My husband is a serious coffee connoisseur. Don’t come between him and his quality coffee! He will go out of his way to buy coffee from his favorite café, not just because of the excellent coffee, though.
But because they have a loyalty card!
He likes to get his 10th coffee for free. We all want to be rewarded for our loyalty and get a little something for free. And as direct sellers, we can use this same concept to encourage repeat orders.
You will have to think about what you want to focus on with your customers. For example, perhaps you want to focus on repeat orders no matter the size, or maybe you want to reward repeat orders over a certain dollar amount.
And depending on your product, you could give a reward after 5 or 10 repeat orders. So you may need to experiment a little to find out what works in your business with your customers.
Shout it from the rooftops
When a customer redeems their loyalty card, you want to acknowledge them in your VIP group or social media channels. So shout it from the rooftops, and tell everybody how awesome this customer is!
People are influenced by what other people think and what they do -‘ monkey see, monkey do,’ as they say. So you want to use the power of social media to recognize your loyal customers publicly.
This will give your other customers a little nudge to try and fill their loyalty cards.
Sometimes you want quick results, though. For example, perhaps you are striving for an incentive trip and want to kick-start a month with lots of orders. Or maybe you are aiming for a career elevation, and that’s why you want to get some extra orders.
In that case, you could offer an instant prize with their next order. For example, it could be a voucher for a mystery prize, free products, or a discount with their next order. This way, your customers will get an immediate reward that will satisfy their need for instant gratification.
When you use an instant reward, make sure you set a deadline for the end of that month. A deadline will increase the sense of urgency and reduce the risk that customers will forget about it. Also, instant rewards are not something you want to be running all the time!
Grab these free loyalty cards
I’ve created a few different blank loyalty cards for you. There’s room on the cards to put your details (stamp or sticker) and you can set the reward.
Fill out the form below and you’ll get printable loyalty cards to use in your business.
Direct selling is an effective way to build a low-cost business. It allows you to avoid overhead costs and build long-lasting customer relationships.
What is direct selling?
Direct selling is the selling of products in a non-retail setting, for example, at home, online, or other venues that are not a store.
I’ve been in the direct sales (or party plan) industry for over 17 years, and I have a multi-million dollar organization.
But I haven’t always been this successful. First, it took me a while to get the hang of getting bookings reliably. Then, it took me some time to get this recruiting thing happening!
But you know what? I am so grateful that I had to work at it, try different techniques and make them work for me. I had to build up a store of knowledge and skills in all aspects of my business. And now I combine that experience and knowledge with my Master’s Degree in Education to teach others to be successful direct sellers!
Host or Party Plan Sales
If you’re new to party planning or direct selling, this article has some quick tips to rock your parties or events. These tips are easy to apply, won’t break the bank, and make a difference in your business.
Direct Sales Inspiration is THE website for party plan consultants and direct sellers with passion. Whether you’re brand new and just getting started or you’re busy building your empire, I’ve got tips, help, and FREE printables for you. Explore this site, join the direct sales tribe on Facebook, and drop me a line to say hello!
It’s important to use images on your social media that are unique and not already used by thousands of other consultants. The Facebook algorithm likes unique images and videos more than reposts.
Canva is a free tool that you can use to create images, animated gifs and just about anything that needs designing. They’ve got beautiful templates, graphics and photos that you can use to quickly and easily make those perfect images to go with your posts.
There is an upgrade you can subscribe to but you won’t need to for your direct sales biz. The free version is already so awesome it’ll do you just fine!
You can use QR codes in a number of different ways to support your direct sales biz. You can use it at events to direct people to your ordering page, you can link to an awesome recruiting video from your company, you could link to a Google Form and collect entries for a raffle or lucky door prize, or perhaps you can link to a joining special. For more ideas check this article.
Here are three free QR code generators to get you started:
I love using jigsaw puzzles as an online game in either a Facebook party, a recruiting event or in my customer group. I tend to use an image related to recruiting, sometimes a company recruiting poster or a picture of the starter kit.
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).
You can find more information on how to use jigsaw puzzles in this article.
I absolutely love Cinchshare! They are a fabulous social media scheduling service specifically for direct sellers. It’s not a free service but it’s very affordable and worth every cent!
The best thing is that you can save your Facebook parties and reschedule them again and again. It’s so easy to save all your previous posts (images and text), change them up as needed and schedule them in a new party. I also use it to schedule things in my team groups and customer group and on my Instagram. I can’t live without Cinchshare in my biz!
They also run regular training on direct sales topics that’s super useful! (In fact, I’ve run training for them a while back which was so much fun). Even if you don’t subscribe, I recommend checking out their blog for all the useful freebies and tips.
Positive Prime is a visionboard on steroids. It’s the best service to keep you motivated, positive and engaged. This is what I use to keep me fueled to achieve my business and personal goals.
Positive Prime offers different sessions to train your brain, and create powerful, self-fulfilling prophesies around your goals.
You can get started for free but I highly recommend you upgrade to a paid plan as soon as you can because you can then significantly amplify the effect of each session by personalizing it to you with images and personal statements for your specific goals.
Not feeling confident recruiting? There’s a session to help you develop more confidence. Need to be more positive in your outlook? Yep, there’s a session for that too! Motivation low? Hop over to Positive Prime for 3 minutes and you’ll be brimming with motivation.
Starting a mailing list is a good idea so you don’t just rely on social media. Remember that you don’t own Facebook or Instagram. With an email list, you own the list – regardless of which service you use.
I love Mailchimp, it’s what I use for my own newsletters, and they have a free service available to get you started. You can create newsletters, forms, landing pages and more without needing to know how to code!
Create yourself a fun, interesting and useful monthly newsletter and encourage people to sign-up at parties and events. Hey, you can even use a QR Code to link to the sign-up page for your newsletter! Then offer everybody who signs up a chocolate and before you know it you have decent mailing list!
QR codes. I’m sure you’ve seen the weird pixelated squares around before.
Here in Australia we use them all the time to ‘check in’ when we go to a café or museum to help with Covid-19 contact tracing.
But QR Codes can be used in lots of different ways for different purposes. And as direct sellers we can also use them for our business.
What is a QR code?
QR stands for Quick Response. When your phone scans the code, it will ‘read’ the embedded data, which is often a website or contact details.
The QR code was invented way back in 1994 but usage has been steadily increasing with surge in usage fueled by the pandemic.
Why do you want a QR code?
There are few really good reasons to grab yourself a free QR code. And not the least important is that it starts conversations!
Another reason is that you make it super easy for people to take some action. It’s more fun and a lot easier than typing in a web address or searching for a specific Facebook group.
A QR code also makes you look professional and tech savvy.
Ideas on how to use QR Codes in your direct sales biz.
Take people directly to your customer group on Facebook (or wherever you host a customer group). Print the code on a flyer and show it at parties or demonstrations as part of your display. During checkout I like to offer people a chocolate if they scan the code and join my group. Many people will take that offer!
You can also post the digital copy in your online parties and stimulate action by using partypoints for people who join your customer group.
Link to your ordering page. You can use a QR code to take people directly to your ordering page. This is especially handy for markets or vendor events when you’re not allowed to sell products but still like to encourage people to buy from you.
If you have a blog or page with all your party themes, you can use a QR code to display all the information about the kind of parties you offer when talking to people about booking a party.
When you’re running a raffle or contest, you can collect entries via Google forms (for example). The QR code can be used to direct people straight to the entry form or a survey that you’ve created.
If you need to do a lot of user education about your products, you could use QR codes to take people directly to a video that shows more in-depth information. This works especially well when talking to people at events and you quickly want them to see the video.
If you have a newsletter, you can use the QR code to direct people straight to the sign-up page.
If you’re doing an online party and want to do a bit of treasure hunting, create a QR code linking to some recruiting information (for example). Then use an online jigsaw puzzle generator to scramble the QR code. Post the puzzle in your party. Guests would have to solve the puzzle, then scan the code and can then tell you where they landed for a prize.
How do I get a QR code?
You can grab a free QR code from a number of places on the internet. I like these generators:
QR Code Generator Pro – I like them because you can put all your social media in one QR code and add your ordering website or blog. They also have a lot of other options such as cute frames and color options. You need to create a free account to use this service.
QR Creator – This is a the quickest way to get a code. You don’t need to register and all you do is add your info and a code is generated immediately. Just hit download and you’re in business!
Where to use your QR code
Before you have anything printed and spend money, have a think about where you want to send people to when they scan the code. You can link the QR code to your customer group, to your ordering page or booking page, to your social media or even a survey.
And there’s nothing to stop you from having a few different QR codes for different purposes!
Here are some ideas for displaying your QR code:
Business Cards If you use business cards for your direct sales business, pop a QR code on there! Next time you order a new batch, add the code as well.
Stickers Get stickers made with your QR code. You can put the stickers on your business cards, your ordering forms, on your catalogs, on your delivery bags, etc. Stickers will give you a lot of options for displaying your code and are therefore quite cost effective.
Handouts & Posters If you put up posters to advertise your direct sales biz, put your QR code on that. For example, I like to put up posters to advertise my business opportunity. I have a QR code on that poster that leads to my website with all the information and links to signing up!
Another idea is when you are at a vendor event or market and you use a flyer (with your party themes and booking info or with information on the business opportunity), have a QR code on the flyer too that links to a relevant website or social media.
Product Care / Product Use Instructions Send people a thank you card or include a card in your delivery with a QR code that links to instructions on how to use your product or how to best care for the product. If you want to make this trick even more powerful, link to a video of you explaining the use or care of the product!
I’m sure there are many more creative ways to use QR codes in a direct sales business, but this article should give you a good start. We’d love to hear how you are using QR codes, so leave a comment below.
During this Covid-19 pandemic, social interaction has become more important than ever before. Having to distance ourselves from each other physically and practising self-isolation means we need to take care not to become lonely.
Humans are social creatures and social connections are vital for our mental health. As a direct seller, you can facilitate online social interaction in a really fun way using online tools.
I have been using Zoom for online training and video conferencing and I find it easy to use and reliable. Zoom allows you to have a group of people interacting through their device camera and microphone at the same time.
Using Zoom you can demonstrate products, play games, and allow people to ask questions – just like an in-home party.
How to make the most of a Zoom party as a direct seller
Stand-Alone Zoom Party
You can organize a Zoom party for an hour or so and do a condensed version of an in-home party. You would have to have a think about which products would translate well to a demonstration via video and make a careful selection.
At the end of the party you could gather orders in a variety of ways: you could call each guest and have your check-out chat with them over the phone, you could post a link to your order page (if you have one), or you could post a catalog out to guests beforehand and have them message or email you with their order.
Keep in mind that the more personal and interactive you make this process, the better the results.
Zoom Party as Part of a Facebook Party
Another option is to have a short (30 minutes or so) Zoom party that is incorporated in your Facebook party. You make the Zoom party the main event in the Facebook party and use the Facebook party to drive guests to the Zoom event.
By making it part of your Facebook party, you can keep in touch with guests before and after the Zoom event, which provides you with more opportunities to engage with the guests and keep the party going for longer.
Zoom offers a free account and a paid account. The free account is limited to 40 minutes per event. This means that if you use Zoom as part of your Facebook party and aim for a 30 minute event, you can get away with using a free account.
However, if you plan to make Zoom a more substantial part of your direct sales business, you can get a paid account starting at $20.99 per month.
Zoom is easy for your guests too!
Once you’ve scheduled your Zoom event, you get a link that you can send to your guests. All they need to do is click the link, if they don’t already have the Zoom app they will be prompted to download it with very clear instructions.
Zoom works on mobile and on desktop and is very user friendly even if people have never heard of Zoom.
One of the features I love about Zoom is that you can share your screen with participants. And there are lots of ways that you can make use if this:
Display ‘rules’ at a glance while you explain what you’re going to do in the Zoom party
Show customer or host offer details while you talk about it
Show images of the starter kit during your recruiting pitch
Show all the features and benefits of a particular product or range that you’re going to demonstrate
Using Zoom you can also get creative with themes. Play a quick game that matches with your theme and you could offer prizes for the best hat or earrings that match the theme.
If you’d like a detailed, step-by-step guide for running Zoom parties, you can grab this quick online training that I’ve put together. It comes with printables, done-for-you images for your social media, suitable games to play, extra tips and ideas, and how-to guides for your events.
If you have any Zoom tips you'd like to share, please leave a comment below.
Who likes free printable planners and trackers? Free apps? Free direct selling goodies?
That’s right, we do!
I’ve collected this list of free stuff for direct sellers from around the internet. So, let’s get started:
Facebook Game Images Yep, I’m starting with a freebie that’s on my blog. This is my most popular post and most downloaded resource. If you haven’t already grabbed these, do it today and grow your stash of Facebook games. You can also use these in your customer group for engagement!
Direct Sales Tracker This is a simple and clean direct sales tracker for your parties, income and bookings. If you like to see your monthly progress on 1 page, this is perfect. From iheartplanners.com.
Goal Tracker Are you striving for the next level in your career plan? Or perhaps you want to go on an incentive trip? You’ll need these fab goal-setting worksheets. You can set your goals and then track them with these pretty printables in multiple color options. Via BobbiPrintables.
Mileage Trackers If you can claim your mileage on taxes, you want to track your drives. Here are 3 free apps with great reviews:
I don’t know about you, but I feel so much better when I feel that my work and family life are balanced and I manage to keep all the balls in the air.
In my early days in my business I was working full time, running my business and studying a Masters Degree. I had to be structured with my time otherwise I couldn’t do any of it!
Later, when I worked in my direct sales business full-time, I had to work around small children and find a way to organize myself so that when I did have pockets of time, I could be effective.
You need to be organized and balanced in your direct sales business
I know how important it is to be organized but also to balance your efforts. I’ve experienced times I was focusing too much on sponsoring new team members and growing my team. As a result I ran out of party bookings. Oops!
I’ve also been through times where I didn’t do enough host coaching and I saw my sales drop. Another oops.
It’s important to not just be organized and well planned, but to make sure you pay attention to all aspects of your direct sales business!
To do this, I created systems for myself. This has massively improved things but the downside was that I always had bits of paper everywhere. I used to have multiple notebooks on the go and my office was an art work of sticky notes.
Over the past decade (!) I’ve been looking for a system to keep it all organized and keep me on track.
And I’ve finally decided to design my own ideal direct sales planner.
My own direct sales planner
I have literally tried dozens of different planners over the years and they were never quite right. But this planner has everything you could possibly want. I’ve specifically designed it for party plan and direct sales consultants and it’s way more than just a planner. Calling it a planner is almost an insult!
I’ve recently completed a Positive Psychology course and I’ve included some important features that will help boost your wellbeing, not just your business! You don’t need the scientific proof to know that the happier you are, the more your business will thrive (but the proof does exist, if you were wondering).
I use mine as a goal journal, scheduler, marketing idea tracker, social media planner, follow-up tracker, monthly contact tracker, host coaching monitor……and so much more.
My absolute favorite feature is the weekly planning page. I can pop all my tasks for each important area of my business at the top (that helps me to keep all the balls in the air) and I can schedule them into my busy week.
And by planning your top 3 priorities each day, you are always training your brain to move forward productively towards your goals.
Each month has an intentions page (2 sides). By completing this page at the start of each month, you will focused, intentional and organized. Planning ahead like this helps you to make the most of the ‘Pareto Principle‘ which states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. (To get to that last 20% of your results, you put in 80% of efforts – is it worth it?).
The more prior planning and thought you put into the month ahead, the more effective you’ll be and the faster your business will grow.
Make sure you plan your rewards too! Positive psychologists have found that celebrating small wins along the way towards your larger goals is super important.
There’s also room for your affirmations, positive thoughts or quotes each month, this helps to prime your brain for positivity and helps to keep you motivated. And – more importantly – by priming your brain for positivity, you’re officially 37% better at sales!
At the end of each month we’ve also included a reflection page. Tracking your progress is very rewarding, especially when you can look back and see your progress over several months.
Spending time thinking about what went well as well as how you can improve, will help you to refine, become more effective and grow your direct sales business faster.
A lot of love, thought and experience has gone into the design of this planner. I hope you love it as much as I do and use every feature to its full extent to help you move your life forward!
I remember when the internet was still new and shiny (…did I just reveal my age?) and we used to talk about how it would create a “global village”.
Well, I think it’s here now, that global village.
I have friends on the other side of the world who I see and talk to regularly (thank you Facetime). I order shoes from China without any hassles. I do educational courses with teachers in the US and the UK and I’m loving it.
With the advances in technology, we can have truly global workplaces and global direct selling teams.
But not all direct sales companies agree.
Why is the direct selling industry slow to embrace the global village?
I’ve spoken to many people in the direct selling industry who believe that physical proximity to leaders is vital.
I don’t agree. I don’t think distance makes a difference in the level of support you can provide.
I believe what makes a difference is personal contact and attention. And you can do that either in-person or through other means.
I came into this industry with a Masters Degree in Education and I majored in Distance Education. Which is perhaps why I am biased
It was a real surprise to me when I started in direct sales that so many companies were reluctant to let their consultants expand their team outside their immediate home area or recruit internationally.
I do understand that a consultant’s largest base of influence is usually in their local area, but with social media being such a part of everyone’s life, our influence can be global now.
If I can get a university degree entirely online, if I can consult a doctor or therapist entirely online, if I can be operated on by a surgeon who’s in another country, why has the direct sales industry been so slow to embrace the global village?
OK. Rant over.
If you ARE part of a direct sales or party plan company that allows international expansion or if you support teams within your own country but in different areas, I’ve got a few tips for you on how to do that effectively.
Tools, tips & tricks for supporting a global team
While I was writing this article, I actually sat down to have a think about how many people in my organisation I’ve met in person. And it turns out that it’s only 10 percent!
I have worked with and supported several leaders for some time before I finally met them in person. And there are still several of my “rising stars” (up and coming leaders) that I’ve never met.
And although I’d love to meet them in person, I don’t feel it’s hampering my relationship with them or impacting my level of support.
I do run in-person events with my local team members. And although I really love running these events and catching up with my local team, realistically I only reach a very small percentage of my organisation. If I had relied only on physical proximity with team members in my business, I would not be where I am today!
So, how can you connect with your team at a distance? Let’s have a look at some tools:
I love using Zoom‘s videoconferencing software. It’s a great tool to run training events online or work with individual team members online . You can hold meetings and all participants can see each other and interact. You can also run a training session where all participants see you or see a slideshow you’re using.
I record the meetings and training sessions so that team members who couldn’t attend can catch up afterwards.
Pricing for Zoom starts at $0
Another great tool is Calendly. It’s a scheduling tool that integrates with lots of calendars and sends out notifications. Using Calendly will make your life easier as a leader as it stops back-and-forth emailing or messaging about setting a time for a coaching call or meeting. All you need to do is send people to Calendly where you’ve set your availability and they can pick a slot and ‘book in’.
Calendly can also adjust for time-zones, which is helpful in working out what time suits people in their local time.
Pricing for Calendly starts at $0
I use Facebook to communicate with my team and focus groups. I set up secret or closed groups and invite my team members to the group. I have a few leaders that help me as moderators, answering questions and keeping things positive and helpful.
If you want to use a different communications tool, you can use Slack. This tool allows you to communicate in different channels, which can help to separate topics out. For example you could have a Party channel for questions and ideas for parties, a News channel where you can share company news, upcoming sales, and updates, a Booking channel where you can talk about bookings, etc.
You can share files with your team, have a video chat with team members straight from the app, you can set-up private channels for certain groups only, you can send private messages, and it has a fabulous archive and search feature.
Slack works on your desktop computer and your phone and pricing starts at $0.
These are all great tools…but tools alone don’t make for success.
I’ve recently had an experience of how not to support across the globe. I’m a member of an international association with members from around the world. I absolutely love their training and resources but their live video chat sessions are always scheduled at 4am my local time. And they don’t always record the sessions either.
This means I always miss out live and often can’t even catch up on the discussions via the replay! So I feel a bit left out.
My fabulous friend Rochelle Nicole has also had an experience of not being supported that well and has taken a few lessons from that and shares them with us. Check this quick 3-minute video:
The following 3 tips help to make sure your team members don’t feel left out:
When you are scheduling meetings or training sessions, be mindful of time zones. Make sure that you schedule at least one session every quarter that suits a particular time zone. This probably means you’ll have to stay up later or get up extra early but it means the world to people in those time zones. This way everybody will be offered a live meeting or training with you at least once a quarter.
Always record your sessions so you can make it available to the relevant team members for later viewing. Even if they couldn’t make it to the live session, they can at least watch the session later and not completely miss out.
When talking to a team member individually, try to use video chat. It’s so much better to be able to see each other than just having a phone call. There are so many free ways to organize a video chat that there should really always be an option. A quick and dirty list of free video calling apps: Zoom, Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. (And this is of course where a scheduling service like Calendly comes in super handy!)
And finally, don’t forget good old email. A personal message is greatly appreciated even though it sometimes feels that email is on its way out in this day and age.
If you want to truly make someone’s day, perhaps because they’ve just achieved a major goal, use snail mail. There’s really nothing like checking your mailbox and finding a handwritten envelope with a letter or a certificate. It truly feels special when someone has taken the time to write especially to you, it’s an extra bit of attention that is greatly valued.
You can support team members who are geographically dispersed through clever use of online tools and a bit of planning.
The important thing to remember is personal attention. But this doesn’t have to be in the same room. A video call will work just as well.
Don’t forget email and old fashioned post. They still matter and they’re still valued.
I have always been fascinated by personality types and different quizzes to find out what personality type you are. So when I came across a personality quiz specifically designed to help direct sellers, I jumped at it instantly.
The quiz was developed by the fabulous Mary Christensen. In her book you’ll find 8 personality types, but I’ve found these four the most common and helpful to distinguish:
Peacocks Peacocks are the most colorful of all the personalities. They are enthusiastic, spontaneous, and passionate. They follow their instincts, radiate warmth, and make friends easily. Peacocks are drawn to the limelight. They talk a lot, often speak fast and may embellish a story for dramatic effect.
Doves Doves are the most sensitive of all personalities. They are caring, nurturing, and kind. Doves bring harmony to any group because they are thoughtful, considerate, and tolerant of all viewpoints. They will turn away from disagreement rather than hurt someone’s feelings.
Eagles Eagles are the most driven of all personalities. They live to win. Eagles are confident, ambitious and assertive. They won’t stop until they get what they want.
Owls Owls are the most observant of all the personalities. They are fascinated by facts, figures, and detail. They are sincere and reliable and sometimes a little pedantic.
Oh no! I’m a Peacock
The first time I took this quiz, I was identified as a “Peacock” and I was not happy about it. I had considered myself a more nurturing “Dove” type and now I was a flashy Peacock.
But when I was honest with myself, I realized I really did love attention, recognition and loved seeing my name in print and being recognized on stage at company events. I was indeed a Peacock and ready to own it!
The next thought that went through my mind was about my team, I really wanted to know their personality types as well so I would know how to bring out the best in them. I asked them to complete the quiz as well and many did.
That the quiz uses birds to explain the various personality types was helpful to me. The associations are logical and very easy to remember so that was a big plus when it came to working with my team.
How I Applied the Personalities in My Direct Sales Biz
Understanding these different personality types made a massive difference to my business. It was the first time I really stopped to think about the fact that not everybody likes to do things the way that I do.
I knew that superficially, of course, but I hadn’t taken that knowledge to the next level and applied it consciously to managing myself or my team.
From then on I started offering different forms of recognition, taking into account that Owls and Doves often prefer a phone call or personal card in the mail over public recognition.
I also started delegating detailed tasks to Owls in my team, which draws upon their strengths and helped them to feel valued and.
I worked closely with Eagles to help them soar high but also develop patience with other personality types. I made an extra effort to shine the spotlight on the Peacocks, remembering that it wasn’t all about me.
I evolved into an Eagle
A few years later I took the quiz again and this time I had a new result. I had “evolved” into an Eagle. I was focused, goal oriented and a very high achiever. I had learned that consistency is the fastest way to success even though I’m still impatient.
Of course we all have aspects of each of the personality types within us. People are complex and beautiful beings, nobody is a one dimensional bird.
When I first took the quiz I realized I had very little “Owl” in me. I wasn’t very detail oriented and I wasn’t very organized. But, as they say, the first step in changing things is being aware of what you want to change. So I worked hard at increasing those skills over the years, to the point that I’m now extremely detail oriented and organized…although there is some room for improvement. I have to admit my office is usually messy and not very “owl-like”.
It is due to this quiz and – most importantly – the understanding of the different personality types for myself and my team that I was able to build a multi-million dollar business. It made me a better business woman and a better leader.
So, take a few minutes to take this quiz now. And then share it with your team! It’s a gift of knowledge that you can give yourself and others. It has the potential to change your life, just as it did mine.