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Not Back to School but Forward to What’s Next!

 

Valley-band

It's almost time for back to school. Depending upon the day, that's either a heartache or a relief for me. My oldest Sam took off for his second year at The University of Idaho last week and my "baby" Eli will be a junior at Walla Walla High School this year. He's been working at his first job this summer and will continue that into the school year while he balances AP classes and his role as the Snare Captain of the drum line for marching band. Both of my boys (that's them on the left) have expressed to me that they feel renewed, refreshed, and are hitting the ground running with a fresh start and some big goals for this year.

 

That got me thinking about this time of year for direct sellers and how important it is to make the same transition in your business that your kids are making as they head off to a new school year. Since September hasn't hit us yet, I'd like to invite you to take some time and answer the following questions about your direct sales business and where you're headed as we transition into the final 1/3 of the year: 

 

Here are some questions that will get you started:

  • What are your goals for the next four months?
  • How much income will you earn?
  • How many parties will it take to reach your goal?
  • How many new team members will you need to bring onto your team?
  • What will you commit to daily to reach your goal? Weekly? Monthly?
  • Finally, how will you feel once you hit it? (Really define this – it's probably the most important item on this list)

Just like the syllabi your kids are bringing home with outlines of assignments and project for the next semester in each class, this list will help you create your own syllabus for success in your direct sales business. I'd love to have you share your goals and action steps below.



WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE FOR FREE 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 a 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 more blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.

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A Must-Do List for A Successful Fall Selling Season in Your Direct Sales Business

You've been hearing it for a few weeks now, like the theme song from "Jaws" playing in your head…Dah dum…dah dum… dahdumdahdumdahdum…getting faster and faster. The fall selling season for direct sellers is sneaking up on us and you better be ready! Take a deep breath. There's still time to get set up for success in your direct sales business before your kids head back to school and we head into the most busy season in our sales year.

 

Here's a must-do list that should help you get ahead of the game and be prepared to take advantage of all the momentum you can this fall:
 

  • Make a plan – This is the place to start if you're serious about your business. Take some time to sit down and create a plan so when September hits, you have a step-by-step vision and clear steps to take to get booked and build your business through the last four months of the year. Take an hour and set your goals for September through December. Click here to download my "Goal Setting Worksheet" taken from our "Powerful Tools for Your Direct Sales Business: Leader's Edition." It will help you make a strong plan.
     
  • Create a contact list of at least 50 people you haven't contacted recently – I guarantee, there are at least 50 people whom you could follow up with but haven't. Think about your customers, guests from your parties, previous hosts, and any other leads that may have fallen through the cracks. Make your goal to actually come up with 100 names and 50 will seem easy.
     
  • Throw your own celebration party – You have lots to celebrate this time of year in your direct sales business (and lots of awesome new products to share). Invite all of those people on your list of 50 and everyone else you can think of. Choose a fun theme and offer lots of great give-aways to compel people to want to attend.
     
  • Consider offering a virtual party - Virtual parties are all the rage right now and it's an easy way for you to share what's new and create a fun party without people having to leave their homes. You can learn 5 simple steps for hosting your own online party here
     
  • Give back - This is a great time of year to do fund raisers, which also generates greater interest in your business. You can make a difference while growing your business.
     
  • Make sure your customers know they can shop with you online – If you don't have an e-mail list with your customer's information, work on that now and then be sure you e-mail them at least once mid to late November with clear instructions about how they can "shop from their chair" with you on your website.

 

These are just a few of my "must do's." I'd love to know what you're focusing on now to ensure that your fall selling season results are out of this world. Please share below!



WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE FOR FREE 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 a 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 more blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.

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An Unhappy Customer is an Opportunity

candyI'm a bona fide chocoholic. My true favorite is milk chocolate with mint. Whenever I fly through Seattle, I used to grab a box of my favorite Seattle-made Chocolates Peppermint Truffle Cremes on my way through the airport. Now, I walk right past the kiosk. Here's why.

 

A few years ago, on a trip home, I bought a box and jumped on my flight. After dinner that night, I opened the box and took out a much anticipated, individually wrapped chocolate, bit into it…and almost broke a tooth. My truffle creme was hard as a rock. Every piece in the box was like that.

 

So the next morning, I called the company, explained the problem, and they apologized profusely, promised to mail me a new box of candy, and said someone from their customer service department would be giving me a call. So far, so good. Until 4 days later when the box of candy arrived. The packing slip said Peppermint Truffle Cremes, but the box said Ultimate Extra Dark Chocolate Creme. Dark chocolate is the only kind I don't eat.

 

So I called back. This time, the same receptionist I spoke with the first time (and he remembered me) was defensive and downright rude. He said he'd have a manager call me. No one ever did. So not only was the problem compounded by a second mistake (which isn't the end of the world…hey, we're all human and we all make mistakes), but he made it worse and I walked away an unhappy customer. 

 

Would You Rather Be Right or Successful?

 

What's this got to do with you or your direct sales business? I hope it's an important lesson to you. While I was certainly an unhappy customer, I was definitely open to having the company make things right for me. Until they didn't. Had they done a great job of customer service with me, I would have become one of their greatest fans (and may have been writing this blog post to encourage you to stop by and buy a box of candy if you're ever passing through Sea-Tac Airport, instead of warning you that it might not be the best idea).

 

When I have an unhappy customer, I have one goal and only one goal…to make sure they walk away as happy as possible. I lead with the question, "What can I do to make you happy and turn this situation around for you?" Honestly, most people are shocked by the question and don't even know how to answer. Customers expect to have to fight for their rights in these situations because most companies don't understand the value of good customer service. For me, one unhappy customer can do more damage that 50 happy ones. So I don't care how "wrong" I have to be, I make it right if at all possible.

 

Turn an Unhappy Customer Into A Raving Fan

 

The next time you have an unhappy customer, look at it as an opportunity to create a "raving fan." I have several stories like that, and a few of my biggest "fans" started out as angry clients. It was the way I (and my staff) dealt with their concerns that changed everything. That doesn't mean I never get frustrated or even feel a little taken advantage of. But I take a deep breath, put myself in the unhappy customer's shoes, and give whatever I have to give to create a happy customer.

 

Just a little food for thought. If nothing else, the next time you're confronted by an unhappy customer, stop before you react and ask yourself how much it will cost you to find out what your customer wants and give it to them. It may cost you much less in the long run than losing a customer.

 

What do you think?



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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