If you are a consultant with an established direct sales company, it’s highly likely that your corporate office provides professional marketing collateral, instructions, signage, forms and other tools to aid your business. A professional image is vital to your business success.
Yet almost daily I am made of aware of consultants who want to make their own marketing collateral, instructions, signage, forms and other tools to aid their business. I don’t get it; I really don’t. Why do so many insist on reinventing the wheel? Sure in some cases consultants need to pay for the professionally designed materials, but there are always costs associated with running a business.
Homemade materials generally look amateurish, cheesy and send a message that you’re not doing well enough to use professionally printed information. Also, by the time you factor in your time to create it, paper and ink to print it yourself, and the costs associated with lost business due to the unprofessionalism, you’ll end up paying more than if you just used what was provided by your company. Continue reading
Having an online business is a wonderful thing. At this point in my life I can’t imagine having it any other way. I have my internal customers – my downline team members, and also my external customers – those who order from my website. One of the key factors in maintaining an online customer base is going offline.
While email is so convenient and a great tool to manage a large organization, it’s missing a human element. The time that I save with emails allows me more time to write hand written notes. And I do write many handwritten notes almost daily. For example:
- Thank you notes for online orders; and I mention something specific about their order so they don’t just think it is a generic note.
- Follow up cards to customers who have not ordered in two or more months
- Welcome to the team for new consultants
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The more your team grows the smarter you need to be with your time management skills. You will have more people to manage but that doesn’t have to mean that you’ll be working more hours. In order to survive being the leader of a large organization you need to eliminate, mitigate and delegate duties that are not the best use of your valuable time.
One of my favorite time savers are Vista Print Free Self Inking Stamps. I have a nice collection of them and am constantly adding more. Just to name a few, I have:
- Some that have just one scent name on them. I stamp the back of my business cards annotating the name of the particular scent sample that is attached.
- One that I stamp the back of my catalogs – contains my website address and a reminder of secure online ordering, no minimums, low and free shipping.
- One that I use mainly for recruiting on the Getting Started brochures – with the web address of my recruiting website, my email and phone number.
So I’m sitting here in Food Avenue Express, the little snack bar inside of Target, waiting for my daughter and her friend to finish shopping. They’re the class reps who have the distinguished honor of purchasing toys for the family their class adopted for Christmas.
What does this have to do with running your own business? It may be a stretch, but hang with me a moment. What’s one challenge independent consultants often state as a reason for their business not taking off? NOT ENOUGH TIME!
Many newer consultants also work a full time job – either at home raising children or outside the home as an employee for someone else. Don’t forget all the other obligations such as being taxi driver for the kiddos, cleaning the house, head chef, banker, homework helper, wife or head of the household. When would you possibly have time to start a home business?
The answer is that you don’t have time – you have to make time. You’ve heard the tired clichÃ© “Where there’s a will, there’s a way?” This is definitely true of making time to start and grow a home business. It’s not too often that people complain that they have too much time, right? So from the start just come to terms with the fact that you likely will not have nearly as much time to devote to your business as you would like. If you accept that from the beginning, then you will not always feel like you’re failing or have that uneasy feeling that there’s never enough time. Continue reading
A picture is worth a thousand words
Consultants often ask if it’s a good idea to have their picture displayed on their business cards. This practice is common in the real estate industry. Real estate is still sales. So why would direct sales be any different?
If someone hands you a card with her picture printed on it, it becomes easier for you to associate that face with the previous conversation or encounter. The purpose of your business card is for others to make contact with you easily. It should also help them in connecting with you personally; having your photo on it can help accomplish this goal.
Additionally, in this Internet Age where personal connections are becoming rarer, it’s important to connect with your customers as a person rather than merely a website. People prefer to do business with those they know, trust or who is a referral.
Do I want people to remember that they bought Scentsy? Or that they bought Scentsy from Laurie? Are they looking for any consultant who can merely fill their order? Or are they looking to build a relationship with a consultant who will service them?
If your customer is asked where they picked up that nifty product, do you want them to give your company name and tell them to “just Google it, and you can buy it online”? Or do you want them to give your website so that you get the business? Having your mug shot on your business card can increase the odds that people will be repeat customers and more likely to give you referrals.
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start and maintain a candle business. You can find Laurie at http://la.Scentsy.us or http://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com