Direct Sales Success – Holiday Season Begins NOW

It’s not often I write about booking, selling and recruiting, as there are plenty of Direct Sales trainers that speak on the core elements of our business. However, as a consultant in the trenches, I must chime in about taking advantage of the biggest selling season of our year.

And it begins NOW.

One of my mentors told me that the biggest mistake we make in sales is selling “in the month for the month”. In essence, we’re skating on thin ice in our business because we’re focused on the “now” rather than planning ahead.

Direct sales coach (and also a good friend), Julie Anne Jones, made a post on her blog about getting back to business once the kids are in school. It touched a nerve with me. If you’re just now “getting started”, you’ll have to play a lot of catch up just to get your business on solid ground in time for the holidays.

If that’s the boat you’re in, here are a few tips to get you moving forward faster:

1. Get clear on your objectives. Think about what you want your holiday earnings to look like now. And as Julie said in her previous post, make a plan. So often, we get cloudy on the execution because we weren’t clear on our goals and didn’t make a suitable plan. Plan for the vacation, the new TV, the gifts for the kids – and know how many parties you need between now and then to make that happen.

2. Know your benchmarks. What’s your average show sales? What’s the average ticket per customer? How many bookings do you average per show? If you don’t know those numbers, you can’t begin to plan. Benchmark your last 6 months versus the same time period last year. For some, their averages are slipping due to local economic issues (or other issues), but for others, because competition is waning, their numbers are on the rise.

3. Commit to “a little more” than before. Getting more than you’ve had before means being willing to do things differently. Are you reaching out to new markets, spending more time creating an online marketing strategy, or making more cold calls? What are you doing above and beyond the norm to drum up new, additional business to front load your calendar?

4. Sell into next quarter. I know several consultants that are booked 90 days (or more) in advance. Yes, it’s totally possible. For my business, I rarely have a client that can book in the next two weeks because of their own scheduling conflicts. I don’t fight it. I book 4-5 weeks out and coach my hostesses, using incentives to help them keep their originally scheduled date.

If you’ve already got a full calendar, good for you. Here are some tips to make November and December your best months ever:

1. Plan a special promotion at Thanksgiving. Each year, when other people are expecting/sending Christmas cards, I’ve already touched my most valued (top 20%) hosts and customers with a Thanksgiving card. Make a memorable connection, include a special offer, and follow up with a quick phone call to see if they’re able to order or book to add to your holiday sales. It’s a unique and different way to provide value and generate business.

2. Start approaching businesses and school offices now. Many times they’re already planning their holiday gift purchases, and if you wait until November, they’ve already made up their minds. Be proactive in contacting commercial customers – sometimes they have a huge lead time for approvals on orders and holiday gifts.

3. Remember to give plenty of advanced notice on all your parties. Consider sending invitations a week earlier than normal, and follow up with a phone call. It’s a little extra work, but the payoff is tremendous.

4. Start your VIP/customer appreciation programs now – when spending is high. This encourages repeat business throughout the year – even after the holidays. They’ll already have a few stamps on their VIP cards, so they’ll be eager to get them filled!

Don’t feel compelled to do all of these strategies, just pick a few and see the improvement from last year. The important thing is to be clear, focused and take new action toward attaining your goals. I’ve had consultants on my team sell thousands more in fall just using a handful of these tips.

How to Promote Your Top Tier Direct Sales and Network Marketing Home Based Business

Learning how to make the most of your network marketing business can be a challenge when you are first starting out.. Leads are the lifeblood of our business and it goes without saying that the more traffic you drive to your lead capture webpage the better your chances of making a profit.

If you are fortunate, you have a highly experienced sponsoring consultant who can give you some invaluable advice on marketing ideas. This truly is an absolutely huge benefit that can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your marketing and just as important help ensure you are driving traffic to your webpage in short order.

There are many ways you can expose your business to the world – some well travelled and some less well known.

An older but now rejuvenated method is direct mail. In previous times it was often thought of as junk mail but this type of marketing is taking on a new life with top tier direct sales companies. It can be expensive and tiresome if you have to start from the beginning but if you’re lucky enough to be part of a turnkey marketing system that uses this method, a lot of the legwork has already been done for you and it can be a great way to find extremely targeted and receptive prospects.

There is also the option of classified ads in newspapers and magazines. While this can be a reasonably low cost way to advertise your opportunity, to make it worthwhile you have to do your research ahead of time and find the right markets and publications. The good news is, this can all be done online.

Many newcomers make the mistake of running their ads for a few days in the local freebie and not seeing instant results they quickly become frustrated and move on. The key, once you find a suitable vehicle for your ads (here’s a hint – not the free papers), is to be consistent for a period of weeks. If readers see your ad consistently for a period of weeks they will know you’re serious and not a fly-by-nighter. Your response rate will shoot up. If copy writing is not your specialty, either get some qualified help or do what every successful marketer does and keep a swipe file of what the other successful marketers are doing; slightly modify it for your own use and put it to work for you.

A good option especially if you’re brand new can be to purchase leads from a reputable vender. Again, if you have an experienced sponsoring consultant and/or a turnkey marketing system, chances are they will already have a list of tried and trusted lead venders. While this option always tends to be more expensive than self-generated leads, it can be a good way for the newcomer to get some leads in the pipeline and hopefully a sale or two to generate income and fund future marketing efforts.

A type of online advertising that might be used is banner advertising. Banner ads are clickable links that you can place in websites and online newsletters called ezines and to direct traffic to your site. They are a great lower-cost option but again, to make it worthwhile you have to do your homework. Once you determine the right online publications, you must ensure the right position for your ad at a price you can afford. Communicate directly with the ezine publisher for options. You’ll find most are extremely accommodating.

A listing in an online directory so that people who are searching for legitimate top tier direct sales businesses can find you is another low cost option. They tend to get saturated with multiple business opportunities however so choose wisely.

Another type of online marketing but at low or no cost is article marketing. This involves using articles to softly market your business opportunity. You can either write the articles yourself and go to the numerous ghost writer sites and have articles penned for you at very cheap rates. You then submit your work to a few well placed article directories who will review and publish your piece where it can be found by people searching for information on home based businesses and top tier direct sales opportunities. You should never directly market you particular opportunity as this is too blatant and will not be well received by your potential prospects. Instead provide information the searchers can use that will build your creditability and then provide a link to your website and a brief bio in the last paragraph. As you increase the number of articles online, you be amazed how much highly targeted traffic this will drive to your webpage.

Market Prediction – How to Predict Market Direction

There are various techniques used by traders and analysts to help with market prediction. Most traders will use one type of technical analysis, while others will combine different techniques when  trading on the stock market today. The kind of analysis used will depend on which school the analyst adheres to.  When a trader is stock picking, he will try to find out in which direction the stock picks are moving so that he can get in at the best time to maximize profits. One of the methods used in the stock market is technical analysis. This technique involves looking a historical data on a stock pick. Normally the volumes and price are the main focus, but other data is used as well.Stock charts will be used to look at historical data; this chart analysis will generally be viewed looking at candlestick patterns. The patterns that are formed by the candlestick charts will show where trend reversals may occur. Trend lines may also be used in conjunction with the candlestick patterns. There are many patterns that can form, and each pattern combined with other patterns will indicate a certain condition at a given time period. This information will help with market prediction, which in turn helps when trading stocks.Some candlestick patterns that signal changes are the “morning star”. This pattern follows a time where investors have been panicky and have been selling out of fear over a period of time. The morning star appears and is noted by three candles, with the first day’s candle being black and long, showing that there has been a strong down trend with the stock closing lower than it opened. The second day shows a white short-bodied candle signaling indecision, and shows that the trading range was low. The gap between the first day and second day further indicates that there is the probability that a reversal is occurring. The third day is a long white candle and this signals the bulls have taken control.This pattern is a good indication of a reversal and can be considered part of the market prediction. Traders will then give out advice and stock tips to investors so they they can buy in to the stock while it is increasing in price. This is just one method of using candlestick patterns to determine the direction things will move. There are actually 12 important candlestick patterns that can be used in market prediction, and traders should familiarize themselves with them.