What do you think of when you read the word momentum? Think of a marathon runner, keeping the pace, never slowing down to let the person on his tail overtake him. Just as a marathon runner holds a steady pace, so as to not expend his energy too quickly and sputter out, so should we in direct sales.
How do we do that? What is a steady pace in direct sales and how do we keep from sputtering out? Here are some tips and suggestions to help you get the momentum and keep the momentum going to help build a strong direct sales business.
1. Start off strong but steady. Don’t take off too hard and fast. Book your first six shows but no more. Book them over a two week period, 3 in the first week and 3 in the 2nd week. From there you will get other bookings for the following weeks, taking everything nice and steady. You don’t want to overbook yourself from the start because you will feel tired out and then get burned out from the get go and your family probably won’t like that you’re gone all the time. Having a lot of shows to deal with – until you create a system to handle it all -makes it harder to keep records then you get behind and feel unorganized. Starting out with a steady pace will keep you organized and going strong during your direct sales career.
2. Keep the momentum going by setting a goal of getting at least two bookings from every show. Be sure to book your new shows the same as in step one; 3 in one week and 3 the next week. In many direct sales businesses, holding 3 shows a week is enough to earn a good income. You will probably have a team meeting one day a week and the fourth day you will need for record keeping and organizing. If you need to hold more shows, choose the 3 days in a week and hold 2 or 3 shows each day. You could do a morning and afternoon or evening show. Be sure you are prepared with meals and check with your family first. You don’t want to be gone 8 hours a day, 3 days a week when your family needs you.
3. Set aside one day a week for record keeping, organization and follow up phone calls. This is very important. You need one day to update your records, record your sales and receipts from the previous week and make follow up phone calls to your new clients, new hostesses and old clients and for sales calls. If you keep a steady pace in doing these things, you will keep up your momentum and your business will grow and succeed. You won’t get behind and then have piles of receipts to catch up on, sales to record and phone calls to make. You will be offering your customers good customer service by making regular phone calls they can count on.
4. Set your long term goal and then set smaller, weekly goals to reach your long term goal. Some good weekly goals to keep the momentum are:
- Hold a set number of shows a week. If you don’t get your bookings at your shows then make phone calls to those who showed some interest but didn’t book at a show. Maybe the time wasn’t right or they didn’t think they could fit it in their schedule, but now perhaps something has changed. You never know unless you call. Make those calls – it’s your job. If you were working in an office and didn’t make the required calls you would probably get fired. Just keep repeating, “The phone is my friend.”
- Set a dollar amount in sales to reach each week. How much money does your family need to pay the bills or to buy those extra things you normally can’t afford? Take into account what your commission is and then set your goal to sell a certain amount each week. You will need to know how many shows you will need to hold to reach the dollars in sales that you want, so set your show goals accordingly as well.
5. When you find your momentum slowing down a bit, and it will, re-energize your business by making some warm market calls and some cold market calls. In these tough economic times, your resources like friends and family and their friends and family may run out, so you will need to find some new resources. Warm market and cold market calls may be just the ticket you need to reach a whole new set of people you wouldn’t have probably reached otherwise, so don’t be afraid or intimidated by making those phone calls.
6. Perhaps your momentum is slowing down because you didn’t reach some goals and you feel like you’ve failed. Remember this: You only fail when you stop trying. To get your momentum going again, set some new and exciting goals. Is the company offering any new incentives for sales or recruits? Then set your goals to reach those incentives You can change your goals, but never stop setting them and striving to reach them. If you always have goals to reach you will never stop growing.
Just like a marathon runner, when you start out steady and strong, keep a steady pace and look toward the goal, you will keep the momentum and your direct sales business will grow and be successful. Simply follow these steps and refer back to them often when you need some reenergizing and to get the momentum going again!
photo credit: Lindsay N. Kelly
You’ve signed the agreement and paid for your starter kit. You’re excited about starting a new career in the company that sells your favorite products and now it’s time to book your first shows.
The key to success in your direct sales business is holding shows, selling products and recruiting new team members. To get your business rolling, you need to get some shows booked so that you can meet the people to make the sales and sign up new team members. You can do all of this while you’re waiting for your kit to arrive and if you have someone that wants to book a show before you get your kit, well, that’s fine, too. Your up line leader will be happy to share some items to display until your kit comes. Here are some great suggestions for getting your first shows booked.
The key to momentum is to get those shows booked today! Sit down and start a list of everyone you know. Use F.R.A.N.K. to help you get some ideas – Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbors & Kids (friends’ mothers, etc.) Make a long list of everyone you talk you, everywhere you go, whenever you go grocery shopping or running errands. Then start calling them, or talking to them as you see them, one by one. Take an hour each day to do this. Make it part of your daily business routine. Fall in love with your telephone. This “power hour” will become important to the growth of your business.
Start with the easiest person first, the one you know will say yes because they love and support all your efforts. Maybe this is your mom, best friend, or sister. Don’t know what to say? Your up line leader will be able to help you with that but if you want to get started and don’t want to wait for her, here’s a little script that will get you going. Be natural and real, a smile on your face will add a smile to your voice. Feel free to adlib and don’t feel like you have to “sell” them something.Okay, here’s the script:
Potential Hostess: Hello (that’s her answering the phone)
You: Hi (Hostess’ Name) This is (your name) How are you?
Potential Hostess: I’m doing good! How are you?
You: I just started a new career as a sales consultant with (insert name of your company).
Potential Hostess: Oh yeah! I went to one of those parties a few months ago. I really like the (insert name of product).
You: Oh great! Then you’re familiar with their stuff? Well, I’m just starting out and am starting to build my business, when would you like to have a show for me? (Did you notice how that question is posed? It requires more than a yes or no answer.)
Potential Hostess: Oh, well let me look at my calendar, hang on……..(waiting)……uuummm, let’s see, how about 2 weeks from tomorrow?
You: That works for me. I have 4:00 or 6:00 open, which will work for you? (Remember, you are in control of your schedule so give them a couple of options to choose from).
Potential Hostess: How about 6:00 that way I can have dinner done for my hubby when he gets home.
You: Sounds good. (Write in your datebook immediately). Okay, how many guests do you think you’ll have?
Potential Hostess: I can ask my mom, and Chuck’s wife, oh and let’s see…oh my friend at work was at the other party I went too and liked the stuff too, so I will see if she wants to come.
You: Oh, how about that lady you met at church a couple of weeks ago? Remember, she is new in town? I bet she’d like to meet some new people. (Make suggestions of people for them).
Potential Hostess: Oh yeah! I will ask her on Sunday.
You: Okay, and when you think of others, just let me know. I will send out the invitations (if that’s what the direct sales company suggests) to your guests, so get me their names and addresses as soon as you can. I will call you in 3 days to get those, okay?
Potential Hostess: Sounds good!
Say your goodbyes and make the next call. Do not forget to follow up! Follow up, follow up, follow up! Ingrain those words in your brain right now!
There are, of course, different scenarios that will play out. And your Potential Hostess might not say yes (I can’t imagine!) She may be too busy or something. If that happens, simply move on to the next person on your list. Always be polite and professional. You never want to be rude to them because they may change their mind and have a show for you in the future. Treat everyone you talk to as a potential customer!
Okay, so you got your first 4 shows booked! Good start! Your first show is in a couple of days so you need to get organized and don’t have time to make more phone calls right now because hubby needs dinner or the baby needs their bed time story. The goal is to get bookings from every show. Some companies give the hostess extra incentives for getting at least 2 bookings from each show and that is a good goal to set. So how do you do that?
Most companies offer incentives like discounts and/or free product for being a hostess. That is usually the main reason you will book a show, so talk about it throughout your show. If you are displaying or presenting a product that is also a hostess gift, be sure to let your guests know. If the hostess gifts are in the catalog be sure you direct them to that page and point out what they can win or get for free. If the company offers a nice discount based on the amount of sales at a party, encourage your guests and potential hostesses by informing them of the monthly specials and what it takes to get them.
As you sit down at the end of the party with each of your guests, ask them what they would like to have as a hostess gift. Here’s a little script to help:
You: So, Suzy, what is your favorite thing you saw or tried tonight?
Suzy: I loved the way (insert name of product) made my skin feel and look.
You: Great! Well you know you can get that for free just by having a few friends over like Catherine did tonight. Do you think you’d like to do that?
Suzy: Oh, I can get that free? Well in that case, sure! I could probably get some girls from college to come! They owe me! I’ve been to so many of their parties!
You: Fantastic. I have next Wednesday at 6:00 or next Friday at 2:00 open, which is better for you?
Suzy: Friday at 2:00! I don’t have class on Friday and all the girls will want makeovers before we go to the movies! (Assuming you’re selling skin care of course!)
You: Awesome. Thank you so much. Now, what would you like to buy tonight to help Catherine reach her sales goals?
Don’t forget to offer a purchase now. A lot of direct sales people make the mistake of offering their future hostesses the world for having a show, and then don’t make a sale at the original party where they first met them and are excited about the product. Don’t make that mistake. Do tell them the great stuff they can get for free or at a discount, but don’t forget about the show you are at currently. You don’t want your hostess sales to be low because you pushed show bookings but didn’t generate any sales in closing for them.
Encourage your hostess to get outside orders before the show to help her better reach her sales goals or hold the show open a few days so she can get more orders. When you make the follow up call to the person who placed the outside order, tell them about the hostess gifts and ask if they would like to get a discount or free product as well. Ask for a booking. Most people expect to be asked. Some will be armed with a rejection right away, but don’t let that deter you. Carry on to the next person and the next. Rest assured you will hear a lot of “no’s “in direct sales, but if you are confident of your product and know it’s the best around, then with some perseverance and determination, the “yes’s” will come.
Getting the first 6 shows is probably actually the hardest to get, so once you do get them, remember to follow up and follow through. When you do, you will have fewer cancellations and more bookings and they are the key to building momentum.
You just started a brand new career in direct sales! You’re pumped, excited, and ready to hit the streets with your awesome product and you just know everyone will want to buy something from you.
Excitement is contagious and it is possible that your family and friends will help you get started I the beginning if only because they love you. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone you know will. Once you get out of your circle of friends or warm market you’ll need to take that momentum (future bookings from your first shows) and persevere through the tough times – lack of sales, bookings and new team members- to build your business and grow your down line.
How do you build your business when the excitement, rush and newness wears off? Let me give you 5 steps that you should begin taking now for a great future in your direct sales business, one that will last and stand the test of time.
Hold as many sales shows or parties as quickly as possible. Don’t wait until your kit arrives to make the first phone calls. Get on the phone right away and book your first shows. If your kit doesn’t arrive before the first shows, your recruiter should be willing to lend you hers or some items from her kit. She should also be willing to go to your first shows with you to help you feel more at ease and to answer any questions that may arise that you can’t answer yet. Get your first 6 shows booked, and don’t stop there. If you’re on a roll, keep calling. You never know when a show will cancel. It’s always best to book more shows that you think you will need to keep your momentum going. Try to get at least 2 bookings from each show you hold. And try to hold those shows within 3-4 weeks. This will carry you into the following month and pretty soon you’ll be able to selectively book only the dates you want to work and keep your calendar full. You may get a lot of “no’s”, but each “no” means a “yes” will soon come. Don’t give up and book, book, book!
Build a Good Foundation
A good foundation for a successful direct sales business is one that is solidly built with great people on your team. At each of your shows, start looking for quality people, who know and love the product as much as you do, and who are goal oriented, organized and driven. Keep in mind that these are people you will be working with a lot. Think of it as hiring an assistant. If they drive you crazy as a guest then they’ll probably be worse as a team member. Only work with people you like.
Don’t recruit just anyone to have recruits. If they do not possess the characteristics described above, they will most likely quit sooner than later, or they will flounder in their business, and probably be more of a burden than a help to your business. As you build your team beyond the first 5 or so, then you can start recruiting those that are looking for a hobby, a discount on the product or who just need something to pass the time with. Be aware of the signs that they’re interested in your business (they’ll ask a lot of questions) but don’t be afraid to ask. Where would you be if your up line didn’t talk to you about the opportunity? The quick, get those strong, goal oriented people under you quick, before someone else does!
Attend Team Meetings
Start now whether you have your kit and have held shows or not. Don’t think that you’ll start going later or after you’ve held your first show. If you were recruited today, and there’s a meeting tomorrow, go! You will learn so much at the meeting, meet other goal oriented people who are making their direct sales dreams come true, and it will help build a strong foundation in you. You will most likely receive training and materials vital to helping you build your business and keep you motivated. Try not to schedule any shows on meeting days. If you must book a show try to book it around the meeting time so it doesn’t conflict. Block the day off in your calendar as a training day. This is a common mistake for new recruits because they are so eager to book shows they forget they are in control of their own schedule. The meetings are important to attend every week or month, so make it a point right away to attend by scheduling them in your day planner or on your calendar on your computer. Besides, it’s fun to hang out with people that do what you do.
Set Your Goals
At the meetings you will learn what incentives the company offers for recruits and sales. Set your goals accordingly. If you’re not prize-oriented, but want and/or need to make a certain income, set your goals accordingly. Figure out how much you are going to have to sell in order to reach that income level. Then book shows accordingly remembering that some shows will be rescheduled or cancelled. Often you will have to go outside your circle of friends and family to reach these goals. But, if you started building your business with step one above, this shouldn’t be a problem. You will meet new people all the time. Look for the excited ones, the ones that love the product, and ones that need to make more income or want to start a new career. Be sure they are goal oriented, driven and know how to set goals themselves and reach them.
Keep On Keepin’ On
Don’t get discouraged or give up by a few rejections! Not everyone makes a good hostess. Likewise, the business opportunity will not be for everyone so it is expected you will hear “No.” a lot.
It takes perseverance and determination to get any business going and keep it growing. Sticking it out through the tough times makes the good times even sweeter. If you’ve set your goals properly-they are high enough to work for yet low enough to reach-then you should be able to obtain them with determination and drive. There will be set backs in starting any business, so going in knowing this, should help you stick with it through the slow and rough times. Keep your up line’s contact information handy during these times and use it. If you need to readjust your goals, then do it, but don’t give up.
Building your direct sales business can be fun, exciting and rewarding. You will meet lots of great new people along the way; some will become your teammates and some will become your customers.
Remember, building a direct sales business will take time. It takes drive, determination and motivation to build a successful direct sales business and keep it going. So don’t let the slow times bring you down. Persevere, stand strong and carry on. Keep your goals in front of you at all times. Use visual motivators like posters of the nice car you’re striving for, or the dollar amount you want to make each week. Make a plan and work the plan and soon you will have a thriving, successful direct sales business.