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Marketing

Is Your Direct Sales Business Seasonal?

When something is said to be seasonal we generally think of it as pertaining to one of the four natural divisions of the year, spring, summer, fall, and winter. When I ask if your direct sales business is seasonal, I’m sure a handful of consultants would agree that they have a fall business – meaning October and November are extremely busy for them due to the rich gift giving season. But then not much going on during the other three seasons.

In order to have a successful, thriving direct sales business you really need to have a business that operates in all four seasons: spring, summer, fall AND winter; not spring, summer, fall OR winter.   To illustrate this concept, consider what regular tasks need to be accomplished during each season.

Spring: A time of new growth, and also lots of weeds and possibly spring cleaning of remaining fall leaves. If you don’t keep up with this task regularly the weeds will choke out all non-weed plants and if you don’t pick up the remaining leaves it could kill new grass that is trying to grow. You can’t just work it periodically.

Summer: Weeding and mowing the lawn are regular occurrences. If you have a swimming pool, you’ll need to test the water, add chemicals and skim regularly. You can’t just work it periodically. Continue reading

Men Would Love Help with Mother”™s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is only a few weeks away.   Many direct selling companies offer products that any mother would be thrilled to receive as a gift. Whether you sell candles, lotions, hand bags, kitchen ware, chocolate, spices or jewelry, I’m sure you sell something mom would love.

Let’s face it; most men don’t excel at gift giving. No hate mail please, I will acknowledge that some men do well in this area. Though, a majority of guys would appreciate a painless gift giving process. If you’ve ever seen men lined up in the card aisle on Saturday night prior to Mom’s Day – you know what I mean.  Hallmark greetings are usually pretty picked over by that point and their goal is to just get something – anything and get out. They can’t show up empty handed and let wife or mom down.

Here’s how you can help these gentlemen.

To really pull it off at this late date, you should already have some on-hand inventory. It may be pushing it a bit if you have to place an order for some products to receive in time for Mom to receive it for her special day. Time is of the essence. Look at what inventory items you have on your shelf that would make a great gift for mom. Then package it up pretty. Wrap it in clear cello so that the purchaser can see what is in it, but so that it is also ready to give as is. Ideally you should have a variety of price ranges – maybe something around $10, something for $20 and something in the $40 range.

Take some photos of your beautifully wrapped gifts, and then print out some one page flyers highlighting your offerings, clearly showing the prices of each. Next put your Mother’s Day gift baskets in your car and go to locations that typically have a lot of men working. Auto repair shops – which include mechanics, body repair men, quick oil change, muffler shops and the like – are good places to start.   Construction sites and in some cases, factories are other suggestions.

If you’re not comfortable just walking into places of business, just pretend you are. Take a deep breath, hold your head high and walk into the front desk with all the confidence in the world because you are there to HELP them and make their life EASIER.   Be aware that you do have to be careful about No Soliciting policies, but it doesn’t hurt to go in and ask. The worst case is they will say “No thank you”. Continue reading

Direct Sales PLR Articles Can Help Grow Your Business

Looking for ways to work smarter, not harder? Consider purchasing articles that have been written by a professional writer for you to use as though you were the author. It is a perfectly accepted, common and ethical practice.

PLR stands for Private Label Rights. As it pertains to sets or packs of articles, you have the legal right to use PLR articles as your own. You don’t have to modify them at all if you don’t choose to, though changing them up a bit is recommended. Having your own “original” (reworked) content will help with your own search engine ranking.

Having fresh and frequent content on your website or blog is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your site. If the direct sales company you represent allows you to have an external website, blog or Fan Page, then providing your team members and most importantly, potential recruits, with informational articles will allow you to provide added value to your readers and give them reason to return often.

You’ll have one less thing to worry about. This will in turn give you more time to focus on: hostess coaching, mastering and teaching your compensation plan, helping new team members understand the direct sales alphabet soup (PRV, GWV, PWV, XYZ), preparing for your fundraiser, setting up your vendor event, following up with past customers and bagging, tagging and delivering the product shipment you just received.

Direct sales is a fabulous industry to be a part of, one that requires you to able to balance your own sales business with recruiting, mentoring, supporting and leading all of your team and group members too. You’re not successful if your team isn’t successful, right? That’s quite a balancing act. Continue reading

The Golden Email

Today’s post on e-mail etiquette is an important one as it relates to professionalism. This is an area in which many home based consultants could use some pointers. I am pleased to welcome the author of this article, guest blogger, William Eve, who has joined us previously to discuss Network Strategies.

Email has become as ubiquitous as a phone call- no matter where you are, you almost always have access to e-mail. With that ease of access, so too has come the slack in writing etiquette. In business, any correspondence should carry with it a certain amount of propriety and style, e-mail included. Here are some tips to make sure every e-mail you send, sends with it a clear message of professionalism.

Before Writing

Before a single word is written in an e-mail, consider two things: What are you trying to say or ask, remember this will first exist as just a subject in the recipient’s inbox.

What are you trying to say? Ask yourself this question. Are you looking for an answer to a question? Is it urgent? Can it wait? Are there other people involved? Ensure that whatever you write is pertinent to what you are writing and why. Consider also that most people access their e-mails on mobile devices and have limited screen space. Having to read a multi-page e-mail can be difficult on such devices. Make it short, get to the point.

It starts as a subject. Remember- before an e-mail is opened, it exists only as a subject in the recipient’s inbox. Do not add multiple exclamation points if you feel the e-mail is important. Simple makes a better subject. If possible, sum up the entire purpose for the e-mail in the subject. Use the body of the e-mail as support information for your subject.

When Writing

When writing an e-mail, remember that this is not an instant messenger client reserved for you and your friends. This, most often, is a monitored for of communication for the business. This means that very likely, most of your e-mails are logged. Never write an e-mail you wouldn’t feel comfortable sending everybody.

Don’t send it to everybody. Too often, e-mails are blindly sent to a large group without considering who this message is really intended for. Consider who really needs this information and who doesn’t. Know the difference between CC and BCC. When it comes to e-mail, CC is usually someone that needs to be in the loop but not necessarily contribute. CC recipients are visible to everyone. BCC is reserved for people that you need to apprise of a situation- BCC recipients are invisible to everyone else.

Don’t send a wall of text. This is especially a problem when composing e-mail on a mobile device. Use line breaks, separate ideas and help the reader understand content. Don’t send 30 lines of text with no breaks in them. It’s hard to read and hard to follow.

Before Hitting Send

Too often, people finish their thought and hit send. This is not only unprofessional and irresponsible, you also then unload the burden of spelling and grammar errors onto the reader. Make sure, before you hit send, that you review these simple steps:

  • Did you ask what you needed to ask?
  • Does your subject match your body e-mail?
  • Re-read the e-mail, check for spelling errors, use spell-check if you have it.
  • If you require an answer by a certain time, did you include that?
  • Did you include important information the recipient does not already have?
  • Have you included attachments?
  • Have you included contact information?

Simply put, e-mail is best thought of as a faster business letter. Most of these rules when writing a business letter have been lost on the e-mail generation. Take your time, write something clear, concise, professional and you will be well on your way to better corporate communique.

This article was written by William from homeloanfinder.com.au. Visit HomeLoanFinder to compare home loan interest rates and find the right mortgage broker.

Hidden Start Up Costs

How much does it really cost to start a business?

“Start a business for only $99!”   Most direct sales companies require new independent consultants to purchase a starter kit when they start a business. Some business opportunity start-up kits are as cheap as $10 and they can range up to $1,000.   The average start-up kit for a direct sales business averages between $50-$300.

There are a couple of keywords to highlight. The first is “start”; as in Start a Business. It’s not realistic to expect that you can maintain and grow a thriving business for the mere cost of an initial start-up kit.   The other keyword here is “business”.   The sign up process for many direct sales companies requires the recruit to enroll online by clicking a button that reads, “Start a Business”. It doesn’t say “Join a Sorority” or “Be a Discount Member” but rather by enrolling as a representative for a particular company you are agreeing that you want to start a business as an independent consultant.

It’s important to know what other initial investments may be involved to start a business. Talk to your sponsor before you sign up.   Ask what other expenses you should anticipate. Look at the items included in the startup kit and then determine if the business supplies and products provided are truly adequate to get started. Continue reading