All posts tagged goal setting

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success
Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for SuccessDealing with the unexpected comes with the territory of being a direct seller, but in order to set yourself up for success, it is important to establish an effective routine. Routines allow you to be efficient, thorough, and comfortable with your job. Of course, any routine must be created with your personal work schedule and lifestyle in mind, but check out our list below to help you get started.

  • Create your to-do list the night before so you’re ready to go for the following day. If you wait until the beginning of the day to make an agenda, then you wind up wasting precious time thinking about your tasks instead of completing them. Some even find it helpful to create to-do lists for the entire week and then break them down day by day before the start of the work week. Do whatever works best for you, but preparing your list the night before will help you get a jump on those tasks and responsibilities right away.
  • Organize and prepare necessary supplies for the next day. For example, if you have an opportunity meeting, gather your notes, any printed materials from the company, some sample products if applicable, business cards, etc. Pack everything up so you can simply grab it and go. Also, consider packing your lunch the night before and choosing your wardrobe before you go to sleep. This is another strategy that will reduce your stress and make you feel less rushed first thing in the morning.
  • Get started earlier. Do you find that you are perpetually running 5-10 minutes behind schedule? Do yourself a favor and wake up a little bit earlier. Your energy level won’t be affected, as your body won’t notice waking up a mere 15 minutes earlier. However, you will be allowing yourself that extra time to decompress with that first cup of coffee or rehearse that sales pitch one more time before you begin your day. Give it a try for at least 2 weeks, taking mental note of how it positively affects your productivity.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your time is one thing, but adhering to it can prove to be quite difficult, especially with other personal and professional obligations thrown into the mix. Do your best to stick to your schedule, and even when something doesn’t go as planned, go back to your written schedule and rearrange it to make up for whatever time was lost. This way, you won’t always feel like you’re putting things off.
  • Make quicker decisions. This mostly applies to more trivial decisions like what you will eat for lunch or which font to use for your blog. Deciding faster about minor things will help you build and maintain your daily momentum as well as increase productivity.
  • Do the hardest task first. Tackling the most difficult task or project first prevents procrastination. Furthermore, if you save it for last, it’ll be on your mind the whole time you’re working on other things, which can take away your focus from where it needs to be. Get the hardest one out of the way, and when it’s done, take pleasure in knowing that it’s one less thing to worry about.
  • Check email at the end of your to-do list. If you’re like most people, the accumulation of emails in your inbox can become overwhelming if you don’t stay on top of it. Make it a point to check your email and take action on pressing business after you’ve finished your daily to-do list. This allows you to start the day with a clean inbox (hopefully) and use your time sticking to your pre-set schedule.
  • Reward yourself. Time management is hard work and requires self-discipline. This is not to be taken lightly, so when you’ve achieved your goals for the week or month, reward yourself as a motivator to continue your effective routine. Splurge on lunch by ordering a sandwich from your favorite deli, stop for a manicure on the way home at the end of the week, or see a movie with friends on the weekend. Anything that you will look forward to and won’t hinder your goals or progress will serve as a meaningful reward.

An effective work routine is as important as the job itself. Your reliability, independence, motivation, and self-confidence will all improve as you create and perfect your routine. What did you find most helpful from our list? How do you establish your own routine? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below!

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success from“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” This statement penned by author Jim Ryun speaks to how you can find long-term success in both your professional and personal life. It takes time to make something a habit, and it certainly is a difficult thing to do. In the spirit of making resolutions for the New Year, we give you a few suggestions to help you make a habit out of your desired behaviors.

  • Make time to do it. As obvious as this idea may seem, so many people neglect to take this important first step. For example, if you plan to make exercise a part of your daily routine, you need to set aside a specific time to do that. Look realistically at your schedule and lifestyle to set yourself up for success. Someone who has the most energy and motivation at the beginning of the day would do well to carve out the first 15-30 minutes of the morning for a workout. Establishing the time beforehand will encourage you to stick to your goal and encourage you to continue.
  • Connect habits you already have to new habits you’d like to adopt. If your exercise goal is to spend 20 minutes on the treadmill once a day, then incorporate that into something you already do every day. If you always sit down to watch the 5:00 news every night, then spend that time on the treadmill in front of the television instead of sitting on the couch. Or if you always check your email at a certain time, work your exercise into, before, or after it. You’ll have a better chance at sticking to your desired behavior this way.
  • Make it as convenient for yourself as possible. If you want to exercise first thing in the morning before work, set out your clothes and equipment, fill your water bottle, and cue up your music the night before so you can roll out of bed and get right to it. You’ll have less of an excuse to skip it if it’s easy and convenient to accomplish.
  • Keep a calendar to chart your progress and reward yourself for meeting milestones. In order to stay motivated, you need to set goals and keep track of your progress. Set some benchmarks ahead of time and record them on a calendar, either digitally or on paper. Every time you reach a milestone, reward yourself in a way that will encourage you to keep going. Make the reward enjoyable and guilt-free so that you continue working toward your next benchmark and reward.

When developing good habits, do everything you can to set yourself up for success. Plan ahead, be realistic about your lifestyle, and track your progress. What great habits would you like to build in 2015? Which of our suggestions will be the most helpful to you? Please share your ideas in our comments section!

How to Overcome Your Fear and Succeed

How to Overcome Your Fear and Succeed

How to Overcome Your Fear and SucceedThink back to when you were a child and what scared you. Was it jumping into the deep end of the pool for the first time? Riding your bike without training wheels? How did you get past those fears? Although it’s normal to have fears about various things in our lives, it is important to develop strategies in which to overcome those fears and succeed. The following list will help you get started.

  • Create a backup plan. It is much easier to go about the uncertainty of operating a direct sales business if you have a “Plan B” in place. Try to anticipate circumstances that would be the most detrimental to your business and create a backup plan to fall back on if those circumstances ever occur. For example, what would happen if your company discontinues a product that is your personal best seller and the focal point of your sales presentation? How will you overhaul your pitch to highlight a replacement product? What would happen if you have to relocate out of the area and leave all your loyal customers? How will you re-establish yourself elsewhere? These are scary things to think about, but being prepared will allow you to move past them rather than suffer serious setbacks in your business.
  • Visualize and practice going through the event or activity. Many Olympic athletes as well as professional artists and performers admit to visualizing themselves crossing that finish line or nailing that performance repeatedly before they actually make a real-life attempt. The power of positive thinking should not be underestimated, and visualizing yourself succeeding can help you believe in yourself that you can truly do it. Visualization alone can’t win races or Academy Awards, however, so make sure you practice as much as possible. Whether it’s your sales presentation or an opportunity meeting with a prospect, practice alone, in front of others, while looking in the mirror, or recording yourself. The acts of visualizing and practicing will also ease your fear of failure.
  • Study and over prepare. We normally associate studying with being in school, but studying can be pertinent to your direct sales business too. You should be studying your catalog, prices, product features, manufacturing basics, current promotions, etc. You never want to be caught off guard or unable to appear knowledgeable about your business or the company you represent. Efficient studying and ample preparation are more than worth your investment of time and can help you overcome your fear of the unknown.
  • Focus on the positive aspects and tune out the negative ones. It will likely be difficult, but concentrate on tuning out any negativity that hinders your progress. This includes negative self-talk and people in your life who question your abilities or voice their doubts about your chances of success. Instead, tune in to the positivity you find in places like your upline, your supportive friends and family, and of course yourself. Be your own best cheerleader and you’ll never be too afraid to do what it takes to succeed.

Overcoming your fears has a lot to do with your state of mind and your self-confidence. Use the strategies above to clear yourself a path to success.

What are some fears you have about your business and how will these strategies help you get past them? Please share your comments below!

How to Build Your Business on the Cheap

How to Build Your Business on the Cheap

How to Build Your Business on the Cheap from the http://dsefnew.wpengine.comOne of the many advantages of a direct sales business is that for the most part, the initial investment is minimal, especially when compared to a traditional startup. Whether your startup cost is $100 or $1,000 though, it is important to keep costs down when you are just starting out or looking to grow your business. The good news is that it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money up front in order to build successfully. Here are some tips for building your direct sales business on the cheap.

  • Don’t pay for marketing. There has never been an easier time to market your business for free. Start with your social media presence. Most social networks allow you to create a page for your business. Take advantage of this option, and engage your contacts by regularly posting content that sparks an online dialogue. Check here for some effective ideas to get started on the most popular social networks. Aside from marketing online, however, you can easily market your business in more traditional ways. Always keep yourself looking professional when you’re out and about town, and arm yourself with business cards and some catalogs. Consider wearing a button advertising your business or if applicable, a noticeable product itself. People may ask you about your business, resulting in instant bookings or at least requests for follow-ups. Finally, don’t forget to post information about your business in community bulletin boards and similar places. Many businesses will also allow you to leave a catalog in their waiting rooms or reception areas as well.
  • Use the power of word of mouth. Get used to talking about your business in ways that are relevant to the conversation. Relay anecdotes, discuss how or why you got started, and what you’ve accomplished so far. Encourage other satisfied customers to do the same, as people take great stock in user reviews, both written and oral.
  • Before you spend money on something, ask yourself if the return is worth the expense. You’ll of course have to spend money on certain things, but make sure the return will be worth it. Although it may be tempting to buy a ton of promotional merchandise with your company’s logo and your contact information on it right away, it isn’t necessary to get a good start. Those types of purchases are best saved for when you’ve already started making a profit. Always think of your potential expenses as a possible risk. Think seriously about whether or not spending the money is worth the risk, and as your business grows, your needs and “risk factors” will change. Adjust accordingly.
  • Spend the least possible money to get your products/services to the market. When you do pay for getting your products to your market, do some research and comparison shopping to make sure you aren’t overpaying. For example, a friend has booked a home party for your direct sales jewelry business and is expecting a large amount of guests. If you are just starting out and don’t have a large inventory of samples, you might be worried that the guests won’t order as much as they would if they were able to try on the pieces. Instead of hurrying to order more from your company, ask your upline if you can borrow a few pieces for this one party since there will be so many people there. By getting creative and using resources available to you, it is possible to find ways to spend as little money as possible to get the results you want. 

Building your direct sales business on the cheap is an effective way to maximize your investment and set yourself up for long-term success. What other suggestions do you have for building your business in an affordable way? Please share your ideas below!

What Makes Your Business Better

What Makes Your Business Better
What Makes Your Business Better

What Makes Your Business BetterSetting long-term goals for your direct sales business is an effective way to keep you focused and motivated to give it your all. As you likely already know, you should always aim to grow your business and move it forward. In doing so, take a look at how you operate certain aspects that could use improvement. In today’s post, we offer you some suggestions on where to begin.

  • How your products/services provide a solution – This is the foundation on which your marketing and sales pitch should be based. Educate yourself thoroughly about what problem your potential customers have, how they may have tried to solve it in the past, and how your product or service is the best solution. Furthermore, use this information to find your target market. For example, a skin care company that specializes in organic products has a line just for babies. A consultant for this company would want to know that many parents want to use shampoos and lotions without added chemicals that have unknown effects on the baby. Also, these parents have tried other organic products but weren’t satisfied with their effectiveness, fragrance, or price. Equipped with this information, the consultant would emphasize the quality of her product, how well it works, and how affordable it is. The bottom line is that this product solves a problem that many parents have with products they use on their babies every day.
  • Using real testimonies – Consider the level of importance internet shoppers place on reviews. Websites like Yelp and Angie’s List thrive on the fact that real people who have truly used the products and services have given their honest and unsolicited opinions. The advantage you have as a direct seller is that in using these testimonies, you can also personally explain a little bit about the customer making them. At a home party for example, while demonstrating a product, you can easily give a short anecdote about a customer from a recent party about how she discovered the product and why she loved it so much. These types of testimonies are especially meaningful because they are true, first-hand accounts.
  • Telling people what you are best at. Recognizing your strengths and playing them up is important, but don’t be afraid to share them with others. If you have a strong ability to remember names and faces after only meeting people one time, it’s okay to tell people that and demonstrate it. In the example above about using real testimonies, that would be an appropriate time to lightheartedly add that you have this unique ability that many people find fascinating about you. In addition to telling people about what you do best, find ways to show it in your interactions with customers.
  • Putting it in writing – You don’t need to draw up a formal contract in order to make something official, but putting things in writing does place a level importance on it that a verbal promise doesn’t necessarily have. For example, adding the phrase “call or text me at (your cell phone number) on your business card, gives customers permission to send you text messages, which may be more convenient than a voice call. Because it is in writing, they will feel comfortable doing so, possibly without having even met you first. Mean what you say and mean what you write. The strength of your word is a valuable thing in business.

In what ways have you tried to make your business better? Will you be putting our suggestions to use? Please share your comments below!

Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business Better

Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business Better
Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business Better

Three Quick Ways to Make Your Business BetterIf you want long-term success in your direct sales business, your main goal should be to continually find ways to improve it. A flourishing business is one that moves forward and grows, rather than remains stagnant. Figuring out what to fix and where to start can seem like an overwhelming task, but in today’s post, we give you three things you can do right now to get started. 

  1. Identify the processes that work and fix the ones that don’t. A process works if it is efficient and either directly or indirectly helps your bottom line. For example, you have developed a rather specific protocol to follow after you’ve finished up a home party that has allowed you to book new parties consistently. If you find that month after month, you have worked your goal number of parties, then you know you are doing something right. Don’t change what is working for you; focus your energy on weak spots. Perhaps your party booking process is successful, but your opportunity bookings are few and far between. Assess what you currently do, why it isn’t working, and create an action plan to improve it. 
  1. Use solutions that speed things up and increase sales. With all the responsibilities you have in your business, it can be easy to get bogged down with tasks that don’t directly affect your bottom line. What solutions can be put into practice that will increase sales without a huge investment of time? Take a look at the structure of your sales pitch, practice upselling when customers order popular products, and seek referrals at each party. These are all quick and effective ways to improve your business where it really counts. 
  1. Keep track of your improvements. Doing so serves more than one purpose. First of all,when you need to make improvements, you can easily look back on what you’ve changed in the past for inspiration and motivation. Secondly, if you need to revisit a problem you’ve solved before, you can review what you did the first time as a jumping off point. For example, say you’ve recently noticed a slight dip in sales since your company released this season’s new catalog. You remember that you created and followed through with an action plan to increase sales in the early months of your business’s life. Since you kept track of it, you can review the steps you took and see what applies to your business today. You may even get some new ideas by looking back over some old ones. Keeping track of improvements also serves as a form of self-reflection, which is necessary for continual improvement. 

Remember, to succeed in your business, it needs to move forward and constantly grow. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve upon your existing mode of operation. Seek help when necessary and use the resources available to you. 

How will you use something on our list to improve your business?  Please share your ideas and feedback below!

Four Tips to Build Your Personal Brand

Four Tips to Improve Your Personal Brand
Four Tips to Build Your Personal Brand

Four Tips to Build Your Personal BrandAs a direct seller, your company has its own ways of promoting its brand. However, you are responsible for making it your own and improving upon the individual qualities you bring to your brand. In today’s post, we give you four tips to help you do just that.

  1. Give your clients ways to promote your brand. Engage customers in creative ways that will allow them to get a conversation going about your products and services. For example, use your Facebook page or Twitter feed to start a top ten list. A consultant for a company that sells manicure quality nail wraps held a contest in which her clients posted pictures of themselves wearing outfits that coordinated with their nails. Anyone subscribed to the page could vote on the best photo. The winner got a free gift, and the clients got new ideas for how to use their wraps as well as inspiration to try new ones. This type of engagement was the consultant’s way of getting to know her clients and giving them a fun way to promote her brand.
  2.  Always keep your word but also exceed it. In a business where you likely have many competitors who can offer similar products and services, your word is one of your greatest assets. If you say you will do something, there is no option other than to do it. Take this idea a step further whenever possible. For example, a customer needs her order rushed to be delivered in time for a loved one’s birthday. As the consultant, you say that you’ll personally put the order in first as well as double checking with corporate to make sure it was received and will arrive on schedule. After doing so, you get the product from the hostess when she receives it and hand deliver it to the customer. Going above and beyond your responsibilities increases your credibility; your clients will also associate your reliability with your brand.
  3. Focus on being the best at one thing at a time. Although it is important to have lofty goals for your business, don’t try to take on too much at once or you’ll risk burning out. Choose one aspect of your business at a time to become the best at. For instance, you aspire to be the best on your team at getting guests at your parties to book their own parties and keep their dates so the party actually happens. Invest your time and effort into creating ways to get potential hostesses excited about having a party and following up effectively. While working toward this goal, focus exclusively on it until you’re ready to move on to the next one. You’ll be able to make yourself stand out, therefore improving your brand.
  4. Continue to improve and be better than your competitor. The best way to begin besting your competitor is to gather information about how the competitor does business. The nail wrap consultant researched similar companies, emailed some of their consultants, and attended some parties as a guest. She was able to take mental notes about what she did and didn’t like about the business as a whole. When she signed with her chosen company, she knew exactly how she wanted to improve upon the competition’s ways.

Use your strengths and unique qualities to improve your brand. Your clients and prospects will associate you with those attributes and pass along a good word to their friends and families. How can you use the tips from our list? Please share your ideas in the comments below!

Targeting Potential Customers

Targeting Potential Customers
Targeting Potential Customers

Targeting Potential CustomersWhen you are on the lookout for potential customers, you want to make sure you’re focusing your energy in the right places. Remember that not everyone fits the profile, so spending time and money on trying to attract those outside your target demographic will be a waste of your resources. An effective way to find potential customers for your business is to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Can they afford your products/services? Of course, it’s impossible to know everyone’s financial situation, but you can get a good idea by looking for certain clues. For example, a consultant for a high-end ladies’ jewelry company should consider factors such as which town the potential customer lives in, if she wears designer clothing, if she drives a luxury car, etc. If your company sells products that range in price, consider the average and build an ideal customer profile from there.
  •  Are they the decision maker when it comes to the purchase? There are several different ways that people handle finances within their households. Some couples agree on a reasonable level of autonomy when it comes to making a purchase. Either person can buy groceries or even a new lamp for the living room without consulting each other, but neither would buy a car or book a vacation without both agreeing to it first. Be sure that the person you are targeting as a potential customer has the ability to make decisions about purchasing your products. This especially applies to products and services geared toward young children and teenagers. A skin care company’s acne treatment is mostly used by those between ages 15-21, but is almost always actually purchased by the parent. Whoever has the final say about a purchase is your potential customer. 
  • How much do they need the product/service?  Ask yourself if you are fulfilling a need or solving a problem for a potential customer with your product. Someone who will be returning to the work force after a long hiatus staying home to raise her children may need all new makeup and accessories to complete her professional appearance. A cosmetics or jewelry consultant would consider this person a potential customer because there is a certain level of need for the products and services offered. The most effective way to find out if a need for your product exists is to ask the right questions. Demonstrate a sincere interest in people by asking them questions about themselves. Give them an opportunity to talk about their family, interests, and hobbies. When you discover that the person needs your product, you’ll know you are talking to a potential customer.

Targeting your niche toward the right people will help you spend your time and marketing resources efficiently, which will in turn allow you to have long term success. By asking the above questions, you are creating a sort of customer profile that can be used to identify potential customers.

How have these questions helped you find your own customers? Are there any other questions you would add to our list? Please share your comments below!

How to Get People to Join Your Team

How to Get People to Join Your Team

How to Get People to Join Your Team from http://dsef.orgWhen you’re ready to take your direct sales business to the next level, recruiting others to join your team is the place to start. You have the potential to create a steady income stream while helping people achieve their own financial goals. In today’s post, we suggest some ways to build your downline and grow your business.

  • Share great ideas that help everyone. Whether the idea is your own or someone else’s, if you think it will help others, don’t hesitate to share it with your prospects. While presenting your opportunity to a recruit, for example, share an idea for having a successful launch party that worked for you. Your method will help the recruit by giving him or her a jump start on the business, and it will help you by finding customers for your downline. By sharing great ideas that are mutually beneficial, you generate excitement and enthusiasm about your opportunity, which will in turn increase your chances of signing your prospect.
  • Do both big and small things to help make your team members’ lives better.  After a team member’s initial launch and first few months working the business, it can be easy to lose touch or at least frequent contact. One small way of making your team members’ lives better is to check in regularly with words of encouragement, a motivational quote, or even a little gift of appreciation. On a bigger scale, you might host a weekend brunch at your house or local restaurant to reward your team’s hard work and accomplishment. Take the initiative to be a positive force in their lives. You can recruit others to join your team by introducing them to people in your downline who will attest to your role in their professional lives.
  • Stay optimistic and enthusiastic. Even if a prospect seems skeptical, unsure, or even confused about the opportunity, it is important to maintain a positive attitude and enthusiastic outlook about the business. If you don’t falter, he or she will notice that you are confident enough not to be shaken by a possible rejection.
  • Always do the right thing. There may be times when you are faced with some sort of conflict or dilemma. One direct sales consultant was excited to sign her very first recruit, but it became clear during the presentation that this person was so eager that she didn’t think to ask a lot of important questions that might sway her decision about whether or not to sign with the company. The consultant was tempted to ignore that fact and let the recruit sign on the dotted line anyway, but she listened to her conscience and offered the important information to the recruit as well as a chance to ask more questions. The recruit wound up signing, but even if she hadn’t, doing the right thing will allow you to never have to look back at your past action and feel guilty. Direct sales is about helping people, so your actions should always reflect that.
  • Listen more than you talk. A prospect wants and NEEDS to be heard. He or she may want to tell you why joining this business is even a consideration. And although, he/she may have lots of questions for you and provide you with plenty of opportunity to speak, make sure that you are doing most of the listening. By truly listening to others, we can tune into what their message is, and find effective ways to help.
  • Stay humble. No matter how high you climb to the top of that proverbial ladder of success, ALWAYS stay humble. Remember that there are always improvements to be made and higher levels to reach. Continue helping those who are just starting out, take compliments with gratitude and grace, and pay it forward. Your sincere humility will increase your likeability and have a positive effect on your business.

Building your team requires a lot of preparation, patience, hard work, determination, and the right mindset. We hope our list above gives you some guidance in getting started. What would you add to the list? Please share your comments below!

Four Quick Tips to Stay on Task

Four Quick Tips to Stay on Task
Four Quick Tips to Stay on Task

Four Quick Tips to Stay on TaskDirect sellers need to have a strong sense of self-discipline in order to succeed. When you are answering only to yourself, it is crucial to eliminate distractions and stay on task for both your daily and long-term projects. Here are our four simple suggestions for doing just that.

  • Get involved with activities that help your business. This means everything from professional development workshops held by those in your upline to more informal lunches with colleagues or prospects. Find ways to incorporate your business into things you already enjoy doing. For example, Heather, a direct sales consultant for a company that provides fitness programs and equipment, integrates fitness into her daily life. Aside from working her business, she follows her company’s exercise programs regularly and once a month, invites a few friends over for group workouts.  She leads a small group of friends to try a new workout, then serves healthy snacks and bottles of water afterwards. By doing this, she is able to stay healthy, work her business, and make time to socialize with her friends all at the same time. 
  • Make sure that your business utilizes your strengths and passion. Heather already had an interest in health and fitness, so it made sense for her to choose a wellness company to sign with. She enjoys learning about how to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and she is passionate about educating others who struggle with this to do the same. Because she gets so much joy out of helping others achieve their fitness and nutrition goals, it’s easy for her to stay on task. Even when it gets hard to stay the course, her passion for what she does and her ability to do her job well prevent her from getting off track.  
  • Focus on small positive improvements. When there are things you want to improve about your business, it can be overwhelming to figure out where and how to begin. Start small to build momentum. It can be as simple as re-organizing your desk or purging a filing cabinet drawer, but once you get a few small tasks accomplished, you will be motivated to take on bigger, long-term projects. 
  • Make sure the business gets you excited. As with any job, if you don’t enjoy what you do, it will be that much more difficult to succeed. Tap into your interests and passions to get excited about your business. When you can do this, you can get others excited about what you are offering and build lasting professional relationships. 

The longer you work your business with focus and passion, the easier staying on task will become. Involve yourself in business-related activities, make small improvements, and create excitement within yourself about what you’re doing. What would you add to our list? Please sound off in the comments section below!