The Night Before Christmas

It is Christmas Eve day….. the hustle and bustle is reaching immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for the perfect gift.  Some are nursing hangovers from the holiday office parties.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…

Tonight will be dinner with my step-mom and half sister.  A chance to share special memories of holidays with dad. Christmas Day will be spent with mom and Sal, dinner out embracing the special moments.  Just another indication the times are changing.

As I sit looking at our Christmas tree, memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash before me.

The years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree. It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get the living room. It always made for a lot of laughs. Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so we could open presents. The early morning calls to wake everyone up. The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up. Really, on Christmas morning???? Opening presents was a process which took forever because Belinda wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the next gift. We learned games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened. Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow. There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for our family over the next year.

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans. You have blessed this year for me in so many ways…

Can You Beat Vacation Veronica?

How long is this sign on your business during the holidays?  For Vacation Veronica stepped into the picture right around Thanksgiving weekend.  She may have come and gone a few times since them but she is sneaking back to see if she can stay till the spring thaw.

Some will take a holimonth instead of a holiday.  I used to take a holimonth from the Christmas cutoff till after the first of the year.  The end result was the need to kick start my business every spring.

As we creep into the final days before Christmas then head into the week till New Years, the holiday season takes on a life of its own.  The time spent in the office is all about paper pushing.  Now, I am not saying this isn’t productive in some ways but can put a damper on the most productive, money making time of year.  Pushing papers and getting things in order are good things I do in between Christmas and New Years as I prep for the upcoming year.  The truth is, we need to keep working on building our business so in January, we are not sitting around trying to figure out WHY we don’t have any business on the books.

Here are some tips from JulieAnne Jones:

  • If you are a Leader, plan all your meetings for 2018. As Leaders with Thirty One, they help us stay on track with giving us all of the materials we need.
  • Schedule time to connect with your downline to see how you can help them with their goals in 2018.
  • Share with your team some fun ideas for theme parties as well as other tips on how to boost their business in the new year.
  • Call your September, October, November and December guests – you know the “pink bag calls” we talk about. Check in and make sure they are happy with their product.
  • Call your past hostess and check in. Don’t be afraid to ask them about hosting a party.
  • Commit to listen to/ or read at least one training program. Don’t just listen or read – IMPLEMENT it!

As for me, I am excited to be kicking of the new year utilizing the Tag Team Party format.  Since 95% of my business has been online, I have been on the hunt for a way to hold fast, fun and easy parties online.  The format will plant booking and recruiting seeds while guests enjoy a 31-minute party online.

I am tweaking my follow-up system.  With our new ship before the party closes, there have been some challenges.  So, I am trying to get a system together.  The money is in the follow-up and I need to remember it on a regular basis. It isn’t just about the emails or social media, it is also about snail mail AND the phone.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours. Take a break and enjoy your family and friends during the holiday season but don’t neglect your business. If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you? So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tis the Week Before Christmas…

Santa-LR

Yes, I know we are just 5 days away from Christmas but I wanted to send this out to all my friends in direct sales.  I know it is geared towards ThirtyOne (courtesy of a Thirty One sister) BUT I am sure you can substitute in some of your own words…

Twas the week before Christmas ,

When all through the land,

My Goal was not met…. and I needed a hand.

My goals were drawn up, on paper with care,

I was sitting, fingers crossed, hoping sales would be there.

My Children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While the thought of “no paycheck in January”, filled me with dread.

My husband told me I could do it.

Oh no – the pressure was high

But my doubts consumed me, I’m not going to lie.

When out on Facebook an idea was there,

It gave us permission with wisdom and care.

To pick up the heavy phone and raise some clatter.

Because if you do, your paycheck just might be fatter.

So away to my back office, I flew in a flash

I printed my contact list like I ran a 100 yard dash.

But picking up the phone, as those of us in Direct Sales probably know

Was the most dreaded task when you NEED your business to grow.

I know it was time to swallow my pride.

This was crunch time and “go” time .

From my goals, I would not hide.

I needed a plan and I needed one quick.

Before I backed out…..you see my stomach felt sick.

I knew it would take more than Facebook gimmicks this late in the game.

But what if I speak with them and they think I’m lame?

What if I call Shelly, Donna, Karen and Susan?

What if I talk to Becky and Lisa but no one finds me amusing?

I was frozen and frightened and felt backed into a wall.

But I am smart and I know I NEEDED TO CALL.

So I sat at my desk, knowing I just had to try.

No more excuses or I would kiss my paycheck goodbye.

So I picked up the phone and I dialed it with fright

But what I found out was a shocking delight.

Most calls went to voice mail, it was easy as pie.

And talking to my customers did NOT cause me to die!

I found connecting with my customers to feel like a reward.

With my doubts and my fears, I had struck an accord.

After all, those customers, helped my business to grow.

Without them, my dreams and plans I could not sow.

It was good service and connection was owed – oh and rapport.

I owed it to them for their unwavering support.

I called the whole list. I felt it was a must.

I’m back in the game folks! No more cobwebs or dust!

So if you are like me and you have doubts in your head,

Please know you too have nothing to dread.

So pick up that phone and call YOUR customers one and all.

And I wish you success as you finish out 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!