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!

 

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!

 

 

Throwback: Rockstar Recruiting

This post first appeared on August 18, 2014.  rock star recruiting

First of all, I need to say I am far from a Rock Star when it comes to recruiting.  I have been blessed in my business with the recruits I have and this is an area where I continue to work on to so I can share the gift of Thirty One.

At the suggestion of my Director, I have ordered the book,  “Be A Recruiting Superstar” by Mary Christiansen.  I am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can study it and become a Recruiting Rock Star this year.  Yes, it is one of my goals.  If I become one, then my team will become recruiting rock stars.  I have a team member who rolled up, who is a ROCK STAR when it comes to recruiting and as a result, her team is rocking it.

Here are the top 5 tips from the book…..

Tip #1:  Always have your antenna up for potential team members. Make it a daily habit to think: “Who will be interested in starting their own business?” or “Why will they be interested?”  Our entire Celebrate and Connect meeting was on this topic.  I heard some great ideas I need to put into practice.  This is one is key.  My antenna isn’t up except at a party and as a result, I am sure I miss out on a lot of really good potential recruits.  If you’re not looking you can be sure someone else will find them. 

Tip #2:  A sincere compliment is a winning conversation starter and you’ll sponsor more by making it all about your prospects. Think before you speak: “Why am I approaching this person to join my team?” and let them know it!

  • To a customer who is always friendly: “Because you’re always so friendly. I feel good when I call you.” OR “You’re one of my favorite customers and I would love to work with you.”
  • To a favorite host: “Your party was my best this month and it was definitely because you were a great host. We would be thrilled to have you on our team.” OR “I would love my other team members to meet you. We’re a fun group and you are exactly the kind of person we love joining us.”
  • To a close friend or sibling: “Because I keep thinking how much fun it would be to work this together and maybe even get to travel together.”

Tip #3:  Try an attitude adjustment.  Change your thinking to: “If I’m not getting lots of no’s I’m clearly not asking enough people.” We’d all prefer to say no than not be invited. This statement is a game changer for me.

Tip #4:  I LOVE this mantra: “I know my next Consultant is here today. My job is to work out who it is.” With the absolute certainty that she was in the room with me, possibly sitting right in front of me, I focused on identifying her Start with talking less and interacting more to make it easy for us to connect.  With my revamped party format, thank you Melissa Fietsam, I will be talking less and interacting more.  Time to have fun as well as plant those seeds.

Tip #5:  Step into their shoes! Your enthusiastic, impulsive Peacocks will respond to compliments, and the fun, social aspect of direct selling! Don’t be too casual with your analytical owls, they will expect you to be ready with the facts and figures! You’ll be challenged by your competitive eagle so be direct and businesslike; and give your wary Wrens space to make a decision. When you learn to identify and adapt to your prospect’s personalities you’ll see better results.

So, my antenna is up, I am stepping into their shoes, LISTENING more and TALKING less.  Who is ready to be a ROCK STAR Recruiter?  Have some tips that have worked for you?  Please share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Be the Change

Every where you turn, people are looking to make a difference.  Some are doing it on a worldwide scale while others are reaching out on a smaller level, in their own neighborhoods or amongst their friends and family.  In this crazy busy life we lead, it is  important to reflect and access what we add to our world, in our day-to-day lives, with our loved ones, with our work associates, with our neighbors, and with those who we meet along the way.

Every moment of every day, we have the ability to make the world a better place through the choices we choose to make.

No matter what you do, you are aware of the importance of first impressions but particularly in direct sales.  The people you meet are trying to decide if you’re trying to get something from them, or if you truly want to share your heart.  What kind of impression do you give?

When you reach out to a stranger, what is your purpose?  If it all about you, you are missing out on the connection you could have with them. If you are joy-filled, they will see your heart and know your purpose is to “be the change.” in their lives.  By sharing a smile, a heartfelt compliment, or a sincere comment, you can make their day; more importantly, you can change their day.

If you are in direct sales and have a team, think about the people on your team – the ones who have chosen to connect with you. They believed (and hopefully still do) in you, and for whatever reason, decided to follow you.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you continue to share your heart with them – the good, the bad and the ugly?
  • Are they still engaged, or do you see them disengaging?
  • Do they participate by attending meetings, getting on calls, and attending events?
  • Are you connecting with them ONLY to talk about numbers and what you need?
  • Have they pulled back because they don’t feel connected anymore?
  • Are they confused, unsure, or just don’t believe their dreams can be achieved?

Reconnecting takes some work on your part.  On a recent coaching call, someone pointed out they saw a difference in the way I was connecting with my team and the impact it was having.  What was the difference?  I have been gut honest – the good, the bad and the not so pretty.  I have been sharing my struggles as well as the highlights with them.  I have done Facebook LIVE and shared my tears and struggles.  I have encouraged them and cried with them.

Are you looking to reconnect with your team (or maybe even a friend), here are some tips:

  • Send a heartfelt handwritten postcard, letting them know why they are special.
  • Invite them to a fun event. Something they would enjoy doing, if you aren’t sure – ASK!
  • Take them out for coffee, a snack or a meal. Take time to reconnect.
  • Listen to find out where they are in their life and find out if anything has changed.
  • Send a thank–you note to them. Let them know you appreciate the time they took to reconnect with you.

These kinds of connections in direct sales are being called “pulse checks”.  Checking the pulse of your team (or friends) to see how their life is going.  I am always surprised when I ask my team “how are things going”, they immediately respond with things related to their business.  When they do, it makes me sad to think they believe I am only interested in their business and not in sincerely wanting to connect with them

Re-framing their perception can be tough.  It takes action on our part, follow-through and sincerely wanting to be the change.

Like in life, there’s one thing every direct seller can count on, and it’s change. We are in the midst of those dreaded “J” months.  Maybe you had a couple of really great months, then it feels like the bottom falls out. We have all been there.  It is the ebb and flow of the business we are in – or any business really.  The excitement and early success of a new business can often be met by the reality and emotional roller coaster which frustrates so many.

Will you make a difference in the life of others?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

60 Is Just a Number

Another milestone….. yes, believe it or not, today is my 60th birthday!  Do I feel 60? Nope!  Okay, well some days.  Today is going to be a day of reflection and probably some tears. I am blessed to celebrate waking up this morning.  No matter what the day may bring, I know it will be WONDERFUL!  I’m determined to be positive and make the most of it.  I’m excited I get to spend the day with my mom.

Birthdays are milestones in our lives.  As children, they are a day (or sometimes a week or even a month) where the focus is on us.  Filled with presents, parties, family, friends and of course cake and ice cream.  As the years go by, life “happens” and things change.

The past year has been filled with ups and downs.  Ongoing health challenges, giving up my JOB to work my business full-time, more memory loss and most recently the loss of my dad.  Through it all I believe every day is a gift from God with a blessing to be found.

Truth be told for many years “birthdays” were just another day when low self-esteem and lack of confidence and those nasty inner gremlins made me feel like I didn’t deserve a celebration. I have always been great at giving but I’m not very good at receiving.  Today, I am looking at them a little differently – have I grown up?  Don’t count on it!  My dad was all about living life to the fullest and his passing is probably one of the reasons why TODAY is the day I stop saying “it is just another day”.   Today is a gift from God  to be able to spend another day with family and friends.  The celebration doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to have lots of presents (maybe just one or two)

As a child, one of my favorite celebrations was the annual trip to New York City to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus. This annual tradition was a treat from Edythe and Elsie. It included the circus and dinner in NY. I always felt so grown up! Both of them are now our guardians angels in heaven and the circus performed for the last time last month.

I have to admit the tears are starting to flow, tears of joy mixed with some sadness:

  • I grateful for my daughter, Belinda.  She has grown into an AMAZING woman who I am proud to call my friend.  Life was not always easy but she turned adversity into a learning lesson.  God could not have given me a greater gift then to be her mom.
  • To my mom….thank you for always being there.  We are not just mother and daughter, but we are friends.  The miles may separate us but I know you are only a phone call away or a short drive to Mays Landing.  You are always one of my biggest cheerleaders.
  • To my dad….who is now watching over me from heaven.  It was a rough year but through it all, you encouraged and supported me.  You taught me to embrace life, living it to the fullest every day and to chose JOY, even on a bad day so everything will be okay. I miss you daddy!
  • To my bestie, Stephanie. Who would have thought when our daughters met in pre-school, became best friends – we would be besties?  I am so blessed to have you in my life.  We have been through good times and bad but through it all, we were there to support and encourage each other.
  • To my Thirty One family.  An amazing group of women who have loved and supported me in my darkest days.  My team is AWESOME and they inspire me daily.  My hostesses and customers are so much more than just “orders”, building friendships with many of them.   They all hold a special place in my heart.  It is with their help and support I am able to work my business full-time.
  • Lastly, to my hubby (who probably won’t read this)…who is my ROCK!  I know I am not the easiest to live with (imagine that?) but you are always there, standing strong and supporting me.  Your support and encouragement in my Thirty One “business” gives me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for being one of my greatest cheerleaders.

There are many more people I could (and probably should) thank or talk about from this year.  It has been an AMAZING journey for me and I am looking forward to the blessings God has for me in this new year.  I can’t believe I am actually 60 years old – okay, so it is only a number, right?

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Hope you have ThirtyOne-derful day!