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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.

Read This If You Befriend Your Team Members on Facebook

4 Apr

Social networking is a wonderful tool to build your business, but should direct sales leaders befriend their team members?

I recently heard a self- proclaimed direct sales expert encourage managers and directors to be friends with their team members on Facebook. She said that way you can get to know what is going on in the lives of your downline.  Some may wholeheartedly agree with this. Yet perhaps there is another way to look at this.

With regard to being offline – for those who work outside the home, are you good friends with your boss? What about your boss’s boss?  Does your boss regularly share photos of grandpa’s birthday party or of himself at the ballgame while enjoying some adult beverages? Does your boss start your weekly staff meetings by sharing her frustrations, her personal highs and lows?  Perhaps for some of you, this is true.  Though for most others, you do not socialize with the boss on your off time.

Some will be quick to defend that direct sales works differently than a “real job.”  That is a sad statement that partly contributes to the maligned reputation that if you have a direct selling business you don’t have a real job. For those who run their business like a business, then direct sales absolutely is a real job.

Still others reading this are saying that being a direct sales leader is not the same as being a boss.  No arguments there. If you are an independent consultant, you are not an employee; so technically you are correct – there is no boss and employee relationship. Notwithstanding, if you are a manager or director within the company or within your downline, you still should behave like a boss and set a good leadership example.

Back to your personal Facebook page: is it a good idea to befriend downline members on your personal Facebook page?

Some say Yes, it is a good idea. Their reasoning is that you’re all one big happy family and you want to share your life with the ‘sisters’ on your team and you want them to get to know you better.  You believe that you may be their manager but you’re a person first and they should get to see the good, the bad and the ugly about you.  Everyone on your team is a new friend and you’re just like blood relatives. You may also believe that you should know everything that they’re up to or that you want them to see how you market your business. You think befriending your team members is a fabulous idea.

Others say No way, it’s a terrible idea. If you’re truly running your business like a business, and if you are a manager or director, especially if you have a large downline, then you need to be able to have some time to yourself. Otherwise, if you’re on Facebook, and if you opt to befriend your downline, they can hit you up on chat and distract you from what you were doing while you are ‘on your own time.’ Your activity and status updates will also be scrutinized. You may work 12 hours a day on your business, but also post a couple different status updates a day, or share a YouTube or play a game – and suddenly there will be downline members that take those actions and assume you’re sitting on Facebook all day while they’re out working their tail off so you can earn a bag of money off of them.  Or you may be frustrated with an idiot driver or store clerk and want to let off steam. Suddenly, some of your downline will find cause to accuse you of being two-faced; all nicey-nice with them and a totally different person on Facebook.  Do you really want to have your every action scrutinized that closely?

There isn’t a right answer here, other than what is right for you and your situation. It’s just wise to consider both sides of the Facebook debate before you opt to befriend your downline. If you already accepted friends with many of your team and are now having second thoughts, perhaps it’s a good time to start a separate FB page just for your business. Then alert your friends that you’re moving your business type activity to the other page. When you delete them as friends, they’ll still have access to you on the work site.

The choice is yours; so choose wisely. I would love to read your comments on this.

xo

Debbie

Join Home Party Divas today for coaching, support, advertising and support for only $19.97 a month.

Debbie Shulman, Owner of Home Party Divas is a mom of 4 and a happy wife in a happy life. Lives in Florida. She loves direct sales and feels it is the best way to own a business without a large investment.

Wanna win $500 cash?

26 Mar

Women's Lifestyle Event

We are so excited for our first Women’s Lifestyle Event tomorrow night. One thing about putting events together is that it is very rewarding when you hear people say that they got new business from it.

It is hard.event [planning that is. Always wanting to make sure it is as successful as you hoped it would be. We are happy to have two sponsors for this event:

Tresha Barrett , MSW and Holistic Births and Beginnings will be speaking and offering a mini yoga class during our break out sessions.

We have many amazing exhibitors from financial, personal and business coaches. Services like teeth whitening, chiropractic (spinal checks), laser weight loss. And of course shopping. Vendors include kitchen tools, jewelry, home decor, fragrance, handbags, baby and soon to be mom services like Doula services through Holistic Births and Beginnings and Diaper Parties by Liz.

Complimentary hor’devours will be served. Cash Bar. Most importantly when people register and attend they are entered in drawings as well as our $ cash giveaway sponsored by us, Home Party Divas, LLC

You do not want to miss this. So join us at  6 pm tomorrow night. Register here- www.homepartydivas.net/register. Mention the person you referred you or just say Home Party Divas sent ya!

xo

Debbie