Monday, April 27, 2015

Wish You Could Represent Multiple Direct Selling Companies?

Have you ever wanted to represent more than one direct selling company? I know many people can relate especially since there are so many fabulous products offered in direct sales and network marketing. If you love fashion like me you can't help but browse all the gorgeous jewelry or clothes. If you're a beauty product junkie, there are so many products from natural/organic skin care to health and wellness. There's no shortage and I truly love so many companies :).

That said, as a business, I always go back to which company and products would I choose for "building" a business. As I've written in previous posts, it's so difficult to build a team of consultants with more than one company. It's easy to sign up with multiple companies for product discounts but to really sponsor a large team of consultants, you have to be emotionally invested, and I've found it challenging to do more than one company. I've attempted to do two and even on a small level I still find it time consuming to go back and forth from one company to the other.

At times you might find yourself tempted to represent multiple companies especially when your company doesn't offer all the products you need. That's when you might find yourself perusing other opportunities and then you see special kit specials and voila, you've signed up, just for the "products". Sound familiar?

For me, I'll always be a supporter of other direct selling products especially if it means supporting my fellow gal pals in the business, but to build a team in direct sales, representing multiple companies is more work than what you might possibly get in return for your time. Not to mention some companies have policies against representing more than one company in the same category.

So what's the best thing to do if you ever find yourself tempted to represent more than one company? First, if you're able to represent more than one than I'd say go for it if it works for you. Assuming your company is okay with this and let's say you're thinking of selling essential oils and skin care products, here are some options:

*You could start two blogs, one dedicated to essential oils and the other to skin care products.
*You could do the same with a Facebook Page and other social media outlets.
*You could host separate events/parties for each company.

Depending on what your goals are as it's known in the direct selling business that people join for many different reasons. Not everyone's in it to build a business. If your goal is selling products casually here and there then it's not as challenging representing multiple companies but I've found it's never quite that cut and dry in this business. Would love to hear your personal experience.



Friday, March 13, 2015

Direct Sales/Party Plan: Joining for the Business Kit Good for Your Business?

If you're a team leader I'm pretty sure you've had people that have joined your direct sales/party plan business for the business kit without building the business. Some of us in the industry refer to these consultants as kit-nappers. I've done it but always upfront with my sponsor whether I'm doing the business or joining only for the business kit. Similarly, I've had dozens of people on my team signing up for the value of the business kit without building the business.

As a team leader, do you find this tactic good for growing your business? I think there are definitely pros and cons so let's consider the benefits and if this is good for your business.

Many direct sales companies start up kits offer fantastic value. For as little as $79 (sometimes less or more), these kits offer hundreds of dollars worth of products. Sometimes it's simply a better value to get all of the products for $99 instead of paying for each product individually but is this reason enough to buy the business kit? For some, yes.

From my personal experience, sometimes it's the value in the business kit that entices people to join. Sometimes it's the desire to do a secondary business to complement the main business. For example, I've seen jewelry or fashion consultants also representing skin care or nutritional companies. Sometimes it's a plan B in case one business closes as we've seen quite a few closed down in 2014 (including my former company). Whatever the reasons may be, I think people joining your team for the business kit alone can be good for your business.

Mary Christensen who is one of my favorite direct sales authors and frequent speaker for direct sales companies said in one of her events I attended that you never know when someone decides to join your business. People change companies more often than you think. You also never know when someone decides to build the business, even if they initially joined only for the business kit. As in my case with NYR Organic. Sometimes people end falling madly in love as they use more of your company's products and can't help but want to share with others.

At the very least, even if people join for the business kit, they might end up loving the products and will continue to buy at their consultant discount, which benefits your overall business on the back end.

What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear your input.



Monday, March 2, 2015

Building 2 Direct Sales/Party Plan Businesses Successfully?

Are you building two direct sales or party plan businesses? Have you thought about doing two or more and wondering if you can be successful building multiple businesses? For me, I've never been a fan of building more than one business and by this I mean building a team (sponsoring) with more than one company.

If someone is simply selling with no intention of sponsoring than I don't think it matters quite as much which I'll get into more in a bit. For this post, I'll refer to building in terms of sponsoring and whether it makes business sense to do more than one direct sales/party plan company, successfully.

First, what does successful mean to you? It means different things to different people so I don't want to presume a set of standards to define success. But let's say your goal is to build a good size team in the hundreds or thousands and become a leader, I can't imagine getting to that level while attempting to build more than one company. When I was a top leader in my last company I had the largest team in the company and I couldn't foresee building a team for multiple companies. Of course, there are exceptions.

When joining multiple companies might not make financial sense

I've joined several companies and quite honestly, with some I wanted to test out the company's products, check out behind-the-scenes which is the only way to really get to know the company. When you're officially signed up as a consultant and have access to the back office, training, support, you get to see what it's really like if you were to represent the company. It's not possible to know all the nuances of a company otherwise.

I've also joined companies simply for the business kit because it's hard to resist all the generous products that typically come in a new consultant kit without any intention of building a business. I've also joined for the business kit and decided I really like the company, products, and see the potential of growing the business. This was the case with NYR Organic which I admit the fantastic kit value was the initial attraction and the timing was perfect because my former company was closing down its direct sales division.

That said, there are times when it might not make financial sense to represent two different companies because you could end up spending more money to upkeep two businesses before you've earned anything. One of the reasons is sales requirements. Some companies have either monthly or quarterly sales requirements to be considered an active consultant. 

For example, when a company requires that you sell $300 or $500 every few months, you might think about how you'll achieve the sales requirements, especially if you're selling for more than one company. This is when I believe sponsoring for multiple direct sales companies can compromise your leadership, time, and financial resources because you don't want to be in a position of putting in your own money before you've earned any in order to stay active, You also want to think about what you'll need to sell or sponsor in order to earn from your team building efforts.

There's always a sales and/or team sales requirement before you'll earn a commission from your team.

These days, I'm seeing more people joining multiple companies but for me, I prefer to build (sponsoring) a team with one company. Selling multiple products I think is ok although you might consider doing this not at the same venue (see your company's selling policies).

Your thoughts?



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lemongrass Spa Natural Products: Spring Fever!

Janette Stoll Lemongrass Spa Consultant

My oh m, where did February go?! 2015 is flying by and March is already here. Spring is around the corner and how I love me some spring time. I'll write more in my next post why I adore spring and why spring is a fabulous time to spring into a new home-based business too. 

In the meantime, here are some things to look forward to with my Lemongrass Spa natural home-based business

Spring Launch! Lemongrass Spa will launch some fresh, new products for spring available Friday, March 13. I cannot wait to see and try some new products. 

Revised Compensation Plan which is better than ever. The enhanced compensation plan is easier to promote to the next level of leadership. I'll share more in my follow up post: Lemongrass Spa Enhanced Compensation Plan which will be effective this month. The revised plan makes it so much easier to build and earn from your organization!

I'll be sharing more very soon.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Tips for Direct Sales Consultants

There are so many fantastic tips for direct sales consultants. Whether you're brand new to the business or an experienced direct sales consultant, there's no shortage when it comes to training and support. Not only your company offers tons of tools from sales to sponsoring but there are also direct sales coaches and many authors on this topic. It makes one wonders with all the training and support, why is it so hard for direct sellers to find success on a long term basis?

The biggest challenge for me is being consistently disciplined as a direct sales consultant. It's not because I'm working from home as there are others that work from home and don't have this problem. The difference is that direct sales is not a job therefore there's no accountability. If you're working from home from a regular job you'll get the work done otherwise you'll get fired. With direct sales, no one's going to fire you. The lack of accountability is what makes it so hard for direct sales reps to consistently work their businesses.

You might counter that with isn't that what makes direct sales so great because there's no one telling you what to do. It is great but only if you're disciplined enough to put in the work otherwise you don't have a business.

So, what are some tips for consultants to be more consistently disciplined? I believe this is one of the most if not the most important thing you can aspire to be is being consistently disciplined. What does this mean?

I try to start each morning off on the right foot by setting the business tone early in the day. It's not always easy to be mindful of this but we're ritualistic so you'll have to create a ritual that's going to work for you then stick with it until it becomes a habit.

For me, I log in to my company's back office each morning. This sets the business tone to focus on activities centered around my business. I imagine that's what you'd do in a regular job if you were working remotely from home. It's also good to check on any sales you may have had overnight, news and updates from your company. It's a ritual that seems to work for me.

Work on the activities that generate leads or income producing. For you it might be making calls, meeting up with local contacts for a business meeting, attend a networking event, vendor show, and so forth. For others it might be online activities such as blogging or writing product reviews. The most important thing is to do a few things daily that's going to generate new leads so that you can grow your business.

Start reading personal growth, uplifting books or books that inspire you. Having a healthy, positive mental attitude cannot be stated enough for anyone who wants to be successful, not only in business, but in life. It's one of the reasons why I love this business because it encourages me to seek out books that uplifts and inspires me. Disappointment and challenges are part of life and there will be plenty in your direct sales business.

Whenever I'm feeling discouraged, I'll look to other successful direct sales leaders for inspiration. If so and so can do it, I can too. Or I'll read a quick passage in one my uplifting books and that usually puts me back on track.

Remember, it's up to you to discipline your mind. If your mind isn't in the right place neither will your business. Your direct sales success either starts or stops with you.

What are some of your tips for staying motivated and disciplined?



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to Start an Organic Beauty Products Business

Click here->NYR Organic February Offer

If you love organic beauty products like I do, you might have thought about making your own products and selling them yourself. I know I've considered the idea many times. In fact, I love making my own cleaning products because it's so easy using only a few ingredients such as essential oils, vinegar and baking soda. But the idea of actually making a variety of products, packaging them, and selling them is quite overwhelming when you start considering the following factors:

If you start on your own, you'll need to  ...

*buy raw ingredients
*make the products
*marketing to attract customers
*build an e-commerce website
*product labeling and packaging
*shipping products to customers
*keeping track of inventory so you don't have too much or too little
*variety of products to attract customers
*managing the business side such as accounting, taxes, business insurance, licensing, etc

I don't know about you but once I started making this list and I'm sure there are more I haven't considered, I decided maybe there's another way to start a home-based business without doing all the heavy lifting all by myself. Not to mention a financial investment that can be risky. It's a lot of work to go solo and doing it all on your own.

So, what's the alternative for someone who wants to sell organic beauty products as a business? There are two popular methods that might be perfect for you:

#1 Become an affiliate

There's an affiliate natural skin care and wellness company that used to be a direct sales company is now offers an affiliate marketing option. In fact, I was their top direct sales consultant for 3 years until the company closed down the direct sales division late 2014 and re-opened with an affiliate option.

Why would you consider this option for you?

Affiliate marketing is typically free. Instead of getting a consultant replicated website with a direct sales/network marketing company, affiliates are given an affiliate link which they can use to sell products. Anyone who buys products through your affiliate link, you'll earn a commission from the company.

The downside is the affiliate links are not as stable as replicated consultant websites which are provided by the direct sales companies. The retail commission is also lower. Using my former company as an example, I used to earn 30% as their direct sales consultant, but as affiliates the commission is around 15%.

Other companies could be lower as I've seen around 5% to 10%. It varies. There's no sponsoring/team building which is typical with direct sales/network marketing. Affiliates are mainly selling the products for the company. It's straight forward. If that's all you want to do, then maybe this is a great opportunity for you as the cost is usually free to join.

#2 Direct sales/network marketing

With direct sales/network marketing, the similarity with affiliates is that you also earn a commission for selling products. However, you're provided with a consultant replicated website instead of an affiliate link. For example, here's mine with ->NYR Organic Consultant. Some companies charge a monthly fee anywhere from $9.99 a month and upward. Some companies offer free websites.

The biggest differences between affiliate vs direct sales/network marketing are as follows. This is a partial list:

*higher retail profit with direct sales/network marketing
*earning potential from sponsoring/team building
*training and support from your direct team and company support
*vacations, cars, and other bonuses that consultants/distributors can earn through sales and sponsoring efforts
*cost to join when you buy a business kit ($99 and upward)

I think both options are good depending on what your ultimate goals are. If you're looking to sell but also earn an income from team building from sponsoring others to your business, then direct sales/network marketing might be a better fit for you.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Direct Sales/Network Marketing Tips: Essential Oils Product Claims

If you're a distributor for your direct sales, network marketing company, naturally you love your company's products and eager to share with others the benefits you've experienced. The products can be incredibly wonderful. Recently I came across a letter from the FDA issuing a warning against a well known essential oils company, Young Living, and I thought it would be good opportunity to share with you so you can avoid getting yourself in hot waters with the FDA.

FDA letter issuing warning against Young Living dated 9/22/14 and Young Living's Facebook response to their members not to make disease claims with their products

Why this is important not only for Young Living's distributors but for everyone in the direct sales/network marketing that sells essential oils or health and wellness products. We must be very careful about making medical claims curing certain diseases as I've seen with some essential oil distributors.

I use and love essential oils but steer clear from making any "medical claims". I encourage anyone who sells essential oils for a direct selling company to follow your company's guidelines. Unfortunately, there are top income distributors that are touting medical claims with their company's essential oils. I can understand why eager and new distributors would want to follow their top income leaders but I think it's a good idea to protect yourself by staying away from making medical claims. And only use marketing materials that are approved by your company.

Another helpful tip from the American Essential Oil Trade Association, a non-profit organization, reminding anyone who sells essential oils to steer clear of making medical claims unless those products are approved by the FDA -> article on making medical claims with essential oils/aromatherapy

These sorts of claims can potentially compromise your position with the network marketing company you represent but also raises red flags with the FDA for your company.

Here are more resources on essential oils and safety uses. I will continue to add more resources as I come across them -> wellness/essential oils