Avoid the “Next Girlfriend” Syndrome in Your Direct Sales Business

Next-girlfriend-syndromeYou know as well as I do that the direct sales/home party plan industry has a bit of a bad reputation. We’ve all had friends or family say, “I don’t do those home parties. I just hate them.” It’s an unfortunate fact and one you must address up front at your parties in order to begin to change the paradigm of your guests.

 

I call it the “next girlfriend” syndrome. You know about this syndrome if you’ve ever dated a man who’s had a bad relationship prior to meeting you. One where the woman he was with before was really not nice and treated him badly? You have to spend the first several months of your relationship convincing him that you’re “not that girl” and that things are going to be different with you. You really pay for her sins.

 

That’s exactly what happens when you stand in front of a room full of guests who’ve attended a “bad” direct sales home party in the past. One where they felt uncomfortable and leveraged to do something (book a party, sign up for the business, or buy a product) for the entire evening and escaped as quickly as possible by purchasing the cheapest thing in the catalog (or nothing at all).

 

Part of your job as a direct sales representative is to communicate right from the beginning of every party you do that this experience, here tonight with you, is going to be different. You have to give them permission to get involved and have fun without the worry that if they let down their guard even a little, you’re going to pounce on them and ask them to do something.

 

The best way I found to do that was to tell them, up front, that my number one goal that night (in fact, I called it a rule, I was so serious about it) was that they have fun. And I meant that. I wasn’t focused on whether or not they booked a party or placed an order or asked for an opportunity brochure. I was totally and completely committed to making sure I was doing everything in my power to ensure they relaxed and had a fun experience. I knew if I did that well, the sales, bookings, and sponsoring leads would follow.

 

So take some time this week and look (really look) at the experience you’re providing for your guests. What are you doing to overcome their previous experiences and current expectations to make sure they’re leaving that party saying, “That was the most fun I’ve ever had at one of these home parties!” If you’re stumped for ideas, check out my “Designing An Amazing Party Experience” audio program.

 

The program is packed with some great ideas to help you customize your party experience so your guests are having a blast. I can almost guarantee that if you do that, you’ll notice people booking more parties (who wouldn’t want to repeat that fun experience with their friends?), getting more interest in joining your company (because you’ll be having such fun as well), and placing larger orders (because when people are having fun, they’re interacting with you and paying closer attention to your presentation. Plus they feel valued by you and that makes it much easier for them to purchase from you.)

 

Grab your complimentary copy of my “Book Yourself Solid In The Next 30 Days” roadmap. It’s yours for free when you subscribe to my mailing list. Already a member of the list? My system won’t add you twice, so go ahead and grab the roadmap anyhow. Click here to grab your roadmap now!



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Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.

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Increase Your Party Sales Average With One Simple Change

Woman-moneyI’m going out on a limb today. I’m blogging about the most controversial topic about which I train. I can just about guarantee, today’s post is going to challenge the way you’ve “always done it.” All I ask is that you read all the way to the end before you make a decision about whether this will work for you.

 

Deal? Great!

 

Here’s the secret to increasing your sales average by $500.00 or more per party; close your party the night of the party. (Remember, change is good…keep breathing ). I’m going to share some selfish reasons why this is a great idea in a moment. First, I want you to ask yourself a question.

 

When you hold your party open, for whom are you holding it open? (Nope, not the host). You’re holding it open for the guests who didn’t bother to show up to support the host on the night of your party. That’s like saying to those guests who did show up (possibly making a sacrifice to do so), “You’re not as important to us as those people who didn’t bother to show up tonight, so you can just WAIT for your products!” Ouch! Let that sink in for a moment. Is that really the message you want to be sending your guests at the party?

 

When I attend a home party, nothing bothers me more than having to wait to get my products because the party was held open for a week (or longer). I don’t feel valued by the host or the consultant, and it puts a bad taste in my mouth about the parent company (even though it’s in no way their fault).

 

Enough said. In my opinion, that alone should be reason enough for you to change this policy and start closing your shows the night of your shows. Just in case you need a little more convincing, here are some great, selfish reasons you may want to consider this:

  • Your orders will stop “walking out the door.” How often does a guest say “I need to check with my husband. I’ll take your catalog and call you with my order” and then never call you? If you tell the guests you’re closing the show that night, that guest is much more likely to order that night (and if she’s at all hesitant, you can share that she’s free to call you within 24 hours and cancel her order if she changes her mind – they never do, just for the record).

 

  • Your host order will often times be your largest order of the night. I always told my hosts to go through the catalog at least once a day for the week prior to their parties and fill up as many wish lists as they could with items they liked (I told them not to worry about whether or not they thought they could earn it or afford it – if they liked it, they needed to write it down). That way, when you sit down with your host to take her order, she’s been drooling over your catalog for a week. Once she’s done getting her free and 1/2 priced items, she’ll often say “Can I just buy the rest?” My answer was always “Sure, I’ll let you do that!”

 

  • If you let her wait even one day to close, you can kiss the above scenario goodbye. Why? She’s had some time to think about it, she’s sobered up (hey, parties are fun and we tend to “let our hair down”), her husband has said “No you’re not!” or she got the electric bill. You get the idea. Often she’ll be content to settle for just the free product and won’t even order the 1/2 price items. I’m telling you, if you’re waiting to close your parties (even for just 24 hours), you’re leaving money on the table!

 

  • You stop spending time chasing down hard to find hosts to close their parties. How many times do you hold the party open only to have the host show up a week later with few (or no) extra orders. Honestly, I bet it’s more than 75% of the time. And the hassle factor just isn’t worth that.

 

One final thing you need to know about this. You have to set your host up to get outside orders ahead of time. Simply let her know that you’re closing the party the night of the party so you can honor her friends who show up to support her by getting their products back to them as quickly as possible (and that’s exactly what I said) and that she’ll need to ask everyone who can’t make it to get their order to her or go on your website and order prior to the night of her party. Generally, I’ve found that people do what they’re told, so the greatest perk from this is that she shows up for her party with anywhere from $150.00 to $300.00 in outside order. How sweet is that!

 

Grab your complimentary copy of my “Book Yourself Solid In The Next 30 Days” roadmap. It’s yours for free when you subscribe to my mailing list. Already a member of the list? My system won’t add you twice, so go ahead and grab the roadmap anyhow. Click here to grab your roadmap now!



WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN PRINT OR ONLINE?

You may, as long as you do not alter it and include the following information (with active links as appropriate):

Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.

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Feeling Squeezed? That’s Not Necessarily A Bad Thing


Squeezed“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer.”
~ William R. Alger

 

When I first started my speaking business, I relied heavily on one-on-one coaching clients to supplement my speaking revenue (which was understandably not much in the beginning of my speaking career, before anyone really knew who I was). I am an ICF accredited coach and, while it’s not my passion, at that time it proved a great way to pay the bills while I built my speaking career. I consistently worked with anywhere from fifteen to twenty clients each week.

 

Then something strange happened. In one month, half of my clients quit. It wasn’t that they were dissatisfied, it just worked out that they were ready to move on without coaching, that our work together was done, or that they couldn’t afford to continue. Suddenly, I found myself wondering what the heck was going on and worse, how on earth I was going to pay my bills. My coaching business was literally “drying up” right before my eyes, and I had no idea why.

 

I was sharing my fear with a friend one day when she said something I’ll never forget. “Looks like God is opening up space in your life for something really big. Change is coming, so get ready.” I had no idea what that “something big” might be, but it made me look at that particular challenging situation differently. I was able to see that, while right now felt really challenging, there was surely a light at the end of the tunnel. Sure enough, within a few weeks, my phone started ringing off the hook with inquiries about my speaking services. Seems a leader with whom I was working had gone to her company’s executive summit, stood up in a room full of other executives, and raved about what a great live training I’d just done for her group. Now all of a sudden I was in demand. If I’d still had a full slate of coaching clients, it would have been impossible for me to meet the new demands on my time.

 

The quote at the top of this post may sound a little “pollyanna-ish,” but give me a second to elaborate. It’s the times in my life when I’m feeling the most overwhelmed that often end up being the ones I look back on with the most gratitude. Without fail, when things seem challenging or I’m facing change (which is never easy and which we as human beings tend to avoid whenever possible because it’s uncomfortable), it means something bigger and better is coming to me.

 

Nature uses a birth canal to bring forth new life in mammals. If you’ve ever seen a brand new baby, you know often times they are so squeezed that their heads are misshapen. Butterflies must emerge from their cocoons by squeezing with all their might out of a small opening and into the air. They emerge completely exhausted, but the process of being squeezed literally wicks the moisture away from their fragile new wings and allows them to fly. If you help a butterfly by tearing the cocoon open, it will die. It must experience the stress of the change in order to evolve to the next level.

 

If you’re feeling squeezed right now, it is because something is seeking to be born in you. Growth and change is never easy, but is always fruitful and worth the work. And what I know for sure is that just knowing this, understanding that challenge never happens in a vacuum and that something better is on it’s way, changes the way you look at challenge in your life. The next time you’re frustrated by challenging circumstances you’re experiencing or you’re wondering why things are so difficult, stop and imagine exactly why you’re life is being altered. What are you making room for or moving toward?

 

Sometimes that can turn a challenge into an adventure. It might not make it any easier, but it definitely changes your mindset as you navigate each challenge on your way to your new (even if it is undetermined) destination.

 

Grab your complimentary copy of my “Book Yourself Solid In The Next 30 Days” roadmap. It’s yours for free when you subscribe to my mailing list. Already a member of the list? My system won’t add you twice, so go ahead and grab the roadmap anyhow. Click here to grab your roadmap now!



WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN PRINT OR ONLINE?

You may, as long as you do not alter it and include the following information (with active links as appropriate):

Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.

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