You’re buried under 3 feet of snow, your kids haven’t had a full week of school since you can remember, and you’ve forgotten what the sun looks like. And to make matters worse, your last 4 parties canceled because one had no power, one had three sick kids, and the other two happened to fall on days when everyone was stranded and the news was telling them not to drive unless they had to.
I call it the Direct Sales Winter Time Blues and it seems to be hitting even harder this year, especially on the East coast, with record setting blizzards hitting every other day and no end in sight. So, if you are a direct seller and you’re hoping to actually still have a business once you dig out from the latest spate of weather and winter colds, what can you do when those things strike?
Here are my top tips for managing your own Winter Time Blues…
Focus on What You Can Control
As any frequent air traveler (myself included) will tell you, it’s important to focus on what you can control when you’re traveling, because letting those things that are out of your control (like the weather or other travel delays) upset you will only make your day worse. If the weather or the latest flu epidemic have caused cancellations on your direct sales schedule in spite of your impeccable hostess coaching and follow-up skills, all you can do is accept that as what it is and choose to work around it. Reschedule the parties and get creative (see below). Getting upset only makes your life (and the lives of those stuck inside the house with you) miserable.
Trade-In on the Situation
If you’re shut in, bored, and your kids are driving you crazy, chances are good your customers and hostesses feel the same way. Assuming they still have power, consider hosting an online party or offering a catalog-party special to anyone who gets on the phone and gathers up a handful of orders. Heck, what else do they have to do? Now is also a great time to make follow up calls because your chance of catching people at home is very good.
Get Organized and Caught Up
You know all those things you’ve been telling yourself you’ll get to when you’re not so busy? Guess what? The time has come. Roll up your sleeves, clear the clutter off of your desk, re-arrange your office so it works better for you, and get your banking and taxes all caught up and prepared. This unexpected found time can be a gold mine if you make a plan for it.
Put Things In Perspective With Gratitude
Finally, take a second every day when you wake up, before you pull on your snow boots to trudge to the curb to get your paper, and make a quick mental list of all the things you’re grateful for. When you look at your life through the lens of gratitude, especially given the fact that there are people in your city not nearly as blessed as you who are trying to find someplace warm and dry to sleep tonight or wondering how they’ll eat if the local soup kitchen closes, suddenly a few canceled parties doesn’t seem quite so bad.
Bottom line, if the weather or other “Winter Time Blues” has messed with your life and plans a bit, it is what it is. There’s no changing it, no matter how badly you want too. The sooner you accept that, make yourself and your kids a cup of hot cocoa, and resolve to enjoy this time, right now, the happier you’ll be.
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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, systems, 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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