Thursday, August 28, 2008

Use Your Own Birthday To Build Your Direct Sales Business

Have you ever attended a store sale and the store has advertised that the sale is in honor of their birthday or their anniversary?

You can do that exact same thing to celebrate your own birthday. If the month of your birthday has 4 weeks, offer a different sales special each of the four weeks.

You might offer a bundle package at a reduced rate one week. You might offer a gift certificate for qualified purchases one week. You might offer a discount on a specific product one week. And finally you might offer a free product with purchase one week. These are all ways to get increased sales each week of your birthday month.

You might consider sign up specials the month of your birthday also. You might offer a free product with kit purchase one week. You might offer a small discount on the kit one week (I’d do this the first week, so that those who signed up earlier in the month aren’t upset). You can offer each of these for a two week period.

Publicize that it’s your birthday. It’s a way to open the door for communications. I have my birthday listed in all of my online profiles. I also talk about what I’ll be doing that week or even that month.

Consider offering a contest in honor of your birthday. State right on the contest webpage that in honor of your birthday you are giving away ______ and then let the contest run the entire month of your birthday.

Run a fundraiser the month of your birthday. Let customers know that in honor of your birthday you’ll be donating 10% of all sales to ________. Let them know which organization you’re making the donation to and what the money might be used for.

Your birthday comes around once a year. Take full advantage of those 30 days to promote your business.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How Direct Sales Influences Our Children

When I began in direct sales my first born child was only 3 months old. Just this past week, this adult child’s boss told me what an incredible asset she is to his department.

I really believe a lot of my daughter’s work ethics came from being the daughter of a direct sales distributor.

There are several things that children learn from their parents’ direct sales businesses.

My daughter saw me work every single day. She never saw me “call in sick”. She grew up knowing that going to work each day was not optional, it was mandatory. Today, she calls in sick only if she can’t get out of bed. There have actually been times that my daughter has been sent home sick as she’s gone in when not feeling great.

My daughter learned to follow through on both projects and on verbal commitments. If I told someone I’d call them in a week, that action item was put into my calendar and the call was made on the appropriate day. If I was researching a marketing technique, my daughter saw me do the research and then make a decision to either not invest or to execute the plan.

My daughter learned communication skills from my network marketing business. She saw me work with lots of people and work hard on those relationships. When she was older, my daughter helped me with my monthly newsletter, one of my ways of communicating with both customers and team members.

I have always read for business. I read books, I read magazines and I read articles. My daughter has a strong love of reading. She enjoys both fiction and non fiction. She enjoys many different authors and enjoys both short stories and long books. She has learned to appreciate many styles of writing.

My daughter also learned to use a database. By the time she was 10 years old, she was working at least 5 hours per week for me entering data into my database. This knowledge has made her very proficient on the computer and very adaptable in learning new software programs.

These 5 skills alone have made her a very valuable employee over and over again.

Audrey :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Your Telephone

I read a post on a message board today from a gal asking how to get over her fear of calling people who requested information from a fair she worked. I shared with her an article I wrote about 10 years ago when I was cold calling people. This article is still relevant today. I hope you find it helpful.

Does Your Telephone Have A 100 Pound Weight Attached To It?

Think back to when you first learned to ride a two wheeler bike. You were probably both scared and excited. Your first thought was you would get on this bike and win all the nieghborhood bike races. Then you fell down. If your folks were like mine, they insisted you get right back on the bike over and over again. Eventually there were no more falls, no more scraped elbows and knees and you were able to compete in those neighborhood bike races.

Now as an adult, you are faced with picking up the phone and either making a prospecting call, or perhaps a follow up call to a person you met yesterday. You are feeling both exicted and scared. What if the person hangs up on me? What if the person isn't interested?

The fear of one of those two things happening has stopped 200 pound men from having the strength to pick up the phone.

I have had people tell me they ended up rearranging every closet in their home as a result of not being able to pick up the phone.

Believe it or not, you are 2/3 of the way to being able to pick up the phone with ease. There are really only 3 things that can happen when you make a phone call. The person can say no, they can say yes, or they can hang up. Ok, you could get an answering machine also, in which case I always leave a message and have over time recieved calls back.

Let's face it, if telemarketing did not work, I would not continue to be called weekly by many different companies selling many different items.

Just yesterday, my daughter was woken up just after 8 a.m. by a telemarketer offering her a free pager. She did do one of our three options, she hung up on him. She does not know him, she actually loves the company he represented, she simply rejected his poor choice of timing.

When we make phone calls and we are told no, it's our job to listen to what is being said to us. I remember one woman said to me "I don't do business over the phone". Instead of hanging up, I told her I certainly understood and would she like me to mail her information about my company. She said yes. If the gentelman who called my daughter looks at his numbers, he may soon realize that calling that early produces more hang ups. Since we are strangers or virtual strangers to the person we are calling, we know that a hang up or a no is not a personal rejection of us.

Knowing that someones no is not a personal rejection but rather a rejection of some part of the offer you have made them, makes it much easier to pick up that phone.

Remember we did not learn to ride our bike on the first try, we may make mistakes in our calls too. So what? We are constantly learning. If you hang up thinking you should have said something different, GREAT, use that something different on the very next phone call. Each time someone says no, you are that much closer to hearing a yes and learning what triggers those yes's.

How many yes's will you get this week?

Audrey :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Social Networks

Are you using social networks in your direct sales business? They are a wonderful way to meet others.

I have accounts on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. I found a great post on social networks

Twitter is rather new to me, but I'm loving it. If you don't have an account check them out at Then follow me. I'm at

Leave a comment here, let me know your MySpace of Facebook page and I'll friend request you.

Audrey :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Handling Resistance in Direct Sales

I read something the other day that has been on my mind since I read it. A woman was very upset with her family. Her family was not supporting her decision to invest into a network marketing business. Not only were they not supporting her, but many family members were even ridiculing her decision.

I then read the replies to this woman’s situation. I was very puzzled not only by the original problem but by the answers as well. She received advice to push a bit harder, to be a bit more patient in her dealings with her family and to try a different approach when talking to her family.

My answer was very different. I believe she needs to stop talking to her family about her business. I really believe it’s just that simple.

Have you ever spoken to someone about candidates or ballot issues and discovered you both had very different thoughts on the matter? What do you do? Do you keep coming back hoping to change their mind? Do you bring the subject up every time you’re with them? There is a world of difference between mutual respect and mutual sharing of opinions versus a debate over who’s right and who’s wrong.

What about parenting issues? If you believe in co-sleeping or spanking and someone else does not, those conversations can lead to very hurt feelings and in some cases can ruin a friendship. Would you go back and try to change their mind? Would you try to repackage your opinion to present it again?

I really believe when you have a direct sales business and you run up against negative words and resistance, it’s time to stop talking to that person about your business. There is just nothing to gain from having the conversations. We all like support in our decisions. If you are not getting support, quit seeking it. We all want new customers and new team members. Again, this is not going to happen when you’re talking to someone who disagrees with your choice.

It requires an awful lot of mental energy to argue with those whose opinion is different than ours. I would much rather invest that energy into celebrating my business successes. Where do you want to invest that mental energy?

Audrey :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Create a Vision Board For Your Direct Sales Business

I’m a strong believer in vision boards. I believe that what you see and what you believe can become a reality.

A vision board is a collage of photos and pictures that represent what you want in your life.

Most people use poster board to create their vision boards. The number of items you want on your board will determine the size of the poster board you need.

One of my favorite vision board activities for those in network marketing is to take your company magazine and cut out the pages of those people the company is recognizing. Now add your photo to that page.

If you company creates a list of names of high achievers, add your name to that list. These items need to be close to your work space. Your vision board should be on the wall behind your work space so that you are constantly reminded of where you want your photo and your name.

Is there a trip you’d like to take? Perhaps you’d like to visit a state or country you’ve never been to before. Get some photos and maps of the area and put them on your vision board. Perhaps you’d like to visit family you’ve not seen for a while. Get photos of them and add those photos to your vision board.

What does your car look like? Is there a different car you’d rather drive? Get a photo of that car on your vision board. Better yet, visit the local dealer and get a photo of you right next to that car. Tell the dealer you are working on a business and you are working toward buying the car and you’d like the photo. Those I know who have done this, have never been turned down for the photo.

What about your home? What would you like to be different? Get photos of what you want on your vision board.

Do you have favorite quotes? I know one girl whose entire vision board is filled with meaningful quotes. Those quotes help her to be the person she wants to be. If you have favorite quotes, type them out, get them in color and attach them to your vision board.

Are there people that you really admire? Get some photos of these people and add them to your vision board.

Vision boards can be very powerful in reminding you daily what is it you want and who it is you want to be.

Audrey :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Article Marketing

If you are in direct sales, one excellent form of marketing is through writing and submitting original contect articles to at least a few of the popular article directories out there.

I recently had the opportunity to submit a few questions to Denise Willms, owner of

Denise has answered those questions and I'd like to share the answers with you:

Question: I'm told folks will just skim articles, not read them word for word, so what is the "perfect" number of words an article should be?

Denise's Answers - That’s true – people read online articles differently than they do print articles. They tend to skim over them and actually read only a few of the words that stand out.

As far as the “perfect” length for your articles goes, between 300 and 500 words is usually ideal. You should try to keep them over 250 words. It’s difficult to say anything of substance in fewer words than that, and some article directories won’t even accept short articles.

If you go over 500 words, you might lose your reader. However, some of my most popular articles have been around 700 or 800 words, so it depends on your audience and what information they’re looking for.

The best way to help your readers actually read your article is to write in small chunks instead of long paragraphs.

For each chunk, put your most important idea first. Readers will usually read the first sentence of each paragraph.

Use bold for important words and ideas, to help catch your readers’ attention.

Use bullet points or numbered lists to make articles easier to read.

Question - What are the pro's and con's of submitting your articles to every directory out there?

Denise's Answer - It used to be very common for people to submit articles to every directory that would take them. The new trend is to submit your articles to only a few niche sites.

One reason why it’s good to submit your articles to every directory is that you can get exposure in areas you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Perhaps there’s a market for your product or service that you hadn’t thought of. If you submit your articles to every directory you can find, you might find discover new opportunities for your business.

The downside of submitting your articles to every directory is that it is time consuming, with a possibly lower return on their investment. Many article marketers are now choosing to submit their articles to niche directories and a few well-known general sites, where they know their target market will look for them.

Placing your articles on a few well-chosen sites can be a better use of your time, but you could also be missing out on other opportunities.

Denise Willms is the head writer of WAHM Articles, a ghostwriting service that helps online business owners reach the “mom market.” She is also owner of, a directory of free reprint articles for moms.

Audrey :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Your Business Card Is An Effective Marketing Tool In Network Marketing

What exactly is a business card? For me, my business card is one of the least expensive forms of advertising I possess.

Your business card is your introduction to potential clients, and prospects. This is your opportunity to tell every person you come in contact with what you have to offer them in writing. You've heard the expression "get it in writing". With your business card, you can give it to them in writing.

I have found very reasonable prices at both Staples and OfficeMax. They offer white paper, colored paper, black and white ink, two ink colors, company logos etc.

When deciding what to put on your business card, remember you want to entice people, not bore them. Stay away from fancy lacy print; it's far too difficult to read. Don't cram so much into the small space of a business card that each line runs together. So what exactly should you put on your card? People want to know how to contact you. Your business card should include your name, address, phone, fax and website. If you accept emails about your business, then by all means include your email address as well. By including the name of the company you represent, your contact knows exactly what to expect. Many people like to use a one liner describing their business. Make this line something that is a selling point for your business. My cards tell people "Over 50 Years In the Kitchen". With so many businesses failing each year, I feel it's important to let my contacts know that they are dealing with a company that has been around for quite some time.

Have you ever received a business card and turned it over? What do you see? Usually nothing. I see this as a waste of valuable advertising space. You can hand write a personal note. You can put labels on this space that say any multitude of things. My favorite labels say "call me to find out how this card can have your name on the front". I print these on Avery labels and run them off on my printer. Again, this is your opportunity to advertise you and the company you represent.

Now if you are like me, you will soon be looking at a box with 1000 cards in it. When I saw my first box of business cards, I imagined them on the shelf for the next 5 years collecting dust. What would I possibly do with 1000 business cards?

The following is a list of the many places I leave my business cards:

On bulletin boards in stores and fast food establishments.
On the mirror behind the sink in public restrooms (use a magnet on the back of your card)
On the counter of ATM machines
In the shopping cart when I'm done using it at the grocery store.
Inside the pages of library books for the next user to find
On the tables of fast food restaurants
Inside magazines at the doctor’s offices
In the pouch on the airplane seat in front of mine.

In addition, I hand out my cards to anyone I meet during my day. If I'm at the grocery store and strike up a conversation with another shopper, I end by handing him/her a business card. If I visit the park with my kids, I hand business cards to all the other parents there. When I mail bills, I always stick a business card in with my payment. Whenever I write a thank you note to a customer, I add two business cards, one for them and one for a friend.

Make it a goal to hand out 100 cards per week and watch your business grow!!

Audrey :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Using Your Real Name Online

I see the question come up often of how to get around not using your real name online. People wish to not use their real name for many reasons. It might be that you are a high profile person and don’t wish for others to know who you are. It might be you are working offline and do not wish to confuse people with your two lives, or it might be you prefer not to be found by someone who might be looking for you. Whatever your reason, you are now faced with whether or not to use your real name online.

I see many work-arounds. If you are a woman, and you have a maiden name, consider going by your maiden name. Chances are, most folks will not know your maiden name.

Another thought is to use only the first letter of your first name, along with your last name.

You can use any variation of your initials that feels comfortable. You can use your first and middle name initials, along with your last name. You can use your first name, then your maiden name initial and a last name.

Other people have chosen to use nicknames. For example if your name is Katherine, you could use Kat, Kate or Kathy or any other spelling of the name Kathy. If your name is Robert, you could use Rob, or Bob, or Bobby, or Robby.

In some cases, I’ve seen women use their husbands’ names online. They believe a man’s name will benefit them.

Another option is to change your last name just a bit. For example, if your last name is Wolfman, consider shortening it to Wolf. If your last name is White and you want a name other than White, consider adding a few letters and making it Whitman.

It is my belief that in business, online, you do need to use a real name versus an “online screen name” or “handle”.

Branding online is very important so consider the name you will use carefully. Choose a name that you want to attach to everything you do online.

Audrey :)