Oh My Gosh, Why Didn’t I Think of This!

After you finish reading, please resist the need to slap your forehead in shock!  I too had the same response, but as we always say, sometimes the easiest and best ideas, are those that we never think about until someone else mentions them!

So what is this head-slapping, mind-blowing idea of the century?  Before I share, let’s take a small step backwards.  Remember back in your appointment when you discussed how to present the brochure to your friends and family?  Finding an item you believed them to need or like and flag the page, yada, yada, yada!  Following up on that, the customer indeed orders the lipstick you knew she would love, and she also chose one of the “deals”, the Naturals bundle.  WOW!  Your first “sale”.  Great job.  now, duplicate about 4-5 more times and you are off and running with your first campaign order!

Friend 1 – UCR Lipstick  $3.99; Naturals Bundle $9.99  Total Order, tax & processing charge = $15.76

Friend 2 – Purchases about the same amount, some fragrance, etc.                                                = $13.97

Now add in another 2 customers orders at around the same amount and your total is:             = $ 56.00+

That is a good first order.  As a leader, that is also a good order for your recruit and you will receive your BIYS bonus!

However, why settle here?  Let’s help this recruit actually EARN some money on her first order.  After all, this is the opportunity we are sharing, earning money!  How can we do that.

STEP 1 – Here . . . it . . . comes – meet with your recruit a few days before her first order is due. Review each order that she has gathered from her customers.  Using the example above, where could we add a few extra products to build a better and more profitable order for your recruit?

Up selling and cross selling are the best “lesson” to teach our recruits, and yes, OURSELVES!  The customer who purchased the lipstick should be reminded that the lip liners are also on sale and will help to make a more complete look.  The customer who purchases the fragrance, needs to be shown the “power” of layering!  If a customer orders jewelry only, show her a nail polish that will really help to show of the ring or bracelet that she has chosen.  Train yourself and your recruits to be SALESPEOPLE.  This is a “sales” business and selling makes the money!

By adding one or two more, inexpensive items to each customers order, could increase the $56 order to a $100 order. Plus, always remember to help your new recruit “re-invest” in her business with a few sample packs.  This will really help to sell that fragrance next campaign!

Okay, so again, please resist the fore head slapping and just say, why didn’t I do this before?  Because one, we were so excited to get or have our recruit have a $50+ first order, that we were merely satisfied and we moved on.  Now, I want YOU to take a look at your own customer orders and see where they could expand.  Don’t worry about how they will take the “call back”.  The phone call could go like this: “Hi Patty.  This is Andria, hope you’re having a great day!  I was reviewing my AVON orders before placing them and I noticed that you ordered our UCR lipstick that was on sale.  Did you know that our glimmersticks are also on sale.  Oh, you don’t know about lip liners.  We use lip liners to make a more complete look on our lips.  Matching the shade to the lipstick you chose, I would suggest the ____ shade!  Or, you could also maybe try the ____.  Either would be great.  Maybe, since they are 2 for $ 7.99 you could try both and change them out for a different look on different occasions.  May I add them to your order?  Great!  Thanks!  I will see you next week at our scheduled delivery time!  Thanks again for your order.”

Easy right?  Of course it is!  I tell you, when I first heard this the curiosity was almost too much for me.  I had to go back to my orders and make a few calls.  I actually added an extra $100 to my total order!  No kidding.  When I spoke to 8 out of my 11 customers last campaign, I was able to add one or two extra items to each order and that was the overall increase!  I was amazed!

This is the “first step” in sharing success with your recruit. It is just a simple review, took about 20 minutes total to review all the orders and match an extra product or two, and then another hour to make all the calls.  So in less than 1 1/2 hours I added $100 to my sales and an extra $40 to my pocket!  Pretty good “overtime” extra pay!

Have a wonderful and productive day!  More tomorrow – Step 2!


The Six Steps

AA, Gamblers Anonymous, and several others all have a “step” program to help in recovery and to re-build the lives of those who are in the program.  With the age and success of these groups, the “step” program must be working.  So why not in other areas, for example LIFE!  We already do have the “step” process because we are not born able to run, pitch the perfect strike, ride a bike, etc., we learn in steps.  The process of everything in life is just that, a process, a step by step way to grow.

The program here, “The Six Steps” is not an original idea, and I won’t even take credit for the total idea of the program I am going to share here!  As your up line team leader, it is my responsibility to present you with every option and piece of knowledge I can to help you accelerate and grow your business.  I have been reading, watching, and attending seminars, and also talking with others in our business or in other MLM businesses, to gain more knowledge and insight to make the money I know that I want to make, and that you have expressed you wanted to earn too!

So, the basis of the process I am going to share with you in the next six (6) blogs, was patterned after a program that a top leadership representative and top seller shared with me.  With team sales over $1 million dollars, almost $2 million last year, of course, I listened, questioned, and made LOTS of notes!

So, get ready, grab on, because this is going to be a wild ride!  I am going to share with you a few simple tips that will make you “slap your forehead and say, uh, why didn’t I think of that”.  I am also going to share some other tips that even I didn’t think of, but then again, I don’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars in leadership bonuses each year either!  I will tell you that I have “revised” her plan just a little to include those who are not leadership and want to increase their own sales and customers.  NO hints, no sneak peaks, check back tomorrow for the first of our “Six Steps” in earn more!

Have a wonderful day!


Still Stuck?

I was listening to a few representatives discussing how they felt that they were “stuck”  in their business.  One in particular was a bit disgusted that she was basically only making enough money to re-invest in more books and buy one or two things for herself.

Now, we did discuss re-investment and it’s importance.  I was curious as to how effectively she was using that are-investment, so of course, I asked. She was making sure to label, stuff and share the brochure and point out sales to her customers.  However, what she wasn’t doing was really making the SALE!  Simply directing someone to a product page or sale, does not put the money in your pocket.  Remember the saying, Salesperson not Ordertaker!  We really must be salespeople.  We have to first sell ourselves and what we can offer, and then the relationship and professional respect have built and now, your sales will grow.  Be knowledgeable’ making sure that you know your products!  In the beginning you may have to choose one or two products or a line and educate yourself to really promote and sell.  Always train yourself with available materials.  Use the product yourself or at the very least, get testimony for someone who has and is using the product.  This also helps to deepen the feeling of trust between you and your customers.

Now, with those brochures that you “leave unattended”, always make sure to add a little something extra so that you will encourage the business.  Make sure that you are not “abandoning” brochures,  (leaving them in a location without a “follow-up” method.  If you are going to abandon brochures, use old expired books with the tag that says, “To get current pricing, please call ___”.  Or, ” Don’t get left out again, for a current book please call _ _ ”  You can also put a sticker on the front that says, “Call today, mention this brochure and get a 10% on the current brochure pricing!  That will get you phone calls every time!

Still stuck?  Okay, let’s also look at what your calendar looks like each day!  OUCH!  I bet that really hit a “toothache sized nerve”!  Folks, you MUST, and I can’t stress this enough, you MUST keep a calendar or schedule book.  With our lives as complex and busy as they are today, knowing where, when and what you are to be doing every minute of the day is crucial.  I have actually found that I have been able to “squeeze” in some extra activities by just plotting out each day.  I actually try to start my calendar three months in advance with items that are the same each month.  Sales Meetings, Dr Appointments, speaking engagements, and training course.  Then, on the monthly schedule add in those other appointments that you know about in advance and then, kind of, work backwards to the current month, weeks, and then it becomes easier to plan the weekly schedules.  These too, are easier if you plan them in reverse, and work into the current week.  Then, you are sure to have all appointments and commitments placed in the schedule.  And, don’t forget, you MUST plan into your weekly schedule, family time, spouse time, and time alone with your thoughts!  Having a time set aside for personal “re-energizing” will not only keep you fresh and ready for the week, but it will help others around you to see how confident and organized a business person you are!

Planning to be in the same area of town or neighborhood on a weekly or bi-weekly basis will also show your customers and business partners that you are available to them but, you set the pace.  This way, you are not getting called “off track” and rushing to accomplish extra tasks.  Set “office hours”  times when customers, business partners etc., can call on you.  Of course, making yourself available when needed is important, but if your contacts know that you do have certain times for them to call, they will be more likely to respect this and only call outside this time if it is really necessary!

Now, let’s get you out of the mud, and back on the track!  Whatever methods you are currently using may need to be put back on the shelf or in the drawer and it’s time for something new!  Don’t ever be afraid to try something new!  If what your are currently doing isn’t working, what’s the worst that can happen be trying something new?  If it doesn’t work, you aren’t any further in the hole, but if it does, WOW, your business will grow!  So where to find these “new” innovative ideas that will make your business grow and customer orders multiply?  HUM  I can think of several places to search.  First, talk with your other business partners.  They may have something that is working well for them.  Or, actually they may have something that isn’t working so well for them but, maybe with your customers.  It really is amazing to me how that works, but it really does!

Attend training meetings.  After all, that is their purpose, sharing and “training”.  Sales meetings and workshops are also where information is shared freely and in great abundance.  You can also invest in some reading material such as motivational and personal development.  I know it might be insulting to you but maybe it isn’t the method you are using, it could be you!  OUCH! (again)  The first person to help you has got to be you!

Well, I will leave you with that earth-shaking revelation and thought-provoking message!  Just remember, that being stuck in the mud may not always be a bad thing.  People do pay hundreds of dollars for a mud bath!

Go forward, do well, and have a wonderful day!


Have You Re-couped Your Investment?

It has been exactly four years today that I took a leap into the MLM world and joined the AVON family!  In many ways, it seems as if I have been around forever. But, I know that I am still so young not only to AVON but to the whole MLM experience.  I have gained so much knowledge from sharing with other AVON representatives, friends who are in other WAH businesses and from some new “friends” on social media sites!  Constantly opening myself to the knowledge that is available, has allowed me to take this “part-time”, “what the heck” venture, into a defined business plan.  As a former teacher, goal setting was always my strong suit when it came to aiding my students.  However, it can be a bit difficult to turn that around to yourself.

AVON and the leaders with whom I have chosen to partner, have helped me in my goal setting and in deciding that goals and dreams can, and should be the same thing!  I am quickly achieving both as a result in my new personal resolve.  When I spent the initial $10 to invest in my” business”, I had no idea where it would take me some four years later.  Nor, did I really have any idea that I wanted to be here!  Because I didn’t take my “investment” as such, I didn’t consider this to be a business.  I thought of that $10 as “what I had to pay” to get products at a discount and make a few dollars on the side!

Even though along the way, I was attending meetings, training seminars and even the AVON National Leadership Conference in Las Vegas two years ago, it really wasn’t until last winter that I not only realized but decided, that if I was going to keep investing time, energy and money into this “thing” I spent $10 to join, I needed to make it PAY OFF!  So, by re-thinking that first day, I changed my thought process to an investment and began to re-work this “thing” and make it a “business venture”.  So, long story short, I didn’t “really” and honestly re-coup my investment until almost 4 years into the business.  Now, as any business guru will tell you, I should have called it quits long ago.  I guess the reason I didn’t is that somewhere, though it was deep inside, I knew there was potential here.  Not only with the business but with myself to grow it into a business.  And, one that would be profitable, not just a tax write-off!  And, so, it began.

I started reading more about  MLM and Networking businesses as well as checking out other people in the AVON family who have indeed made this business profitable.  I learned that in order to move on up to the top, I needed something to “get me off the bottom”.  (or really off my bottom)!  That something for me, was family!  Families can be a wonderful thing, they are a sense of pride and joy like no other.  However, with all the joy and pride, will come disappointment and even heartache.  With an extremely devastating situation in my own family, I needed to make the decision to move on and up.  I was not going to continue to cower and remain at the lower end of the totem pole.  Remembering my father’s insistent remarks to NEVER allow myself to be put at the bottom of anything, I took that first, scary, but well needed step.  I decided to turn my $10 into the investment of a lifetime!

As I mentioned before, I have been surrounded by people who are earning money with their MLM businesses.  I know that for many, they are really only earning some extra income to provide them a bi-weekly “extra few dollars”, and they really are not investing in any future plans.  I on the other hand, have decided that I want to be like the “few”  rather than the many, and actual use this business to provide for the future.  Whether it be for their children’s future education, for their future lifestyle, or like myself, for our retirement, I want to EARN MONEY.  My husband has worked many long and hard years to always support our family’s daily needs and desires.  He has made sure that the necessities as well as many “extras” were available.  However, because of his work industry, we have not been able to plan or save for a retirement.  At our stage in life, with four grown children and five beautiful grandchildren, that “retirement” is no longer a light at the end of the tunnel.  It is more like the tunnel closing in on the light!  You might actually say that my lightbulb finally went on!

And so, this is where we are today!  I am working as much as I possibly can to make this business pay for our retirement.  I am not now, nor have I ever thought of this as a “get rich quick” scheme.  And, I have also not really seen this as a “future” for myself and my husband, until recently.

In partnering now with some exceptional people I am looking to return our vision to our future!  I have also decide that it will be ME that will control that future and not be dependent on others to “bring it to me”.  I really did get hooked into thinking that as I built my business with partners and associates, we could all profit together. (One of those falsehoods that our “up line” and companies share with us”.  Now, I’m not saying that there is not money to be made by developing business partners, I am saying though, that we must CHOOSE them wisely!  We also must not allow ourselves to “depend” on the business of others to make us rich!  Not unless of course, we already have billions and are just looking for more!

You and only you can control your destiny.  You must pick your path carefully, “pack your knapsack” with the necessary elements, and begin your journey one step at a time.  Be positive, make a map of your journey.  Seriously, place a create a map of where you want to be at specific times and put it on your refrigerator, in your hoe office, on the bathroom mirror.  Wherever, you will see it on a regular basis and be able to “map” your progress.  Don’t be discouraged if a particular leg in your journey is not reached at the time you had hoped.  Remember, the first group that set out to reach the top of the Matterhorn, did not succeed on their first attempt either!  Just “re-map” and carefully inspect what hindered you meeting that deadline or timeframe.  Then, work out a new plan to achieve that next “leg” of the journey.  ALWAYS keeping in sight, that ultimate goal.  Whatever it is, make sure you have a concrete visual picture of it always where it can be seen!  Don’t hide it, allow others to see it too.  Especially to see that you are achieving your milestones one step at a time!

I can’t help but remember when our oldest son was learning to walk.  He tried so hard to stand.  He would use the end tables, the coffee table, even our Great Dane Caesar to attempt to “take off”.  Of course, the tables didn’t go on for ever, and the dog would either go too fast, or just sit down.  His frustration grew, until he realized, if I let go and just get my balance, I can do this on my own!  And, he did.  He first steps in typical  toddler Frankenstein style, were an amazing accomplishment for him, and for us.  We knew he was on his way to growing and going places!  And trust me, he truly has!

I hope that this latest chat will inspire you to move on.  I want to continue to share with you my journey, my map, and my milestones, so that we can actually take this journey together.  Help yourself and create your map today.  Choose your starting point, whether it is today, or if you go back to your $10 investment day, make sure to make the steps to your success.  I hope that very soon, we can all get together and share our maps!

Take care, live and love well,

Andria

 

 


Business In a Box

If you are anything at all like me, (let’s really hope not), you have papers, files and “stacks” all over your office.  Getting your work space organized and keeping it that way is an ongoing task.  However, there is a solution to the “stacks” issue.  As a new business owner, jumping into office furniture and equipment is something that you should really re-consider.  Filing cabinets can be expensive and they are also a space hog!  There is a solution however!  Now without sounding like a 3 am infomercial, how about a “business in a box”?   Lame right!  Well, I only promised to be helpful and informative, not entertaining!

As previously discussed and I can promise you it will be again, organization is a must for any business, but especially for one such as ours where we are dealing with inventory, customer service, and MONEY.  This solution is one that will keep your business papers, files and most importantly the money tracker organized and at a quick reach.  It will also “grow” with you as your business grows.  So whether it’s sales or leadership, this system is flexible.  If you are already embracing leadership, you may actually want to have two separate boxes one for each aspect of the business.  So what is this “business is a box” and where can you get one?

What you will need is a file crate that you can purchase at a discount store like Wal-Mart, Target, etc.  You may choose slim boxes that can be kept on your desk or one or two larger boxes that are near or under your desk.  Either way, you can’t lose.

HANGING FILES – choose two different colors of files (if you are making a box for leadership, you will need two different colors there as well)

10-12 files of one color will be used for managing you business on a daily basis.

     Correspondence; Up-coming Events; Finances with two sub-folders for Bills and Receipts; Forms; Income Plan and PRP Goal sheet; Invoices with sub-folders for business invoice, customer invoices and your personal invoice for products you purchase for yourself and your household; Customer Appreciation ; Labels; Flyers; Fundraising; and probably a Misc file.  I will have a complete explanation of the contents of the files available upon request. And it will be included in the upcoming book!

10-12 files of the second color will be used for filing away for tax time!  This will be a very important “box” come income tax time!

     Advertising; Asset purchases; Bank records 3 sep. files Business Savings, Business Checking  and Business Credit Card; Auto Expenses; Contributions; Events; Dues, publications, etc.; Postage; Insurance; Credit card receipts; Inventory (each quarter); Legal or Professional expenses; Office Supplies; Sales tools (samples, brochures, etc.); Utilities (copies of household utility bills for %of deduction); Travel and entertainment; Misc (anything that you aren’t sure of)

As you can see, these are the items that are most commonly used as deductions for your business.  You may also want to check with a tax preparer to learn whether or not there are other items that should be kept for taxes.

Many of the items that are mentioned here can also be kept in files on the computer.  With scanners, many receipts, invoices, etc., can be added to computer files, which would also “de-clutter” the office space!

Other items that are handy in my office are my notebooks.  I have compiled several notebooks for resources or handouts that I have accumulated. I also keep newsletter and articles that have been shared.  It has been a great reference tool.  I also have a “working notebook” that I keep handy for adding ideas, sketches, etc., that will then later be turned into actual works!

When it comes to computer files, I have my AVON files also separated. I have graphics, label templates, flyers, just to name a few.  I also make sure to date each file, and save the location of the file to the bottom of the actual document.  Then, when I go to retrieve it later, I know where it is stored.

I do have one rather slightly costly suggestion.  One though, that is well worth the money.  You really should invest in an external hard drive for your computer.  The size needed will be dependent upon budget, storage capacity needed, etc.  You can generally find an external with one Terabyte of storage, for just under $100.  And trust me, this will be MORE than enough for your current business.

I certainly hope that this little exercise in organization has helped.  I know that it is a big change in my usual format, but a change that I thought would be not only appreciated but necessary!

Thanks again for checking in on the blog. Please don’t forget to leave comments and suggestions!

Here’s to a great new week, new customers, and new business partners!  Good luck!

 

 


What’s your re-investment paln

As we continue to work on our goals and reaching those dreams, we must realize those that the make that happen, re-investment and growth in our business does come at a price.  However small it may be, or however large we choose to make it, we do have to spend some money to make even more!  Finding the “proper” place for that investment is key!

So in a “brick and mortar” business your money would be spent on supplies, overhead and “window dressing”.  With our WAH or MLM business, those types of re-investments are unnecessary and actually are the reason that most of us chose this type of business.  Our “store”  is our brochure or book we share with our customers and potential customers.  If we are not equipped or prepared with books on hand ALWAYS, our “store” is closed!

What about samples for our customers to try!  Remember, “if they try it, they will buy it”.  And we can’t forget “demos” or the products that we are able to purchase prior to the appearance in the brochure.  This peeks our customers interest and gets them ready to buy! Are we using all of these avenues to gain the most we can out of each sale?

I am sharing a few “charts” and examples or what we can expect in return for our “re-investment” of a small portion of our profits each campaign.  Let’s look and the value of a brochure.

Which would you rather earn – $91 or $240?

If you purchase 50 brochures at a cost of $15.00 using the average (~) that marketers use, you should be able to realize 1/3 of those brochures in actual orders. Or, ~18 customers with a $20 order (again, AVON’s aver. order) = $360  This would put you in the 35% discount level so your gross earnings would be $ 126.  Let’s also say that you purchased a demo and some samples.

Brochures     50       =     $ 15   Demos  $15    Samples  $5    TOTAL expenses =  $35

Your gross earnings less your expenses are:  $126 – $ 35 =  $91  your earnings  (This is of course, only if you have not spent your profit purchasing items for yourself!  This we will address in a future blogpost!)

Now, let’s increase our brochure count to 100.  The cost is now $20 (Yes, only $5 more to double the amount of “stores” we can share!

If we use the same “law of averages” we would serve 35 customers from those 100 “stores” x $20 yield a gross of $700.  Now of course, that puts your discount level at 40%.

With that said, the numbers are as follows:  $700 in sales x 40% =  $280   Expenses are: 100 books $ 20, samples $5 and demos $15 = $40 Earnings to you: $ 240.

You decide!  What amount would you like to take to the bank!  Now, just imagine if you used those brochures at either level to their UTMOST efficiency by following up with phone calls to each person who received that “store”.  Your profit could increase by another 25% – 50% at each of those levels.

The re-investment is not always just in money alone, but time as well  And if  you have a phone that can text, why not “group” your contacts and send one text to all on your customer list to remind them of order day!  (we will discuss Social Media also in a future post).

Spend some time re-thinking your investment each campaign.  Don’t limit your earnings.  If you are only purchasing the minimum count of brochures, you are the reason you are not earning money!  It must be available for customers to see and purchase.

Have a great weekend, and check back tomorrow for our next entry!

 


And, we go on!

As we begin this morning’s blog, allow me to apologize for being MIA yesterday!  I have contracted a terrible head/chest cold that has really kicked my butt!  I have really done absolutely “nothing” for the last two days!

In the last entry, you were ask to go back to your appointment booklet and review the “need” that was written in your book.  Looking at the need, the amount of money and the time frame, you can now have an idea as to what steps you must take each and every campaign to get you where you want to be.  Based upon the average percentage of orders, $25 per customer, figure how many customers you will need that actually place an order each campaign.  Now, DOUBLE that figure as to how many brochures you will need to purchase and actually put into the hands of someone.  Folks, it’s a lot more than just ordering the books and passing them out.  COntact information and follow-up are the crucial points that are being skipped by most business partners.

If you purchase 30 brochures, you must have 30 names and contact info come the day before orders go in to properly conduct your follow-up!  Now, if you have brochures in an office and have a “helper” there, you may not need to contact each person in the office, but by all means, talk with that receptionist.  Remind her that she will receive a discount for helping you gather orders.  Encourage her by sharing a product with her that she could receive for free or at a very low price if she helps to gather the orders in her office.

Send out emails to your out-of-state friends and families; send Facebook messages and don’t forget to tweet!

Now, let’s take a look at how to calculate your actual “pocket-money”.  If you need to pocket $100 each campaign the general rule of thumb would be to sell a minimum of $450 in AVON core product!  Based on a 40% discount, and adding in your expenses for brochures and samples, supplies, etc., this would yield the $100 you need to earn for your “need”.  This is NOT including anything that you purchase for yourself.  It appears that is the weak point for most new representatives – personal purchases.  Of course you are anxious to try the products for yourself however, if you started your  BUSINESS to “earn” money, they by all means, you can’t “eat up” the profits.  Example – let’s say that your business is a McDonald’s franchise.  If you go into “work” and invite your friends to come with you and you each “eat” breakfast lunch and dinner today, what will you serve to your customers?  And, if you “gave away” the food to your family and friends” (gave them your discount), you can’t possibly earn any money!

The best way to begin is to start yourself on a budget.  Make sure that you allow at least 10% if your “GROSS” sales for business supplies.  That would include, books, samples and bags!  These are a MUST!  Now when it comes to ordering your own “products” use the figure from your family budget.  If you normally spend $20 every two weeks on shampoo, make up and hygiene products at the store, then allow the same amount from your store!  However, do NOT FORGET to “Pay” yourself the $20.  The best way to “get in the hole” is to become your own best customer.  If you spend all your profits on buying for yourself or giving friends a discount, you will never reach your goal nor will you meet the need for which you began your business.

As an AVON representative is it your responsibility to ensure that your customers are getting the “best” service they possibly can.  That not only includes giving them a brochure and a few samples but to supply them with the knowledge they need to make the proper decisions about skin care, fragrance, makeup, hair care, etc.  Where do you gain this knowledge?  On your business website, youravon.com under the training tab at the Beauty of Knowledge.

Arming yourself with the answers to questions that have not yet been asked, is very important to your business.  Know how to apply eye shadow correctly; which shampoo is best for color damaged hair; what fragrance will you suggest when the customer asks for something light and fruity for a day time outing?  These are EXACTLY the answers you must have.  Your customers will ask, especially if you are “selling” them AVON .

That brings me to the next topic, “Salesmen” or “Order taker”  Stay tuned tomorrow to discover the answer!

Have a great and blessed day!