Thursday, May 29, 2008

80 Ways To Boost Your Business

This came to me this week from my director. There are tons of great ideas here. Pick a few and see if you can increase your business.

80+ Ways To Boost Your Business
1. -send info to co-worker that has moved
2. -send info to other reps, or exchange shows
3. -post a catalog or info in the teacher's lounge at your child's school
4. -post a catalog or info in the employee lunchroom
5. -hold an open house
6. -have a booth at a school fair
7. -advertise in your alumni newsletter and/or local newspaper
8. -give a catalog or flyer to a receptionist
9. -include a wrap or flyer with your bill payments
10. -call past hostesses
11. -put a current catalog or wrap in your neighbor's door - include a 10% off
12. -ask friends to have a show
13. -advertise in your church bulletin
14. -host an office party or brunch
15. -host a show before a PTA meeting
16. -mail out wraps, catalogs and a wish list
17. -host your own show, could even be a fundraiser for your favorite charity
18. -get a list from welcome wagon, new people may be looking for a consultant
19. -set-up a display at a craft fair and/or flea market
20. -participate in a school fundraiser
21. -have your spouse promote the products at work
22. -have you and your family wear company name products
23. -hold a Christmas shopping show for men
24. -offer a Christmas wish list to your guests and then call the gift-giver and tell
him what the guest wants
25. -set-up a display at the mall
26. -put an "ask me about (company name)" button on your purse or coat
27. -ask past hostesses at shows to talk about their free products
28. -hold an opportunity night
29. -random mailings - open a phone book and choose
30. -mention hostess half-price items and other benefits at least 3 times per show
31. -hold up higher priced products and mention half-priced products to
encourage bookings
32. -mention how much your "average" hostess gets in product
33. -at the beginning of your show, mention the hostess goal
34. -share upcoming specials at shows and during phone calls
35. -tell your hostess how much she saved by having her show
36. -encourage frequent customers to regularly plan shows
37. -encourage hostesses to rebook a show when new catalogs come out
38. -treat hostesses to a special "Hostess Appreciation Tea"
39. -encourage relatives to book a show
40. -call your realtor with suggestions for "new home packages"
41. -offer to do a cooking class for a local grocery store
42. -start an email address book of customers who want to know what the
monthly specials are, don't forget to mention the hostess specials
43. -encourage your hostess and guests to refer potential hostesses to you
44. -offer a bridal registry
45. -promote a bridal show
46. -be friendly and enthusiastic
47. -follow through with every booking lead
48. -describe and highlight the hostess plan during shows
49. -ask, ask, ask
50. -use open-ended questions, especially when dealing with booking concerns
51. -use your products and recipes at home, office, camping, parties, etc
52. -read sales, self-improvement and positive thinking books
53. -call at least 2 potential hostesses every night
54. -dream and imagine the possibilities
55. -set goals and review them constantly, post them where you can see them
56. -ask friends to help you get started or reach a certain goal
57. -use hostess benefits flyer
58. -use postcards and/or newsletters to continue to spark interest
59. -follow-up phone calls to particularly interested guests, they may decide later
to have a show
60. -have the hostess tell why she decided to host a show
61. -give products as gifts or donations
62. -smile when talking on the phone
63. -don't be shy talking about your products or your business
64. -review orders from past shows - who have bought frequently, etc
65. -be prepared to answer questions about your work
66. -write down names of people who "owe you a favor" then follow-up
67. -call the most familiar people first
68. -call potential hostesses who postponed or never booked
69. -spend time everyday working on some aspect of your business
70. -be willing to SHARE the business opportunity
71. -call anyone who said "maybe" or "sometime"
72. -contact schools and church groups for fundraisers
73. -advertise in football or musical programs
74. -leave your business cards on bulletin boards or in local businesses
75. -talk about upcoming specials with everyone
76. -keep a list of special requests and let those guests know when that product
is on sale
77. -suggest hosting a Christmas shopping without leaving home show
78. -offer a bonus for hostesses who book on days and/or months you need extra
79. -give extra service and time to good customers, they will be repeat hostesses
and potential consultants
80. -carry a notepad to jot down names as you think of them
81. -let guests keep a catalog to keep on hand or pass around at work
82. -give a catalog to your mail carrier
83. -set up a table at a career fair
84. -hand out literature and ask at the post office
85. -advertise on your answering machine

Audrey :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Are You Helping Yourself or Hurting Yourself When You Network?

We all talk about networking. We all seem to know that networking has something to do with meeting enough folks to continue to build our referral network, which in turn will continue to build our businesses.

Referrals come when someone you’ve met likes you and believes you can offer the solution to someone else’s problem. So, if the goal in networking is to have someone like us, and possibly offer us a referral, then why do people make the mistake of engaging in conversations that do not promote relationships?

My mother attended a party last week. She met a radio personality who immediately began talking politics with my mother. As often happens, the two did not agree and a strong debate developed. Both parties walked away very unhappy with the other. Neither is going to receive a referral as a result of this meeting.

I personally do not discuss politics with those whose opinions are strongly different than mine. It’s also not a topic I would introduce to a total stranger. No good can come of it.

Another mistake I see folks make is talking negatively about other people. It does not matter if the person is a famous movie star or the neighbor around the corner, when we speak poorly of others, it does not endear others to us.

I am constantly surprised when I meet people and I later find out they know someone that I know. What if I had spoken poorly of this person? What if I had said unkind things?

When I meet new people, I ask about them. I truly want to know about them. My views on politics are not relevant, nor are my views on the folks next door. What is important is my genuine interest in the person I’m speaking to.

This is true both online and offline. I often see folks speaking of others publically in a negative manner. I personally prefer to keep a distance. Otherwise I just might be the next person spoken about in an unkind way.

If you truly want to network, in an effort to build your referral network, then be careful about the topics and people you choose to talk about.

Audrey :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Writing Articles To Market Your Business

I've been writing articles for many years now. A few years ago, Denise Willms purchased If you have never submitted articles to Denises database, I strongly recommend doing so today. If you don't have an account there, sign up today. It's free and Denise offers plenty of freebies to her new members. Enjoy this article I wrote on article marketing.

Can Article Marketing Help Your Direct Sales Business?

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is “how can I advertise for free?” I have never supported methods such as free classifieds. Nobody reads this. If you look, thousands of folks come and post an ad and never read a thing.

I am a very strong supporter of article writing. Article writing allows you to determine exactly what keywords you are targeting and to get very targeted visitors to your site.

I would rather see someone write 3 articles per week versus placing 100 free classified ads in a week.

If you sell children’s toys or children’s books, write parenting articles. Those who read the articles are the very people who are buying toys. If you sell dietary supplements, write health and wellness articles. Again, those who read your articles are going to be people looking for the very product you offer. If you sell make up and skin care, write articles about fashion and beauty.

Who do you want to visit your site? You want potential customers and potential new sales distributors to visit your site. So, how can you make sure that those coming to your site want what you are offering? Write about the topics that relate to what you are selling. Those who search for your articles or find your articles through a keyword search are interested in what you are offering. Parents need toys. When you write about parenting, your audience is the very people who just might buy from you.

Choose a few keywords or keyword phrases that your potential customers might be searching for. Now write about them. Become an expert writer in your field. Write articles that solve every potential problem or question someone might ask you.

Article writing is the best method of free advertising I’ve ever found. Try it. See if you don’t see increased hits to your website that I hope will lead to sales for you.

Audrey :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Warm Market

I was out reading articles this morning and was actually a bit surprised to read that folks are still training new team members to approach their "warm market."

For those who might not know the term, "warm market" refers to those you already know, whether it be friends and family, or the gal who does your hair, maybe even the receptionist at your doctor's office. These are all your "warm market."

Since day one, I've always had a problem with "warm market" marketing. I personally know a lot of people. I've been in this town for 15 years now. I belong to several groups and so many folks have considered me their "warm market." The problem is that I'm almost never looking for what is being offered to me, so I turn into a no for the new marketer.

I am very much in support of letting folks know what you do but without the expectation that this will turn into a sales or a new recruit. There are several ways to let those you already know become aware of what you do:

1. Add a signature line to your current emails
2. In conversation offer one sentence "I'm so excited, I began selling _____"
3. When giving gifts, give a gift you have purchased from yourself, or even a gift certificate from your own personal store
4. Offer a referral gift, allowing you to say "if you ever know anyone who wants _____ please do send them my way. As a thank you, I'm happy to _____" Your gift can be a product, a gift certificate or even something non related to your business, maybe a gift certificate to a local store, hair salon or restaurant
5. Offer fundraisers in your town and get a local reporter to write about it in the local newspaper. This is a wonderful way to let those you know, know what you are doing.

Relationships truly do need to be treated as the precisous gem they are. My suggestion is not to harm those relationships by "approaching" your warm market with your sales pitch.

Would love to hear your comments on this.

Audrey :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Getting Support at Home For Your Home Based Business

Getting Support at Home For Your Home Based Business

I remember when I first started a business at home, I had no idea how much support I would need. Thankfully I had a very supportive husband who was willing to do whatever it took to help me, so that I could work on building my business.

When women email me, or post that their husbands won’t support and sometimes even go the extreme of making fun of them my heart just breaks. I’ve been working at home well over 20 years now and I almost never meet a woman who is able to build and then maintain a home business with an unsupportive spouse.

Often times, a spouse will become supportive as the business grows and begins producing income, but support is needed to get to this point.

Seek a friend or someone else in the business that can support you. You are going to need someone to run ideas by. You are going to need someone to share the small successes with. You are going to need someone to babysit during those times that you just can not complete a project without some childcare help. And you’re going to need someone to support you during those rough times. There is no business around that does not have rough spots from time to time.

While my husband was an incredible support, I have also had some amazing friends over the years. At one time, a friend of mine went walking around the college campuses with me helping me put up fliers in the areas approved by student relations. Another time, I had a friend who helped me put fliers out in various neighborhoods. We pushed the kids in strollers, walked, talked and put fliers up.

At this point I should tell you that if you are fortunate like I was to have a supportive spouse, tell him. Thank him. Let him know how much you appreciate the support and let him know how happy you are.

If you don’t have the support, by all means sit down with your spouse and explain what you need, how you feel about the opportunity of starting a business and how you feel when he teases you or belittles your efforts. Sometimes a plan is also helpful. I know I have very often started something, been very excited and then 2 months later the excitement is gone and I’m no longer interested. If you have a plan it can be much easier to show your spouse how exactly you plan to build this business over the next year.

If you do not have support from your spouse and a heart to heart talk was not helpful, then seek support elsewhere, from friends or maybe other family members. If your spouse is not supportive of your business, don’t talk about it in front of him. This will only add to your frustration. If you know someone does not agree with you politically, religiously or on a parenting issue, you tend to stay away from those topics. I suggest the same for your business. If your spouse is not supportive, does not agree with your choice to run a business, then make a choice to not talk business with him. Instead talk about your business with other people, people that do support you.

When you experience a success, contact those who do support you. When have an idea and just can’t sleep until you try this idea out, contact those who share your enthusiasm and will encourage you to try out this new idea. Talk to those who will empathize if an idea does not work and will encourage you to try something else. You can get support for your home business; it just might not be from your spouse.

Audrey :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blog Party

What a wonderful way to meet others. Join the MommyFest and meet other women from around the country.

Some facts about me:

1. I have two daughters
2. We have two dogs
3. I love to scrapbook and crochet
4. I watch very little t.v. but love Idol and Survivor
5. I'm a morning person

Leave me a comment, tell me a bit about you!!

Audrey :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Three Prospecting Ideas for the Wild at Heart

I met Lisa Wilber back in 1985 I believe for the first time. It's over 25 years later and I still enjoy her articles. Here's one of her earliest articles about marketing.

Three Prospecting Ideas for the Wild at Heart
By Lisa M. Wilber

Prospecting - the art of finding customers and recruits - can be a challenge. But by using your imagination, a clear goal, and some marketing techniques you can turn your business from a tiny ant hill into a mighty fortress.

As an independent representative since 1981, I have moved several times and had to re-establish my businesses all over again. I have found the best goal is the simple one: let everyone within a ten-mile radius know what I am selling and about your earnings opportunity.
Here are three of my best ideas for getting the word out:

1. Turn your vehicle into a rolling billboard!

Start out by making posters for your car windows. You can cut out pictures from the catalogs you sell from. Since the sun fades these signs rather quickly, you can make them themed for each season so that you are always “updating” your signs. For instance, feature products for Valentine’s day with your name and telephone number. If your company does not sell holiday- specific merchandise, you can take turns featuring a product. You may want to feature a special sale price. You can use colored markers, fluorescent poster board, glitter paints — whatever gets attention. Make sure to feature your telephone number in large print so that someone driving by can write it down without wrecking their car!

Feeling a little more adventuresome? Call a sign company and have vinyl letters put on your vehicle. It does not ruin the value of your vehicle — vinyl letters come off easily with a hair dryer — yet, the results of this kind of advertising are astounding. I have had people waiting for me when I come out from grocery shopping. Many times I have even found orders under my windshield wipers! So you say that your company is not that well recognized yet? You can change that, especially in your own town. Having the company name, pictures of the products, and your phone number on your vehicle will definitely get people to ask you about the products! Consider having a form of the company name on your license plate. It is an extra fee in most states, but money well spent. One of my recruits has “TRY AVON” on her license plate, and a Princess House friend of mine has “PH LADY” on her plates.

Ready for the “over the edge” idea? I bought a light up sign for the roof of my van that used to belong to a pizza delivery restaurant. I peeled off the word “pizza” and added my company name in vinyl letters — it is the talk of the town! By the way, vinyl letters at the hardware or office supply store are very inexpensive (ranging from 50 cents per letter on up depending upon size). Consider having it professionally done if the lettering is to be very large or if you have a lot of letters to put on.

2. Don’t leave your house without wearing your company name!

Do you remember how Laverne on Laverne and Shirley always had a letter “L” on all her shirts? All my shirts have “Avon” on them! Many of them I did myself with paint art from the arts and crafts store. On some shirts I used puff paints, some sparkle paints. If your writing is not wonderful, consider using a stencil. Many good iron on letters are also available. It does not matter if the company name is well known — people will ask you about it when you have it prominently displayed.

You can also wear company supplied buttons and pins. I have a red jacket that I have EVERY award pin that I have ever won pinned on —it does look a little “wild”. But, every time I wear it, people always want to know what the pins mean, what I had to do to get each pin, etc. I always wear my red jacket when I am traveling to and from the company conventions — and I always get customers and recruits from talking about my pins.

(Here’s another tip to use with a jacket: I keep my right hand jacket pocket filled with my business cards to give to everyone I talk to, and I have my left hand jacket pocket empty to put cards in that I get from all the people I talk to, so I can follow up with them!)

You can also wear hats with your company name or carry a tote bag with the company name on the side. Make sure you always bring lots of brochures/catalogs and company literature with you — people WILL ask you!!

Ready for the wild idea? You can buy necklace and bracelets with letters that have your company name on them. Many companies offer these types of jewelry and feature people’s first names on them. Just request your company name instead. You’ll be surprised at how many people will notice!

Now for the “over the edge” idea: name your children or pets after your products! My Princess House girlfriend named her daughter “Crystal” — my Mom named her cat “Night Magic — after the cologne!

3. Leave a catalog, literature, or business card everywhere you go!

When I go to the shopping mall, the first place I visit is the ladies room — I leave a catalog with a recruiting flyer on the sink near the mirror and on the tank in each stall! I give catalogs to everyone I meet: the grocery clerk, the baker, the butcher, the laundry attendant, the drive-thru window person, the bank teller, the gas station attendant, the toll booth attendant — you would not believe how many opportunities you pass up each day to get your message out!

Feeling bashful today — simply say “This is for you!” and hand them your catalog. To cut down on my catalog expenses, I often use outdated catalogs for this type of prospecting — and I have stickers put on the front that say “Call for current prices and product availability.” This way they get my name, address, and phone number and a sneak peek at our product line. I have my friends in my company save their outdated catalogs for this reason.

I also leave stacks of catalogs at the entrances to grocery stores and in laundromats. Dentist’s offices, doctor’s offices and any other place where people must sit and wait are excellent places for you to leave your information. Ever leave your catalog with the tip at a restaurant? I had special business cards made up that read “YOUR SERVICE WAS EXCELLENT! If you are ever looking for a job, please give me a call! Lisa Wilber, Avon Recruiting Specialist, 1-800-258-1815.” You will be surprised how well these cards work. I try and hand them to the prospect personally with a tip — the impact lasts longer. I always add “I wanted to make sure you knew how much I appreciated your service today!

With this idea you need to set goals for yourself. Example: I will hand out 20 catalogs today. I will hang up 10 posters on bulletin boards today. Be consistent and don’t be discouraged by an occasional “No”.

Ready for the wild idea?

Spend the day driving through bank drive thrus in town and simply put in your catalog, sample, and business card — and drive off! Believe it or not, this works!

Now, let’s go over the edge: next time you are held up in traffic at a traffic jam, jump out of the car and hand a catalog to the person in the car ahead of you! (Yes, I actually know someone who does this!)

Whether you use these ideas or change them to fit your goals — make sure you take action towards your goals today. Remember my favorite saying: “The only place that SUCCESS comes before WORK is in the dictionary!”

Lisa Wilber has been selling and recruiting for Avon Products, Inc. for 14 years and is currently a Senior Executive Unit Leader in Avon's MLM program with 1995 downline retail sales topping $1.9 million. You can reach her by phone at 1-800-258-1815 or FAX 603-529-1816 or by mail at 174 S. Stark Hwy.# 17, Weare, NH 03281 or e-mail at

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Creating a Tag Team

If you are in direct sales, tag teaming with others can be very beneficial to your business. Tag teaming is beneficial in that your prospect can hear from other people and hopefully make a connection.

Talk to your own upline and start with just the two of you. If you have a lead, notify your upline and ask your upline to contact this lead within 24 hours. You're not asking your upline to do the "selling" for you, but rather to support you in letting the lead know there is a second person available for them.

Here's an example. We'll use ME as the lead. You speak to me and I express an interest in your opportunity. Maybe I'm thinking "well gosh this gal is across the country and not my age and not..", but now you have your upline contact me. Your upline lives closer to me, is closer to my age and just by saying hi to me has me saying "yes, I'm going to join". You upline did no "selling", just a nice introduction that lets me know who she is.

Tag teaming can work with downline and crossline but there are rules that need to be established and so to start I recommend going upline for tag teaming. And of course offering your downline the opportunity to have you tag team with them.

Here's an example of a letter I might send to someone my own downline has asked me to tag team for them:

Hi So and So,

My name is Audrey and I'm upline to So and So, whom you spoke to earlier today about selling Tupperware. I wanted to say hi and just introduce myself to you. I'm a mom to two girls. They are 18 and 25. We live in Santa Barbara, which has been home for 15 years.

Outside of working, I have many hobbies/interests. I love to cook, crochet, scrapbook, play hearts and spades, read, workout and just hang out with friends.

If you have any questions about Tupperware, please feel free to contact So and So, or you're welcome to contact me also.

Audrey :)

That's it, just a really simple introduction letter that lets the lead know that there is at least one more person that they'd be working with. In a perfect world it's awesome for the lead to get 2 or 3 emails, all from different people, living in different parts of the country and all with different interests. Depending on your group, if you can go upline 2 people or 3 people, talk to them about tag teaming leads with you. And again, if you have a downline, offer this to them as well.

Audrey :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Your 30 Second Commercial

I remember a seminar I attended several years ago. The speaker began by saying "how many here in this room can tell another what you do in under 30 seconds?" Almost no one raised their hands. There must have been 300 people in that room and yet only a dozen said they were able to tell others what they did in under 30 seconds.

So, now I'll ask you. Can YOU tell folks what you do and who you are in under 30 seconds? Imagine you are in line at the grocery store. The person in front you comments on something in your basket. A conversation begins to develop. You're now asked "so hey, what do you do?".

Think of t.v. and radio. Commercials are 30 seconds. There's a reason for this. When you're asked what you do, consider this to be your chance for a 30 second all inclusive commercial. If you can't tell someone what you do in under 30 seconds, it's time to rethink your commercial.

If you're thinking "but my situation is different, I can't possibly tell someone what I do in under 30 seconds" consider why every brand imaginable can do a 30 second commercial regardless of what they're selling. Think about how you can repackage your commercial to let others know what you do.

I like people in general. I'm happy to give a 30 second commercial and then say "wow this has been nice, want to meet for coffee?" Some folks will say yes, some will say no. Some yes's might turn into business for me, some might lead to a wonderful friendship.

Play around with how you can make the most of your 30 seconds. See if you can do what major brands do, get folks interested in just 30 seconds.

Audrey :)