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!

 

Does Your Dream and Faith Go Together?

Many DREAM BIG!  For some it may be their own home, others it is retirement, maybe it is owning your own business or traveling the world. For some, they don’t know how to dream. I know it may sound crazy but I was one of those people (and some days still am).  The struggles of life get in the way and you begin to limit your dreams.  Or, maybe you don’t dream at all because you can’t see the forest for all of the trees.A DREAM is defined as “contemplating the possibility of doing something”.  Being able to envision it is the first step.  I DREAM BIG (most days) in my business and my personal life but I have to admit it is with hesitation.  No hate mail, please.  I second guess things all the time which leads me to FAITH.  FAITH is believing in things you can not see.  I know I have talked about this before but I think this is a new take on an old theme.

Some days, do you feel like you are a hamster on a wheel?  Running and running, doing the same thing day after day, the same way – expecting different results.  We dream of how we would like things to be but we continue to do things the same way – getting the same results and only occasionally reaching our DREAMS!  God (or your Higher Power) has dreams for us – he has a plan and despite our best efforts to do things our way, he will prevail.  Honestly, I am not sure what direction this blog is taking but I am hoping it touches someone’s heart.

For years, my professional (business) DREAM has been to mentor women connecting them with the resources necessary to help them reach their personal, professional and financial goals.  When I look back on my professional career, there are times I feel like I have reached my dream.  When I was at South Jersey AIDS Alliance, I worked with women helping them through the struggles of living life with their HIV status while raising their kids.  When I was at Bethel, working with an underserved populations, it was a little tougher but we were able to help many women grow and prosper in the community.  When I started my Thirty One business, and my blog, I wondered if the dream had changed or was there just another path for it to take?

Health struggles created fear and doubt in me – more than the usual. I am blessed to be a part of leadership with Thirty One.  Another opportunity to work with women and DREAM BIG. My definition of mentoring has changed slightly.  It has become more about inspiring others to dream, helping to build their confidence, setting goals (large or small) and then reaching for them.

The truth is dreaming with a lack of Faith is not a good combination.  I dream but those inner gremlins like to test my faith.  Dreaming combined with Faith will allow you to reach those dreams.  I am not saying there won’t be struggles along the way but those struggles are blessings in disguise helping you to reach your dream.  I tell my team all of the time “I believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself”.  Why is it so easy to believe and encourage others yet we find it so hard to do ourselves (or at least I do)?I am dreaming BIG but my Faith gets a little shaky.  I have heard if you CLAIM IT, it will be yours.  Do you struggle with this concept?  Do you feel like you “don’t deserve the dream”?  As I get ready for the next hurdle in my MS journey, I wonder where my dream will go.  

Do you have dreams?  Is your FAITH strong enough to help you reach those dreams?  TRUST and BELIEVE God’s plan will help you reach your DREAM as long as you have FAITH in what you can not see.

I hope this was blog strikes a nerve with someone and has helped you.  As for me, I am continuing to DREAM BIG, those Super Size DREAMS where my FAITH stands firm in God’s promise.

Any good words of wisdom on how to get off the hamster wheel and lean on FAITH to reach my DREAMS?

faith

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Now is the Time to Grow Your Business

We are kicking off the busiest selling season of the year which is the perfect time to think about growing your business.  I mean people are shopping, ready to spend money on those they love and you have amazing products to offer them.  So, building your business now should be easy right?  Many of us will do 60% of our sales during the next 6 to 8 weeks, BUT we want the business to keep moving forward, right?  I don’t know about you BUT I like getting a regular paycheck.

This is the time of year when we get to connect with new and repeat customers.  We get to share all of the newness of the holiday gift guides and help them to find the perfect gift for those they love.  What happens when the holiday excitement fades?  Will your business fall flat or will it continue to grow or at least maintain an even pace?

This time of year gets me excited.  There are lots of vendor events connecting with other direct sellers and business owners.  I get energized thinking about new ways to build my business.  For those of us in direct sales, we know to build your business, you need to:

Sell, Book, & Recruit

Sales are easy during the busiest selling season of the year.  Vendor events open the door to new customers.  We get to introduce our product to people who have never heard of our companies.  Lots of customers result in an increase in sales, right?  Potential customers are all around us.  Sharing our passion about our products along with tips and tricks is something which comes easily for most of us.

Booking and recruiting can get a little harder.  Despite the fact I love the company I am with, the hostess benefits are awesome and I am blessed to have it pay all of my bills as I work from home; I still stumble over words when talking to someone about having a party or becoming a consultant.  Crazy, right?

So what is the trick to turning customers into hosts and recruits which will help to grow your business?  The truth is not everyone is going to be interested in having a party or becoming a consultant and it is OK.

Here are 3 simple ways to increase the number of customers who turn into hosts and new team members.

Strategy 1: Keep it all about them.

When we share our hostess program or business opportunity, how often is the focus on us as the consultant?  I can hear all of the denials but sometimes it is tough to turn “our needs for sales/bookings” into being all about them, right?   We need to practice talking about how it could benefit THEM.  As a business, people need to see how it can fit into their life and add value to it.  The key is building a relationship with our customers and then sharing the VALUE of what you have to offer with confidence!

Asking questions and offering solutions to fill their needs, helps our success rate go up. Whether tit is for the discount on the products,  time with friends/family, or a chance to earn extra money, YOU offer solutions.

Strategy 2: Uncover their concerns.

The key to finding new hosts and customers is knowing how to listen. If you ask someone if they would like to have a party and they say, “no”, don’t be too quick to move on from the conversation. Asking more questions doesn’t have to be pushy or salesy.  You can simply ask “is there anything holding you back?”  Then LISTEN to their response, it allows you to overcome their objections

Validate their concern and offer a solution along with some encouragement.  Who knows you could turn a no into a yes. Take time to find out more about their hesitation.

Strategy 3: Consistently Follow-Up

When someone says “no”, do you ask them if it is okay to check back with them at another time?  Then do you actually follow-up?

Think about when you were invited to attend something. Maybe you initially said, “Thanks for the invitation, but I’ve got so much going on I won’t be able to attend.”  A few days go by and the same person asks you if you are attending.  Now you respond with, “I don’t know. Maybe. I’ll have to see how my schedule pans out.”  Another week or so goes by and you get a messaging from the person saying they are hoping to see you at the event. This time you say, “You know what. It sounds like fun. Yeah, I’ll see you there!”

It happens all of the time. Initially, someone may decline to join your team or host a party, simply because they are busy and don’t want to think about it.  Then some time passes, if you reach out again they may be more open to the idea. A “no” doesn’t mean never contact me again, just not at this time.  You will miss opportunities if you don’t follow-up.  Remember, follow-up is important because needs and situations change.

When we focus on the needs of our customers, uncovering their concerns, and following up consistently, you will turn more customers into hosts and recruits.

A little long but hopefully it will help you to extend this busy selling season into the new year.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

The November Turkey Trot

Halloween is behind us so the next BIG day is Thanksgiving paired with Black Friday, right?  So let’s kick off November with some Thirty One excitement…

This week’s produce of the week is AMAZING!  It combines the benefits of a thermal tote and cinch sac. The Quick Cinch Thermal has a spacious interior for transporting snacks for the family, groceries and more, as well as an exterior flat pocket for papers, mail, cell phone or planner. The drawstring closure keeps everything safe and secure, and when not in use, it rolls up for easy storage. It is washable and wipeable which makes clean ups easy.  Monogramming and personalization options are available.  Now when you grab one of these, you can take advantage of this month’s customer special – the Medium Utility Tote. 

Yes, it is back for this month (actually only till the 21st of November) ONLY!  The best part is with a $35 purchase, you can grab the medium utility tote for $10 and add an insert for $10.  That’s right with just ONE $35 purchase, you can get TWO specials in any combination.  How awesome is that?

You know the BEST way to enjoy this special is by sharing it with your friends, right?  So how about a 31-minute Facebook party – not like one you have ever been to.  I have two options this month: #1 a 31-minute party with just the highlights (and no fluff) or #2 a simple (only 6 posts) easy Facebook event where your friends can order their holiday gifts.

I will still send you a hostess packet so you can share it with your local friends, family and co-workers.  PLUS everyone who orders or hosts a party, will be invited to my VIP Customer Appreciation BINGO event (online) with $200 in FREE products to be given away.

So, let’s recap what you get for just gathering 6 orders (all it takes for a $200 party):

An average Facebook party (with a little help from you) is about $600 which gives you the chance to take advantage of the November Hostess Special:

How many people could you check off your holiday gift list with the free and discounted products you earn for hosting a party?  Maybe even treat yourself to something special.

Have you been crunching numbers to try and figure out YOUR holiday budget?  No time for a part-time job?  You work full-time?  Are a mom taxi 24/7?  What if I told you, you could make up to $1000 and be able to have a debt-free holiday?  Impossible right?  You are thinking not enough hours in your day….. I may be able to help with an invest of $99 by you:

Share the catalog with friends, family and co-workers.  You would do it anyway if you were hosting a party, right?  Why not get paid to help them do their holiday shopping?  What is the worse that could happen?  You have ALOT of your holiday gift shopping done with just an investment of $99.  OR, you could make some money, earn some free product and enjoy a stress-free (okay, maybe not totally) holiday season.

    

Which would you like to do?

#1 Shop for the product of the week (or any of our amazing product).  Spend $35 and get a Medium Utility Tote and Insert for $20

#2 Gather some friends (via online, Facebook, home, or for coffee/drinks). Earn FREE and discounted products.

#3 Join my team and earn money (and products) for a stress and debt-free holiday season.

The choice is yours?  Which will it be?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Moving on With MS

Today we are headed to the MS Center in Teaneck for my annual visit.  Truth is, I am really nervous.  The last year has brought some definite changes in my health.  I don’t always notice them but on a recent visit with my daughter in NC, she told me she is seeing the change and not for the good.

So for those who may be new to my blog, I will give you a brief history lesson.  I was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) in February 2016.  I should say, I was told I had it BUT the doctors didn’t want to write it anywhere except on my chart.  See my symptoms didn’t fit the checklist they had for an MS patient.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) covering nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.

Let me back up just a little bit. For years, I have been complaining about not being able to remember things. As a recovering addict of 26 years, I always said “the drugs killed my brain cells” and life went on.

Fast forward to about 4 years ago when after my husband suffered a health crisis, he started saying ” you are different”. I talked about “not remembering things” to the doctor but no one seemed concerned. Then there were other health issues: IBS, glaucoma, chest wall syndrome (yes, it is real), unexplained weight gain, loss of sex drive (yes, I am telling all), adjustment disorder with depression and periodontal disease. Believe it or not, I was okay with it ALL until the night I fell apart telling hubby how bad the memory issue had become. I truly thought I was on the same road as my grandmother – Alzheimer’s. At my  next primary appointment, we finally got him to listen to how bad things were with my memory.

After countless visits to the Neurologist, MRIs, a spinal tap, endless blood tests, and an EEG – there was no treatment options available.  Just wait.  So wait we did, and in 6 months, I was blessed with no changes in my lesions.  Then in June 2017, we noticed some more changes.  Difficulty with my joints, not sleeping, and mood swings.  The new MRIs showed more and enlarged lesions so it was time to take action.

For some it may sound crazy but I opted to wait until now to go to the MS Center for treatment options. Why?  I didn’t want to be sick for the Leadership Incentive Trip.  I wasn’t sure what the future held and I wanted to enjoy the trip with my daughter. In the meantime, I have been working with a chiropractor using holistic options to help with some symptoms.  An adjustment monthly helps with the tingling.  A gluten free and dairy free diet has helped me to feel better.  The CBD oil and the iodine drops help with brain fog. It is a journey and I definitely struggle with all of the things I can’t eat.

This is not about a “pity” party or being Negative Nellie. Just for today, it is about squashing the inner gremlins who want this life challenge to defeat me.  I am not ready to give up fighting but some days it is hard to keep up the fight.

So, today we head to the MS Center to see the MS doctor.  I’m fearful but I trust God has a plan for me.

I am blessed to be able to work from home.  My WHY is about giving back to others and not letting MS take over my life. I will continue to use my business and my blog to encourage others who are struggling with this disease or any chronic disease. I want to bring a smile to those who are struggling on the inside but on the outside look “normal”.

Life has definitely become a challenge for my friends and my family. They have learned to be more patient, not only with me but with each other.  They are learning even if “I can’t remember”, I still care.  We are learning to embrace each moment – pictures become more important than ever – they do help me to remember a little.

“My planner” is the key to keeping my life in order.  I am learning I can still have a successful business despite the memory issues – lots of notes, systems and a sense of humor.  My customers are amazing despite my inability to remember the names of products or prints.  I am amazed with 98% of my business being online, I am able to grow and pay my bills.  Customers even joke when I call them by the wrong name or confuse them with someone else.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog which is definitely more personal than I have written in a long time. All I ask is you continue to keep me (and my family) in prayer, and be understanding when I give you a blank look as if to say “I should know you but I don’t”.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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