If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I love listening to podcasts. They’re a fabulous, free tool to help you grow in your business and life. They also help you to stay motivated and inspired.
Whenever I’m doing a ‘boring’ task like ironing or when I’m driving or running, I listen to a podcast to make the most of that time. That way I can fit professional development into pockets of my time throughout the week without having to make time for listening.
This is a great resource for your direct sales business. The host, Darius Chia (co-founder of Dough), has gathered an inspirational powerhouse of guests to interview. It’s an interesting collection of advice and training from the top leaders and coaches in the direct sales and party plan industry.
You’re bound to learn something new or get an interesting tip in every episode, even if you’ve been doing it for some time. Darius also gives you an insight into the person being interviewed at the end with a lightning round of questions.
The topics range from social media excellence to maintaining consistency and how to master the art of storytelling as part of your marketing.
You can listen to my interview here when Darius and I talked about ‘how to achieve your why‘.
If you’ve been in the direct sales industry for a while, you might be familiar with Rachel Perry as part of the ‘The Tag Team’. She’s now on her own and still providing education for direct sellers and party plan consultants and is the host of the Making the Leap podcast.
In her podcast, Rachel shares her expertise, does live coaching and sometimes interviews other experts. Beginners as well as leaders in their business will find this podcast helpful and interesting.
She Means Business isn’t a direct sales-specific podcast but it’s very inspirational. The host, Carrie Green, interviews successful entrepreneurs (mostly women) from a range of industries. The stories are varied, interesting and often inspirational.
In some episodes Carries shares her own business expertise. I often find that the advice is relevant to my business in some way, even if the industry is completely different.
I was honored to be interviewed by Carrie myself, you can listen to that episode here.
Working with your host to make sure you both have a great party (usually called ‘host coaching‘) makes a big difference in the outcome in terms of attendance, sales, bookings and even recruits.
I think of my hosts as business partners. They want a fun party with friends and freebies and I want to grow my business.
The more people who attend the party from a variety of networks in the host’s life, the better it will be for both of you! When there’s a variety of people, you’re more likely to get bookings. A well attended party is usually also better in terms of sales – and thus host rewards – and you’re more likely to pick up a new team member.
Host coaching is not the icing on the cake, it’s the cake!
Use a worksheet
A great tool you can use with your hosts to help them plan who to invite, is the FRIENDS Contact List (download below). The worksheet helps them to think ‘outside the box’ of their usual go-to friends.
FRIENDS stands for Friends, Relations, In-Laws, Employment, Neighbors, Different Area, and Social. On the worksheet there are examples listed with each section and there’s room to write names. It helps people to think of all the different networks in their life.
When I don’t use a list like this, the hosts tend to invite just from one group of contacts within their network, for example their Tuesday tennis group or the school moms. When I do encourage them to use the worksheet they’ll invite the tennis group, the school moms, their hairdresser they’ve known for 13 years and their sister.
The FRIENDS worksheet will help you and the host to have a well attended and therefore more successful party. And it’s just as important to use this for online events as it is for in-home parties.
I always follow-up with my host before the party to make sure they’ve used it. I like to give it to them on paper, I post it with a thank-you card to anyone who books an online party and personally hand it to everyone who books from an in-home party.
I tend to print it on colored paper, just to make it stand out and it makes it easy when talking in the follow-up to ask how they’re going with the ‘pink FRIENDS list’ and they’ll instantly know what I’m talking about.
If you haven’t used a tool like this before, try it out for your next few parties and see the difference it makes!
Download the FRIENDS Contact List printable. You'll also get my weekly email with tips, so you'll never miss an article or freebie again!
I recently had a long chat with a friend of a friend, a lovely lady called Claire. She’s joined a direct sales company with products she’s very excited about and she really wants to make it a success.
However, she was in a bit of a dip when I talked to her.
You see, she wants to be a ‘social seller’ only. Due to her personal circumstances she can’t do parties or events. She was told it would be easy and that she could sell online in her pajamas if she wanted to.
Unfortunately Claire found it to be a bit more involved and a bit more difficult than promised! She had only made a few sales and most were to family.
After talking with Claire about attraction marketing and the mistakes I see social sellers around me make, she was inspired to change the way she ran her business on social media.
She took my advice and she’s now seeing more engagement with her posts, more enquiries and sales are starting to come in too. It’s early days but we’re both encouraged by the change!
In this article I’ve summarized the advice I gave to Claire.
Social Sellers forget about being social
The mistake I see 90% of social sellers make is that they’re focused solely on the ‘selling’ part of ‘social selling’ and they forget about the ‘social’ part
For social selling to work, your selling needs to be social, entertaining, educational and service based.
When it’s done well, social sellers can be hugely successful. But it requires you to put in some thought and planning for it to work, not just post an endless stream of product photos.
Have a think about how you can add value to your posts. When you talk about your products, try to answer these questions:
What is it?
What does it do?
Who is it best for?
What problem does it solve?
And the last question is the most important!
Whenever you can, demonstrate your products and its benefits to bring them to life.
Don’t post an image with something like “Buy this awesome drink bottle! It’s on sale…here’s my link.”
Bring it to life with a story. Try this instead:
“I’m on a mission to drink more water. They say drinking enough water can improve memory, mood AND help reduce sugar cravings. Woohoo! (I need all the help I can get with that…)
I’m loving my new drink bottle, it keeps my water cool all day (even when I leave it in my car for ages). So now I don’t waste as much money on disposable drink bottles AND I can easily keep track of how much I’m actually drinking.
Who wants to join me and be my water buddy? The drink bottles are currently on sale – hurray! Let me know if you want to join the water mission and I’ll send you the link.“
You could add a boomerang video of you drinking or moving the bottle up and down to grab people’s attention in the newsfeed. But the story is what brings it to life, it explains the benefits and it’s personal and relatable.
Build a Community on Social
It doesn’t matter which social platform you’re on, you want to build some sort of tribe of fans that come to see you and your offers.
You attract your people by posting interesting, fun, educational content with your personality.
As a direct seller you need to be on social media (yep, stating the obvious here).
Which social media? That’s up to you, wherever you’re comfortable and have connections.
But I do recommend you add Facebook to your mix – not in the least because you can create private customer groups.
Your customer group is the place where you can hang out, be a little more relaxed and have some fun. It’s also the place where you can sell to your existing customers and recruit new team members.
Why you need a Facebook business page & a group
Your family & friends
Your ‘billboard’ (is Google searchable)
Sparingly post business posts
Post about your biz in a fun way
Engage with your customers and hosts
Doing business on a personal profile is not allowed and is spammy
You’re allowed to sell, run contests, and advertise
Engage, teach, have fun, and also sell and recruit
Less importance in newsfeeds
More importance in newsfeeds
Many direct sales companies don’t allow you to post prices or specials in public places, so that’s where your private group comes in super handy too!
I recommend that you create a private group that is visible to everybody. That gives you full control over who is a member and also makes it a little more exclusive.
What to post in your Facebook Group
Once you have your Facebook Group setup, you want to make sure you engage that audience. You want them to enjoy their time in your group, you want them to stay and you want them to participate.
Don’t worry too much about the size of the group, it’s quality over quantity here! An engaged audience that comment and participates is much more important than having lots of people in your group.
I generally recommend the 9 – 1 – 1 posting cycle (full credit to Karen Clark, she’s the one who invented it): Out of every 11 posts, you post 9 unique and interesting bits of content, one promotional post (perhaps with an image or video provided by your company) and one personal post.
One thing you want to add to your posting schedule is ‘engagement posts’. These are posts that invite a comment such as games, polls, or questions. I have an article with a bunch of free engagement images for you to download that you can use in your groups or your Facebook parties.
So now that you understand what to post, your next step is to schedule a bunch of posts. You can use a scheduler such as Cinchshare or use Facebook’s own scheduling service. By sitting down each month to plan out your posts, you make your life so much easier.
When you schedule your posts, leave some room for spontaneous additions such as business achievements, recognition or a special. Whenever something interesting happens in your personal life that your audience can relate to (you kid’s first day of school, a kitchen disaster, dropped your phone, won a raffle, etc.) you can also post that in your group, not just on your personal page.
Personal posts like that make you less corporate and more of a person – just like your customers.
How to sell in your direct sales Facebook Group
So now that you have your regular attraction marketing posts worked out, let’s talk about selling in the group.
There are several ways to do sales, and I recommend you use all of them (variety is the spice of life, after all).
Educate If your product lends itself to it, you want (and even need) to educate people on how to get the most out of it. Examples are how to use a product to its maximum potential, how to care for your product, any product ‘hacks’, any background on how it was made or why was created, etc.
This is especially useful when a new product (range) is launched by your direct sales company.
The best way to do educational posts is with video! Video rules the rankings on Facebook and I highly recommend you get comfortable making videos and going Live.
With each educational post or video you want to end with a ‘Call To Action’ – that’s what you want your customers to do. At the end of a video or post you could say something like: “For more info on product XYZ, just send me a message now” or “Let me know in the comments how you use product XYZ” or “If you want to buy this product, just send me a message and I’ll set you up” or send them the link to the item on your shopping website.
Specials Specials are always exciting for existing customers. Definitely post your company’s sales, special offers, etc. in your group as soon as they come out.
Series / Focus If your products lend themselves to a series of posts, definitely do that. You don’t just have to do educational posts, you can mix things up with related games, polls, memes, etc.
Make sure you have some sort of focus in the series. Here are some ideas:
Ingredient Focus = focus on 1 ingredient. Post about which products use it, what it does (benefits), where it comes from, history, in pop culture (book or movie references), etc.
Color Focus = all the products in your catalog in that color. Post about any backstory (personal or from the company), how to mix and match, any educational bits on these products, etc.
Product Group Series = when certain products go really well together. This is almost like a ‘hack’. If they buy this one product, you recommend that they add these other products because then they can achieve a better outcome. Post about why do they go well together, any way to maximize the use, can they get these products as a host reward or on a special, etc.
Purpose Focus = a series about all the products that do the same thing (ie. cleansers or purses). Post about why you need this type of product, what makes them different and how to choose which one is right for them.
Seasonal Focus = a series on seasonal products. Highlight each product, talk about how it enhances your season, etc.
New Release Series = all the new products in the new catalog. This is very much an educational series but you can add in any other bits of information (where it’s made, pop culture references, hacks, how to care for the product, etc.)
And don’t forget, end each video with a call to action. What is it that you want them to do? Do you want engagement? Ask for comments. Do you want a sale? Post the link to the ordering site or ask them to message you. Do you want them to request a catalog? Ask them to message you.
Pick one thing and end the video with that ‘call to action’.
When you do a product series, make sure you do it over a few days or a week and don’t do them too often. Spread them out over the year.
A 100 Square* A fun way of ‘selling’ is using a 100-square. You create an image or document with 100 numbered squares. You sell each square for a certain price, let’s say $5, and you write the buyer’s name in the square.
This will give you $500 to buy a whole bunch of products from your company to create a couple of prize packs with. Once all the squares are sold you draw the winners and send them the prize packs! (If fewer squares are sold, you can either not do the draw (and not take the money) or buy fewer prizes)
If your total is enough to earn host rewards, you can use these for an extra prize.
The 100-square is very adaptable and can be used in a bunch of different ways to suit your situation. One variation is to use it for fundraising. You can donate a percentage of your commission and even the host rewards to a charity of your choice.
If you want to fundraise regularly, you could even pick a new charity every month (do a poll to ask your Facebook group which charity they’d like to fundraise for) and do a 100-square every month.
* As this is essentially a raffle, you have to be mindful of the rules and regulations in your state or country around raffles. Always abide by the rules!
Over to you: do you have any specific type of post you use to sell in your customer group?
If you want to learn more about ‘attraction marketing’ and how to draw people to you without being spammy, I’ve got just the thing for you: the Attraction Marketing Course for Direct Sellers. Check it out below!
During the Pandemic we’ve apparently all turned to jigsaw puzzles to distract ourselves and keep ourselves occupied – sales have been through the roof in the US, Australia and the UK.
Jigsaw puzzles are super satisfying to do. It’s something simple (sticking pieces together) that does require a bit of concentration with the reward of a completed picture at the end.
As direct sellers and party plan consultants we can hop on this trend with our own online jigsaw puzzles to create some fun and engagement in a Facebook party.
There are plenty of online puzzle making sites, but my favorite is Puzzle.org because it doesn’t require you to sign up at all, it’s free and it’s super easy to share your puzzles.
So how do you use an online jigsaw puzzle as a direct seller? Keep reading…
How to make the most of a jigsaw puzzle in a Facebook Party
The puzzle is meant to create engagement in your Facebook party (or even in your Facebook group if it’s a bit stale). So you need to give people a reason to play along. A chocolate prize, a discount, or free product are all suitable prizes for your game.
In your Facebook party you post a link to the puzzle and ask your guests to solve it. Ask them to post a screenshot when they’re finished.
You can give a prize to the first one to solve it, or do a prize draw among everybody who posted a screenshot or give a prize to the first three people who posted their screenshot. It’s up to you how you want to reward people and what prize you want to use.
I recommend you create a jigsaw puzzle with an image that promotes either a party booking or your business opportunity to make the best use of this game.
You can grab a picture from your company or create your own image or photo.
A photo of the starter kit contents
A photo of host rewards
A promotional image that promotes joining the business
A photo that promotes a party theme
Make sure you choose a photo that doesn’t have too much empty space (too frustrating to solve) or too much text (hard to solve, hard to read).
Don’t forget to test your puzzle to see if it’s not too hard and not too easy but just right.
Then use it in your next Facebook party and have a play!
Looking for more games? Check out the Ultimate Games Bundle for Direct Sellers. It comes with 26 done-for-you games (mostly for in-home parties and some for Facebook parties.) Check it out today:
Galentine’s “Galentine’s” is a gals-only event. You can offer this as a theme party for an in-home party or online party.
Another option is to host your own Galentine’s party. Make it fun, lighthearted with some pink bubbly and Valentine’s chocolates and you’re ready to have a great event!
Social Media Posts During Valentines week highlight what you love in your direct sales biz. For example why you love your hostesses, your team mates, your company, or the products. Wear your heart on your sleeve and show your love and passion for what you do!
Send a Valentines Card to Your best Host and Customers Grab yourself some Valentine’s cards and sent them to your good customers and hosts. This card is just an appreciation card, you don’t need to sell anything here.
Showcase Red or Pink Products If you have a few red or pink products, you can highlight these. You can show them at your “Galentine’s” theme party or highlight them online in a Live video or image post.
Use Valentine’s Chocolates as Booking Incentive If you are using a booking incentive, some Valentine’s chocolates would be perfect. Who doesn’t like chocolate?
Your Facebook Group is your hangout, your clubhouse. That’s where you engage with your fans and it’s where you’re most likely to make sales, get bookings and where you’re likely to recruit from.
Additionally, many companies have very strict policies on what you can post publicly with more relaxed rules for private groups and personal messages.
So you definitely want a Facebook Group. If you don’t already have one, create one right now!
Then the next question is, how do you get people to join your group?
Funnel people from your business page to your group
When you post about something new and exciting, such as a special or a new product launch, you want to link to your group:
Oh wow, look at this new product – it’s so amazing! Join my group to see more information [link to your group]
The new catalogue is here with exciting new products. Join my group to see more [link to your group]
You can do something similar when you do a Facebook Live. For example, if you do a Live video about a brand new product, you can say at the end something like “Join my group to get more information“. Pop a link to your group in the comments so people can easily click through.
Once people join your group to find the information, you want to make it super easy for them to do that. So inside your group you pin a post with an image of the product and all the information, including how to buy it.
By pinning the post at the top of your group, people will immediately find the information they were looking for.
Ask party guests to join your group
At in-home parties make it fun to join your Facebook group. Ask people to join your group right then and there and everybody who joins on the spot gets a chocolate or some other little prize.
In online parties you can reward people with party points or lucky draw tickets when they join your group.
A really fun way to get party guests to join your Facebook group is to make it part of a game. The What’s On Your Phone game is designed to get people to join your group and it’s a super fun game to play.
Be loud and proud
If people don’t know your group exists, they won’t want to join it. So make sure you post on your business page about your group. You can talk about how grateful you are for your amazing group, and when people share your group with others – publicly thank them.
You can also ask your group members to post about the group. Perhaps do a little giveaway for everybody who posts about your group on their personal page and tags a few friends. Don’t ask people to invite their friends, it’s a bit rude to just invite people who aren’t expecting it.
When your group reaches a milestone, like 50 or 100 members, celebrate that.
Content is king
Content is king in your group. People will only stay if they get something out of it.
Post content that’s fun (it doesn’t have to be business related), educational and helps them to connect with you. Videos are a great way to check all these boxes!
And of course, if there are company specials and new offers, your fans will want to be the first to know about it!
It’s important to prepare for your direct sales business restart January, in December (or even November) of the previous year.
“What? Why?” I hear you ask…
The reason you want to prepare for restarting your business is because it way too easy for the weeks to fly by while you’re caught up in the daily stuff.
And before you know it’s Easter before you even restart your business. You don’t want to fall into the trap of taking a break over Christmas and then fizzling out for several months before even thinking about your business.
Instead, by preparing for your restart you’ll enjoy the jump back into your direct sales biz and you’ll be up and running again right at the start of the year.
Take some time to reflect on what it is that you want to achieve in your direct sales business. What is your vision for your business? Where do you want to be in a year’s time?
Set your intentions for the next year.
However, it’s important that you not just think through your vision but the possible obstacles that you might encounter too, so you can prepare for that.
Now that you are clear on your vision, it’s time to set your goals. I have a Goal Planner that will help with that.
Don’t skip this step!
Setting tangible goals for the year and then drilling down to January and even the next 3 days, will help you to take actions to actually achieve your vision!
Grab the goal planner for 2021 below to use for your direct sales biz.
Capitalize on your December parties
During December (or even November), you can start filling up your January diary by inviting the party host to book a party in January now.
Talk to the host at her party (or afterwards if it’s an online party). You explain to her:
That it would be nice to host another party in January because there were probably people that couldn’t make this party that she might want to invite to the January party.
There will be new products to play with! Most companies will have new products or product ranges in January.
Offer a very different party theme, especially if your company doesn’t have new products in January.
If she books that January party now, she’ll get this wonderful incentive you’ve prepared.
Your booking incentive could be a good quality product, a basket you’ve created with a few smaller products and dressed up with ribbons, or a bottle of bubbly.
Don’t give this incentive at the December party, keep it until January – you don’t want her cancelling on you with you losing your incentive.
Bonus Tip for November and December parties
When someone says in November or December that they’ll call you in January for a booking – pencil in a date immediately instead of waiting for that call. I usually say something like: “January is such a busy time of year for me with so many people wanting a casual catch-up with friends after the busy season. So let’s pencil something in now and you can let your friends know about it if you see them over the festive season. If the date doesn’t end up suiting, we can try to find a better time in January.”
I then follow-up with a postcard to thank them for their booking and I include all the details of their party (such as the date & time and party theme).
Use the brainstorm printable that will help you kickstart the year
Print the ‘Kickstart 2021’ brainstorm printable (grab it below) and take some time to work through it.
This is another activity that you don’t want to skip. Intentionally sitting down and working through all the prompts on the printable will yield more than you think now.
This printable will help you to remember and write down contacts, people who said maybe, and work out ways outside of parties to get new bookings.
Once you’ve completed the activity, you’ll have some new actions to take that will help you to kickstart the year!
Host your own party to showcase the new products
If your company has released new products and a new catalog, it’s time to host your own party.
Make it a fun event with some lucky door prizes and invite all your good customers and hosts.
You can run this as a ‘mystery host’ party. This is where you give out tickets or points for every $10 spent (or some other amount that works in your business). At the end of the party you then draw a winner who is the ‘mystery host’ and gets the host rewards for that party (providing a host reward level was achieved).
And of course, from this party you want to get some new bookings.
The best way to get bookings is to have some new themes (perhaps related to the new products) available. Set up a display where you advertise these new themes to entice your guests.
To top it off, set a booking incentive and display it at the party.
Set your own booking incentive
There are different ways you can offer an incentive for bookings.
You can create a bundle of products that you received for free or at a discount, you can offer a high-end product that’s desirable, you can make your own basket with a wine and some chocolates. Just make it look really pretty and enticing!
Here are a few ways in which you can offer the incentive. You can offer the incentive for each person who books in January (don’t book too far ahead, you’ll see more cancellations that way).
However if you need to control your diary, you can offer the incentive for certain dates. I usually print off a calendar and put stars on the dates that I want them to book on. If someone books on a ‘star date’ they earn the incentive.
By setting your intentions and goals for next year, followed by actions to get party bookings, sales and recruits, you’ll set yourself up for a great direct sales year!
Download the Ready for 2021 Goal Planner and the Kickstart 2021 Brainstorm printables. You'll also get my weekly email with tips, so you'll never miss an article or freebie again!
Games are essential for direct sellers or party plan consultants.
Whether you’re running in-home parties or online events, you want to be playing games to make your parties more fun.
And more fun means more sales, bookings and new team members.
Games also help to relax that mechanism in your brain that protects you from marketing messages. Your guests are more likely to be open to what you have to say when they hear it as part of a game.
And of course games boost interaction and make everyone more relaxed. Including you (which is particularly helpful for new or shy consultants).
Drawing games are super easy and super fun to play. Not to mention, they are really adaptable to your theme or seasonal holidays. I have a Tropical Island version for you to download below, which can be used year-round.
How to play drawing games at your direct sales parties
Provide each guest with paper and a pen or pencil. If you’re running a Zoom party, you’ll have to ask the host to instruct the guests ahead of time to have pen and paper handy.
In a Facebook party you can go Live at a certain time and invite the guests to join you with their paper and pen at hand. Encourage everyone to post a picture of their drawing and their score in the comments under the Live. This is a great way to encourage interaction and connection in your Facebook party.
All you do to play is to read out the instructions section by section while your guest complete the drawing with their eyes closed. Once you’ve read all the instructions they can open their eyes and look at their creation, this is usually cause for hilarity and lots of laughs.
Then you read out scoring instructions to find out who won the game. I usually have a small prize for the winner and for the ‘winner in reverse’ (ie. the loser but ‘winner in reverse’ sounds nicer).
I hope you enjoy this game as much as I do, it’s a great one to add to your games stash.
Grab the Tropical Island Drawing Game to add to your games stash. You'll also get my weekly email with tips, so you'll never miss an article or freebie again!
Are you looking for more games? Check out the Ultimate Games Bundle for Direct Sellers. It comes with 26 done-for-you games for Facebook and in-home parties.
The Investment Game is in-home game for party plan consultants or direct seller with some bonus benefits for your business.
Especially if you’re nervous about individually asking everyone at a party if they would like to host their own party or join your team, you want to add this game to your stash!
It’s also a genius way to boost your customer Facebook group.
What’s not to love?
How to prepare for The Investment game
You’ll need a bunch of coins of the same denomination. It doesn’t matter which coin you use, it can even be money from a board game. You’ll need one for each guest.
Prepare some business opportunity bags. Use a pretty paper bag and put company information, a kit list, and perhaps your story in there. Add a chocolate and a specialty tea bag and you have yourself a lovely business opportunity bag.
Party bags are similar to the business opportunity bags but contain information on hosting a party. You’ll want to include any host offers that are available, a catalog and perhaps a product sample. If you have any hosting incentives you’ll want to add that information as well.
You also need a Facebook group for your customers to join into.
How to make the most of The Investment Game
As everyone arrives at your party, give them a coin. It can be any coin but let’s use pennies in this example. Tell the guests to put it away for now but to keep it safe as they’ll need it later.
At the end of the party I’ll say something like:
“I bet you’re all wondering what that penny is for that I gave you at the beginning of the party?
Well, I have actually given you a magical coin….you can turn this penny into free or discounted products when you buy one my party bags with your penny.
Or you could instead buy membership into my VIP customer group and you’ll be the first to hear about specials and sales.
The best way to use the magic of that coin is to turn it into cash income every month by purchasing a business opportunity bag to find out about becoming a consultant. I only have three of those tonight, so get in quick to get one of those!
Have a think about how you’ll invest your magical penny. We have shopping time right now and when you’re done please make your way to the checkout here to cash in your investment!”
When they come to check out, you can ask something like:
How would you like to invest your coin?
Would you like to buy the last business opportunity bag?
Would you like to use your penny to buy a party bag?
How about turning that penny into VIP Customer Group membership?
Some people are more comfortable saying this than coming straight out and asking for a party or asking for business information. When people are happy to join your VIP group, it’s easy to get them added on the spot with their phone.
This is a great game to play for new consultants. If you’re a leader you might consider teaching this to your new team members to help them grow their business.
Are you looking for even more games? Have a look at the Ultimate Games Bundle for Direct Sellers. The bundle includes 26 games for in-home and Facebook parties. Each game is explained in a video and all the printables and images are ready to download.