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!

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!

On My Way…..NOT!

Today’s blog post has been re-written many times.  First filled with the excitement of earning the Leadership Incentive trip and heading on a FREE cruise with my daughter.  Then it was about the delayed cruise and spending some time in NC with Belinda.  This morning, I am re-writing again…
The Leadership Incentive Trip has officially been cancelled. Irma entered our lives and changed everything!  No, I don’t mean the cute clothes from LuLa Roe.  I mean the devastating hurricane which is leaving its mark every where it lands.  Devastating the Carribean as it makes it way to Florida and the US.  
I will admit, I had a pity party last night.  I long for some quality time with my daughter but sadly if Irma continues on the projected track, they will be in its path.  I have weathered many a hurricane but at the ripe old age of 60, I decided staying home was probably a better idea.  
Since the blog posts are already written for the next week while I was supposed to be traveling, I will still be sharing some of my top bog posts from the past.  Some may be tweaked but others will just be “throwbacks” of my most popular ones.  I have been reflecting on the earning period for the Leadership Incentive trip and why I was successful this time when I hadn’t been in the past.
If you are trying to change an aspect of your life, here are some tips which helped me – thank you Patty Lennon

1. Decide to succeed.

There is a goal you are striving for right now which is deeply personal and vital to you. Remove the possibility of NOT succeeding from your mind right now. This means each time you fall down, you get back up because any failure is temporary.  I will say, utilizing this mindset every month has helped me reach my monthly goals even during the dreaded “J” months.

I wanted to earn this trip as a gift for hubby for our 5th wedding anniversary.  I wanted him to experience my “pink bubble” so he would understand why it is so important to me.  So, in my mind success became inevitable. I was no longer willing to NOT succeed. Which leads to …

2. Get Support.

When you are reaching for a goal you have not achieved before whether it’s growing your business to a new level, changing your health or improving your relationships you will do far better if you have help.  Who can support you in achieving your goal?

I have been sharing my monthly goals with everyone – my team, my customers and basically anyone who would listen. They celebrated and encouraged me every step of the way.  When Negative Nellie stopped for a visit, I looked for someone to help me kick her to the curb.

3. Don’t Give Up.

Whatever goal is most important to you right now it is critical you not give up, especially if the goal is related to your business. The truth is most things fail the first time  around especially in business – whether it’s a new message, promotion or marketing campaign. It is NORMAL.  Everyone falls down. Your choice (and the choice which defines those who succeed) is whether you get back up.  Everything is possible when you make the decision to succeed. No matter what happens do not give up!

With my first LIT earned, what is next for me and my business?  I will admit planning for September has been a struggle.  A holiday weekend led into getting ready for a week away.  I was hoping earning the trip would keep me motivated but the truth is, Vacation Veronica is knocked on my door. As I ponder what to do this week, I am setting my goal for September and am working on a plan to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip again next year.

Using these tips has helped me in my business so I am I am going to apply them to my weight loss journey to see what happens.  I am just 7 pounds away from being back at goal weight so it is non-negotiable.  I want to celebrate reaching my goal and not look back.

The truth is “the Divine will light your path with miracles to make it easier as you go.”  Send your positive energy into the Universe.  What is your goal?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Staff Meetings?

monday morningOkay so it is really Wednesday and it is HUMP Day!  For some it may seem like a Monday with kids heading back to school. Back to school usually means a new routine for your business.  No, our kids are grown but I still remember the struggle of back to school week.

I am getting things set up as I leave on Saturday for 7 days of NO WIFI and limited phone connection.  Yes, I am putting down the electronics for a few days (by force since I will be cursing – LOL).

Mentally, I am already gone… it is really hard to focus BUT I am trying to ensure my business does not suffer from Vacation Veronica this month.  August was AWESOME, actually the whole summer was good even those “dreaded J months”.  My numbers weren’t as high as last year but close enough.  So I definitely want to keep up the momentum.  How many of you coasted through the summer meeting your minimums? Maybe you lowered your goals to be sure you met them.  I’ve been there…I did it for my first 5 years as a consultant, then I decided to do things a little different.  Did you set a goal to do better over the summer but then fell into the same Vacation Veronica syndrome?  Admit it – we often let life run our business.  Our lack of structure or systems has kicked us in the butt!

Well, the kids are back to school.  The busy holiday season is rapidly approaching and I for one am ready to grab as much business as possible.  What about you?

Deb Bixler, a home party plan coach, posted this comment in the Women in Business Facebook group:

At the end of every week, have a meeting with yourself. How did I do this week? What do I need to accomplish next week? Am I stuck on anything, and if so, who can help me?

I have an AWESOME planner (Passion Planner) which hubby got for me (this is year two).  which pushes me to do this every week.  I know, it is crazy BUT it has really helped me to focus on my business.  Yes, I squirreled….

Have you or do you currently work some place where they have weekly staff meetings?  You know the ones you hate – come together to talk about what needs to be done or the status of current projects.  I had them all of the time when I was managing a non-profit.  I never thought of having one in my own business.  Why would I – I have a team not a staff.  The truth is this is a great way to take the LONG To Do list and narrow it down for the week.

Summer is over, and it is time to put some structure back in your business.  I always thought structure was for everyone else NOT my home based/direct sales business.  Crazy, right?  I used to avoid structure and fly by the seat of my pants.  Where did it get me?  Decreasing sales each year.  Low party numbers. Low recruiting numbers.  Overall, a poor example for my team. WOW!  If this isn’t a reality check, I don’t know what is!  Tell me I am not alone!!!!When we reframe our thinking, we change the perception and the Universe blesses us with abundance.  Structure doesn’t have to be boring.  Structure doesn’t have to suffocate you.  Structure helps us to set systems in place so we can reach our goals.  When I look back at earning LIT (Leadership Incentive Trip), my systems were working (I didn’t even realize I had any)!  I know for some this was a no brainer but for me it was a new thing.

I thought my system was sitting in my office every morning with a daily checklist of things to do.  I marked them off the list and thought I had accomplished something.  The truth was, it was (and sometimes still is) busy work – not income producing activities.  The truth was I didn’t have a system.  The tasks were just tasks.

About 6 months ago, I totally revamped my systems and included a weekly meeting.  Yup, any Sunday night, you can find me talking to myself as I lay out the upcoming week and reflect on the past week.  Has it worked?  I would have to say YES!  My sales have been consistent over the last 6 months.  I am seeing some growth in my business – new customers and new hostesses.  Recruiting is not where I want it to be BUT I keep sharing and keep asking.  I know God is waiting for the right people to join my team.

What is on YOUR agenda for your weekly meeting? Share your best tip for staying on track in your business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Beat the Summer Slump

Have you experienced the summer slump?  Did Vacation Veronica drop on your doorstep when the kids got out of school and never leave?  Have you looked at your Fall calendar and realized it is empty?

Many of us experience the summer slump.  When I was working in the non-profit world, it was a time when we took things a little easier.  As Belinda was growing up, it was when I took time off for major events in our personal life.  Why?  Because we are laid back in the summer.  The world (at least at the Jersey shore) moves a little slower.

When I started my Thirty One journey, my summers were pretty much the same way.  I didn’t ask people to party so as a result my summer slump became a fall fiasco!  My sales in the summer slowed to a dribble which made for a quiet Fall despite always having a new catalog.  “Summer slump” – most retailers and business owners experience it so why not you, right?

This season I did things a little different.  Everyone is online – from grocery shopping to clothes shopping to buying large items for the home.  So, I went virtual too. I became the face my customers associated with Thirty One.  I didn’t want them to be asked “who is your consultant” and they say “not sure” or “I don’t have a regular one”.  I wanted them to say “It is Hope and here is her information”.

Are thinking, I’ve been in a summer slump, my calendar is bare for September so it is “hopeless”.  WAIT!  Don’t let negativity overwhelm you! There is still plenty you can do to hit your sales goals for the fall.

FIRST! Kick Vacation Veronica to the curb.  Schedule some time to work on your business – even if it is just 20 minutes a day.  You will be surprised what you can get done in 20 minutes when you are focused.

It is time to work your business.  Despite being pretty happy with my business all summer, I was entering a new phase – 95% online business with Facebook parties, vendor events and an occasional home party.  YIKES!  It is scary but I am determined to make it work.  I mean it has all summer so why not into the busy holiday season, right? “Wine Down” has been the most popular themed Facebook party for September.  I mean who doesn’t like wine, right?

If you haven’t been working your business – it is time to get busy.  Here are some ways to ramp up your business these last 2 weeks of August so you are getting back on track for September….

#1 Upcoming Event and Celebration Packages.

Kids are headed back to school, fall sports are starting, people are looking to raise money… the list goes on.  People are getting together to celebrate  (any excuse for a party, right?).   Why not create some special packages for all the different types of celebrations and reach out now to offer your products. This could be as a present for others or for their own personal use.  Here are some examples of celebrations and events: Back to School, Weddings, Anniversaries, Family BBQs and reunions, etc.

#2 Show-on-the-Go.

Are you always prepared for a mini show presentation?  I have a mobile office in my trunk with some products ready to show off to anyone who asks.  Are you a walking billboard for your products? Be sure you always have your product on hand to demonstrate to potential customers.  Don’t miss an opportunity to share your products!  Have your business card ready – actual or electronic.  It means you will have to follow up with them but who knows what could develop…

#3 Follow-Up.

Just because your customers are away, doesn’t mean they don’t want to benefit from your products or replenish their stock.  I am always amazed when I get a text from a customer looking for a product they saw while on vacation.  Follow-up means getting on the phone, text or Facebook message (their preference) your customers and see how they’re doing. Also let them know if they are away, you can ship their products to wherever they want!

#4 Create More Content.

Did you know this is one of the most important things you can do online to help generate more profit for your business?  Videos, blog posts, demonstrations, tutorials and more.  Get in the frame of mind to teach people more about what you do and offer them value. The more you share, the more interested they become in your products. This is a great time to ramp up VIP Group and create amazing content for your Business Page.

#5 Markets and Vendor Events.

Check out the local fairs, markets and vendor events. Find local markets in your area and inquire about renting a table.  Many of the markets continue through September.  Look for those holiday vendor/craft events to help you gain new customers and get out of the summer slump.

What will you do to KICK your Fall into gear?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!