Vendor Events – Yes or No?

When I joined Thirty One almost 7 years ago, I told my sponsor “I don’t do home parties BUT I will do vendor events”.  For the first year, I built my business on vendor events.  I did as many as I could and when I wasn’t a vendor, I attended them and networked with other vendors.

Over the years, vendor events have changed and many direct sellers would say they don’t get a return on their investment (ROI).  Have the events changed or has our perception of what these events can do for our business changed?  Do we rely on them for sales not looking at the other opportunities available to us?

Yes, I originally built my business as a result of events BUT I didn’t just attend an event. I worked the event.  I didn’t sit behind the table, scrolling through my phone.  I was usually found standing next to my table (I always want an end spot) or milling around talking to other vendors.  Vendor events are a great way to expand your network, or getting to know people if moving to a new area.

I have written about Vendor events before and each time from a different perspective.  I had two events last weekend – one a flop and one was really good for me.  Notice how I clarified “for me”?  There wasn’t a lot of foot traffic, many of the vendors (there were 56 of us in one room) did not have sales and were discouraged.  They talked about how bad things were.  They brought negative “mojo” into their Universe.  I know it sounds crazy, right?  I honestly walked into both events not very optimistic.  I formed an opinion about them based on what I saw.  At the first one, those negative thoughts and comments consumed the day.  At the second one, I was determined to have a better day. It was the end of the month and I needed to hit my sales for the month.

Here are a few things you need to know BEFORE you can have a successful vendor event:

#1 – Set a Goal.  In talking with a first time vendor, I shared my view on vendor events.  Yes, we all want sales but it is more about planting seeds and making a connection.  I set my goal for the second event – ultimately I wanted sales but a few solid contacts for orders or for parties would be great.  Yes, I squirreled.  Set a goal and focus on it.  When you are trying to the whole book/sell/recruit it is overwhelming. My focus is to always share Thirty One and our amazing products.  Then I let the conversation go from there.

#2 – Be selective.  By this I mean, don’t travel to an event if you aren’t willing to travel to do parties in the area.  If you are trying to expand your area, and you book parties, will you be able to travel the same distance to do the parties?  If you travel an hour to do a vendor event, booking a home party or two usually means booking more at the party, right?  It means a lot of traveling.  Will travel fit into your every day life?  If I am traveling to an area, I will reach out to existing customers in the area to let them know I will be there.  Sometimes offering an incentive for them to collect orders and bring them to me ( a party on the go).  This is when using social media becomes an important component of your business.

#3 – Have fun at your table.  Some will have games you can play.  Others will decorate their display.  Some will have a drawing for a prize.  The truth is, mine is probably rather boring for some.  Thirty One has 3 catalog sections – for you, your home and your family.  I try to set my display up based on those sections.  Why?  It allows customers to focus on what is important to them. No games to lure them in, just the amazing products displayed in an attractive manner.

#4 – YOU NEED TO BE FUN!  Don’t hide behind the table, sitting in a chair and wait for someone to talk to you.  I talk to everyone who even glances at my table.  It can be as simple as “hi, how are you today?”.  This simple gesture may actually engage someone in conversation.  I share my excitement and love of Thirty One with everyone and anyone.

I gained 6 new customers who placed orders at the second event.  When other vendors wanted to talk negatively, I tried to change it to a positive perspective.  I was determined to be successful and I was.  Does this always happen, no.  Each event is different.  What is bad for one could be good for another.  Be open minded.  Have questions about vendor events – let’s hear them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Time Management – Does it Exist?

 Are you a hot mess?  Are you already dreading this week and it is only Monday morning?

Today should have been my first day back in the office after being gone for a week BUT Irma had other plans.  I did spend some time in the office last week BUT I’m not sure how much I actually got done.  It is Monday and I am playing the avoidance game.  Avoidance is a time waster which leads to being hard on yourself, right?

When it comes to business especially one online – wasting time will be the death of it.  I don’t mean time you take to renew your physical and mental powers because we need to do it in order to keep going.  I’m talking about the wasted minutes and hours which get out of hand….. the black hole of Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram.

I have talked about time management in the past and really wonder if we are managing our time or our tasks?  When I sometimes find myself obsessed with everything BUT working productively in my business I go back to the basics:

#1 – Block distractions.

I know it can be easier said then done.  How often do your keep multiple tabs open so you can see if you get any messages.  Block email and Facebook alerts (all social media), turn off your phone (or at least lower the volume) and hang a “do not disturb” sign on your home office door (if you have one).  What are the things which distract you from getting work done?

#2 – Set a time to begin work – and stick to it.

When you turn on your computer for work, give yourself a certain amount of time (10 minutes or so) to surf the ‘net and review your email before you begin.  Set a timer if you have to so you can then focus on work.  Switch into work mode and don’t look back until you’re done.  I have done the back and forth thing, jumping from one thing to another and the end result is my brain becomes mush and it is more difficult to focus.

#3 – End your work at a set time.

This is a tough one for this workaholic.  Hubby works the swing shift so I try to set my work hours accordingly.  Does it work?  Sometimes.  I do some early morning hours, then head back in the afternoon till the early evening.  Are there times when I spend more on my business and less time everywhere else?  Yes, usually for several days during the month when I am closing parties or it is the end of the month.  I am practicing on a regular day, setting a time to stop work so I can refresh myself both physically and mentally. I find when I do this, I am more focused when I am in the office.

#4 – Distinguish busy work from working toward goals.

I am so guilty of this.  Busy work can be a waste of time. Remember the “black hole” I mentioned earlier, the truth is you may be procrastinating.  Did you set a goal which is TOO BIG or are you afraid of failing?  They should scary you but you can break them up into manageable steps.  The best way to beat procrastination is to take action!  Do something to move forward

 

What is your best tip for managing your tasks instead of your time?  We all have 24 hours in a day, there is no changing it.  The difference is how we decide to work during those hours.

Would you like some more great tips on Time Management which have worked for me?  Fill out the form below:

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Blogging for Business

Are you scared to blog?  Are you wondering how blogging can help your business?  I will admit, I am not an expert BUT I do know as a result of blogging daily for over 4 years (OMG!) I have made a difference which is my purpose personally and in my business.

A simple challenge from Vanessa Coppes of ETTM, changed my life.  On those days I want to quit, I go back to the emails I received from readers and customers to see how something I shared has helped them.  Do I struggle some days finding a topic? YES!  Do I wonder if anyone actually reads them?  YES!  It is the occasional comment or message from a friend or reader which keeps me going, wanting to write more and share more.  I am always amazed how many people actually read my blog!  It is humbling to think people read AND share it with friends, family and team members.

The Sales MOMS Network actually did a story on Blogging for Direct Sales“.  There are some great suggestions in there on how to get started if you are in direct sales and are considering blogging.  It can be a little scary at first but the benefits far outweigh the scare factor.  They also shared a blog on “The 7 Tips of Basic Blogging”.

I remember the first time Deb Bixler included my name in a tweet – I was shocked, honored and for those who know me – yes, I cried just a little but they were tears of joy.

I know my blog is all over the place.  I go from talking about my business to sharing personal health struggles to organizing tips and product spotlights.  I have heard pros and cons about the best way to blog – focused versus general.  Most days, my blogs are about what I need to hear and I hope some where along the way, it helps someone else.

Are you considering blogging?  What have you got to loose, right?  Will it give you instant business?  Probably not.  Will it help you to develop relationships?  Absolutely.  I know for me, it has changed my life.  It has helped me step just a little further out of my comfort zone by sharing sides of myself very few people know.  I LOVE helping others to grow – personally and professionally to be the best they can be.  Remember “You can’t fail if you don’t stop BEFORE you SUCCEED.” Wise words from Mary Christensen.

I challenge each of you to move the walls of your comfort zone so you can grow.  If it isn’t blogging, maybe it is picking up the phone and making calls. Or is it sharing the gift of your business with someone you don’t know?  Whatever the wall is – step beyond it and experience the greatest gift of all – overcoming your own personal FEAR.  I look forward to hearing about the walls you are moving – please share.  If you are blog or are starting a blog – share your link below so we can all check it out.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

What If?

This two word question may not seem like a lot to you but the impact it could have on your life and your business is HUGE!

At the beginning of this year, I identified a one-word theme for the year: Accountable. For some being accountable is easy.  For others, it depends on the subject matter whether or not we can be accountable.  It is easy to be accountable in my Weight Watchers program but it is WAY more difficult to be accountable in my life – business and personal.  

It may not sound like an exciting word, but I sensed in my spirit it was a word which could transform my life.  Talking about stepping out of my comfort zone!!!

It is not necessarily the word “accountable” in itself as it is what each line stands for…

Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is “it is okay to ask for help and not assume others will know you need help”.  Miss Independent thought everyone was on my page so they knew what I needed when I needed it.  SMACK!  So not the truth.  Another big AHA was “consistency will lead to success”.  As a result, I will be cruising to the Bahamas in September courtesy of Thirty One Gifts.

So where does “what if” come in, right?  I know you all think I squirreled.  Well maybe but the truth is those two words can help you to dream what the future can hold for you.

I want you to consider a persistent challenge you face – one you’d be willing to make a major life change in order to resolve it once and for all.

Here’s the process proposed by Valerie Burton to help you reach for those dreams:

1. Identify the challenge.  What is your challenge?  Is your calendar to hectic? Are you miserable in your career or hate your job? Have you stretched yourself too thin financially as a result of too many credit cards?

2. Ask yourself a “What if?” question to force yourself to imagine a solution which will radically change your circumstance and eliminate the problem, not just pacify it? “What if you didn’t schedule anything on your weekends and gave yourself room to relax and be spontaneous?” “What if you phased out your current career and finally pursued the career you really want?” “What if you dramatically cut your expenses so you have the freedom to work less or do something different?” Write down as many “What if?” scenarios as you can. Make them bold. Make them authentic. Write scenarios which excite you.

This may be a little different for you.  We usually let fear control our “what ifs” like…”What if I fail?:,  “What if I’m not good enough?”.  It is those what if questions which leave your paralyzed in fear and keep you from  moving forward.  If they are that powerful, what if you used those same questions to see radically new positive possibilities.

3. What choices or shifts would move you in the direction of your most compelling “What if?” possibility?

Now you have a list of questions, which one is most compelling? Start there. Then begin to ponder the types of choices and decisions which would move you towards the possibility. When your dreams come from “What if?” scenarios are the real desires of your heart. Maybe they are the possibilities you simply need to give yourself permission to pursue. They may be short or long term goals but chances are they are more long-term goals. Don’t let it discourage you.  Brainstorm and get a game plan in place. Talk to others and if it feels like the right goal, set it then make a timeline to start moving towards it.

I challenge you to explore your possibilities by creating and answering at least three “What if?” questions to help you see your possibilities for resolving your most persistent problem. Scary, right?  You can do this, I believe in you!

Can’t come up with your own questions?  Try one or all of these:

  1. What if you were entirely debt free – no credit card debt, no loans, no mortgage? What choices could you put in place to lead you to this reality?
  2. What if you stopped trying to prove a point in your most difficult relationship(s)? How would things shift for you if you simply refused to spend your energy debating?
  3. What if your schedule was entirely up to you to determine? What would change for you? What opportunity could bring this reality to life? What choices would position you for such an opportunity?

Let us hear from you… what is your “what if” question or questions?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

You’ve Got the Gear for Great Things!

Sunday’s have been a time when I shared messages from others but today, this touched my heart and I felt as if I wanted to share personally with you.  The post I read started like this:

Pretend with me for a moment. Let’s say you are on an island in the Pacific. Pick an island, any island, but make it a tropical, lush, and beautiful one. You walk out onto the porch and see some equipment laid out just for you. You know what it is, and you know what it’s for. You’re excited! You’ve always wanted to do this, but never had the right gear.

You slip into a black sleek wet suit, zip up the front closure, and most likely marvel at the way it holds everything in. Then you squeeze your feet into squeaky black flippers. I know they’re tight, but go ahead and wiggle your feet in. Next, you strap a heavy oxygen tank on your back. One arm. Now the other. Finally, you slip a facemask over you nose and eyes, and place a mouthpiece between your lips.

But rather than heading out to the ocean to explore the marvelous coral reef, vibrant fish, and swaying flora, you turn around, go back into the house, fill up the bathtub, and settle in.

I know it sounds silly but think about how many times you may have done the same thing. God has blessed us with many gifts and talents yet how many times do we run from the abundant life to stay in our comfort zone – living in mediocre faith.

I have done it many times.  Always being behind the scenes, not wanting to step out in faith.  Letting fear and doubt keep me from experiencing all God has planned for me.  The truth is, we all have the gear we need, it is just up to us to jump in.  Experiencing our pre-ordained opportunity (destiny).

How many time have you had the argument with God, telling him the many reasons you are not the right one for the job (or the opportunity or the calling)?  I know I have.  Lately, my argument surrounds my memory issues and how I am “not good enough”.  Yet, when I stop and embrace the challenges (actually blessings), I am amazed at the abundance in my life.  I need to take time with God each morning, not just talking (praying and asking) but listening to what he has to say.  The message may not always be clear (brain fog has me struggling) but God’s message will come through one way or another.

I let fear keep me from God’s abundance.  I let the comparison game keep me from stepping out of my comfort zone.  I let the inner gremlins dance in my head and question my faith and my ability to know what God wants me to do.

Many are suited for great things and didn’t even know it.  As a result, they live a life never experiencing the many blessings God has for them.

Here’s my question for you today: What will you say to God when He calls your name or taps you on the shoulder and says, “Now’s the time?”

Perhaps today is the day.  Will you JUMP in, walking in faith or will you retreat within your comfort zone?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!