When I was actively working my direct sales business I developed a set of business principles. These were different from my business practices. In fact, they fueled my practices. My business principles were a set of beliefs I held about myself and my business which supported every action I took when it came to that business. Here is a list of a few principles that I can remember right off the top of my head:
- My opportunity is amazing and everyone should at least consider it.
- I provide an incredible experience when I do parties and I bring great value to my hosts and my guests.
- Nothing is more important than my personal and family harmony (my word for what most of you call balance).
The practices that supported these principles had to do with how and when I shared my opportunity, what I asked of my hosts when they booked parties with me, and how I worked my business around my life and family schedule. They became the things I ALWAYS did, no matter what, because they supported my business principles. Make sense?
So, someone asked me this past week why I thought I was successful in my current business and it got me thinking. My business practices haven’t changed much. I jotted down a few notes about some of them that I thought might be relevant for you. Here’s the top 4 list I came up with.
Show up On Time
This is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned but I’m always amazed at the number of people who are shocked to hear from me right at 11:30 am on a Wednesday morning if we happen to have an appointment for 11:30 am on a Wednesday morning. Why do so many people think it’s okay to be late? Bottom line for me…it’s not. When you show up late, you’re clearly telling the other person “Your time isn’t as important as mine so you can just wait for me.” That’s NEVER how I want someone else to feel because it’s not a reflection in any way of my beliefs. I once worked for someone who was horribly late all the time (and I mean sometimes more than an hour late). I spent lots of time dealing with upset clients who didn’t feel valued by him. I learned a valuable lesson from that.
Deliver on What you promise
In fact, over deliver on what you promise. When you actually do what you say you’re going to do, people love that. When you send them a bonus or a thank you note for no reason other than that you’re thrilled to be doing business with them, they REALLY love that.
“Being listened to is so close to being loved, most people can’t tell the difference.” I’m not sure who actually said that but it’s one of my favorite quotes. Seems simple enough, right. Not really. It’s amazing how many of us really don’t know how to listen at all. Here’s a simple shift you can make right now that will instantly turn you into an excellent listener – get curious about the other person. Listen as if you were going to be tested later on everything they said. Not only will you listen more intently when you’re being curious, you’ll ask follow up questions (which is a clear signal to the other person that you’re listening).
This is quite possibly number one for me. The first question I tend to ask anyone I’m working with is “How can I best support you?” The beauty of this question is it not only informs them that you intend to make it all about them, but it also moves them immediately to a solution focused outcome instead of a complaint position. Even when I’m dealing with an unhappy client, when I ask this question it immediately shifts their focus from why they’re upset to what they want the outcome to be. The more support you offer, the more people like and trust you. Plus there’s the by-product that it feels really great to support someone else, so it’s really a win-win.
These are simple enough, but if you’re not practicing them on a regular basis, you may have a more difficult time forming lasting relationships with your hosts, clients, and downline. Think about small changes you can make this week that will help you begin to implement these simple steps into your daily business life (and do share below if you have other business principles you think are important or have questions for me).
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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.