailey

I will start off by saying that the subtitle of this book is “78 Important Questions Answered by Top Women Business Leaders” so you get an idea of the type of content you are going to find.

The book focuses more on the person starting a business entirely from scratch from finding a product/concept, to getting funding, to creating a business plan and moving forward from there.

Each section discusses a concept and then is full of personal antidotes in answer to the questions posed such as:   women home based

  • Juggling family
  • How they funded their business
  • How to be organized
  • Obstacles faced
  • Secrets to Networking
  • Daily Schedules

As I stated, the book is not geared to direct sales/party plans but there is still a lot of helpful information such as information on how to create a business plan and how you can market yourself.

The author includes some ideas on how to create a daily schedule which is more suited to someone who works from home but there are likely ideas that a person can take from that an adapt.  There is also a section on different types of advertising as well as using online marketing, but as the book is copyrighted in 2001, a lot of the information is now outdated.

She concludes the book by discussing an exit strategy if you plan to get out of the business and words of wisdom from a few people.

I did not see much in the way of interviews from direct sales companies but I did not expect to see any.

I think this could be a good book if you are looking for some inspiration and are not sure where to look.  There are multiple questions and areas that may gave you something to think about and consider in your own career.

Buy:  The Women’s Home-Based Business Book of Answers

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Watching Your Status

It is important to pay attention to your status with your direct sales company especially if there are repercussions for not making certain sales levels.

SALE

SALE (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (vers l’Action de grâce))

My company has changed their criteria a few times in the last year or two so it has become that much more confusing.   This year, I almost didn’t make my quota but I got a few phone calls, post cards and email reminders to let me know that I had the possibility of losing my status.  But, one of my demonstrators was on the list to not make it and did not get any of these reminders.  She didn’t end up having the sales required and she was de-activated as a consultant.

I found all this out when she contacted me to find out why she could no longer log in.  She was able to sign back up and move on, but this could have all been avoided if she had been watching her own status and where her sales were.

I also realize that I let her down as a leader as I was not paying attention to where my tea was at in regards to their sales and their status and warning them but at the same time, everyone is adults and i should not have to.

That said, it is a good idea to make sure that you are always familiar with your companies policies in regards to maintaining your status and where you on that list.  Are you short by a few dollars or do you still need a few hundred dollars before the end of the month?  Depending on what your requirements are, it’s a good idea to start drumming up business ASAP if you will need a few orders in order to make it.

Do you really want to lose your status due to not paying attention?

 

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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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I am currently working with one direct sales company but I want to move to another one in the same industry. Is there a procedure for doing this?

Resignation Letter

Image by Graham Ballantyne via Flickr

While there isn’t a written procedure, there are some steps that are considered courtesy in the direct sales industry.  As there are competition rules where you cannot work for two companies in the same industry, you have to resign before you join your new company.

Step 1 – Resign from your original company. Via phone – call customer service and notify your upline.  Via email – customer service and your upline.

Step 2 – Sign up with new company. Provide them a copy of your resignation if they knew you were with another competing company as proof you resigned.

Be aware that you likely cannot take your direct sales contacts with you as per the contract you signed when you first started.  Many people do not worry about this in direct sales.  When I changed companies, I simply emailed my customers and told them I was changing companies and if they still wanted me to contact them, to let me know.  Otherwise, I would not be in touch again.

  • I want to join a direct sales company but I’m not sure I really have time. Any advice? (directsaleshelp.com)
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Can I make Direct Sales a career?

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Absolutely!  There are many that start in direct sales with simple goals of doing so many parties or signing up so many people and it balloons from there.   This is especially true on those who did not intent to get into the management aspect but end up there and realize that there truly is money to be made in direct sales.  If this is your ultimate goal when you start, there is no reason why you cannot attain it.

Set Goals

In order to make your direct sales business a career, it is important that you have a plan in place and goals to help you get there.  Chances are you want to improve your sales and your recruiting numbers each month and then train your team to duplicate what you are doing.  Plan to hit certain company milestones in each month/quarter/year as seem reasonable.  If you try to go too fast, you may crash and burn or get frustrated if you do not make the goals.

Passion

If you are selling a product that you are not passionate about, you may find after a year or two that you are getting tired of selling it and you are just not motivated.  This can be due to a variety of reasons – life change, company changes.  Make sure when you start out that you are in love with the product and want everyone to have it due to how awesome it is.  If you do it right, you will have a good following and a good size time if you do hit a point where you want to make a change, your income is already where you need it to be.

There are others that choose to start with a second company when they get their current business to a point where it is self sustaining.  If you are higher up the ladder with your current company, check the rules before you do this, as they may not allow this.

Spinoffs

A great thing about direct sales is that there are different opportunities within the companies.  If you get tired of doing parties and are a real go-getter, you can start a business doing training with direct sales companies.  Many companies employ people who were very successful in their direct sales career to join them and help train the consultants to be successful.

Long story short, with determination and passion, you absolutely can.

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