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MLM Woman Issue 176
January 2013

2013From the Desk of the Editor

Welcome to the 176th edition of the MLM Woman Newsletter. Here's our feature articles for this month:

  • Some Interesting Stats from the Direct Selling Association
  • Five Networking Mistakes that are Costing You Clients
  • Avoiding Distractions
  • 10 Steps to Effective Relationship Marketing

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 MLMWomanNews Facebook 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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Some Interesting Stats from the
Direct Selling Association

Linda Locke, Editor, MLMWoman.com

Did you know that:

  • 57% of direct sellers were customers of their company before they started selling?
  • 29% of sellers joined to get products at a discount?
  • 84% of direct sellers indicate their experience in direct selling has met or exceeded their expectations?
  • 82% of sellers indicate they are extremely/very likely to continue with their direct selling business?
  • The median (50% more, 50% less) gross annual income for a direct seller working 40+ hours per week is $34,130?

These are just a few of the interesting stats from the Direct Selling Association report available here: http://www.directselling411.com/for-sellers/myths-facts/a-few-interesting-stats

Statistics like these can be very helpful in understanding the current direct sales marketplace and what people are looking for in a business and what their income goals are. You can compare this information against your own knowledge and experience and take advantage of the insights it brings to help you target your efforts more effectively.

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

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sue ClementFive Networking Mistakes That Are Costing You Clients

By Sue Clement

Are you networking to grow your business?  Are you constantly looking for more prospects?  If you’re wearing yourself out attending scores of networking events and still have very little to show for it, it’s time to try something else.

A good way to get started is by learning from your mistakes…

How many of these five mistakes are YOU committing on your quest for more sales leads?

* You go to networking events “expecting” to find clients.
* You try to pass out as many business cards as possible at every opportunity.
* You don’t like to waste time with ‘chit chat’ and instead tell people about what you have to offer as soon as possible.
* You try to close the sale right then and there — after all, you may not have another opportunity.
* You follow up with everyone, making them an enticing offer they can’t refuse — and are puzzled that they decline anyway.

So what should you do instead?

1. If you’re going to networking events focusing on getting clients, you’ll miss out on what you COULD find: connections.

Focus on getting to know people instead.  They may not buy your product today, or ever, but in time they may send numerous people your way who could – but not unless you develop a relationship with them.

2. If you think passing out business cards is a numbers game, you’re sadly mistaken.

Instead, focus on getting to know people — and get their cards as well.  Quality is far more important than quantity.  Make sure that you have made enough of a connection that people actually remember you when you call later or see them next time — and remember you in a positive light.

3. Don’t jump in with your offer.

Instead focus on the other person, get to know more about them and their business. Start by building rapport and connections. Try and find ways that you can be of service or help them, make introductions and refer them if you can. Ultimately, just get to know them.

4. The hard sell is dead.

If you want to chase away prospects, this is exactly how to do it.  It’s ok to talk about what you do or offer, the problems you solve and outcomes your clients get. Where you cross the line is when you assume what you do is what they need and start selling and pushing your product or service on them.

If the person you’re talking to is interested in your services – schedule a sales appointment. You’ll be much more likely to make the sale once you’ve established a relationship.

5. When you follow up with people after networking events, don’t start selling them.

Again, develop the relationship by finding out more about them, seek to be of service and continue to build that relationship. If your follow-up is by email – don’t send a sales pitch. Instead reference a point in your conversation and offer them something of value – an informational article, resource link or introduction.

Keep thinking about ways to build “relationships” and be of service. You’ll find your networking will start yielding more connections, friends, referrals and opportunities!

About the Author
Ready to get more out of your own networking efforts? Join Sue Clement at her FREE webinar on networking and get ready to take your business to the next level: http://www.sueclement.com/webinar

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Jill HartAvoiding Distractions
By Jill Hart

Do you find yourself checking your email every five minutes? Or chatting on the phone when you are supposed to be working? Distractions are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to control your days. Here are a few ideas to help you keep on task.

Close Your Email

This may seem simple, but, at least for me, it can be hard not only to close my email, but also to STAY out of my email program. When a task needs to be done, the best way to focus is to shut your email program, turn your phone off (or mute it) and distance yourself from any other distracting technology items. You’ll be amazed at how much more you will accomplish – and how much more efficiently you work.

Find Time Alone

As a work-at-home mom, this is by far the hardest distraction-buster to accomplish. As my kids have gotten older, I’ve found that I can get most of my work done while my kids are at school. However, when they were still small and home with me all day, I tended to work in small chunks. Twenty minutes here while they watched a little T.V. or half and hour here while they played outside (and many times I sat outside with my laptop so I could keep an eye on them.

Another tactic I used was to trade babysitting time with a friend who also needed some “alone time” or to ask family members for help. Be creative!

Make a List

This is my go-to tip when people ask me how to become more productive. I couldn’t get nearly as much done without my lists. If plan out tasks with lists of steps that need to be accomplished. I make an outline out of an idea to see if it is feasible. And when I’m writing I outline what I want to say. I find that if I have an outline, I’m much more likely to take on the task and actually complete it.

While distractions still sidetrack me from time to time, these tips help me stay on course. And, as mom always used to say, “Practice makes perfect.” The more we practice these ideas, the more “perfect” our workdays will seem.

About the Author
Jill Hart is the founder of Christian Work at Home Moms, a website that provides resources and encouragement for women who work from home. She is the author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom and has been featured in places such as The Wall Street Journal and FIRST magazine. But mainly Jill is a wife and mom of two. She lives with her family in Nebraska.  Visit Jill at http://cwahm.com, CWAHM’s brother site for Dads, http://www.cwahd.com, or contact her at Jill@CWAHM.com

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10 Steps to Effective
Relationship Marketing
©Terri Seymour 

Relationship marketing is a much more effective method of building a business than the typical pushy salesman approach.  Making the sale should not be your immediate goal.  Connecting with your prospect and building a relationship is what should be foremost in your marketing strategy.  You want to accomplish a long-term relationship with your customer not just a quick sale. 

A customer needs to find a business they can feel comfortable with and trust to provide what they need.  Building relationships is a crucial step in this process.  It may take several interactions, whether by email, phone or in pers on, with a customer to make a sale.  Do not make your customer feel pushed or intimidated into buying.  There are many things you can do to show your potential customer you are interested in more than just making the sale.

1.  Focus on Customer Needs - Don't make your customer feel that all you want is their money.  Take the time to find out what they really need and let them know how you can fulfill those needs.   You have to put your customer's need for problem solution above your need to make the sale.

2.  Really Listen to Your Prospects - Listening to your prospect is common sense to us but unfortunately in our need to make a sale, we might overlook this.  Don't let outside distractions take away any of your attention.  Reserve 100% for your customer and really listen to wha t they are saying to you and the message they are trying to send.  Do not let your feelings or your ego stand in the way of listening to what your customer is saying.  Don't go by the book.  Every customer and situation is different and you have to follow the current conversation not a script!

3.  Be Available - Always, always have your contact information such as email address, phone number, etc. readily available to your prospects and customers.  They need to be comfortable in the fact that they can reach you anytime they need you. 

4.  Offer Information and Resources - Offer free information, reports, resources, etc. on your website, blog, or newsletter.  Let your customer know you want to help them with all their needs.  Provide a weekly mailing with helpful tips, hints and in formation.  Show them you are willing to go the extra mile to help.

5.  Personalized Greetings - Don't just take the money and vanish.  Stay in touch with your customers to help build that lasting long-term relationship.  Send out personalized holiday greetings, well wishes etc. with greeting cards, postcards or email.  Even just sending a hand-written thank you note will go a long way in forming that lasting relationship. 

6.  Provide Ongoing Support - Many times after a person purchases something, they may have questions or concerns about that purchase.  Make sure to provide ongoing support by email or phone so their questions can be addressed and their concerns put at ease.  Unfortunately too many times companies seem to disappear once you make a purchase.  Don't let that be you and your company!

7.  Be Honest - Unfortunately in our eagerness to make the sale, we sometimes stretch the truth or completely abandon it.  Be sure to never make promises you cannot fulfill or claims you cannot live up to.  If the customer needs something you cannot provide, discuss possible options or alternatives or refer them to someone who can take care of their needs.  Never make false claims even if you do have good intentions. 

8.  Treat with Respect - This goes without saying but unfortunately it is sometimes a lost rule.  There are customers that can certainly try our patience but you must never lose patience or your temper with your customer.  Talk to them calmly and let them know you will do what you can to take care of the problem.  Show them that you can work through their crisis and get things taken care of properly.  Your calmness and confidence will help calm them down and reassure them that all will be well again. 

9.  Customer Appreciation - Offer your customers discounts, incentives, prizes, rewards anytime you can to show them you appreciate them.  There are customers that have incentives for new customers but nothing for existing customers.    This is definitely not right.  You need to show your existing customers you appreciate them as well.  Send periodical coupons, free gifts, etc.  These things could mean a lot to your customer and your business.

10.  Connect with Your Customer - Make the effort to actually connect with your customer as a person, not just a way to make a sale.  Gone are the old school ways o f making sales with pushy sales pitches, intimidation, scare tactics, etc.  We now know relationship marketing and mutual respect and trust sets the tone for long lasting buyer/seller associations. 

Even though you are in business for yourself, think of your customer as your boss.  You work for your customer.  You are there for your customer.  You need your customer more than he needs you.  Always value your customer and show them they can value you!

About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business.  Terri Seymour can help you make money online.  Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at:  ==> http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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