Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Building Your Business This Holiday Season

by Tracy Ralph, National Sales Director

If you are like most small businesses, you are heading into your busiest time of the year.  As customers look for holiday gifts, it's important to remind them about your business, so that when you have what they are looking for, they shop with you.  After all, it's easy for customers to run to a faceless big box store and get a lot of generic gifts.  It's up to you to make it just as easy to shop with you.  The bonus is that your personal attention will help customers find exactly the right gift, increasing both customer satisfaction and repeat business.

But this all happens when customers are aware of you.  So this period is critical.  What you do now will determine whether or not customers think of you when shopping for holiday gifts.  Here are some tips to get yourself in front of customers and remind them that you're there:

  • ADVERTISE - Even if you don't advertise at any other time of the year, it makes a lot of sense to advertise when the holiday season comes around.  And thanks to online tools, there are many inexpensive options at your disposal.  Check out local publications, and form alliances with local businesses to cross-promote.  Just remember that you must use the Vessel Independent Stylist logo on all materials.

  • SPONSOR - At this time of year, many communities hold many special events, and they often look for businesses to help offset the costs of these events.  In return, your business is featured in literature about the event.  Take some time to identify special events in your area, and sponsor a few.  It's a great way to promote awareness of your business.

  • HOLIDAY FAIRS - Vendor events are another great way to promote awareness of your business.  Although you may not make a lot of sales, these can be an excellent way to get contact information that allows you to market more directly to potential customers and prospects.  So get a table at a few holiday events to build awareness and your mailing list.  And then follow up!  That's the key to success for this type of event.

  • BOOK MORE PARTIES - You will sell more and recruit more if you do more parties.  So especially at the holidays, book double (at least) the amount of parties that you normally do.  People are more inclined to book when they know their friends want to do holiday shopping, and you will sell more.  Best of all, all those parties will lead to additional bookings and a thriving business.

  • SPECIAL EVENTS - Consider hosting your own special events and inviting past customers, along wit their friends and others in your community.  Call it a "Customer Appreciation Party" or a "Holiday MIxer."  By offering your own event with lots of fun attractions, more people will become aware of your business.  In your advertising, you can mention the event, which can set you apart from other advertisers who only talk about buying.  You are offering something to people in return, which can be a competitive advantage.

  • DONATIONS - Remember that many non-profit organizations use this time of year to host events and raise funds for their causes.  So find ways to donate that will promote your business.  For example, if a non-profit is hosting an event where there will be a silent auction, consider donating a Vessel piece or set.  If a fundraising event is being held, find out how your business can be listed in the program in return for a monetary donation.  You'll be helping the organization and promoting your business at the same time.

Commit to making this your most profitable holiday season yet!  With a little planning, you can get in front of more customers, which will lead to a bigger business. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Products!!

We love launching new products, and last month we were excited to expand our Vessel line with the introduction of several new items. We added five Lockets, two Locket Earrings and four Chains in additional finishes, including a brand new finish, Gold Tone. Five of our Charms are now available in Gold Plate, and we also have five beautiful new ScentSphere colors.

Here are some beautiful looks to try in the new finishes and colors.

Teardrop Locket & Alexa Chain in Gold Tone
with Star Charm in Gold Plate & Turquoise ScentSpheres.

Leaf Earrings & Locket with Kristen Chain in Antique Copper
with Light Blue ScentSpheres.
Leaf Locket and Kaiya Chain in Gold Tone
with Ladybug Charm in Gold Plate and Wine ScentSpheres. 

Teardrop Locket and Laura Chain in Gun Metal
with Hot Pink ScentSpheres.

Check out all of our new products on the Vessel Store at store.vesselscentsofstyle.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Toyota vs. Rolls Royce

by: Dioni Morales, Director of Stylist Services

Who remembers Pac Man? I loved Pac Man, and was actually very good at it.  A couple of months ago I was playing at a Pac Man table, and one of my 4 year old daughters decided to sit down and play with me. I was on one side and she was sitting on the other.  She didn't want me to help her, so as you might guess, she was being eaten by the "ghosts" over and over again.  She couldn't move past that level.  I could see her frustration as she saw that the colors on my screen where changing as I moved up the levels. After about 20 minutes, she just looked at me and said "Mom, I want mine to be red like yours."  I told her I could help her, but she wanted to do it on her own.  As you can imagine, she never got past that level - at least not that time.

I felt bad for her at the moment.  Then I started thinking how sometimes that's exactly the way we want things in life to go for us.  We want to get to the top without previous experience, or going through the obstacles and the growing pains. Some people sign up with a direct selling company and give up when they don't get to the top rank in a few months.  Many times they blame the company and/or the industry.  The truth is, we need to commit to the training.  We need to go out and actually do it and learn from our mistakes. In the book Go Pro, Eric Worre talks about how it takes 10,000 hours to be a professional in just about anything, so why would we think that we can just reach the top without taking the time to learn and get trained? 

But there's great news: 

  • In this industry you will get paid while you learn, train and even while you make mistakes.

  • You decide where you want to get to and how big your check is going to be.  You can't really do that in most other professions.

  • Direct sales gives you the freedom that other careers can't offer. 

At the end of it all, it's about where you want to be, how far you want to go in this career, and where you want to end up. 

When things are not going as fast as you would like, just remember that it takes six months to build a Rolls Royce and only 13 hours to build a Toyota.

Let's take the time to build ourselves a Rolls Royce!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Slowdown?

There is a saying, and almost an expectation, in the direct sales industry that the summer months will be slow.  And it is true that summer poses unique challenges in booking parties.  Everyone is busy with vacations, sports teams, family get-togethers, and on and on.  However, there certainly are steps you can take to optimize your business over the summer months! 

For those who say they're just too busy to host a party...there are many ways to accommodate busy schedules.  You can suggest parties outside–at the park, at the pool, or on the deck.  Or opt to do quick lunch time parties in the lunch room, conference room or break room. The hosts and guests will appreciate you honoring their busy schedules. 

There are lots of local fairs, expos and other events in the summer that might make sense to attend - go where the people are!

Be ready to do business while you are on the move by always having your business with you. Create a Business-in-a-box that you can grab as you run out the door that contains all the things you need to make good use of those “stolen minutes”.

You can also take the opportunity to get yourself reorganized and prepared.  Use the time to clear out your work space, organize your files, brainstorm marketing ideas, read relevant articles and business books, etc.  All the things you wish you had time for when things start picking up - now is a good time to do them! 

Whenever you find yourself with waiting time on your hands, bring catalogs to sticker/label or marketing collateral to put together recruiting packets or a bulk mailing. You can multitask; you’re a parent. You multitask all the time. Other parents may be curious what you’re doing and you’ll get work done at the same time.

Here are other ways to make the most of waiting times:

  • Read up on company literature and news.  
  • Carry a calculator so you can process paperwork or close a show.
  • Make return calls to team members and answer questions, offer encouragement and provide mentoring.
  • Make “feel good calls” to potential team members to answer questions.
  • Follow-up on customer inquiries.
  • Write heart-felt thank you notes to customers and hostesses.
  • Check in with hostesses of upcoming parties to see if they have any questions and give them encouragement.

And, as always, simply WEAR your Vessel jewelry!  Make sure you take the time to create a unique jewelry combination to complement your outfit of the day.  That is the competitive advantage of our line (in addition to the ability to wear jewelry and perfume in one fantastic piece) is the ability to so precisely coordinate your outfit and your jewelry every single day, every single outfit.  Take the time to showcase that advantage every time you go out. 

As we all know, one of the best benefits of building your own direct sales business is the ability to meld your work and family life in a better way ... the ability schedule work around your family life rather than the other way around.  So one thing you should consider is the improved ability you have to take your own vacation or attend all those athletic events.  Take advantage of slow times by filling it with personal fun.  This will help you feel refreshed and recharged when you head into the fall season. 

To your success!