Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Direct Sales/Party Plan Companies: Do I have to do Parties?

"Does your company require doing home parties?" This is one of the most common questions I get asked by potential consultants. The quick answer is even companies that are party plan based does not mean you're required to do parties.

With my natural/organic products company which asks potential consultant to list three parties during the sign up phase; however, the party dates are an encouragement. It's a starter point for new consultants to start thinking about party dates to get their new business off to the best start. Party dates in this sense could be business launch dates or open house type of format so you can start sharing your new business with people you already know. It's a great way to introduce and kick start a new business. I do think the idea of having to do any kind of home party scares people from joining a direct sales/party plan business.

If this sounds like you and you still want to join a direct sales company, here's something to consider ...

The reality is when you join a direct sales company you're an independent consultant. Whether a company encourages home parties or not isn't a requirement by any means because companies understand you're independent and your efforts determine the success of your business. The benefit with a direct selling business is that you can make the business whatever you want it to be. It's 100% up to you.

That said, the reason why direct sales companies encourage home parties is because it's an effective way to sell products and share with a captive audience what your business is about and what you're about.

If you sell beauty and skin care products there's nothing like passing products around for a group of women to touch, smell, and try the products in person. The same applies to jewelry or fashion. But home parties isn't the only way to share your products. You can do vendor events or write about your products via a blog similar to Direct Sales Natural Products, if that's permitted by your company. But no matter how savvy an internet marketer is there's nothing like an intimate and fun girl's night out to mingle and sample products.

However, with nearly everyone online and using the internet and social media to search for products and information every direct sales company understands that success relies on multiple avenues of sharing products and opportunity. Home parties is only one of many ways to grow your business. I believe you'll be the most successful if you incorporate multiple ways to share your business as the opportunity allows.

There are plenty of successful direct sales superstars that have done very well without doing parties. So, the next time you visit a company website and see "party plan" or "social selling" don't rule it out because whether you have to do parties or not is up to you.



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lemongrass Spa Join in May Business Kit Special

Join My Team Special
$139 Business Kit with over $400 in Products!

Happy May! I know for those searching for a direct selling home-based business to join this month there are many opportunities to choose from. Depending on what your financial and lifestyle goals are as well as your passion for products there are endless opportunities waiting available for you. But if you love natural skin care and beauty products like I do, here are a few reasons why Lemongrass Spa might be a great business for you :).

The beauty about Lemongrass Spa's products is not only the high quality, clean and natural products but the affordability. That was the initial attraction for me. I mean, who doesn't love great value right?

If you find quality products that exceed your expectations and at prices similar to retail stores or sometimes less after your 25% discount but with cleaner ingredients, why not give it a try? It was easy for me to give Lemongrass products a try especially since the company I was representing at the time didn't offer some products I needed.

Quality and Value Matters

Quality products at great value matters to your customers. That's one reason why starting your home based business with Lemongrass Spa makes economic sense. You're getting quality and affordable products for yourself and/or for your family and you have an opportunity to start a flexible business that you can sell online 24/7 through a company replicated website.

These are products you'll be proud to share with others because you'll feel good sharing value and offering products that are clean and pure without toxic chemicals. These are every day personal care, skin care and beauty products that women, men and families already use.

Businesses Thrive on Retail Customers

In the past, I've represented companies where I felt the prices were a bit high for customers unless people join as consultants in order to get a "consultant discount" aka signing up as a consultant without actually building the business. Although this can be good for your business but this often means signing up a lot of wholesale customers to generate enough business volume before you'll earn a commission.

In direct selling, the quickest way to earn money is by selling products. A customer buys a product and you, as a consultant, will earn 25% minimum. Once people love the products they're more likely to join the company as a consultant.

As a team builder in direct selling, partnering with a company that offers prices that people are willing to pay at retail prices is good for your business. A sustainable business needs to sell products to real customers. So price points matter along with value. It's not the only reason but it's something people consider before they join a company.

When your business offers quality products and good prices, this will be a little easier for you as a consultant to sell products.

How about you? Are you more likely to buy online as a first time buyer if the prices and shipping are reasonable? I would think these are worth considering versus high prices. I know for me that's true.



P.S. Here's more info on -> Join Lemongrass Spa and how you can be a part of our growing business!

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?