Whose Birthday Is It?

Was out shopping and doing errands yesterday and at one stop, a discount department store, I was in line behind a mom with a small child I’m guessing about 5 years old!  His excitement level at the decorations, lights and music was so refreshing!  However, just like most little boys and girls his age, his concern was toys and gifts from Santa.  As he was “badgering” his mom about what he would get for Christmas, the cashier began to ring up the purchases and the little boy was telling her he was getting a bike, a car, and ooh so much more for Christmas.  He also told her about what a good boy he had been to ensure his bounty from the jolly old man in a red suit!  I was giggling thinking of my grandson and how excited he can get.

Our cashier was too very interested in the little guys tales, and said to him, “that sounds so much fun”.  And do you know whose birthday it is on Christmas?”  The little boy squared himself in the seat and said so proudly, “Santa Claus of course”!   WOW!!!!

With all the discussions regarding “holiday trees” vs. Christmas trees, the whole “x-mas” debate, and of course, just saying “Merry Christmas” , people keep posting that Christ is the reason for the season and as Christians, we must make sure to always keep our thoughts to Him.  Now obviously, children learn what they live.  With the response from this little boy, one may “assume” that Christ is not part of the household.  On the contrary, I believe that there most probably is a christian based faith life there, but with so many of us, we have allowed the “spirit” of the holiday to turn from religious to retail.  He was merely stated what he believed to be the truth from what he is seeing all around him.

Really, let’s think about it!  Pretty much everything that happens outside our church during this Advent and Christmas season is based upon pagan traditions.  The Yule Log, the “Christmas” tree, caroling, lights, and ooh so much more.  The entire date for this celebration is centered around the winter solstice.  The retail industry has made us all creatures of Santa and his sleigh full of toys and elves.  Please don’t misunderstand what my point here really is.

I wonder how many of us could truly celebrate a CHRIST mas.  A holiday season without Santa, elves, Rudolph, debt induced shopping, and all the other non-Christ activities.  Could we really enjoy a time without caroling, shopping, decking the halls?  How many of us are up for the challenge?  Let’s actually try to propose a truly secular Christmas.  If we are to keep the Christ in Christmas, then let’s get rid of everything that is not “Christ” like!

Whose birthday is it at this time of year?  Maybe the little guy observed a WHOLE lot more than we see as adults!


Just sitting around!

Anyone else enjoying the lovely fall weather by just sitting around?  It is gorgeous.  A time to relax and take in the beauty of fall, the sounds and smells.  Reminds me of a wonderful time in my childhood.  Time spent with my daddy. Walking through the woods in late September and October picking mushrooms or training his beagle, and listening to the animals in the woods was remarkable. My dad knew so much about the different animals in the woods, the kind of tracks they made, which animal made which marks on trees, in the mud, etc.  It was amazing to me since I knew that my father left school in the 7th grade.  His knowledge of which mushrooms to pick, which berries we could eat, and even what plants would make me itch or sneeze, and those that would take the itch away if I was bitten by something while we were in the woods!

This time of year is also special because I remember my mom canning the last of the garden vegetables, making jam and jelly from all the berries we picked, and most importantly, all the baking she did with the apples that daddy and I picked.  The smell of an apple crisp or apple cake allows me to close my eyes and see my mom, blue-checkered apron and all in her kitchen. She was such a great cook and baker.  Her meals were never served as gourmet with tons of silverware, but she was a world-class chef no doubt.  Pastries, cookies, pies, whatever mom tried came out perfect.

Her abilities and talents weren’t limited to the kitchen.  She also did just about every craft known to man.  She crocheted, knitted and worked with beads.  We had a ceramic shop together and she was great at that too.  As with my dad, my mom left school early 7th grade.  She actually had to take a job house cleaning to help her parents with expenses.  She was a “live- in”  house keeper for a “well to do” family at that time and only visited with her family on the weekends.

I often think of the life my parents had as young teens.  They both were forced to work early on, and to our standards now, didn’t really have a childhood.  At least not the way we knew it or know it now to be.  It didn’t seem to negatively affect who they became.  Both of them possessed intelligence beyond explanation.  Their common sense and talents never stopped amazing me.

Of course just like any young person, I do remember from time to tome thinking my parents were so “dumb” or so “behind the times”.  Now however, I know that they really had it all together!  I remember playing board games with my mom when we were snowed in for days and there was no school.  Or playing checkers, the card game War, or ball the jack with my dad after dinner on the back porch.

WOW, all this from just sitting around on the patio on a lovely fall afternoon.  What a way to honor and remember my parents.  Thanks mom and dad.  I do miss you!



So who wants to make $840?

It’s crazy right?  WRONG!  You can make $840 in the next 2 weeks guaranteed.  As part of the “Six steps to success”, let’s concentrate on the next two weeks (14 days) to put that crazy money in your pocket!

With any of the MLM businesses, there is always a level (or at least in most), where you have the ability to earn a 50% on your sales in a given time frame.  Here in our business, you can reach the 50% earnings discount level when your award sales hit $1,550 in a campaign period (two weeks).  Okay, so now you’re saying I know that, but how do I do that!

A very simple method!  One that will not only increase your earnings but will also grow your customer base, and just in time for the holidays!

How often have you or someone in your family been asked to participate in an office or school gift exchange?  Almost every year right?  Well, I am sure that even this year, with the economy still so poor, we will still be asked to share a holiday gift with our team mates, co-workers, class mates, etc.  As such, you have the perfect opportunity to supply these gifts and put money in your pocket!  Do you know what is inside your store?  have you priced the gift sets as to your “income” from offering them for sale?

Can you make a $20 sale to a family member, a friend?  I’m sure most of you have already!  How about asking them if they have a friend who would purchase $20?  Where do you bank?  Have you thought about offereing the teller your great customer service in exchange for the great customer service she gives you?  I always appreciate the customer service my waitress gives me, so I always exchange the favor by sharing a brochure and a product suggestion.  WOW, that is six people who need gift items for the holidays.  And that is just on your first day of the campaign.  The concept is, six people each day for 14 days of the campaign.  ($20 x 6 = $120 x 14 days = $1,680)

Okay, I am not doing anymore math!  You figure out your earnings!

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,