Woman Issue 164
the Desk of the Editor
Happy 2011 and welcome to the 164th
edition of the MLM Woman Newsletter. This month I've gathered articles that will help you to grow and motivate your downline, promote your business with microblogging, stand out from the competition and ensure your customer's satisfaction.
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Yours in Success!
Linda Locke, Editor MLMWoman
Motivating Your Direct Sales Team To Achieve Their Goals
By Linda Locke, Editor MLMWoman.com
Finding the motivators that drive your direct sales team to achieve their personal goals will ensure greater success, for both you and your team members. As a direct sales team leader, one of the best ways to grow your own business is to motivate your team for higher profits.
People's reasons for becoming a direct sales consultant vary. Some reps may join simply because they want to receive a discount on the products they buy. Others may want a reason to get out of house and away from the kids. Still others join because they want, or need, to make additional money.
Some consultants will be self-motivated. They'll be determined to succeed whether you encourage them, or ignore them. Most of your team members, however, will need some motivation to help them reach their goals, while helping you reach yours.
Motivating someone requires discovering what they want and helping them to achieve it. One way to determine a team member's motivation is to ask why they joined your team. You can then provide ways to help them reach their goals and get what they want from their association with your group. That's what motivation is all about.
Let's assume your team members are motivated by more money. To help your members use that motivation, encourage them to think about what they might do with that money. Would they pay off some bills? Buy a new car? Save for the kids' education? Take a vacation?
If you can get your team thinking about what it feels like to have that extra money and how they want to spend it, you're well on your way to motivating them to work harder to earn it.
One way to motivate your team members to reach their goals is to have them write the goals down. Remind your team that if they don't know where they're going, they will never know when they arrive!
Holding monthly team meetings in person on through telecons will encourage every member of your team to set a sales goal for that month. Then, ask them to write down that goal and post it in a conspicuous place in their own home. Your team members are much more likely to achieve that goal when they see what they're aiming for.
Contests are another great way to motivate your team members. Offer a prize to the member who has the most sales, holds the greatest number of shows or recruits the most new consultants. Whatever the goal is, encourage your team members to work the contest daily and send you an update on their progress.
You can compile the results at the end of each day, or week, and let the group know where everyone stands. Competition is a great motivator for some. Use it to your advantage and see your profits rise right along with your team members' success!
Be sure to provide a prize to the winner. A gift card, a free product, or if possible, an added percentage of profits. The gift isn't nearly as important as the contest itself, but again, it will serve as motivation.
Keeping your consultants excited about the company, the products, and being a part of your team will go a long way in helping to motivate your team to higher profits. Look for ways to do that every week, and your success potential will soar!
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Just How Big Is Your Downline?
By Kathy H. Porter
I am deeply focused on the voice at the other end of the telephone. So far, the conversation has been a balanced exchange, almost a graceful step and glide between two practiced ballroom dancers. I’ve even deviated from my carefully honed script to occasionally ad lib … and, it works!
We are two people engaged in a conversation about the benefits of direct sales and why the company I represent might be a good fit for her.
Suddenly, all of this energized choreography comes to a crashing halt as these words tear into my mental reverie: “Just how big is your downline?”
My brain cannon-balls into free fall. Not trying to dodge her question at all. But I stumble over my reply, wanting to get myself back to that almost zen-like part of our conversation.
It isn’t that I have no answer to this question. I do. The very laborious, detailed answers are all meticulously filed into three, color-coded boxes. Alphabetized, 5x7 cards fill all three of them. Names, addresses, dates, call-backs; when she placed a product order, when he said, “Now now! Not ever!” This one became an active distributor. That one stopped working the business after three months. She just couldn’t figure out how to be a fulltime real estate agent and fulltime college professor from Sept-June and a serious network marketer all at the same time. (Neither could I.) So, she became one of my best customers. In fact, she likes the products so much that every three months, she places a hefty order.
Another one signed on last May. Here we are in December and she’s done nothing. Towards the end of the alphabet, my chiropractor finally signed on as a distributor. Near the front of the box are a couple of 5x7 cards that have been with me from the beginning. They will likely be with me forever. One initially signed up to be a preferred customer. Eight months later, she decided to become a distributor. She’s a realistically grounded 5x7 card with definite priorities. She’s open to change, is coachable and can draw clear boundary lines between her business and her personal life. Lucky for me, she came with all of these things!
See that card a little farther back in the box? Years ago, she adopted an ex-racing greyhound from me. Our friendship grew from that experience, taking on a rich patina that is like vintage wine. She has no desire to have a home-based business. However, she really likes the product line.
Some of these cards are in the deep freeze section. They get filed after the letter z. I don’t spend a lot of time sorting through them. I might check in with them every six or eight months just to see how things are going. They order products once or twice a year
and like to be left alone.
But. They have friends I haven’t met yet.
Slightly to the back in the middle of the box are eight new 5x7 cards. Last month was pretty busy. A lot of hard work and follow through. Four, enthusiastic new distributors and four new preferred customers. Wonder what will happen to all of them over time?
No doubt, there are lots of 5x7 cards. Enough to crowd three boxes. It’s almost time to buy more boxes and more 5x7 cards. How many do you suppose are in there? Really. Just how big is my downline?
About The Author
After a brief hiatus, Kathy H Porter is back in Direct Sales. You can find her blogging about that and much more at: www.MrsBizWhizConnects.com .
What is Microblogging?
By Paula McKinney
When microblogging platforms came into the scene of the social media craze, many people asked the same question “Who cares?” Why do I want to read trivial posts about what other’s are doing?
As a marketer, this is a free, quick, two way conversation that helps to build that powerful relationship with your prospects or customers. This is another great way to turn the Internet into your warm market.
Although it’s not the only one, Twitter is the most popular microblogging platform. It allows users to send and receive brief (140 characters or less) text-based, microposts that are referred as “tweets”.
These microposts are then delivered to anyone who has signed up and been accepted to “follow” your messages. Same is true with any tweets that you have requested to follow.
Many people are using microblogging to supplement their main blog by publishing 140 characters or less of their latest blog post – along with a link directing their followers to the actual blog.
You might be asking, “As a business, how does this help me?”
Joining Twitter gives you an advantage to get real time information to your customers and prospects. Before you begin, think about your goals and how you are going to use this communication tool.
Do you want to attract prospects for your business or do you want to deliver updates to customers? Find your purpose then fill out the 160 character Bio that tells your readers who you are.
Find highly relevant companies and people to follow. Do a search on your Twitter home page and browse through interesting messages and consider following those accounts.
Start with a few accounts to follow and engage in the conversation. Hit the reply button to begin the two way conversation. Many people will appreciate the reply and begin to follow you.
Later if you find that person is not giving information that is relevant or is just a spammer then simply hit the unfollow button.
In the beginning, keep it simple. Follow a few people and engage in the conversation. Ask them to follow you. Be polite and keep it clean. Having a lighter tone can help. Don’t post that you are eating, watching TV, or are sick. Keep it interesting and relevant.
How Do I Get Started?
If you are just getting started with microblogging here are four daily activities that will help you grow your very own “list” on Twitter:
1. Tweet relevant and interesting posts and ask yourself “what’s in it for my followers?’” Will this add value to them? Don’t spam! It’s just a quick way for you to get unfollowed.
2. Engage in the two way conversation. Hit the reply button and let your followers know you are listening.
3. Hit the retweet button of those whom you are following (50% of my posts are retweets) if it is relevant content for your followers. For example: If your target market on Twitter is “working moms”, they might enjoy your retweets of great coupon sites that could save them money on that next box of cereal.
4. If you have a blog, tweet your article title and a link to your blog. This is organic (free) traffic at it’s finest.
Don’t be afraid of microblogging. Now is a great time to incorporate Twitter and other microblogging platforms like Facebook or FriendFeed to expand your business.
So, set up a free account at www.Twitter.com and let others know “What’s happening?” in your world.
To Your Success!
4 Strategies For Beating
©Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2010
Today's marketplace is getting more and more competitive. It's because there are more and more players, some of whom will offer ridiculously low prices in an attempt to make a sale. So how can you stand out and differentiate yourself, even if your product is a commodity? How can you beat your competition without having to lower your prices? It can be easier than you think if you start using the following four sales strategies.
Strategy One: Sell only to those that are going to buy.
Competitors will be bending over backwards to do whatever the prospect says in the hope that they can persuade them to buy from them. Your competition will make presentations, give demonstrations, write proposals and jump through any hoops the prospect puts in front of them. This is true even if the prospects do not intend to buy anything from anyone right now, or if their solutions are not the right fit.
You are a professional and your time is valuable. So you can only afford to spend your time selling to those who are going to buy from someone now and if your solution is the right fit for them. You need to effectively interview - qualify - your prospects before starting your sales process. Even if a prospect asks you to come and present your solution, convey that you are happy to do that but they need to answer some questions first. Be polite but firm, and be prepared to walk away if they don't qualify or will not spend the time with you to see if they do. You'll stand out from your competition with this approach. Let them waste their time, but don't waste yours.
Strategy Two: Do not try to persuade or convince.
Instead of being persuasive and trying to convince your prospect to buy, explain how you can help them solve their problem and why you are the best one to do that. Be completely unattached as to whether they say yes or no to you. You'll stand out by the fact you are not trying to push them into a sale. Instead you are trying to help them make the best decision for them. Your confident approach will pull them towards you while your competitor's desperate approach will push them away.
Strategy Three: Sell unique results, not your products.
Your competition will have no doubt fallen into the trap of selling their products as they think that is what people buy. They'll be trying to show how their widget is the best widget as it has the "x" feature etc. You can stand out by selling what people really want to buy: an end result or a business outcome. Your product is only one component of that outcome. Sell all the other components as well. Even if your product is a commodity, how you deliver the outcome can be unique. How you deliver and assure support and service can be unique. How you make your customers feel can be unique. Convey and sell this uniqueness. If you are not sure what your uniquness really is, find out fast so you can sell it.
Strategy Four: Do not focus on the sale.
Your competition will be focused on making a sale. Their sales process will reflect this intent. They'll probably be skilled in persuading, in answering objections, and in going for the close with a variety of techniques. They will not care if the customer does not buy from them again or refer others. They are only focused on getting the sale no matter what the long term consequences.
Stand out from your competition by having your sales process and your focus be about making a customer for life. To you, the initial sale is small in comparison to the additional sales that will result from this customer in the future and the referrals that will result. It also means that if you don't get the initial sale, you keep growing the relationship with the prospect until you do secure that first sale.
Just follow these four strategies and you will easily beat your competition. Your prospects will pay a higher price for the greater value of the results you are offering. Your new customers will want to see you again and will remain loyal over time. Try these strategies and see!
About the Author
Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.
10 Ways to Secure Your
As we all know customers are the core of any business in one way or the other. Without our customers, we would be nothing. So, it would be a wise decision to make sure all of our customers are properly taken care of and satisfied when they do business with us.
Listed below are 10 ways we can begin to secure our customers happiness and satisfaction.
1. Always be attentive towards the customer. Be sure to listen to them when they tell you what they want or of any problems they are having with your products and/or services. Never dismiss their opinions or questions.
2. Reward regular customers and new potential customers. I like to treat my regular customers but be sure not to neglect potential and new customers. They deserve special treatment as well. Offer special discounts, free gifts, points towards more free gifts, coupons, money-saving bundles or packages, etc. The more options you provide, the more sales you will probably get.
3. Respect your customers! I cannot stress this one enough. Treat your customers, one and all, like they were your family. Give them all the respect and care they need from you and then some.
4. Earn their trust and respect! If you promise something, deliver! If you say you will give them a special deal, deliver. Always be true to your word and do not make false claims or promises. People are not stupid and they will see through deceptive marketing practices.
5. The customer is always right. Unfortunately this is not true. The customer is sometimes wrong and in that case, you should handle it properly. Be calm, polite, supportive and helpful. Explain the problem and let the customer know what you will do to rectify the situation. Your calm demeanor can sometimes calm the customer. Never lose control of your emotions.
6. Don’t make your c ustomers feel like an annoyance. I have been to some places where the person taking care of me has acted like he/she didn’t want me there. This is not how you want your customers to feel! Talk to your customers, not at them. Smile and be friendly and courteous at all times. Just because your kids are acting up that day, it is no reason to take it out on your customers. Always separate your business from your problems in your own life.
7. Don’t make your customers jump through hoops! Make their experience with you and your business as easy and pleasant as possible. Don’t make them write their life history or click a million times to get through your ordering process. Let them know the prices and any shipping and/or taxes upfront. Make sure they know exactly what to expect.
8. Answer questions. Customers need to know what they are buying so be sure you are able to answer any and all questio ns they may have. If you do not have the answer readily available, assure them that you will find out the answer ASAP. Make sure they know how to contact you so they are more comfortable in your availability.
9. Build confidence. Your customers need to be confident in you and what you offer so be sure to come through. Be straightforward and do not offer anything you cannot give. Be honest at all times. Do not try to sugarcoat things by stretching or twisting the truth. Customers will appreciate honesty and their confidence in you and your business will soar.
10. A bad customer? Is there such a thing as a bad customer? Unfortunately there is. With some people, no matter what you to do try to make amends or make them happy, it just won’t be enough. All you can do with these customers is treat them with respect; be polite and let them know you will do anything you can to help.
Even so, ther e are times when you just have to let a customer go. After doing everything you can with no end in sight, politely inform the customer they should perhaps go elsewhere to find what they are looking for. I have had to do this a couple of times in the five years I have had my ebook store. The first time really upset me but when I came to grips with it and went over everything I did, I realized I could not have done anything more for this person. Do not let this interfere with your business or get you frustrated or depressed; it does happen.
Satisfied customers are our best advertisements so be sure to treat them all as you would want to be treated. Customers are intelligent individuals and need to be regarded as such. Doing this will bring your business to new levels!
About the Author
Terri Seymour (also known as “The eBook Lady”) has over ten years online experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site at http://www.seymourproducts.com for resources, $1 resell ebooks & software, free tutorials, affiliate programs, free ezine and free business ebook with Master Resell Rights. http://www.seymourproducts.com/free.shtml
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