4 Valuable Prospecting Tips

My husband and I were discussing sales, customer relationships, and why sales is so often considered a bad word and here are just some of the conclusions we came to.

1. The relationship with the customer is the most important thing. If you can make them feel good (and I encourage people to be GENUINE here) about their decision then they will buy and will buy from you again. This equals potential customer referrals, as well, which is always a plus.

2. In sales if you can get the customer to come to you your job is 1/2 way done. They are interested. They are looking to buy, price, evaluate, etc.

3. It is getting customers to come to you that most people struggle with because it’s a combination of skill, luck, BRAVERY, and timing. If you get your feelings hurt easily you’ll never make it. If you let rejection linger you’ll never make it. You have to remember that sales is a numbers game. Most will say no but a FEW will say yes. All any salesperson (or self employed business owner!)  needs is a few yes’s ever so often to meet their personal goals!

4. There is a way to create a sense of urgency without being pushy. For instance, in car sales: someone calls on the phone about a car you have in your online inventory. At the end you say “when are you ready to come test drive it? “When would be a good time for you to come down here and give it a spin?” etc. That requires an answer besides a yes or no on their part. See how that works?

Here is a personal example of taking  I had a totally random stranger send me an email through one of my business websites asking to get together and that she was very interested. I emailed her back that next business day. NO response for other a week. So I sent her this today:

Hi, XXXXXXXXX

You had emailed me last week asking about information about Ampegy. I emailed you back that next day. I just wanted to let you  know there is a huge momentum going on in your area (I checked based on your phone area code).

If you want more information be on this call tonight at 8pm central (6 pm pacific I believe)
1-605-475-4486, access code 62269

This will be my last attempt to reach you. If you’re interested, let’s rock and roll and make you some money!

————————————————————————-

I got a response back that same hour saying they would be on the call tonight and that they wanted to follow up with me afterwards. Now is this a guaranteed hot lead? No. It’s never a guarantee until they act, buy, join, etc.

But it’s a hotter lead than had I never tried to contact them a second time OR had I phrased it differently like “I’d like for you to see this but if you don’t like it that’s okay it’s not for everyone” etc.

 

5 Things To Avoid In Network Marketing

This is just going to be a collection of things I have learned to AVOID doing in my almost 4 years of being in the Network Marketing industry.

1. No matter how excited you are NEVER get something permanent to reflect your business because anything can change at ANY TIME. This includes vanity license plates, jewelry (unless given to you by the company), permanent signage, tattoos, car paint jobs, etc.

This is something that I both observed when spending time with Mike and Barb Lammons out in California AND have personal experience with. For instance, I got so excited about a company that I bought the license plate for the state of Arkansas.

The reason why this was a bad decision was because the company is just the vehicle. The industry is the stuff that makes the vehicle drive… YOU are the fuel. Brand yourself. Brand your team. NEVER tie yourself to a company in that way.

Now promote your heart out always in whatever company you choose..but never lose your identity along the way. Believe me it is easy to do. You get so caught up in the company and its success that you forget about you and the health of your team.

2. Never try to do it all. Ask your team to share some of the responsibility. Nobody can shoulder all the responsibility all the time.

3. Personally, I choose to never personally sponsor someone more that twice. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

4. Never EVER buy someone in to your company. No matter HOW perfect you think that prospect will be for your team buying them in is NEVER a good idea because they have risked nothing therefore they can quit without losing any money.

If you buy someone in you’re basically asking them to quit on you. I also say this from experience. I have helped at least 10 people join my company and they are ALL GONE. None of them stayed.

5. Only go where the money is. Now-let me explain. If someone you know or meet says “hey, can you fly/drive out to X. I want to talk to you about the business.” Say, sure. Let’s talk on the phone first. If you still want me to come out enroll as a Representative and get me 3 other people to talk to while I’m there and I’ll come.

I have wasted SO MUCH TIME, MONEY, and EMOTIONAL ENERGY on people who asked me to come out to places as far out as Seattle ( I live in Arkansas) with NO intention of talking about the business. They just wanted to see me, catch up, or wanted to ask for money. This happened to me because I thought that, as a leader, I should go and because of this I wasted my time, money, and energy.  I hope you learn from my mistakes.

If you apply these 5 things to avoid to your business I believe that you’ll notice a big change. My hope is that this helps at least one person grow and become more successful.

Have you made a mistake that I left out? Please comment and share it so we can all learn from it together!

MLM Overhauls Needed in 2011

MLM (network marketing, affiliate marketing, the distribution business model..call it what you will) needs a major overhaul in 2011.

For crying out loud there are still marketers out there who ask you to dinner, “magically” meet up with a business contact and then ambush you about how you need to join!

It is 2011, people, and there has got to be some work done to the MLM’s who survive and thrive from here on out.

  • The company has to have a GREAT WEBSITE that MUST WORK. Period. If you send me to your MLM and it looks like an old Angelfire homepage then you’ve probably got bigger problems (i.e. funding)
  • The company’s owner and leadership team MUST be featured. The field should KNOW who these people are and why they are qualified to be leaders.
  • STOP SHOWING LIFESTYLE SLIDES IN PRESENTATIONS!  Nobody believes anymore that in 3 years they will be dancing on a beach every day or stepping off their private plane.  This was big in the 90’s but in 2011 people just want realistic income that can help pay their bills. Now when the economy is better as a whole, sure- go back to showing pictures of fast cars and big houses but GET REAL for right now!
  • You MUST have a reasonable start up cost. Owning a franchise should never be free because that just seems hokey to me. If you don’t pay anything for it then WHY is it worth anything?  The value just isn’t there. Then again an MLM should never be over $700 to enroll in. You’re buying into an independent distributorship and it takes money to make money but in this economy anything over $700 is totally unreasonable.
  • Have a product that is actually useful and cost effective to the end consumer. For instance, The Trump Network really dropped the ball on choosing an expensive health product when the average American consumers can barely afford the generic vitamins at Wal-Mart.
  • Have effective and consistent communication with customers and the independent distributors in the field. Nothing raises a red flag more than when a company stops sending out communications. And on the flip side it generally takes 3 marketing outreaches to a consumer to get their attention which engages them and often leads to more sales (or customer referrals) so consistent contact just makes sense.
  • It is always a good idea to do a marketing piece that features happy customers AND happy distributors. People are skeptical of online companies these days-especially those who are never seen in the public eye of tv or social networking and they need regular customers and successful distributors to relate to.

What do you guys think? Did I leave anything out? This post was from the top of my head so feel free to chime in.

 

Success And Failure part 2

It’s a cold winter evening so I thought I would finish up the part 2 of my take on Jeffrey Gitomer’s chapter about traits of and the difference between failure and success from his book The Little Red Book of Selling.

10. Take Responsibility. It’s human nature to blame others for our failures. However, you have own up to your actions. Successful people take responsibility for everything they do and everything that happens to them.

11. Take Action. Period. Say you’re going to do something and DO IT. Talking big is a large part of vocalizing your goals..but follow through and take steps towards making them happen.

12. Make Mistakes. Be willing to make mistakes. Making mistakes is only failing if you quit after making the mistake! You can never grow and learn without making a few mistakes along the way. Embrace them!

13.Willing To Risk. No risk, no reward-or as Gitomer says- no risk, no NOTHING! Risk is the basic of success. If you never step outside your comfort zone then nothing will ever change for you!

14. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize. Vocalize your goals, write them down, post them where you can see them daily. If you lose sight of what you’re working towards, then it is easy to lose your motivation.

15. Balance Yourself. You’re pulled a million different directions in your day to day life- aim for balance yourself by trying to manage your time, eating better, and taking time to relax.

16. Invest, Don’t Spend. This is a BIG part of where people fail in this industry. When you spend, make wise investments and stick to the goal is MAKING more than you SPEND.

17. Stick At It Until You WIN. Another reason people fail is because they quit TOO SOON. When it gets tough, they quit. Times get tough, but then they get better. Are you a quitter, or a winner?

18. Develop And Maintain A Positive Attitude. Life is about perception. So is success. So are you positive, or negative? If you are negative about your business, then why do you still do it?

18.5. Ignore Idiots And Zealots. This is my FAVORITE. I also include haters in this list. All of these people will try to rain on your parade- and if you LET them, they win. These people have no parade of their own..so avoid them. Period! This goes for your facebook list too- I regularly purge people who whine about their life, yet never do anything, and those who are rude and/or mean. I suggest you do it, too! You need positive energy in your life!

A side note about 18.5- stop being a zealot yourself. Excitement can EASILY cross that line (believe me I’ve been there) so if you find that people treat you like a zealot perhaps there is some truth to that so all you need to do is tone it done just a little and put that energy into action rather than talking about whatever it is you’re doing.

 

Success And Failure part 1

Tonight I’m re-reading Jeffery Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling.

I came across the section about the difference between failure and success and wanted to share.

There are 18.5 talking points- I’m going to cover 9 here, and 9.5 next time.

1. Believe You CAN. People have always ALWAYS said it is mind over matter…and that’s 100% true. It seems simple and even silly, but merely believing you can actually gives you the confidence to achieve your goal.

2. Create The Environment. This goes along with the “believe you can” concept. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people and this will encourage you to have a great attitude and believe in yourself.

3. Have The Right Associations. Again- it’s about attitude. See the trend here? Hang around the right people- positive, encouraging, supportive people and you will be on the mental road to success. Basically- cut the junk out of your life- and by junk I mean people with mean, nasty, bitter attitudes. They just suck the life out of everyone and everything around them. Cut them loose. You’ll be better off.

4. Expose Yourself To What’s New. This means learn something new every day. Educate yourself. Check your back office every day. Involve yourself 110% with your business. Check out the .com site, check out the .biz site, and talk to your fellow Community Directors often- daily if possible.

5. Plan For The Day. “Since you don’t know on which day success will occur, you’d better be ready every day” Well said, Jeffery. The old Boyscout saying rings true here- always be prepared. Have cards with you at all times. You never know when someone will say “hey, what is it you do? How can I get in on that? or “I LOVE the internet- I’m on allll the time!”

Also, prepare for your day by making goals, big and small. And DO them! Following through is a big part of being successful.

6. Become Valuable. Period. Know the comp plan as best as you can. Introduce yourself to the top income earners and corporate leadership team. Check your back office often.

Read up about industry news. Know what to say (and be RIGHT!- get your facts straight!) Become a knowledge base for both prospective Community Members, Community Directors, and current Community Directors.

7. Have The Answers Your Prospects And Customers Need (Community Members in our case!). This echos #6. The more you know, the better you can solve problems, answer questions, and help your prospects understand what it is you’re doing with your company. Incorporate facts with ANSWERS to people’s questions. If you don’t know- FIND OUT!

8. Recognize Opportunity. I have recently realized that opportunity appears when you’re not expecting it to. This goes back to being prepared. Know your stuff. Have cards handy. Ask people to join our free online community. Ask questions and work on developing a rapport with people. Again, people love answers more than they love facts.

9. Take Advantage of Opportunity. First, open your eyes and recognize it. Second, ACT on it. Seize your opportunity- ask friends, family, acquaintances and strangers to join your free online community. Leave sizzle cards (aka drop cards) places where people will find them.

The sky is the limit, my friends- believe in yourself, know your stuff, and simply open your mouth and ask someone to join our community today!

How To Be Successfully Self Employed

I find that many people are doing side jobs for extra money lately…lots are turning that photography hobby into a side business, mowing lawns, looking at my company or other network marketing opportunities like Mary Kay, Avon, health pills, and the like.

Here are some of what I think are excellent traits and will help lead people towards successful self-employment.

  • Be willing to TELL SOMEONE about what you’re doing. Period. If you struggle to ask someone to help spread the word, ask their cousin to think of you for their wedding photographer, etc. then how can your friends and family know you’ve got a new side business and that you’re serious about it?
  • Get used to hearing “no thanks”,”not interested” or “that will never work” You will hear no more than once. Thank them and move on.
  • Dress professionally when on the job or looking for new business
  • Learn how to speak more effectively without the “ums and uhs“. Talk to your cat. Give a pretend presentation to the mirror. WHATEVER IT TAKES to get comfortable with your new side business, DO IT.
  • Realize success will not happen overnight. It probably will not happen for the first 4-5 months. BUT STICK WITH IT.
  • To be successful, you must be proud of what you do and promote it with excitement.
  • Be creative. Start a blog. Join a local community service group
  • Talk with people in the community. Everyone knows SOMEONE who can use your services. Consider the budding photographer example…everyone knows SOMEONE who is getting married, graduating, needs family portraits, etc. JUST ASK.

 

Owning A side business

Are you involved in a network marketing program? Some network marketing companies include: Amway, Mary Kay, Passion Parties, Pampered Chef, Avon, etc.

Here’s a list of just SOME of the business expenses you can claim on your taxes. This list comes from my  CPA who is also a certified fraud examiner:


THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN STARTING A SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP

Select a name for your business

Open a checking account under your name DBA the business name

Deposit all income into the business checking account

Write checks for as many of your business expenses as possible and save all receipts

If you pay cash for expenses, get a receipt from the seller. If hand written, be sure it has the date, the seller’s name and what you purchased

Write down your vehicle mileage when you start your business and again on December 31 of each year. You will be able to deduct a % of your total mileage without gas receipts and a % of your car loan interest

If you entertain clients, get a receipt and write the name of the person at the event as well as a short description of what business was transacted

You can give business gifts to your clients or potential clients with a value of $25 or less per client per year

You are allowed to deduct/depreciate office furnishings, equipment and supplies

You can deduct magazine subscriptions, books and membership dues that relate to your line of business

You can deduct bank service charges and check printing charges

You can deduct rent and utilities for your business and/or storage

You can deduct accountants consulting fees and attorneys fees

You can NOT make donations to charitable organizations and deduct them as a business expense unless they are advertising, ie, You pay for an ad in a school yearbook.

You can deduct floral arrangements that you use in your office as well as other decorations

You can provide coffee, etc to your clients and deduct the cost

If possible, use separate credit cards for business and personal purchases

Long distance phone calls are deductible, but in order to deduct the base rate, you must have two lines into your home.


Cellular phones and the calls are deductible

Internet provider charges are deductible.

(This list is not all inclusive. There are numerous other tax deductions available.)

DIANA PAYNE, CPA, MBA, CFE


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