How to Make Money In Bad Winter Weather

This past weekend was the first of what I am sure will be many cancellations of events and parties during the rough winter months.  I am working on a plan to keep my business consistent while I (and my customers) are snuggled warm at home.  Last winter, I was able to hit my goal as was my team with some planning – I always have a plan B….

Here are some tips to help you keep your sales up during those cold winter months…

1.Flash Sale Fridays (or any day)IMG_3907.jpg

Pick a product or a bundle of products and offer them at a discount for a 24-hour period only.  Let your customers know by sharing the products LIVE on Facebook or via an email or even in a text message.  Encourage them to share the flash sale with friends – the more the merrier.  If it isn’t in your budget to offer your own discount, utilize the specials offered by your company by creating bundles  for your customers.  By creating a sense of urgency (today only) you can encourage people to shop.

2. Facebook LIVE parties

Facebook LIVE is a great way to demonstrate products, do drawings, and have fun. By letting your customers see you LIVE, then establish a connection with you, see your personality shine.  Encourage attendees to share the video with friends.  Ask simple questions like where do you live so everyone checks in.  Acknowledge those who check in with a greeting or comment.  The more interaction, the more people will see it on their Facebook newsfeed.  The end result is to take orders by sharing solutions to their every day problems with your products.

3. Show on the Go parties

Pack up some samples of your products, catalogs and share them with 6 of your friends. Encourage each of them to collect $100 in orders.  Give it a fun name and split the hostess benefits between them.  Chances are they will collect more than $100 in sales.

4. If it’s just a flurry

Have a flurry sale offering, get rid of retiring prints and products or excess inventory – we in direct sales always have excess inventory.  Have a home party, offer a discount or special gift if the party holds and guests attend or order.

5. Hold a Mystery Host party

Text, email, phone or facebook message past/ current customers for orders.  Anyone who places an order will be entered in a drawing to win ALL of the hostess benefits.  The more orders, the more benefits.

Be sure to OVERBOOK your calendar in the winter months.  One date is the party date and the second date is fa snow date, just in case the original date needs to get postponed due to weather. If a home party is cancelled, switch it to a ZOOM or Facebook LIVE party. You were scheduled to work, so work your business.

Another fun idea to get people out to a wintery party is to offer a fun theme party with a summer or tropical theme… all the way down to the dress and snacks. It’s a fun way to bring hope the winter will soon be over and allows everyone to dream a little.

What is your best tip for keeping your business consistent during the winter?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Increase Your Sales

I know, it is getting close to Christmas and Vacation Veronica is ready to creep in.  You know who I mean…. the inner gremlin who tells you  “it is time for you to take a break” or “everyone is shopping at the malls” or any of the crazy thoughts which keep us from moving forward with our business during the busiest selling season of the year.

For me, I am at Day 2 of an event at AT & T in Bedminster.  My first time taking a big event like this in a long time but I am grateful for momma’s help.  A closed event for employees, and vendors.  Okay, so more about how to increase your sales….

No matter what your business, I know there are many of us in direct sales struggling with the same thoughts.  Some are shutting down their businesses getting ready for their own holiday while others are plugging along.  With so many exciting things happening at Thirty One with Customer Appreciation month coming and the NEW Spring Catalog Premiere, I am too excited to be winding down my business yet.  

For many of us, our direct sales business has been changing from home parties to parties dominated by social media.  From Facebook Live to Zoom parties to 31 minute parties to texting parties…. the home party has gone away for many.  I came across a blog by JulieAnne Jones which made me giggle. She starts off with:

I know, I know, your home party plan merchandise sells itself. I’ve heard that a million times from my direct sales clients and friends and I believe it…to a point.

So why does it make me giggle? Because I have said it a million times to potential hostesses when we are talking about booking a “shopping experience”.  Admit it, you have too. We know the “face to face” parties are where things really happen, right?  When people are having fun and you are providing them with solutions to every day problems, they will shop.  Believe it or not, there are ways to provide the same personalized shopping experience on social media but it is for a different blog post…

None of us want to be the pushy sales person BUT you need to be using some sales techniques or you are going to leave money on the table. Okay, maybe not literally but you will miss out on the opportunities in front of you…..

So here are some tips on how to maximize your sales at the end of your home party or at your social media base party.

1. A Wish List. This is a great way for your guests to keep track of the items they like and helps with checkout. Getting customers to tell you what their favorite products are or what is on their wish list is a great way to help them with the best deals when placing an order, hosting a party or joining your team.  I am going to create a google form for my online parties to not only be able to gather information on the guests but to ask for their “wish list” offering a ticket to be drawn for all who complete the form.  A minimal cost but worth it in the end.

2. Shopping.  Help you guests with shopping whether in person or online.  I have been utilizing the Tag Team version of a Facebook party and my guests loved it.  No need to go to the website.  Be sure you include how to shop in at the end of your presentation or during your social media party.  Make it easy for them.  Be sure to talk about customer specials, shipping times, etc.. This seems like a no-brainer but the truth is sometimes we forget something.

3. Provide a Nordstrom, not a Wal-Mart experience for your guests.  Honestly, this is my favorite thing to do.  Spending one on one time with guests.  I will help them find the best deals so they get the most value for their dollar.  Dedicated time to each customer to answer their questions and help them with choices will increase sales and build relationships which will lead to future bookings and sales.  I have been known to spend 45 minutes on the phone with a customer sending sample shots to them just to ensure they receive exactly what they are looking for in a product.

4. Add-on Products. Solution sets have always been a part of Thirty One’s party experience (as well as many other direct selling businesses) A core product teamed with two other products.  Asking guests if they want the monthly special is easy and usually a welcome reminder according to party guests. Your job is to know your merchandise and catalog so well you can suggest add-on products based on what your customers like (upsell).  A high percentage of people will say yes to relevant suggestions, increasing your bottom line.

So, which one of these tips are YOU going to implement to increase your sales for the rest of the holiday season? Better yet, what is YOUR best tip for increasing sales? Share with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Out of the Box Gift Ideas

We are just 18 days from Christmas and I see the panic on the faces of many struggling on what to get those on their holiday list.  I will admit, I had those moments looking for the “perfect gift”.  Having moments where I let the inner gremlins step in bashing those out of the box ideas….

Has your gift giving list grown?  Has your office just decided to hold a Secret Santa?  Are YOUR friends looking for gifts for people in their office or do they know someone who is looking to give gifts to their co-workers or customers?

For those of us in direct sales, I know this sounds OBVIOUS but have you approached them about using YOUR products as gifts.  Now, I don’t mean just hand them a catalog to look through, I mean really help them with their gift giving dilemnas.

I offered my customers this year the opportunity to make their Christmas Wish List.   Remember the wish list of your childhood.  The one where you scoured the catalogs and sale papers making a list of EVERYTHING you could possible want then gave it to your parents who shared it with everyone in the family.

Some created their own list of what they wanted and then told family to contact me.  While others, provided me with a gift list and a few words describing person they needed to buy a gift for.  I then made practical suggestions from our product lines for them.  I know you are all thinking – when do I have time to do that in addition to my shopping, work (full and part-time), kids, etc.  The reality is most will not take advantage of it BUT you could start off by offering it to your hostess or those VIP customers who shop year round with you, never missing an opportunity to share your business with others.

Let’s try it with some of our Thirty One products:

  • Busy Mom, Mom Taxi – what about a Thirty One Hanging Traveler Case bag filled with pens, pencils, note paper, crayons, etc. to leave in the car.  Maybe even a few non-perishable snacks for the kids or an energy bar or two for mom. You never have to hunt for a pen or you can keep the kids busy while in the car.

  • Hubby, Mechanic, Car fanatic – How about an Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote filled with everything they would need to take care of their car?  They can keep everything in the trunk – organized so there is still room for the groceries.

dad's car kit

  • College Student – How about a Large Utility Tote filled with everything they would need in an emergency?  Blanket, jumper cables, first aid kit, etc.  Our daughter got one when she started driving. I know, most people have AAA but honestly sometimes they take FOREVER!  In the dead of winter, would it be nice to have a filled bag in the trunk so when a good Samaritan stopped to offer assistance you had the supplies you needed.  How about filling it with snacks along with a gift card or two.  You will be sending them back to school with food to get through those tough nights of studying..

So, have I sparked any ideas?  Are YOU thinking outside of the box?  Some people will think it is tacky to give a gift of the product you sell but think about how special it will be if it is combined with something they would know you picked out just for them.  I mean we all LOVE our products, why not share them with friends, family and co-workers.

What are you doing for “outside of the box” gift giving this holiday season?  I am still looking for a few gift ideas, how about sharing YOUR best company gift idea with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Are You Meeting Your Goals?

I love when other bloggers inspire me….

The first Monday morning of a new month, how I love setting up goals for success.  I am learning how to set goals in all areas of my life in an effort to stay focused.  It isn’t always easy on those “bad days” but there are things I want to accomplish, what about you?

Sometimes we focus on professional/ business goals, sometimes the focus is on personal goals and often it’s both. Regardless of the focus, many times we don’t meet our goals, even when they’re really important to us.  Admit it, I am  not alone, right?

Why?

When I am talking about goals, I don’t mean the proverbial to-do lists, I mean actual goals.    When we are trying to lose weight, the goal is a number on the scale.  In our careers, maybe it is a certain pay or job title.  In our business maybe it is the chance to have our own business which actually pays the bills.  Maybe your goal is freedom from debt.  Whatever it is,  why is it so hard to meet those goals?  You have the desire and motivation, right?  So why don’t we reach them sometimes?

Multi-tasking!  Yup, the main reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they are trying to do too many things at once. As we get ready to set ‘new year resolutions” or as I like to call them “new year goals”, how often do we list out more than two?  Think about how you started this past year, how long was your list of goals?

Maybe you wanted to lose weight, eat better, get a new job, find your passion, be a good mother, create a vibrant social life, start a business and so on. Sound familiar? All are terrific desires, but too much for one person to handle at any given time.

When we try to make lots of changes in our life, it is overwhelming and we become unproductive. Despite years of thinking “multi-tasking” was a good thing, recent studies are showing it is actually less efficient than focusing on one project at a time. WOW!  I was the QUEEN of multi-tasking.  With the onset of MS, I am finding this doesn’t work for me.  The truth is our brains just aren’t wired to do lots of things simultaneously.

Although it’s wonderful to have multiple goals in life (I know I do), the key to success is to step back, examine what you really want right now, and pick ONE goal to focus on. YIKES!  I know it’s hard to do, but if you spend the majority of your time focusing on just one goal, you’ll accomplish it in record time. Determine the steps you need to finish the project, follow those steps daily before you tackle anything else on your daily to-do list.  Remember no more than 3 things on your to-do list a day!

I will admit, my vision board for 2017 was filled with many things.  The reality is, when I focused on just two aspects – things began to happen.

First, I earned the Leadership Incentive Trip.  Then I moved on to being consistent in my business.  The results have been AWESOME!  While reaching for my goals in business, I built strong relationships and strengthened my walk with God.

I am already thinking about my vision board for 2018.  I really do like the simple drawings and words.  Handmade helps me to feel connected with it instead of just cutting out pictures from a magazine.

What’s amazing is with laser focus, you’ll reach the goal sooner and be able to move on to the next goal on your list. Handling your goals one at a time like this will actually enable you to achieve more each year than if you try to complete everything at once.

Set up a time frame (90 days is recommended) to devote yourself to the goal you’ve chosen to focus on first. After 90 days, if you’ve been taking consistent and concentrated actions you’ll have hit the goal – or at least come a lot closer to it than if it was just another item on your list of things to do.  Will some of the other goals overlap?  YES!  Will you make progress in other areas while focusing on one? YES!

Won’t it feel AMAZING this time next year to know you have accomplished the most important goals you’ve set for yourself? Try it for six months and see what happens!

Want to be accountable?  Share your goal with us and then come back in 90-days to share the results.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How To Create a Spark In Your Team

Whether you are in direct sales or are a manager in a traditional job, sparking excitement in your team or staff can be tough?  As a County Coordinator and then a CFO with non-profits, it was sometimes tough to get staff to see the BIG picture.  It was difficult to get them to buy into my crazy ideas.  In direct sales, as leaders, we (or at least I do) struggle with motivating my team forward toward reaching their dreams and goals,

I love this Vision recipe shared by Lynn Bardowski, the Million Dollar Party Girl, which is:

Mix 1/3 purpose with 1/3 passion
Stir in 1/3 crazy idea
Blend well and let it marinate overnight
Mix in massive action
Once you get clear on your vision ask yourself two questions: What does it look like? and How will I make it happen?

Here are some tips from the Party Girl, herself…

Empower: Empower your team.  Encourage them to come up with ideas, action plans, goals and most importantly…solutions. When people feel like they contributed to something instead of just following orders, they’ll be more likely to take ownership and act on them.

Educate: It took me a long time to get this one right.  As a boss, I was more about telling people how and what to do instead of teaching.  I eventually learned, it didn’t matter how it got done as long as it got done.  In direct sales, it’s the same.  Provide your team with the training to help them achieve their goal. There are lots to trainings out there, you don’t have to have all of the answers.  Use Zoom or Facebook Live so you can influence more people.  “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Just because you have been saying things for months, someone else may say it and the light bulb may go off and they think it is brilliant.

Delegate: This is when I usually hear crickets.  People lack confidence and as a result, don’t want to share.  I have been trying to delegate things to my team in the hopes of building confidence and increasing engagement which help them feel like they are part of the team. Believe it or not, the time you gain by giving up the reins will make up for the stress you feel as you let go. It will all work out. Trust me.  I have been there, and done that!

Recognize:  I love to send “happy mail”.  A way to recognize individuals for their effort, progress, and results. Did you know each generation reacts to praise/ recognition differently?  Millennials expect immediate recognition. Boomers might feel uncomfortable – and even embarrassed – by the attention. That’s me!  A great rule of thumb is safety in numbers when you’re giving praise.

Communicate:  I am are you have heard it a million times… “The key to being a great communicator is to be a great listener”.   To build stronger relationships with you need to be willing to listen to their struggles, and their triumphs.

I have learned to meet my team where they are, and not where I want them to be.  There are many ways people learn so you may need to use a variety of channels to communicate: Facebook messenger, live video chat, voice message, text, postcards and in-person coffee meet-ups.  Don’t forget about GIFs and stickers, which are fun ways to communicate an emotion.

Appreciate: Feeling appreciated is a human need…which makes it a much higher form of gratitude than recognition. [Source: Huffington Post]

Happy mail to me is a great (inexpensive) way to show my gratitude and let people know how much I value them on the team. I send happy mail to my customers too.  It not only helps you to stand out in the crowd BUT it lets people know you care.

Evaluate: We have all done it.  Waited until the middle or the end of the month, to see where we are on our personal goals as well as those of a team member.  Checking in weekly, helps everyone to make a plan to reach their goal.  I share my numbers with my team to let them know I am a consultant just like they are.  I am hopefully showing them how to take risks with new ideas, embrace bumps in the road and the idea of working together so we all are successful.

Discover: Look for the hidden gems on your team. Get to know Consultants who were sponsored by others – their dreams, their goals and help them make a plan to reach them. Believe it or not, they might just be your next super star.

This holiday season is a perfect time to spark some interest….What are your best tips?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!