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heartsMLM Woman Issue 165
February 2011

From the Desk of the Editor

Happy Valentine's Day and welcome to the 165th edition of the MLM Woman Newsletter. This month we are focusing on tips to help your business thrive, questions to ask before you sign up in a direct sales business, why postcard marketing still works in the digital age, how to uncover your own unique brilliance, and some fresh ideas on marketing to get you more traffic, more sales and more income.

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 or our new MLMWomanNews Facebook Fan Page and join in the lively conversation!

And if you'd like to submit an article for the next MLMWoman Newsletter, take a look at our Writer's Guidelines. Don't miss out on this excellent opportunity to share your expertise with other MLM Women and get some great exposure for your business.

Yours in Success!
Linda Locke, Editor MLMWoman

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10 Tips to a Thriving
Direct Sales Business

MLMWoman.com

Whether it’s your first direct sales business or you’ve been down this road before, everyone can use a few tips to make their business more successful. So here are 10 tips to help you succeed and thrive with your 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.

  3. Online Presence – Create a website 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.

  6. Accept Rejection – In the direct sales business, the word No is one you’ll hear frequently. Don’t take it personally and realize it 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 someday remember what it was like when you first started out. The help you received from others was valuable and once you’ve worked your way up, be sure to lend a helping hand to others. Being of assistance to others in all areas of life is very rewarding.

  10. Work Hard and Stick with It – There will be hard times and maybe even times you are ready to throw in the towel in your business. Remember, any business takes work – nothing happens overnight. Keep moving forward even through the rough patches.  

Take these tips and apply them to your direct sales business and you’ll see success. There are many other things you’ll need to consider in order to have a profitable business but the 10 we just discussed are important and should be your starting point. Here’s to your success!

MLMWoman is now on Twitter and Facebook. Please come and visit us and say hello!

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kathyporter

Better To Ask Before You Sign On The Dotted Line
 By Kathy H. Porter

There’s this silly thing called “duplication” that dogs the heels of every direct sale/network marketing company.  How well distributor activity can be done by others is a significant factor to be considered when you evaluate a company in this field.

Here’s a helpful list of questions for you to ask as part of the research you undertake before you make your decision to join our ranks.

Helpful hint:  each question makes reference to “it”.  “It” is the specific activity that you do as part of the daily action steps for getting customers or prospecting for fellow distributors.  In all cases,  “it”,  whatever “it” is, is perfectly legal and doesn’t involve getting naked.  So, you can relax now and continue reading. 

Ask:  Can it be done in depth?  In other words, can somebody I don’t even know do “it?”

Can “it” be done by thousands of people?

Can “it” be done by somebody who’s never really been successful who is getting ready to approach someone who has had a lot of success?

Now that I’ve got your undivided attention, just what can “it” be?

“It” can be calling someone up and asking that person if they’d be interested in trying your xyz product.  Not so earth-shaking, right?  And, yes, this is something that somebody you don’t know could do too.  And, most likely, a thousand other people could do this. 

“It” can be asking someone if they’re open to taking a look at your income opportunity.
If they say, “Yes,”  you hand them what’s called a “third party tool” (like a CD or a business card with your company web site on it) and then explain what they need to do next.

If they say, “No,” you thank them for their time and gracefully make your exit.  You don’t die from this response; you go on to live another day.  The next time you ask and someone says “No,” you might remember to ask for a referral before you make your graceful exit.

Again, not so earth-shaking.  You could do this.  One thousand other people could do this too.  Learning how to ask people if they’re open to looking at what you do might be part of how this “it” gets done.  But, that’s called part of the learning curve, and, you’re open to learning, right? 

“It” can be following up with a series of telephone calls after you’ve handed out some of your “third party tools”.  Sounds pretty simple.  You just pick up the phone and dial the number of one of the folks who has your CD (or your product sample).

Wait.  Did you remember to ask for their telephone number during that initial conversation?  Uh oh.  Now “it’s” not so simple anymore, is it? 

But, “it” really is that simple if you’re agreeable to learning the minutia of small tasks that add up to the big picture of what it takes to be successful in our field. 

This brief Q&A exercise is just a starting point.  There are, I assure you, entire books you can buy on the subject of how you go about finding “the perfect” company.  You know:  that next, best, greatest “thing” since sliced bread. 

All kidding aside, there are some excellent companies out there that market their products via any combination of direct sale and/or network marketing principles.  If you’re drawn to this field, pat yourself on the back for recognizing that you are on to something good.

Then, take your time.  There are other questions you need to learn to ask before you sign up on the dotted line – because there’s this other silly thing called money.  Ah. 

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 .

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bob_leducWhy Postcard Marketing Can Work For You

Copyright 2011 Bob Leduc

You may be surprised to learn that postcard marketing still works in the 21st century. In fact, postcards usually produce better results today than in the past - especially when used for generating traffic to a website or sales leads.

One reason postcards work so well is because they almost always get read. Think about it. Do you remember ever discarding a postcard without at least knowing what the message was about? It's almost impossible to do.

Postcards are small. Most are about 4 x 6 inches in size. That means your message must be brief. Plus, postcards get delivered with your message exposed and "ready to read".

This guarantees that almost 100 percent of the recipients will actually see and at least scan your sales message ...whether they intend to or not. They can't avoid it.

Tip: Don't to try to close sales with a postcard. In most cases, there's not enough space on it to provide all of the information needed to close sales. Instead...

Design your postcard to attract attention to your product or service and create a desire to find out more about it. Then tell the reader to get more information from a source where you CAN close sales - like your website or by calling you.

Postcard marketing offers a number of other major benefits for marketers too - especially for new businesses and small businesses. Here are just a few of them...

1. Creating Effective Marketing Postcards is Easy

You don't need any special skill to create a postcard that will generate a big response. The key is to set up the postcard so it can be read and understood by just glancing at it for a few seconds.

For example, start with a brief headline to get the readers attention. Then include a bulleted list of 3 to 5 major benefits followed by instructions to call you, visit your website or come into your place of business.

2. The Cost of Marketing with Postcards Is Very Low

The cost of material used to make typical 4 x 6 or similar size postcards is very low. Even the process of printing them is simple and inexpensive too.

Best of all, you can send postcards by First Class Mail in the US for about 36 percent less than the cost to send letters by First Class Mail. Currently, it costs only 28 cents per postcard. To get this reduced rate, your postcards must be between 3 1/2 X 5 inches and 4 1/4 x 6 inches in
size.

Tip: You can create and print your marketing postcards with your own computer and printer for just a few cents each. This is not only cost-effective, it's fast.

3. Postcards Can Produce Quick Results

Because postcards are simple to create, print and send, you can get them in the mail fast. Plus, they will be delivered in just 2 to 3 days if you send them by the special reduced First Class postage rate for postcards I mentioned above.

That means you can often enjoy the results generated by your postcards within a week or so of deciding to use them.

If you've never used postcards for marketing or haven't used them recently, test them now. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how well they work in the modern era.

About the Author
Bob Leduc spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales. He just released a New Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast
With Simple Postcards ...and launched *BizTips from Bob*, a newsletter to help small businesses grow and prosper. You'll find his low-cost marketing methods at: http://BobLeduc.com

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ruth hergarty6 Questions That Uncover
Your Brilliance

By Ruth Hegarty

I talk to my clients and students all the time about their unique brilliance. At first people can find the idea of being uniquely brilliant intimidating. We are often taught that it’s not OK to claim our greatness. Quite frankly, that just isn’t true. It’s a myth perpetuated by those who are so afraid to claim their own greatness they don’t want anyone else to do it either. That’s not what I want for you and the world.

I can promise you that when you connect with your own deep wisdom you will never want to go back to playing small in any way. You truly do have a uniquely brilliant message that will resonate with your ideal clients and make doing business fun and effortless. That message comes from your heart and supports and infuses all of your professional messages. It’s reflected in your brand, how you work, who you work with and everything about what you stand for. This is what connects you to the people you will serve best and the higher income that you want and deserve.

When I work with clients, I use a series of processes that leads them directly to the magic of their work that they can express in their Signature Talk. Today I want to share with you six of the questions I use with clients that will help you explore the message that underlies your brilliance.

Take some time this week to journal about the following:
1. What is it that you are here to share with the world?
2. What are you meant to teach people?
3. What have you learned through your own experiences?
4. How are you already serving the world?
5. What is your unique brilliance that sets you apart from the crowd?
6. What do you do that is different (even a little bit) from what everyone else does?

These are big questions so it may take you some time to uncover your answers. Relax around the information and let the answers take the time they take to bubble up for you. If they don’t spring immediately to mind, sleep on it! Let the questions marinate in your subconscious. Set an intention that the universe will bring forth answers for you.

And, of course, have fun with this!

© 2010 Ruth Hegarty

About the Author
Ruth Hegarty inspires and supports service focused entrepreneurs to create, promote and profit from content-rich signature talks that leverage their unique brilliance and create a foundation for a successful business. To learn more about Ruth and receive a free copy of her ebook “6 Steps to Turn What You Already Know into Your Profitable Signature Program,” go to http://www.CoachRuth.com.

5 Fresh Innovative Marketing Ideas

©Terri Seymour

When you own a business it is extremely important to get your name and business brand out to the public.  We, as business owners, are always looking for new and cost effective ways of doing that.  We do not want to settle into a routine because it works.  We should always be looking for fresh new ideas to spread the word about what we offer with our business.

Below are five innovative ideas that you may or may have not yet seen to help get you more traffic, more sales and more income.

1. Introductions in Blog and/or Ezine – This is an effective method of cross promoting for you and fellow online business owners.  Search for sites that compliment (not compete with) your site.  Email the owner and introduce yourself, let them know a little about you and your site and then ask them if they would be interested in a cross promotion with you.  You would introduce each other on your blogs/sites/ezines and tell a little about their business. This would be better than just an ad because it adds a personal touch which people tend to pay more attention to than just ads.

2. Swap Article Resource Boxes – if you write and submit articles, swapping resource boxes with other article marketers could be a great way to increase your traffic, sales, etc. As with the introductions, search for complimentary businesses and then contact the owner.  A good place to start would be some of the better article directories.  Find quality articles and consider contacting the authors for your proposal.

3.  Compile an Article Portfolio – Article marketing is very effective and by compiling your articles all in one convenient portfolio would be a good way to get more of them used by ezine publishers, webmasters, etc.  Group your articles together in one large word file.  Then convert it to pdf.  This is a great way for people to be able to access your articles easily as well as choosing the subject they are interested in. Provide download links to your portfolio in your email signature, on your website, in your ezine, on your blog.  Post in on forums, your Facebook page, twitter, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

4.  Ad Pool – Contact a group of fellow blog owners, ezine publishers, etc and discuss the possibility of forming an ad pool with them.  Each person puts in an ad and you all rotate the ads in your ezine, blog, etc.  Be selective in the types of ads you accept so they are taken more seriously by your readers.

5. Swap Video Ads – This would be similar to link exchanging and ad swapping but taking it a step further.  Choose complimentary businesses and you can actually help bring each other more business by swapping video ads for your site or blog.

It’s not always easy to find, new innovative ideas for your marketing campaign but by putting a new spin on some old ways, it can turn out to be very successful for your business.  Helping yourself by helping others is always a plus and the above mentioned ideas all will help you accomplish that!
 
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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