Archive for November, 2011

DSEF & FTC Consumer Resources: Hang Up On Credit Card Interest Reduction Offers

DSEF & FTC Consumer Resources: Hang Up On Credit Card Interest Reduction Offers

Today’s highlighted blog post from FTC:

Hang Up On Credit Card Interest Reduction Offers

You just got home from work and sit down to read the mail. There they are, like clockwork – your credit card bills. You look at the balances and then the finance charges and think, there’s got to be a way to cut the interest rates – especially since you carry a balance most months. You check your phone messages and, low and behold, there’s one from a company that claims it can negotiate better rates on your credit cards.


For 13 years, the DSEF has been proud to partner with the FTC and other organizations to offer a wide array of education events and resources that encourage consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their rights and make better-informed decisions.

You’ll find a wealth of resources at that will help you protect your privacy, manage your money, learn more about credit and debt, decipher advertising messages, and steer clear of fraud and scams.

Please take a moment to share the resources on this Web site with others in your communities and companies and, together, we’ll help build a nation of better-informed and educated consumers.

Charles. L. Orr
Executive Director

Direct Selling Education Foundation


DSEF Top Ten Business Tips

DSEF Top Ten Business Tips

Have you been keeping up with our daily business tips? We are always researching tips that are quick, practical, and easy to integrate into your business. Here are our top ten business tips from the past few weeks:

  1. Create a Referral/Recommendation Exchange for small businesses. Offer to refer & recommend people to your auto mechanic, dry cleaner, hair dresser, baker and others in your community. In exchange they refer & recommend you.
  2. Keep yourself focused during the day by creating a mantra to help you accomplish difficult tasks. For example – Move my feet and get it complete!
  3. Are you always searching for the right words? Develop and use a script to engage, and start conversations with people you meet. Practice the script until it becomes natural and the more you use it the more you will connect with people.
  4. Your brand promotes your strengths and how you service your target market, and it establishes a clear difference from your competitors.
  5. Organize a food collection for your local food bank & as you pick up the food leave a coupon w/ a discount for your products/services. Offer to donate a percentage of their purchase amount to the food bank (make sure you get permission from the food bank).
  6. Establish your business in your local market. It will make it easier to nurture and interact daily with loyal customers.
  7. Choose your social media tools based on your available time. If you’ve only got 20 minutes per day, choose just one, probably Facebook.
  8. Sell more by making it easier to purchase, adding more choices, promoting value, personalizing products/services and anticipating customer needs.
  9. Use testimonials to make a point, promote your message and/or overcome inherent objections to your business.
  10. Remember that when you are engaging a prospect/client, you are not only promoting the value of your products/services, but establishing the value of your relationship.

Do you have any tips to add to our list? Please share.

Here’s to your success!

Using Honesty to Build Your Business

Using Honesty to Build Your Business

”Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.” ~Mary Kay Ash

Mary Kay Ash was one of the greatest role models for business and business women and a trail blazer in the direct sales industry. If you want your business to succeed, want to attract people, keep their loyalty and create a raving fan base, then honesty is the key. Here’s how honesty can build your business:

  • Your honest story – People will support your business if they feel a connection with you. This is a great opportunity to share how, what, where, when and why about your business. This creates an honest and authentic foundation for business growth.
  • Honest testimonials – Honest testimonials are like gigantic walking billboards for your business. Creating genuine audio and visual testimonials are more powerful than any paid marketing or commercial.
  • Honest references – Ask people who know you to mention and share your ethical qualities. People will seek out your business because they know they are dealing with an honest person.
  • Display a framed Honesty Policy – Boldly display your business commitment and customer service policy by the door or on your written materials. This will make you and your business memorable and generate positive word of mouth.
  • Create an honesty motto – For example: We are true to our customer’s needs. People will share your motto when talking about your business. This is a simple way for people to remember and share your business praise.

In our internet era, your reputation can spread virally very quickly for better or for worse. Setting honesty as your cornerstone will help grow your business strong and give it longevity.

How do you promote honesty in your business? Would love to read your ideas in the comments below.

DSEF & CBBB How Responsible Are You?

DSEF & CBBB How Responsible Are You?

Today’s highlighted blog post from the Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)

How Responsible Are You?

Many years ago, when I was growing up, my dad told me: “A man is only as good as his word.” (My dad is one of these old-fashioned Idaho guys who says “man” when he means “person.” But I got the message.) I didn’t get it from what he said though.


DSEF and Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) fosters honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. for more information.










6 Ways Mistakes Can Benefit Your Business

6 Ways Mistakes Can Benefit Your Business

You get a great idea to offer free shipping. Your customers love it, but you then realize that it is too expensive and you have to discontinue it.

How could you make such a big mistake? Before you berate yourself too much, here are some benefits to consider.

  1. The benefit of realization – You’ve realized that your customers want free shipping. And you realized it was too expensive. That you have to find ways to lower shipping costs and that you can’t just implement something new without investigating the cost.
  2. The benefit of research – You call up other shippers to try finding lower shipping rates, you join a business network to find out more about logistics, and you start talking to neighboring businesses about their shipping suppliers.
  3. The benefit of finding options – You get a lot of advice from peers, you connect with a business advisor at SCORE, weigh options, and think out of the box.
  4. The benefit of learning – You’ve learned that free shipping can bring new customers and make them happy. You’ve learned that certain products are cheaper to ship than others. You’ve learned about SCORE offering business advisors. And you’ve added great new people to your business network.
  5. The benefit of solutions and conclusions – You’ve created new solutions for your business. You can continue to offer certain items with free shipping. You implement a loyal customer rewards free shipping program. You also offer free shipping if people purchase over a certain amount, which helps offset the cost.
  6. But hold on – there’s more! Because of this mistake, you find out that free shipping is a crucial part of your business, you now belong to a business networking group that brings knowledge and referrals, you’ve connect with a SCORE business advisor that has helped you in other areas of your business, and you’ve gained new insights to build your business even stronger.

A keen business person turn mistakes into benefits and these experiences create the building blocks for success. What mistakes have you learned from? Which mistakes have led you to more opportunities? Pleas share your comments with us.


DSEF & CBBB Facebook Adds Virus Protection

DSEF & CBBB Facebook Adds Virus Protection

Today’s highlighted blog post from the Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB):

Facebook Adds Virus Protection


Facebook has announced it will now check outgoing links for viruses, reports The Next Web.

Viruses, phishing attempts and Trojans have become increasingly prevalent on Facebook. People often fall prey by clicking on links on the social network itself or on their walls, which in turn posts to their own wall for others to click.

DSEF and Council on Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) fosters honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. for more information.

How to Mentally Reboot

How to Mentally Reboot

You’ve heard the phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  Forget dull; suffering from work-related stress can cause a myriad of physical and mental issues if not dealt with in a timely manner.  From CEOs to the self-employed to stay-at-home moms, we all get burned out every once in awhile, but it’s important to recognize when we need a mental reboot.

Common symptoms of work-related stress include: a feeling of apathy about a job you once enjoyed, constant anxiety about meetings, deadlines, or even everyday tasks, depression (feeling helpless or overwhelmed), and physical fatigue.

So is your work burnout a lost cause?  Not if you commit to a few simple steps to recharge those batteries.

  • Exercise, eat well, and get plenty of rest.  These are the basic rules of good health. You don’t have to spend lots of time and money at a gym when you can take a power walk around the block a few days a week.  Getting your heart rate up will release endorphins that clear your head and help you feel refreshed.  Furthermore, you can reap the benefits of physical activity if you eat well.  This may take some planning, but you’ll notice a huge difference in a short amount of time.  Exercise and a balanced diet will in turn allow your body to get enough rest.  A good night’s sleep can work wonders for the overly stressed.
  • Do something you enjoy.  Go see that movie you’ve been dying to see, take a spa day, or hit the golf course.  Recreation is an essential part of an enjoyable lifestyle.  Depriving yourself of it in the name of work can negatively affect many aspects of your professional and personal life.
  • Talk to people you trust. Discussing your frustrations with someone not involved with your work can help you gain some perspective.  If nothing else, just being able to express what is bothering you will help you feel better.

Finally, once you have been able to recover from the effects of work burnout, it’s time to reevaluate. How did you get burned out in the first place? How can you prevent it from happening again?

  1. First, and this may take some serious reflection, prioritize your life.  Is your work just a job, or is it the center of your life? Whatever you decide, it should match your overall objectives.
  2. Second, set goals that include personal limits, like amount of hours worked per week or breaking up projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  3. Finally, plan some vacation time and stick to it.  You don’t even need to get away from home to have a vacation, but certainly plan some down time.  Your work will still be there when you get back! Everyone needs some “me” time periodically.

When you mentally reboot, you not only help yourself to cope with the stresses of work, but you also make it possible to do your job to the best of your ability. And your family benefits too, because you’ll be able to bring your best to every aspect of your life.

How do you mentally reboot? What would you add to this list? Would love to read your comments below!

Free e-book “Business Owner’s Road Map to Success.” It has over 50 pages of techniques for everything a small business owner needs to master, from business planning and ethical selling to a success mindset. It’s all there and it’s free for you. To get it, just “Like” our Facebook Page here: Pass it on!

Turn What You Love Into Income

Turn What You Love Into Income

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If I could only get paid to do what I love?”

Maybe you can. In fact, that’s how many entrepreneurs get started. But you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to want to make some extra spending money. The bonus is doing something that you love!

Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. If you have more than one idea, start by imagining them and pick the idea that brings the biggest smile to your face.
  2. Next, do some research:
    • Is there an obvious way to make income with what you love?
    • Talk to other people with the same interest and see if there’s a void that needs to be filled.
    • Take a look at what’s in the market now and ask yourself if you could that and/or do it better.
    • Talk to a diverse group of people about your income producing idea and ask if any of them would purchase something like that from you.
    • Ask yourself what’s the least expensive way to start that will still provide greater value to potential customers.
  3. Write down your goal or your mission statement. Include your specialty or uniqueness that only you can bring to this product/service. But keep it simple. For example – I will work part time and would like to generate $300. My uniqueness is to provide personalize service and offer customers buying my scented candles a chance to join my weekly Yoga club at my house.
  4. Consider your first 30 days a trial and error period, and be sure to fully commit yourself to doing whatever it takes to be successful. During this period assess how, where, why, who, what, when you can improve, and make sure you can earn a reasonable profit for your efforts.
  5. You may also want to create a simple business plan (optional for now). Include your goals, operational expenses, who your customers are, marketing strategy, and an overview of competitors.
  6. Nurture testimonials and word of mouth to attract new customers and grow.
  7. Keep asking your customers for their feedback and continue to improve and learn.

The key is to keep it simple. You want to share your passion, avoid wasting money, and earn some extra spending money. In the end, you want to still love what you do while you gain some financial benefits. You may be surprise to find yourself a budding entrepreneur, or you may simply want to keep a good thing going.

Do you love what you do? How did you get started with your business? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

Direct Selling Executives Get Ready to “Be Connected”

Direct Selling Executives Get Ready to “Be Connected”

Delacey, 7, chats with Santa during the DSEF Pack a Present Christmas event for children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas at Mandarin Oriental hotel. GARY THOMPSON/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

by Nancy Burke

A chill is in the air, and the holidays are just around the corner. Things like pumpkin spiced cider and scarves are beginning to make their annual appearances. And thoughts of holiday travel plans, gift shopping, and the accompanying credit card bills are creeping into people’s minds.

As people gear up for the holidays, businesses also gear up for the resulting holiday rush, and the Direct Selling industry is no different.

Seasonal consultants come on board, wanting to have a little extra cash on hand so holiday shopping doesn’t put any extra stress on the family budget. Holiday themes work their way into products by scents, colors, and special offers. And the Direct Selling Association is hosting our annual Be Connected Conference for direct sales corporate executives in Las Vegas.

Some of you may be asking, “How can I afford to leave my business for a few days at the beginning of December?”  The answer comes back, “How can you afford not to go?”

Be Connected is one of the prime networking opportunities for direct sellers and its focus on the new factors of the industry, such as the younger generations now interested in direct selling, social media and adapting to new trends is a crucial conversation all businesses should be having. In addition, there is also a chance to focus on the basics with the Direct Selling 101 pre-conference Seminar option as well. (A MUST for both new companies, and executives new to the industry.)

This conference is a major event for seasoned industry veterans and first-time entrepreneurs alike. Conference speakers include Jason Dorsey, Dan Schawbel, and John Moore, just to name a few! There will be workshops on social media (lots of them), salesforce training, and so many more. Visit our web site for more details about all of the great speakers and presenters that will be there.

The DSEF will also be hosting its annual Pack a Present toy drive to help provide a little holiday magic to children in the local community. Last year at Be Connected, DSA member company executives and supplier members gave generously, donating hundreds of presents to benefit members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. Santa will be on hand to make sure the magic happens again for lots of kids in need. If you’re coming, be sure to pack a present for DSEF’s toy drive!

Be Connected should be high on the priority list of any company even thinking about using direct selling or social selling models in the future. Companies that apply for Direct Selling Association membership by November 21, 2011, will receive one free registration to the Be Connected Conference and member discounts for any additional registrations after that.

So if you’re looking into direct selling for the first time, or if you’re looking for a boost in your established company, look no further! Come to Be Connected in December and we’ll see you in Las Vegas!

Nancy Burke

Nancy M. Burke is Membership Director of the Direct Selling Association.  DSA is the 100-year-old not-for-profit national trade organization representing 300 direct sales firms, and their 16 million independent salespeople. The Association’s mission is “To protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and the independent business people they represent. To ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers.” 

 Nancy works with the companies in the membership — from small start-ups to well-known brand names – overseeing the retention and recruitment of corporate members. She earned the distinction of becoming a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in June 2008.

Today’s Highlighted Video from the DSEF: Product Buy-Backs

Today’s Highlighted Video from the DSEF: Product Buy-Backs

Today’s highlighted video from DSEF:

Can’t see this? Click here: Product Buybacks

Learn about the buy-back policy that all DSA member companies adhere to.

To read more about the DSA Code of Ethics regarding Product Buybacks –

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