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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.

Communication Style Compatibility is Key When Shopping for a Sponsor

6 Mar

What’s your preferred method of communication? Face to face? Phone? Email or text?  Most of us tend to lean more toward one style over the other. Some are strongly opposed to texting or to using the phone. Before you sign up with a particular sponsor is the time to find out if your communication styles are compatible.

He may be smart, experienced and appear to be a good fit for you; but if you really learn best by talking on the phone or don’t check your email very often; and your sponsor is glued to the computer it could pose a problem. Wouldn’t you rather find out about the communication conflict before you finalize your enrollment?

That is not to say that just because your preferred methods are not the same that you won’t be able to build a successful business.  There are plenty of people who can adapt to any method of communication and therefore this becomes a moot point. Nonetheless, it’s still something worthy of discussion during your investigation and research stage.

If the sponsor you want to sign with does indeed communicate opposite of your preference, only you can decide if this is a deal breaker.  Two factors to consider in your decision process:

1.  If you really prefer telephone over email but seem drawn to a sponsor who prefers email, you will need to figure out a way to live with email communication and to check your email more frequently or find someone who is more of a phone person. Be realistic.

2. If you’ve found someone who in all other aspects is a good fit, then simply ask them if they have anyone else in their downline who is more of a phone communicator. The theory behind this is that you would still have access to your “first choice” and to any team meetings or websites, plus you would also have a direct sponsor who communicates in the manner you prefer.  This may be an ideal situation for all.

Lastly, in addition to discussing the preferred communication style of your potential sponsor, ask about availability – specifically how early or how late the sponsor accepts communication. If your sponsor is on a different time zone or is an early bird and you’re a night owl, this also could prove to be a problem.

Choose wisely, as most direct sales party plan companies do not allow you to switch sponsors once you have enrolled.

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.

Overcoming Objections

26 Feb

noA good way to overcome objections is by offering a solution before your potential hostess has an opportunity to make the objection.  One of two things will happen – either the hostess will appreciate that you have a solution and it’ll be win/win or, when you offer a reasonable solution, it’ll become evident that the hostess didn’t really want to have a party in the first place. Either way, you can move forward.

For example, the most frequently stated reasons people give for not wanting to host a home party are because they don’t want to clean their house, their pet would be in the way, or they don’t have enough space.

If you are building relationships and listening carefully, you’ll probably already know if one of the excuses above is likely to be given. If you see that coming, offer the potential hostess the opportunity to host a reverse party. Tell her that you’ll have the party at your house. She’ll still be the hostess and still earn the rewards, but her friends and family will just show up at your house instead of hers.

You can worry about the cleaning and snacks so she doesn’t have to, and you have enough space to accommodate everyone. She gets to reap the rewards without all the hassle. It’s also win/win for the consultant because you don’t have to haul your inventory and continually set up and tear down your party display.

Another common reason given for not wanting to host a party is that she doesn’t have any local friends or that her friends aren’t really party people. These would be valid reasons not to be a hostess if there were no alternative solutions. Many people still think of a direct sales party as sitting in a circle in a living room for hours while attempting to give your undivided attention to some consultant who drones on and on. When really they just want to place a quick order and be on their way.

To the person who objects because she has no local friends – online parties and social media have made long distance parties possible.  To the person whose friends aren’t party people – she could still do a catalog party. Give her associates a chance to view the catalog in person or online and then place orders the same way. She’d still reap the hostess rewards without actually holding a physical home party.

Take a minute to figure out why you think the person you want to ask to host a party would say no, then find a solution and offer it up before she ever gives you her objection.  Who knows, it just may help you fill your calendar.

What do you do to overcome objections?

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.