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MLM Woman Issue 83
December 2003

This FREE monthly newsletter is made possible by our advertisers and customers. We thank them for their support!

From the Desk of the Editor

Welcome to the 83rd issue of the MLM Woman Newsletter.

This month we feature articles for building your business during the holiday season, tips on how to ask good questions, holiday stress buster tips for the self-employed, and 10 ways to build trust in your business.

As we come to the end of another year, I want to take this time to thank all of my subscribers for their continued support and all of my writers for being so generous by sharing their knowledge and ideas with my readers. I wish all of you a very happy holiday season and a terrific new year!

Happy Holidays!

Linda Locke, Editor MLM Woman

10 Tips For Holiday
Business Builders
by Jackie Ulmer

The holiday season can mean a real slow down for home-based business owners, but only if you let it! With a holiday plan for business and some organization, you can keep your business thriving, and propel yourself into the New Year!

Here's how -

1. Do some follow up now with past contacts. Schedule a phone or face-to-face appointment to review your program or products.

2. Do you have a product or service that might be perfect for holiday gifts? Schedule some lunch time or afternoon showings for people to preview. Make gift suggestions and offer to gift wrap. Send out email greeting cards to remind people to buy from you!

3. Offer a discount coupon to anyone who refers a friend who also purchases between now and the first of the year.

4. Begin setting appointments now for January. Let people know that you realize they are busy and suggest a date in January.

5. Put yourself in power momentum by scheduling blocks of time daily for contacts and follow up. What is realistic each day? 5 of each? 10 of each? Set the pace and stick to it!

6. Go on a mission to pass out as many flyers and business cards as humanly possible over the next month. And you do, have a 30 second "commercial" ready that may appeal to what they need right now. Extra cash for the holidays? Convenient and secure online shopping with no crowds, hassles or parking?

7. Going to a lot of holiday parties and events? Use this time to meet as many people as you can. Ask lots of questions and collect business cards and email addresses. Ask each person if they mind if you keep in touch with them. If they begin asking you questions, be prepared with short, intriguing answers. If they show an interest, schedule a time to contact them in the next few days. Try to avoid saying too much about your business at the party. Schedule, schedule, schedule and then be sure to follow up!

8. Include a business card, flyer, post card or some bit of "shameless promotion" in your holiday cards and correspondence. Don't send cards? Now you have a good reason to start! Check on that tax deduction!

9. Begin reviewing your past year's goals and accomplishments. Where can you improve? In what ways can you push yourself on to bigger and better next year? Have your next year's business plan concrete before January 1!

10. Keep your focus, remember CANI (constant and never ending improvement) and enjoy the season, knowing that you are doing and being the best you can be!

About the Author
Jackie Ulmer
, a veteran Home Based Business Owner, has coached and trained thousands of representatives both inside and outside of her sales organization. One of her primary goals is to help others succeed. She can be reached through her web site at:
http://www.streetsmartwealth.com/ Subscribe to her FREE newsletter by email to mailto:streetsmartwealth@quicktell.net

May I Ask YOU a Question???
Copyright 2003 Deb Mullen


You've joined the company of your dreams...You have a Purpose and now you even have the Courage to Pick Up the Phone...

What Next???

I'm asked this question all the time and the answer is very Simple...

Ask Good Questions!!!

Think about it...

When you call your best friend, what's the first thing you say???

Hey Mary...How are you???

What did you do last night???

How are the kids???

How are you feeling???

It's so comfortable to talk to a friend isn't it???

Well, that's exactly what you are hoping to make your new prospect...A New Friend and the best way to begin a conversation with a New Friend is...

Ask Good Questions!!!

I've been asked quite often, "What might be a Good Question to ask a Prospect when doing an Interview".

As always, I thought back to my teacher and tried to remember her lessons.

I recall that when she would call me, she would always start out her conversation with...

"May I Ask YOU a Question???"

I never knew what would come next, but I did know that by asking that Question, she took control of the conversation.

As I got a little smarter, I would try to turn the tables on her. I'd try to take control of the conversation by asking her a question and she would cleverly respond...

"That's a Very Good Question...May I ask you Why you would like to know that!!!"

She was the "Master" of turning a conversation around to her point of view...Just by asking a Question!!!

Remember that everyone's favorite topic is themselves and as long as you Ask GOOD Questions, you will always be addressing that which is most important to your prospect.

And, in the process, you can obtain all the answers that you need to know in order to qualify your new prospect.

Think about it...

One of my favorite questions is...

"What would you like to be when you grow up???"

You'd be surprised how many people still don't know what they want out of life, or how many people have diverted from their original dreams.

One of my favorite experiences with this question occurred when I was running a rather large Banquet Facility several years ago.

One particularly slow evening, I decided to get to know my staff members a little better.

I asked every staff member that exact question.

I received lots of vivid responses (remember, most of these kids were only between 16 and 26 so many of them were still pretty much in touch with those dreams).

One young man admitted that he wanted to be a "Cowboy".

We had a lot of fun all evening pretending to pull out "six-shooters" and many of the staff teased him all night about wanting to be a cowboy.

It wasn't until the very end of the evening that I learned one of Life's Most Profound Lessons...

This young man came to me when the night was over and said...

"Deb...I didn't want to be that kind of cowboy...I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy"!!!

WOW...Why didn't I know that??? He had been chosen the Fastest Running Back in his High School just a few years earlier.

I wasn't really listening to his answer. I hadn't asked enough questions to find out what was really important to him.

Had I followed up with...

"And, what is important to you about being a Cowboy", I might have learned that it was about playing football and not about playing cowboys and Indians :-)

Knowing what a person really wants out of life can answer two very specific questions.

a. Does this person have a Direction???

b. Does this person still have a Dream???

Both of these answers can be very helpful in the interviewing process.

Think about people in general...

If a woman is over 40, there is an 85% chance that she has battled with weight loss and probably has an intimate acquaintance with a Hot Flash :-)

For a man???

Well...Any man over the age of 30 will probably tell you about an old sports injury and there's a 95% chance that he's got a bum knee!!!

If they have kids...There's a 100% chance that they suffer from severe exhaustion.

Can you see how these statistics could turn into some interesting Questions???

Can you see where these Questions could produce some interesting conversation???

And, My Favorite???

If they live in America, there's a 95% chance that they are in debt and an 85% chance they are looking to earn extra income!!!

I guess what I'm trying to drive home here is that pretty nearly everyone you speak to will have an interest in what you are offering provided you can ask the "Right" Questions to obtain the "Right" Answers.

A good exercise to begin using when contacting prospects is the same exercise my mentor taught me.

Start every conversation with just one sentence...

"May I Ask YOU A Question???"

Happy Prospecting!!!

About the Author
Deb Mullen is a successful Rhode Island Businesswoman who has built the Training and Coaching arm of her business in the area of Women's Interests. She is President of the RI Women's Network and Past Area Governor of Toastmasters. She is a Professional Speaker, Writer and Internet Marketing Consultant. Learn more about Deb at www.2Rich2Thin.com and for ongoing Tips on Prospecting subscribe to "Digging for Diamonds" the Newsletter for Serious Prospectors. E-mail: DiggingDiamonds@aol.com

Holiday Stress Busters
for the Self Employed
Copyright 2003 Brook Montagna

Are you starting to feel that sense of overwhelm as the holiday season nears? Wondering how you will juggle all the added responsibilities?

Why not engage your creative "non-traditional" approach to business to help you enjoy the holidays? Here are some suggestions:

1. Keep it fun and easy! Be intentional about how you spend your time, searching for ways to do things with grace and ease. Ask yourself the following 3 questions when planning how to use your limited time.

"What value will this activity create?"

"Is this the easiest way?"

"What would make this more fun without adding difficulty?"

By making a conscious choice to truly enjoy your time during the holidays, you will have a calming influence on your customers - most of whom are overwhelmed and stressed.

2. Increase, even double, your self care. No matter how much we try to make it a relaxing time, we experience extra pressure during the holidays. Keep your energy high with a healthy diet, exercise, and rest. Take breaks in your day such as a 20 minute brisk walk or a 10 minute meditation. Being self employed means extra work but it also means you are your own boss.

Don't let an "inner-Scrooge" ruin your holidays with demands of long hours and no rest. While this advice seems opposite to the tendency to do everything for everyone else in your life and for your business, it's the #1 way to handle stress. You will also have a positive influence on others and your business when you feel great!

3. Be nontraditional If your business is seasonal and swamped during the holidays, you may want to make some changes to the "traditional" holiday celebrations in order to honor your specific needs. Intersperse fun with work so that you don't miss the whole season. Create mini-celebrations, a time each day to relax with family and friends, such as sharing favorite holiday memories over a cup of tea. Be sure to plan ahead. And only do the essentials, by asking yourself , "Will I remember this as relaxing and joyful?" If not, reconsider! And don't be too hesitant to hire some help. College students appreciate the extra cash that a temporary job can provide.

4. Find opportunity. If your business is slack during the holidays, you can use this time to plan, lay the foundation of growth in the new year, and simply to rejuvenate and refresh. It's easy to slip into fear about money when business is slow, but if you use the time wisely, you can lay the foundation for much more business after the holidays. Starting on Dec 1, develop a 1-2 month marketing plan that will provide a focus and keep you optimistic for potential results. If you haven't had the time to do tasks that would increase profitability, now's the time!

5. Start your own traditions. Our culture loves traditions, so why not start some of your own business holiday traditions? Only do this if it can be fun and easy. No one wants to add another mundane chore to their "to-do list" at this time of year. Here are some suggestions:

Offer a special deal to clients

Pay a percentage of sales to a favorite charity and tell your clients about the charity.

Send thank you notes to clients for a great year.

Send everyone your favorite holiday recipe.

Select a time for your yearly business holiday, close the office, don't answer phones, and relax! Repeat every year.

Take time to be grateful to all those who have helped make your business a success.

6. Be reasonable and ask for understanding from family and friends. We are conditioned to put too much pressure on ourselves and on our relationships during the holidays. We have people we want to see, and those we feel obligated to connect with. Be realistic about your time so you don't slip into overwhelm. Explain your situation to others and make choices that allow you to relax and enjoy the holidays. You might plan small gatherings to see several friends at once, or arrange get-togethers after the holidays when things are not so hectic.

When you became self employed, you created the power to make choices for your life. Exercise that power. Set aside time to plan a relaxing holiday season. Use your creativity to let go of some of the busyness and choose activities that bring a sense of calm and enjoyment. You will attract happy customers and have positive energy for the New Year!

About the Author
Brook Montagna, Life Coach, Helping the Self Employed Create Success. Make your life an Adventure. Get your free report. Discover the Secrets of the Super Successful and open the door to the life of Your Dreams. http://www.idesiresuccess.com/report
Free Newsletter: Flying Solo, Self-Employment Tips and Supports, 760-479-1868
http://www.mindfullifecoach.com/newsletter.htm  email: brook@mindfullifecoach.com

10 Ways to Build Trust
and Build Your Business
By Charlie Cook

You wouldn't buy a car if you didn't think it could get you home. And you wouldn't purchase it from a dealer you thought was robbing you blind on the price and might not stand behind it if the engine fell out as you drove it off the lot.

Before making a purchase from you, buyers need to trust that your products and services will do what they are supposed to. Does your marketing help establish the trust necessary to convince prospects to buy from you? If you're struggling to attract clients and customers, use the following tactics to convert prospects to clients.

No matter how great your credentials are or how much experience you've had, people pay more attention to what OTHERS have to say about you. Pick up the phone and call your customers to ask what they thought of your product or service, what they liked about it and how it was helpful. Edit their comments, get their permission to use the comments and then feature these testimonials in your marketing materials.

We have come to distrust ads and to believe what we read in published articles. Invest your time in writing articles to establish yourself as an expert. If you run ads, include testimonials in them.

When you give something to people, regardless of the cost, they are more likely to trust you and return the favor by buying something from you. Use an ebook, article, workshop or free demonstration to build trust.

When you need a new doctor, lawyer, plumber, carpenter or a place to eat you ask a friend for a referral. You trust the recommendations of people you know, and in fact, that's how the majority of people find jobs. Don't wait for the occasional referral to come in spontaneously;
implement a proactive system to generate referrals.

Team up with a business you trust that also targets your market. Get them to include an endorsement of your products and services in their marketing and do the same for them. While a personal referral is ideal, an endorsement is a close second. This tactic can double your marketing reach at zero cost.

Tell a story instead of making impersonal and dramatic claims of what you or your product does. Use case studies to tell what you did for whom and the difference it made in their life or their business.

It's a common misperception that to sound credible your marketing should be dry and impersonal. People do business with people. You need to help prospects get to know you and trust you. Let your passion and personality come across in your marketing as well as your
professionalism. Include a picture of yourself, with a smile, in a prominent place on the first page of your marketing materials.

Buyers' biggest concern is how well your product or service will perform. Providing a guarantee may help, but in most cases its not going to make the sale. Clarify the value you provide and state your commitment to seeing that your clients are not only happy, but ecstatic about your product and services.

If you want clients to get in touch with you, show them how. Put your phone number at the top of your marketing materials and tell them to call. When you call them, give them your phone number again at the end of the conversation and tell them to call. If you have a web site, put a contact form at the bottom of your home page.

The people you see and talk to on a regular basis are usually the ones you trust the most. Communication isn't the only ingredient for developing trust, but it is a critical one. If you sell services or high end products, a personal phone call is one of the best ways to answer prospects questions, and to establish trust. Contact your prospects and clients regularly and get feedback on what they are concerned about.

You want to convert prospects to clients and clients to repeat clients. Use these ten marketing tactics to build trust and you'll find more prospects buying your products and services.

2003 © In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author
Charlie Cook, helps independent professionals and small business owners who are struggling to attract more clients and grow their businesses. To get the free marketing guide, and sign up for the 'More Business' ezine, full of practical marketing tips, visit www.charliecook.net

Are you ready to find your true calling? George Eliot said, "It's never too late to be what you might have been." Discover what it takes to create a more meaningful, rich, and balanced life doing work that feeds your soul. Learn how you can replace your job with work you really love... and gain the freedom, flexibility, and quality of life you deserve.

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Copyright 2003, Regent Press