There's a nasty rumor flying around that direct sales is difficult during the Summer. It was probably started by the same people who say you have to take a full month off in December if you're a direct seller. The truth is, Summer is a fantastic time to have home parties and to help others see the potential and freedom of having their own direct sales businesses come Fall. Plus, in July and August we're gearing up for the busiest season in our business year, so now is the time to focus on building a strong business.
You may agree with me but you may still fight that rumor with your direct sales team. If you're a team leader, the summer months may take a little creativity on your part, but working harder now to keep your team motivated and working will pay off for them (and you) this fall. Here are my three best ideas for doing this (and if you're not a leader yet, these ideas will support you in keeping your own business on track this summer):
1. Help them set goals for the Fall
Chances are good your team members haven't really thought about what they want for their businesses come September, and if they wait to set goals, it will be too late. Take some time and coach them, asking them what they'd like to create for the second half of the year. Let them know what's possible if they head into September with a full calendar and a few new team members and ask them what they'd do with that money. Encourage them to set specific goals now around their income, the number of parties they want to be holding, and their team building efforts so they have a plan and know what they're working toward now.
2. Give them incentives they really want
If you just got back from your company convention (or you're getting ready to go), you know how well incentives work. I spoke at a national convention last month and they had been running an iPad contest since January. One of the women at my dinner table during the awards banquet said not only had she earned the incentive, but she's learned a whole new way of working and the sales and sponsoring goals she'd had to meet for the challenge had become a part of how she worked now. BINGO! That was the whole idea. So how can you incentivize your team right now? What would they love to earn? Is it cash, products, a fun shopping spree? If you're not sure, ask them! And what would you like to encourage them to do to earn it? Bookings, sponsoring, sales, or all of the above? Get creative and use the next month and a half to help them work toward a fun incentive (and a stronger business).
3. Teach them creative ways to work their businesses during the summer months
I will concede that you have to be a little creative to book home parties in the summer, but if you come up with some fun themes, it's easy! I love entertaining outdoors in the summer and so do lots of people. Consider doing a special training with your team on creative summer themes they can offer to potential hosts (some examples: Ice cream socials, office parties, block parties, patio parties). You might also do some training on overcoming the challenges of working from home during the summer, sharing some of the things that have worked well for you.
Don't let the summer months dictate a vacation in your business or a downswing in your team enthusiasm. An investment of your time in supporting, encouraging, and training your team now will pay off big time this Fall. And please share any of your own brilliant ideas for how you keep your team on track during this time of year below.
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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 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 systems, 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.