Tuesday, November 19, 2013

We are in the business of listening

by: Dioni Morales, National Sales Manager

Let me tell you a true story.  Just last week my girls heard the ice cream truck.  Thinking that it had been awhile since I had bought them ice cream, I decided to go out and get them some. Well, the ice cream truck drove right past our house.  We were all screaming for him to stop, but he didn't.  Do you know why? The driver was talking on his phone!!! So I was left with two disappointed 3 year olds.  I was a bit upset, and immediately started thinking what was wrong with that picture. After all, what is the job of an ice cream truck driver? Stock up his truck with ice cream, go out and drive his route with the music playing, and watch for kids and parents who are ready to buy the ice cream. Why would he go to the trouble of taking his truck out if he was not going to listen to the people who actually make him money?

That got me thinking.... do we also do this sometimes? The answer, I'm afraid, is yes, we do.  We work with people, we show and sell our beautiful jewelry to people, and we are in the process of building a team of... you guessed it - people. If we want to know what their likes, their wants, their dreams, their goals, their challenges are, we need to truly listen to them. Author and businessman Bernard M. Baruch said: "Most of successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking."

Time and time again I have heard successful people in this industry talk about this concept. If we truly get to know the people we are working with, we can work with their strengths, and we can help them work on their weaknesses. We have to listen to what they have going on in their lives.  For example, if we are working with someone who works in an office full-time, has a couple of kids at home, and doesn't have time to do a lot of home parties, then we should concentrate on having her do more catalogue parties with her network. The point is to get to know everyone.  There's no better way to do that than to actively listen. I've always suggested that you take notes. Take notes about their personal situation, their desires, and their goals, so that we can help them achieve whatever is most important to them.

We are in the business of listening!  We can talk all we want, but unless we learn to listen to the people we are working with and for, we will be like that ice cream truck driver: making a lot of noise ... but not stopping for business!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Booking Tips, Part 1

Though you may choose to conduct your Vessel business in various ways, such as one-to-one selling, online or catalog parties, trade shows, etc. (or, most likely, a combination of these methods), booking Vessel parties should be the premiere way of building your business.  But what happens when you have exhausted your list of personal contacts for possible hostesses? 

The first thing I would challenge you to do is to really take a hard look at who you included on that list, and to be even more inclusive than you likely feel comfortable with.  I can give you a personal testimony that building a business is all about taking steps beyond your comfort zone.  If we each did only what we feel comfortable with, none of us would move very far in life.  So look at who you may have left off that list because you think you really don't know them well enough, they might think you're strange for approaching them, or any other barrier that you set up in your mind.  Remember, the worst that can happen is that they flat-out say no, and none of us will die from being told "no." 

Keep in mind that you should never look at past hostesses as "one and done."  If it has been awhile since they hosted a party for you, check in with them about doing another one.  Encourage them to develop an invite list of people who didn't or couldn't attend the first party.  For example, if their guests at their prior party was mostly neighbors, they could do an office party.  Or suggest that Vessel will make marvelous and personalized Christmas gifts (because that's TRUE!), so they could have a Christmas Shopping Party. 

Speaking of a Christmas Shopping Party, create a list of MEN you could approach.  Guys often need and appreciate a little help finding a great gift for their S.O. (Significant Other).

Another Christmas idea is to let your contacts know that you can help them with last-minute emergency gifts.  Even if the need for such a gift comes up after the official Christmas ordering deadline (since we have such a great turn-around time, we try to set that deadline as late as possible), you can always sell something from your Kit inventory and simply replenish it afterwards.

In either case, a nice touch would be to offer free gift wrapping.   

One very basic piece of advise that I always give to those who want to drum up interest in Vessel is to simply WEAR the jewelry.  Every day, no exceptions.  Carefully coordinate your outfit with a Vessel jewelry set and ScentSpheres with your favorite fragrance, and don't forget to add some bling with charms!  Keep yourself stocked with ScentSpheres in your favorite colors and fragrances so that people will be able to smell your piece, and I would also recommend that you wear the longer chains so that it is easy for them to do so.  When people comment on it (and they will) make sure you have information to give to them.  Hopefully you all know that we have Sample Card/Beads sets available now, which gives them your contact info, the Vessel website address, and a couple of fragranced beads.  Of course this would be ideal.  But, at the very least, make sure you always have a business card ready to hand out.  Don't forget the most important step in this encounter - get THEIR contact information if at all possible.  It's much better to be able to follow up later than hoping they will contact you again. 

Be sure to create a database of EVERY contact you get, and check in with them often.  You never know when someone who wasn't interested at the time you met them will become interested.  We have had that happen many times here at the corporate office.  Two important pieces of advise concerning your database: 1) Never list a group of email addresses in the "to" field of an email; instead use the "bcc" field.  This way, each recipient sees only their own address; and 2) Always include a notation at the bottom of the email letting them know that they can opt out of receiving mail from you.  Honor that request if they make it. 

And here's an easy and fun way to get your name out there if, like me, you are a library patron.  Simply use a business card or Sample Card with your contact information as a bookmark - and leave it in the book when you return it. 

If you have all of the orders for your parties come to either you or your Hostess, you can include a business card with each order so that the guest knows who to contact for re-ordering or questions.  You might want to also include a Hostess Reward Chart to encourage her to consider hosting a party of her own. 

You can order Vessel business cards at a good price through us.  Contact the office if you would like to do so.  You can call us at 888-966-8775, or send an email to info@vesselscentsofstyle

We will keep working to develop additional tips that will help you get those party bookings that are so critical, and of course we are always available to provide any assistance that we can.  So, if you have questions, never hesitate to call us!  And if you have some tips you would like to share, whether it's about booking parties or any other aspect of building a successful Vessel career, we would all appreciate it!  You can send them to info@vesselscentsofstyle.com at any time. 

To your continued success!



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Let's all be like a Chinese Bamboo grower!

by: Dioni Morales, National Sales Manager
Most of you know that my husband and I have been doing multi-level marketing many years. My husband has been with the same company for 11 years and just recently decided to start a new venture. After achieving one of the highest ranks and having represented the other company as a speaker around the world, as a family we decided it was time for a change.  This was not an easy thing to do, because he had already paid his dues to become successful in his former company.  Now he's starting all over again.  As scary as it was - because this is what we do for a living, this is our main source of income - it also has been incredibly exciting and educational.

I've been thinking a lot about something I talked about at the Launch Event back in June - the growth of the Chinese Bamboo tree. Something very peculiar happens with the seed of the Chinese Bamboo.  You plant it, fertilize it and care for it, yet absolutely nothing happens for seven years! And then suddenly in its seventh year, it starts growing at record rates, sometimes up to two inches an hour. People talk about the bamboo being the fastest growing tree, but what they don't understand is that for seven years it was growing its roots. Bamboo needs to grow strong deep roots that will subsequently sustain the quick and incredible growth of one of the hardest woods in existence in the world. A Chinese Bamboo tree grower works hard, pays the price, and then suddenly sees the incredible fruits of his labor.

In this industry, if we really want to take this seriously and make it a successful career, we need to be a little bit like a bamboo grower. We will plant that seed, we will fertilize it, and one day we will sit back and fully enjoy our work. We need to find those great leaders that we want to make part of our team.  We need to train ourselves and our team members.  We need to teach duplication, etc.  It won't take seven years, but it's important that you understand that you need to sow now to reap later.  It doesn't just happen.  We need to do our part.

In Vessel, we offer you a way to make 30% to 40% in retail sales, so you can actually start having an income immediately.  But we also have a very aggressive compensation plan that rewards your team-building efforts. Like the bamboo tree when it finally starts growing, if you have taken the time to develop strong roots, to build that foundation, your group will take off.  Then you will truly be able to enjoy your success as your group grows at record rates!