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Surviving the J-Months (January June July)

25 Apr

January can be a letdown for some direct sellers who are coming off a busy Christmas season.  June is hard to get bookings with grads and dads. July can be just as difficult with summer heat and planned vacations. Because of the above mentioned challenges, successful party plan consultants often find themselves working harder during the J-months than any other.

It would be a mistake to take these months off. Some consultants have the attitude that if it is slow, they might as well just wait until it picks back up again before they start working.  The problem with that logic is that the party plan direct sales business requires constantly planning ahead.  Planning for the current month, in the current month isn’t going to be very fruitful.  The time to schedule June Open Houses or July pool or patio themed parties is in May.

November and December can be very busy months for direct sellers. They are also months when sales and bookings come much easier and don’t require working as hard to get them.  Because of the easier sales during the holiday season, it’s also the prime time to challenge yourself by setting up for January.

The J-months could require being creative or, in some cases, going back to basics to keep your business running at an even pace.  If you’re struggling it may be because you’ve veered too far off the simple system that your company has set up for you. Or just the opposite, sometimes it requires you to do something a little differently.  Figure out which adjustment is needed for your business.

Use the five ideas below to help prevent your J-Months from being a snooze-fest.

  1. Online Efforts – Fresh content is the key.  Whether you have a website or a blog, adding fresh content will keep your readers interested and can even help drive more traffic to your website. Updating a blog twice a week should be the minimum standard.  Anything less than that, and you’re going to see little to no results.
  2. Offer Special Promotions – many companies will offer additional hostess or customer specials during the J-Months because they recognize it can be a slower time of year. Take full advantage of these extra specials. If you predetermine that no one on your mailing list would be interested in the specials, then you’re doing a disservice to your sales business. Spread the word…
  3. Direct Mailings – Cold calling and soliciting is highly frowned upon by many companies, but that doesn’t mean you can’t break into new markets. Why not mail some catalogs to a targeted audience?  Decide which market segments could benefit from your products. Depending on your product line, potential groups could be daycare centers, animal shelters, senior living communities, or apartment complexes. After a few days, you should call to follow up.

4. Product Displays – Do you know anyone who owns or works at a salon, boutique, or any other establishment that gets a fair amount of foot traffic?  Ask the manager or owner if you could set up a small display at their reception desk for a week or two.  Be sure to leave product catalogs and business cards too.

  1. Ask for referrals – If you’re not comfortable asking friends, family or other contacts for referrals of people they know who may be interested in your business opportunity or product offering, ask where they get their hair cut, or what vet their puppy uses or if they can think of any other business owner who may be willing to set up a display.

It doesn’t matter what month it is now.  Those slower J-months: January, June and July arrive at the same time every year.  Plan ahead and while your competitors are sitting idle and frustrated, you’ll be busy with your business.

Time for a Digital Vacation

2 Jan

I love a New Year. It is a scheduled time for me to review & reflect on the previous year. I made a list this time of goals I want to achieve this year. However, any day of the year can be a New Year. A new start. The holiday break allowed me to limit my “digital” world. I was able to focus on me, my family, and my goals. I felt I was on a Digital Vacation. It was really nice.

During this time, I was able to make business enhancements and connect with my OWN thoughts. I felt less confused with some of my decisions. I feel more motivated and inspired. I was able to connect with other leaders.

So if you do not already, I suggest taking a digital vacation. Shut of your devices for the day and truly rest with your own mind and goals. I would love to hear how it works for you.

debbiesignature

 

 

 

Debbie Shulman

How to Grow your Team Exponentially

13 Dec

– By Tammy Stanley

If you want your team to grow exponentially, and most leaders do like the idea of that, you must create an environment that supports and encourages exponential growth. Growing your team numbers exponentially, requires that you grow exponentially in your personal life and that you be committed to the people on your team growing exponentially in their personal lives.

Have you ever noticed that how you are performing shows up on your team? The reason why is because who you are is what brings about your team, you are the cause, the originator.

The only way to grow your team is to give them what you’ve got, so you need to grow exponentially to ensure you have something to give away that will grow your team exponentially.

Be a voracious learner and your team will emulate you. Share what you are experiencing and your team will admire you and seek to experience what you are experiencing.

Years ago I ran a special incentive for my sales team. I called it “Take The Step You’re Sure You Cannot Take Incentive.” I probably don’t need to explain it to you – the title tends to give it away. The incentive was not limited to their business lives. I deliberately included their personal lives because I knew that the more that my team members took the steps that they were sure they could not take in their personal lives, the more they would see that they could take steps that they were sure they could not take in their business lives as well.

I got the idea when I began to look at the steps that I was afraid to take in my own business and life. Then I got a totally crazy idea to share with my team the steps I had started to take that I had been afraid to take.

Yes, I shared how there were days that I did anything I could think of doing to avoid making prospecting calls. To say that I was nervous about sharing that with my team is a gross understatement. Of course I feared that by sharing how I was far from perfect, I would impact my team in a negative way. However, the impact was completely different than what I feared. Through sharing, I inspired my team to “come clean” that they too avoided making prospecting calls.

By getting authentic about our lousy prospecting habits, we could finally stop pretending that we were prospecting, when in truth, we weren’t. By acknowledging our pretense around prospecting, we experienced real freedom – freedom to now make new declarations.

Not long after that, as a team we created a document that I still see in front of me everyday. We called it “Our Strengths.” Here are some of the declarations in that document: We Love To Play, We Love To Learn, We Receive The Best Training, We Love To Listen, We Love To Grow, We Take The Step We Are Sure We Cannot Take, We Love What We Do And It Shows, We Are Winners, We Are Magic, We Are One.

When you look at that created document, what people truly want in life shines through. While I would agree that it can sure seem like people want more money to afford designer clothing, beautiful homes, and luxury vacations, I cannot imagine anyone I know lying on his/her death bed and lamenting, “Now I really wish I had worked more, made more money, and bought more stuff!” In fact, that sounds silly.

People want to experience freedom, power, and full self-expression; they want what isnot for sale and never will be. People want to grow and become all that they can be.

Grow your team exponentially! Not just in numbers but grow exponentially in your personal lives together! If the only person on your team right now is you, grow yourself personally and you will most assuredly attract a team of people who want what you have.

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Author, Sales Trainer, and Professional Speaker Tammy Stanley publishes the propelling ‘Sales Refinery Insights’ weekly ezine for direct sales professionals. If you’re ready to jump-start your direct sales business, make more money, and create more value, get your FREE tips now at www.tammystanley.com/ezine/ezine_offer_ds.htm