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MLM Woman Issue 144
February 2009

From the Desk of the Editor

Welcome to the 144th edition of the MLM Woman Newsletter with some more fresh, hand picked articles to help your business survive and thrive in 2009.

If you like this month's issue, please be sure to let your friends know about it too and invite them to come and visit us. Also, if you have comments, questions or something to share after reading this month's articles, please visit our MLMTalk Discussion Forum and join in the lively conversation!

You can also view the articles from this month's issue at the MLM Woman Newsletter blog. This blog is updated each month with new content from our monthly newsletter. So head over and take a peak.

And also be sure to check out our Moms in Business Blog and MLM Marketing Blog for lots of additional tips and resources which are added throughout the month.

Yours in Success!
Linda Locke, Editor MLMWoman
Follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/LindaLocke

10 Steps to a Thriving
Direct Sales Business
From MLMWoman.com

Whether it’s your first direct sales business or you’ve been down this road before, everyone could use a few tips to make their business successful. So here are 10 tips that will go a long way in helping you to create a profitable business.

1. The Products – Know, love and stand behind the products you sell. If you know how it works, why it’s worth it and actually like it yourself, you’ll do a better job selling it to others. Know what similar products are all about as well. If your competitor sells a product like yours, be able to tell your customers why yours is better even if it costs more.

2. Network, Network, Network – It’s important to build a business network. Be yourself and take the time to build friendships and other contacts beyond just potential customers. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or a business networking group like Leads or BNI.

3. Online Presence – Create a website or a blog for your business. Nowadays, you are missing a huge opportunity if you’re not doing business via the Internet. One of the first places people go to find something they need is the World Wide Web and your product is no different. Even if you sell a lot locally, broaden your horizons by going online too.

4. Take Your Business Seriously – Your website, business cards, products, presentation and everything else you do in your business should exhibit that you’re serious about your business. Sometimes this will take a bit of money, like hiring a web designer to put your website together if you don’t know how. However, most of your professionalism will show in you personally, so treat it like a real business and you’ll reap the benefits of doing so.

5. Honesty is Key – When your customers feel like they can trust you they will be back. Don’t be shady or pushy in order to make sales or gain team members. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and move on. Remember people buy from those they know, like and trust.

6. Accept Rejection – In the direct sales business, the word No is one you’ll hear frequently. Don’t take it too personally and realize this is just a part of this business. Keep working hard and you’ll get positive replies and more sales too.

7. Attend Meetings – Take the time to attend meetings for your team. Not only will you learn about new products and sales techniques, but you’ll receive some needed encouragement from others who’ve been where you are. Even better, you will be able to help some of the newbies on your team eventually.

8. Set Goals – This tip is extremely important when it comes to the success of your direct sales business. Setting goals and constantly working toward them will help to make your business more profitable. Set big goals and then break them down into smaller easier to achieve steps. As you work your way through your list you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something and your ultimate goal won’t seem so out of reach. Be realistic with your goals, but don’t be afraid to set them high either.

9. Be There for Others – You will some day remember what it was like when you first started out. The help you received from others was invaluable and once you’ve worked your way up, be sure to lend a helping hand to others too. Being a mentor is both rewarding and educational. Remember: "What goes around comes around."

10. Work Hard and Stick with It – There will be hard times when you just want to quit. But remember, any business takes work and nothing happens overnight. Just keep moving forward taking small steps every day and you'll find yourself on the road to success.

Boost Your Creativity
with Adventure Day
By Christine Kane

"The best way to open your mind is to apply a jolt of unfamiliarity."
"The Big Moo" by Seth Godin and The Group of 33

Do you notice that your most juiciest ideas never come when you're staring at the computer screen?

Do you ever wonder how to get the creativity flowing or how to generate a zest for life?

Are you in the midst of great change and know there's something new out there but don't know what it is?

If you answered yes to any of these, then it's possible you need to shake things up a bit. You need Adventure Day.

What's Adventure Day?

Adventure Day is a day devoted to breaking out of the same old patterns of every day existence. It's a day set aside once a month when you do something different. That's all.

The scheduled activity is up to you.

- It can be something you haven't done since you were a kid - like roller-skating at the local rink.

- It can be something that scares you a little - like eating a new foreign cuisine, or going to the symphony if you don't know classical music.

- It can be something tourist-y and embarrassing - like gem mining, or a carriage ride through the city.

- It can be something totally cheese-y - like going to the carnival in the mall parking lot. (The one where Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" is invariably blaring through the cotton-candy-drenched air.)

A combination of fun, a little scary, and really cheese-y is optimal.

Adventure Day can last a day, or an overnight, or a few hours. You can do it with your spouse, a friend, a business partner or your mom.

Keep it simple and somewhat local. In other words, don't make it into such a big deal that you never even do it. The goal is just to do it.

What's the point of Adventure Day?

I know. I know. You might be reading this and snorting. "What's the point of that?" Or, "How is THIS going to help me change direction in my life?"

Well, it's organic. And it works like this:

1 - Adventure Day gets you OUT.

We get into creative ruts when we stick only with what we know, when we stay confined to our insular worlds, when we think we've had all the experience we need. Getting OUT reverses this trend. It blasts the boundaries and breaks the mold.

In Seth Godin's entrepreneurial gem, "The Big Moo", one writer said: "Too often in the business world we preserve and revere experience, when we should be challenging and renewing it. Go out and get some inexperience."

2 - Adventure Day fills your Idea Well

One of my coaching clients asked me why she feels most alive and creative when she's traveling in a foreign country. I told her that all of that yummy newness requires full present-moment awareness every minute. So, not only are we receptive and open to new things - but we're experiencing them with our highest level of attention. This IS creativity!

It's important to be proactive and productive. But we also need to open up and be receptive because this is what replenishes the well of ideas. This keeps us from burning out on productivity. And you don't have to wait til you have the time to travel to Italy!

3 - Adventure Day shows you how to be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Ask anyone who has ever performed, spoken in public, had a job in sales, or run a marathon. Success involves learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once you can do that, you can do anything!

My theory is that the world has turned into The Olive Garden. The mantra is, "Keep us safe. Don't challenge us. Fill us up with pasta and the same salty salads no matter where we travel."

There's nothing wrong with The Olive Garden on occasion, of course. But a key component to success, to creativity, and to accomplishing great new things is learning to be okay with not knowing what the entree will taste like in advance! You order some falafel and see what happens!

Your Assignment

Get out your calendar.

Open up to February.

Call a friend or partner and read this article to them. (Or email it to them.)

Schedule Adventure Day in ink. Show up.

The unfamiliar is all around you. Go find it.

About the Author
Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FREE subscription to LiveCreative at www.christinekane.com.

Keeping a Positive Attitude
In Direct Sales
By Audrey Okaneko

I was recently asked a question about keeping a positive attitude when the economy is so uncertain.

I have two answers to this question. My first answer is that something in life is always changing. Sometimes it’s the economy that’s changing. Sometimes it’s our home life that is changing and sometimes it’s the product line we sell that’s changing. Life is always changing.

My second answer is about attitude in general. We get to make a choice each and every day about our attitude. It’s up to us if we present a smile or a frown to the world. When life throws us a curve ball, again it’s up to us how we react and respond to the situation.

In direct sales, there are slower times and there are busier times. Holidays will always create more business than summer time. With a negative attitude about summer it’s hard to think outside of the box. With a positive attitude you might look for clever ways to market yourself and your products over the summer months.

In direct sales, you will hear the word no. There will be people who don’t wish to buy your products and there will be people who don’t wish to take advantage of the business opportunity. How you respond to these no’s is up to you. You can get discouraged and quit or you can keep asking and wait for those yes’es. I remember a mentor of mine once telling me to go after one hundred no’s. His reasoning was that I was bound to find yes’es as I went after my goal of one hundred no’s. What a difference in attitude, getting discouraged by no’s and working hard to get to one hundred no’s.

Think of yourself as the customer. Who do you want to work with and do business with? The person with the negative attitude or the person with the positive attitude?

My daughter and I recently were out car shopping. We had to choose from two sales people. One was smiling and said hello to us. The other made a short joke. My daughter is a little less than five feet tall. Which attitude would you rather work with? We chose the man who smiled and said hello.

Next time life or the economy changes, make a decision to keep a positive attitude. You’ll find that it will help your business all around.

About the Author
Audrey Okaneko has been in direct sales since 1983. She can be reached at
audreyoka@cox.net or you can Become a Tupperware Consultant

Introvert's Guide to Success
in Network Marketing
By Serena Tan

Does the idea of selling scare you?

Are you annoyed when you receive calls from complete strangers trying to interest you in the latest ground floor product or business opportunity?
So do I. That's because you and I belong to the 85% of the population who hate being sold to.

And if we hate being sold to, why would we want to inflict it on others by becoming network marketers ourselves? After all, the very crux of network marketing is sales, isn't it?

Not if you believe network marketing expert Michael Dlouhy. He is a 26-year industry veteran who has made it his business to spread the message that network marketing is NOT about sales.

What is network marketing about if not sales? Apparently, it's about people. I bet you have never heard any network marketing company tell you this. What they probably told you was that the big money was to be found in recruitment (the business opportunity) rather than sales of the products, how to put together your list of 100 names, and how the compensation plan would help you make money fast. That puts us introverts in rather a tight spot, because we don't like selling, and we don't want to risk rejection or jeopardizing friendships to make money. The result is that after maybe 6-12 months, we find ourselves with dwindling leads, few sales and even fewer downlines. No wonder we think network marketing is best reserved for the extroverts and natural salespersons.

The key here is self-understanding, knowing what works for you as an introvert, and then using that knowledge to market your products and business opportunity differently. You don't have to force yourself to put on a false front to succeed in network marketing. No one is going to be convinced anyway, and you are just giving yourself unnecessary pressure.

In other words, if you are an introvert, don't try to operate like an extrovert. It's not you, and your prospects will know it. What you need to do is to turn your personality into a business advantage. To do this, you need to know your strengths, find your own comfort level and work from there.

For example, I am highly uncomfortable opening up in a group environment. My strength lies in one-on-one conversations. Going one-on-one puts me at ease and allows me to give my full attention to the person I am with. When I am at ease, the pressure is off and that puts me in a relaxed and confident frame of mind, just what I need to build a good relationship. Work from your natural strengths, and you can market more successfully. It won't feel like selling (if that's what is holding you back). Your focus would instead be on the person you are sharing your product or business opportunity with, and how you can help him meet his needs. That's a win-win for both of you.

What if your preference is not to have any face-to-face contact? Can network marketing still work for you? Yes, if you use the right Internet marketing techniques. The Internet has such a wide reach that you can potentially reach thousands of people seeking your product or business opportunity – if you know how to find them. Again, remember that different marketing techniques work for different situations. Experiment until you find what works best for you.

Here are some suggestions on how to get started in marketing your business online.

First, you need to ask yourself who you are trying to reach. Are your prospects extroverts or introverts? According to research, introverts make up 25-40% of the population. That's a sizeable percentage. Make sure your marketing efforts contain something for everyone. For introverted prospects, their preference (like yours and mine) would probably be an arm's-length approach that gives them time to think and consider their response and get back to you when they are ready. Asynchronous methods like emails, ebooks, information DVDs and CD-ROMs would work well. Your extroverted prospects, on the other hand, would respond well to phone calls, tele-seminars and the standard excitable sales letter peppered with action words in caps, bold and highlighted yellow that tell them to whip out their credit cards and take action NOW.

Secondly, whatever your prospect's personality type, there is one thing you can do that is practically guaranteed to attract prospects to you without you having to chase them down. It is the content of your website. Put together a site with a professional look and feel and fill it with pages of high quality content that provide just what people are looking for on the Internet, and you will see your site rankings rise and enjoy an increasing number of hits. If you do it right by working with (rather than against) your personality, don't be surprised if some of these visitors eventually become your customers or downlines.

The bottom line is: just because you are an introvert doesn't mean you can't do network marketing or sales. You just need to find your own unique way of doing it. Be comfortable and natural in the way you reach out, and you will attract success more easily.

As Jacques Werth, president of High Probability Selling, a sales training company in Media, Pennsylvania, testifies: "Many of our most successful graduates, some of whom earn high-six-figure incomes, are introverts," he says. "I'm an introvert, and I have had a highly successful sales career for almost 50 years."

Article Source: http://greatarticlesformoms.com

About the Author
Serena Tan is a writer, network marketer and WAHM living in Melbourne, Australia. She is committed to succeeding in her business and helping more families to live a toxin free lifestyle. To find out how you can be beautiful using safe and inexpensive cosmetics, visit Serena's website at www.greenfamilyorganics.com.

Selecting a Direct Sales Sponsor
By Laurie Ayers

It’s interesting to watch the ambulance chasing that occurs on the forums when someone pipes up and says, “I’m thinking about joining.” Immediately the grand scramble begins. It’s actually quite pathetic to see the vultures come out.

Just because someone PMs you first or happens to be a lead that corporate gave you does not mean that you have to sign with that person. Also just because someone has emailed and/or snail mailed you some information does not mean you are committed to joining under that person.

Take some time, do your due diligence and find the right sponsor for you. I would strongly discourage you from looking for the best offer. It won’t take you any time at all to find offers for free this or that if you join this team or that team. Or you can even find someone who will provide a way for you to join her team for free.

Consider this, if the company you are considering joining has a quality product and a compensation plan you can live with, then the only other element missing is finding support from a strong up line. Those who offer deals are essentially saying that they do not believe in the company offering or in her abilities to recruit and therefore feels the need to bribe you to join.

Company sponsored forums are chock full of consultants begging for help and asking the most basic questions in a public forum because they do not have the training and support required to be successful from their own sponsors. Yet these same people clamoring for help, are the ones who jumped on board with the person who offered the best deal. Go figure.

You as the potential recruit get to ask the questions. You are the interviewer. Ask some hard questions, such as:

  • How long have you been with this company?
  • What rank are you? Where is that in relation to the total structure?
  • How long have you been in direct sales?
  • Why did you choose this company?
  • Are there days or hours that you are not generally available?
  • What training is available from you and/or corporate?
  • How did you receive your training?
  • Do you attend seminars and convention?
  • Have you won any awards from the company?
  • How would you describe your personality style?
  • What’s the worst thing you have to say about the company?

If you receive weak answers to these questions and yet still choose to sign with that person, all I can say is buyer beware. Would you rather go to a doctor fresh out of medical school, or one who is a veteran at his specialty? Would you use a financial broker who merely paid to get her license through a correspondence school? Or one who has a proven track record of producing results?

What good is a special offer if it is not backed by a strong warranty? Remember who is in the driver’s seat when it comes to selecting a sponsor for your direct sales business: You!

Article Source: LadyPens: http://www.ladypens.com

About the Author
Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan. She started her first home business in 1988. As a single parent, Laurie has supported her family by working at home as an Independent Consultant and Star Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start a candle business. You can find Laurie at http://www.thrivingcandlebusiness.com and http://www.Scentsy.com/LA

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