How To Handle Difficult or Demanding Customers

Let the Fall party season begin!  September is the Fall kickoff for many direct sales companies – new products, new styles, and a fresh look.  For many of us, this starts the busiest time of year in our business.  Did you know most direct sales consultants make 70% of their business from now till the end of December.  In just 4 months, we make 70% of our income, does the math work for you?

Whether you are in the party plan business or work for someone else, we have all met those customers who are just plain grumpy.   As we all look forward to helping our friends gather for a Girl’s Night Out, we begin to think about the guests who will be attending – moms, career woman, travelers, crafters, and the list goes on.  We want to be sure we are highlighting products which will be useful for them but what we don’t think about are the “hecklers” or the “difficult customer”.

Picture this:  you start your presentation when one of the guests begins making “side” comments just loud enough for you to hear.  Or, you talk about a product and they begin to tell you why XYZ company’s product is so much better.  Have you ever had a guest like this?  If not, consider your lucky and know at some point in your selling career, you may come across them.  If you have, did it throw you off your game?  I will be honest, I don’t do well with confrontation even after 7 plus years with Thirty One….I am grateful for these tips from Deb Bixler and Sherri Campbell:

  1. Spotlight the Difficult Customer at the Party.  A great way to stifle a difficult person is to answer all of their questions and offer not to go on until they are answered.   I have asked them to repeat their question or concern so I can answer it because there may be someone else in the group with the same concern.  As difficult as it may be I try to demonstrate empathy through eye contact, body language and smaller verbal cues showing concern.  This is REALLY tough since my face always gives me away.
  2. Rally the Interested Customers.  If someone is not cooperating at all with your presentation, participating or aren’t even being courteous enough to stop talking while you are; Debs suggests, simply say “The rest of the group is interested in this information”.  WOW!  I could not see myself saying it… it seems confrontational which totally scares me!  Remember the other guests are watching and will follow your lead (hopefully).  Stay calm and remain in charge of the interaction. You can also go with the difficult customer’s energy.  If nothing you are doing or saying is satisfying the customer/guest, disarm them by surrendering and granting agreement to the difficult customer.  Chances are the customer will probably start defending the you.  Believe it or not, it’s natural when someone is allowed to win they will be more open to what they were fighting against.
  3. The Wise Guy is Your Party Side Kick!  Difficult customers may think they know more than you do about your product or company.  Here is where knowing your products AND your company is a definite PLUS.  If you can show the “wise gal” the correct information, they tend to stop being a problem.  Don’t be forceful.  Come across soft and don’t talk over them even when it’s obvious they are off base. Let them talk themselves  out. Keep in mind the needier their behavior, the more power you have since neediness comes from weakness. By listening, you have a chance to build trust, empathy and rapport and ultimately, calms them down.  On the other hand, if they have good information, invite them to help out with the presentation.

Every party is not going to run smoothly.  I have to admit, I have been left speechless a few times due to a difficult customer.  I have even taken a 2 minute break in the middle of a party to “help” a difficult customer so she could be on her way.  By doing so, the customer actually booked a party and the group appreciated the fact the difficult customer had left.  Hopefully, you will never have a heckler or a difficult party guest BUT be ready just in case.

When a customer or party guest is never satisfied, it’s natural for us to lose motivation for working with this person. Sticking it out requires a strategy for dealing with difficult people, self-restraint and an ability to keep power in the relationship. we need to learn when to be hard and when to be soft in conflict. Something I am still working on….

The toughest thing for me is to remember to NOT take it personal….
When dealing with an unsatisfied customer, we need to remind ourselves this is a business issue and not a personal one.  Chances are,  this customer knows very little about you on a personal level, so keep this in mind guiding the conversation back to the pressing issue and how we plan to solve the problem for the customer.

Next time you encounter and angry person imagine they as a 2-year-old since it is the maturity level they are showing you.  Remember, you have the power as long as you remain calm, flexible, patient and mindful.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Dream Do You Need to Revive?

Are there dreams you have given up on?  I don’t mean the one you had when you were a child to be a ballerina or a super hero?  I mean the ones you had as an adult. Maybe FEAR and doubt got in the way.  Maybe life got in the way – taking care of everyone else so you let the dream fade.

I will admit, I have let dreams fade over the last few years.  Life definitely got in the way – health issues caused me to struggle and doubt whether any of it was possible.  But the dreams are slowly starting to resurface.  I have faced some of my fears and am struggling through a vision casting process.

Vision casting is when you place yourself in the moment of the dream becoming a reality.  You let go of all fear, doubt and negativity while you enjoy and FEEL the moment.  My director did this with me many years ago – the year I promoted to Director.  As she shared the story with a hundred other women on a call last week, the tears came back to me.  I remembered the moment we broke through and I could actually feel what the moment would be like.  It was a miracle on many counts because I actually remembered the conversation AND I was inspired to dream again.

Think about this for a minute:

You are the only person who can decide to pursue your dream. Books don’t write themselves. Businesses don’t launch themselves. You’ve got to take the first step and keep stepping.

So, let’s talk about how YOU can dust off the dream and bring it back to life…..

1. What dream is sleeping in your life you wish were still a possibility?

Have you buried your dream so deep you forget about it?  Think about it for a moment. The dream which needs to be awakened could be connected to your professional life, your finances, a relationship,  your health, or your personal life. What is the dream for you right now? Write it down!

2. What do you need to give yourself permission to do it?

We bury things which are important for a variety of reasons.  Whatever reason made you bury the dream, it’s time to give yourself permission to dream again.  It’s okay.  Were you hurt and decided it was safer not to go down a certain road anymore?  Did naysers convince you it wasn’t possible?   Did responsibilities in life dictate it was better to let your dream die?  Or did the dream seem impossible to achieve, so you gave up?  Whatever your reason, use the past as a learning tool to recast your dream. Have the faith to believe nothing is impossible.

3. What do you need to say about it?

Speak life into your dream NOW!  Remember “The Secret” and positive attraction?  Say your dream out loud.  Hear the words, I mean really hear them!  Attract the positive, not the negative!  Share your dream with someone else!  Then observe how you talk about it.  When you state all the reasons you can’t have what your heart desires, you speak negativity (death) to your dream.  Each negative word is like a shovel, digging the grave and then piling dirt onto it until you can no longer see your dream. Negative words will steal your vision.  Are you going to let “words” steal your dream?

4. What action will you take next?

Did you know we kill our dreams with inaction?  When you don’t make any steps, even baby ones, towards the dream, you have sentenced it to death.  The best way to revive your dream is to take some action.  Never stop believing your dream is possible,.  As long as you are taking steps towards it, it is!  Don’t put a time frame on it.  Just continue to step towards it and things will start to happen. Start with one small step, then another. Even baby steps, when taken consistently, will get you to the finish line.

I challenge you to dust off your old dream and give it new life.  Whether you use the questions above or vision cast – let yourself dream again.  My dream is to promote to Senior Director with Thirty One and be a member of the Gives Council.  TWO BIG dreams which are really scary but I’m not letting go of them this time.

Share your BIG scary dream with us!  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Why Thirty-One Gifts Now?

I know, you are thinking…. this is just another pitch to join a direct sales company.  Yes, it may look that way BUT have you ever thought about the difference in could make in your life.

What would you do with an extra $300 a month?  Imagine being able to pay your bills or even your mortgage payment each month with your Thirty-One income. What about extra-curricular activities for your kids, a new car for your family, or even paying for a family vacation, with CASH!  Imagine having the money you need for those “extras” you want for yourself and your family…EVERY…SINGLE…MONTH! .Can you visualize it or does it seem impossible?

I was one of those who never easy dreamed.  I lived paycheck to paycheck as a single mom.  I would do vision boards and then quickly have those dreams swallowed up in a pit of bills.  Take a minute and think about what you really want (or dream you had)…. I am inviting you dream because all of this (and more) has happened for so many Thirty-One consultants!  Me included!!!

WHAT IS THIRTY-ONE?
Thirty-One is a faith-based company offering a personalized shopping experience to our customers. We offer purses, totes, accessories, and organizing solutions for your home. The name is from Proverbs 31 and is built on the mission to Celebrate, Encourage, & Reward women!  Let’s be honest, we take care of EVERYONE, so we deserve a little something, right? Thirty-One began in 2003 in the Tennessee home of Scott and Cindy Monroe.  We are the #1 party plan company in the United States! Here is a piece of trivia for you…. There are over 15 million direct sellers in the US of which 80% are women, and less than 1% are Thirty-One consultants! The opportunity is HUGE!

Here is a video which shows to the heart of who we are:

Join my team by clicking here:

 

STEP 1:  Pick and Purchase your enrollment kit. You get to choose from TWO full enrollment kits!! Here is what is included in each one.  Which one is your FAVORITE?

Within 3-5 days after you enroll, you will receive a BIG HOT PINK BOX! Included in the box will be everything you need to get started including business supplies!

STEP 2: Plan Your Launch Party!

Successful consultants begin with a Launch Party!  When you host a party you have the opportunity to introduce your family and friends to your Thirty-One business!  I will be there to help with every step!  You’ll be the HOSTESS and the CONSULTANT for the party. So you will be earning commission from this party, and you’ll be raking in the hostess rewards too!

 

STEP 3:  Earn your Wishes rewards!

The Wishes Reward program is an extra incentive the company offers for new consultants, giving you a chance to earn even more FREE products, Disney gifts cards, VISA gift cards, and business supplies in your first four months.

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STEP 4:  Get PAID to PARTY!!
An average party at Thirty-One is about $600 and our consultants earn 25% commission. So, 25% of an average party is $150!! You get to choose how many parties you hold each month. The more you party, the more you earn. Where else can you get paid to hang out with friends, drink wine and eat yummy food! How much would you like to earn your first month?

We get paid by direct deposit on the 10th and 25th of every month.

 

STEP 5:  Get plugged in! 
When you join Thirty-One, you are in business for yourself, not by yourself.  You will be part of one of the largest teams in the company.  We are family (are you humming the song?) and I’m here to help!! Thirty-One offers online training available 24/7. There are local meetings and events with a director in your area, and National Conference happens in July each year!   We just celebrated our 15th Anniversary in Columbus this past weekend.  Additionally,  I am your Director and will support you with training and communication throughout your Thirty-One journey. We have team Facebook group where lots of great information is shared so you can connect with other women on our team!

Is your head spinning?  There is so much information.  Let’s make this as easy as possible:

  1. Purchase your enrollment kit for either $99 or $179
  2. Plan Your Launch Party for more FREE product as the hostess!
  3. Earn Wishes rewards (more FREE products  and/or gift cards during your first 4 months)!
  4. Get PAID to PARTY (25% commission from ALL your parties)!
  5. Get plugged in for support!

Simple, Easy & Fun!! In 5 easy steps you will be on your way to a SUCCESSFUL NEW BUSINESS!! What is the worst case scenario?  You make a little bit of money and have awesome products to keep.  OR, you will realize the more you party, the more fun you have, and the more you EARN!

Alright, so you are thinking, I’m a crazy busy mom (or working woman) and I don’t have time to party!  Maybe making some extra money isn’t your motivation….Here are some of the reasons other consultants have joined………

  • Extra money
  • Personal growth
  • Consultant perks & 40% discount on products
  • Friends
  • Fun

So…WHY would you join? Is it the fun, the friends, the extra money, or the perks? What most intrigues you about joining Thirty-One?  Have more questions, click here, and scroll to the bottom for more answers OR send me an email.  My business is an open book.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Leading By Example

Today I should have been heading to National Conference for Thirty One’s 15th Anniversary.  Instead, I am at home struggling with so many things.  Health issues were the main reason for not going but right now it is hard to wrap my head around it.  I’m ready to sit on my pity pot and feel sorry for myself.  The truth is 95% of my downline is not attending conference.  So as a leader, I need to take the lead and show them how to make the best of what many would say is a bad situation.

National conference is when the NEW Fall/Winter products are debuted.  The holiday line is showcased.  Upcoming specials and incentives are highlighted.  As a leader, I get to see what is coming in the new year to help us as consultants grow our business.

So, it is time to step up.  To show my team despite the setback of not being a conference, we can run our business successfully and create excitement for our customers.  I need to remember: “Leaders are in front of the pack because of what they do.  They take the lead!”.  Are you a leader with your direct sales company?  Do you want to be?

Here are three ways leaders stay at the front of the pack:

Leaders lead by example!  Your team members will follow your example.  Set the pace for your team by consistently selling and sponsoring.  I tell my team consistency is the key to success.  Consistency for you and your business may not look the same for me and my business. When you remember the “speed of the leader determines the pace of the pack,” you will be inspired to model those actions you are encouraging your team to take.

Leaders employ discipline!   I’m not always disciplined BUT I do have a routine which I adhere to every day which helps.  Leaders understand success requires daily action toward goals despite the demands of other obligations.  Develop the skills of organization and time management so you can make the most of the time you invest in your business.  Jim Rohn said it best, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”

  • Non-Party Plan Leaders:  It is easy to lead when your calendar is full of events, appointments, and meetings.  When your personal business is strong, you have places to train new Consultants. When you have a strong personal business, you are confident, excited, and unstoppable. I know I am!  If your personal business is not where you want it to be, take a look at your calendar.  Go back to the basics which made you successful!
  • Party Plan Leaders:  It is easy to book more parties and recruit more Consultants when your personal calendar is full.  When you have a strong line up of parties, and vendor events you have a place to train new Consultants.  When you have lots of parties, you are confident, excited, and unstoppable. If your party schedule is not where you want it to be, take a look at your calendar.  Pick the days you want to hold parties and use the time to get on the phone.  I know it can weigh 500-pounds but it will make a difference.

Be willing to:

  • Use a time management system which works for you – paper, digital, whatever!
  • Schedule time to work on your business. Set aside time for specific tasks and get them done!
  • Release time wasters.  Does binge watching a TV show bring you closer to your dreams?  Can you postpone scanning Facebook until you have a full schedule of business?  No, scanning Facebook will not book parties for you!  Do you spend a lot of time talking to friends about your business?  It is is not the same as doing business.

13697068_10157255058245220_4151882212395503940_n.jpgLeaders hold themselves accountable for their success!  Take responsibility for the results you achieve through your business.  If I am not happy where my business is, it is no one’s fault but my own.  When we place blame on others or make excuses for missed opportunities our power is diminished and it takes away from our ability to lead others.  Embrace life’s lessons, learn from them, and then let go so you can move on toward your remarkable future.  Letting go is hard but it is the only way we can more forward.

Be grateful for the mess of success; it’s more fun than the desert of loneliness.  I’m going to celebrate the awesome year I had over the next few days.  I’m going to stomp on those inner gremlins who want to play the comparison game.  I am going to lead my team to success as we launch the fall selling season.  What about you and your team?  What are you going to do?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Salisbury Steak

 

Today’s recipe is from Susan Popok of Traveling Vineyard.

This is one of her family go-to recipes….

Ingredients:

1 lb of ground turkey or ground beef

1 package. of dried onion soup mix

1 egg

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

3 TBSP butter (split in recipe)

1 TBSP olive oil

1 onion, sliced thinly

1 TBSP minced garlic

1/2 pound mushrooms

2 TBPS flour

14 oz beef broth (1 can)

1/4 cup white wine

Instructions:

  1. Form 4 oval patties with first 4 ingredients
  2. Brown in pan with 1 tbs each butter & olive oil, remove, to pan
  3. Add 2 tbsp. butter with thinly sliced onion, minced garlic & mushrooms
  4. Add flour
  5. Add beef broth and wine
  6. Return patties to pan, cover & simmer for 15 minutes

NOTE: You can substitute Brown Gravy mix for beef broth and wine.

Susan Popok is with Traveling Vineyard.  Here is a little bit about this awesome company:

Traveling Vineyard began with an idea back in 2001: it is hard to know if you like a wine unless you try it first. That thought launched our entire in-home wine tasting concept. Since then we have launched hundreds of Wine Guides into successful work at home jobs. Because unlike other direct selling concepts, everybody likes to relax, enjoy and taste some free wine.

Whatever the reason, our story is still only beginning to unfold. But since the very first day our mission has been crystal clear.  By making tastings less stuffy, we hope more people will get the chance to see the possibilities in every bottle. Our Wine Guides are committed to bringing joy through a relaxed home experience that educates and demystifies wine. By going out in our communities and sharing our love and passion, we seek to build friendships and great memories along the way. Together we’ll sip, savor and change the way the world sees, tastes and shops for wine.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!