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Turkey: A Hidden Treasure? Guest Post by Hakki Ozmorali from http://lucemurphyfong.comToday we are pleased to welcome guest blogger Hakki Ozmorali.  Hakki Ozmorali was the first corporate professional in the Turkish network marketing industry. After serving various direct selling companies as Country Manager and Regional Manager in Turkey and Canada, he now provides consulting services to the industry in Turkey. Hakki Ozmorali is also the publisher of the popular weekly newsletter, The World of Direct Selling.

Turkey: A Hidden Treasure?
by Hakki Ozmorali

You decide it for yourself:

  • Turkey’s population is 75.6 million. This is the 17th highest in the world, and the 3rd highest in Europe after Russia and Germany. Turkey is expected to be Europe’s 2nd largest market by the year 2020.
  • 14 million people live in the largest city Istanbul. This is more than each of the European countries Portugal, Greece, Belgium, Hungary, Sweden and Bulgaria.
  • There about 3 million Turks who live in the European Union countries keeping very close ties with their relatives and friends at home.
  • Turkey has a growing economy. The GDP growth rate in fixed prices was 9.2% in 2010, 8.5% in 2011, and 2.2% in 2012.
  • Due to the birth rates and the increasing productivity in the economy, unemployment remains a major problem: There is over 10% urban unemployment. This rate is almost twice as high among the young and also among women.
  • To an industry that relies very heavily on communications, the physical infrastructure and people’s attitude towards these means are very important. Currently, there are more than 20 million Internet and 68 million mobile subscriptions in the country.
  • The direct selling model has been widely accepted by the society. The volume generated by the industry was USD 1.2 billion in 2011. This puts Turkey in the so-called “Billion Dollar Club”. Well over 1 million people are thought to be affiliated with at least one direct selling company on a full time or a part time basis.
  • There are now more than 80 direct selling companies operating in the market. Among those internationals that are currently in Turkey are: Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Forever Living, Kyani, LR Health & Beauty Systems, Nikken, Nu Skin, Oriflame, PM-International, Saladmaster, Sunrider, Tiens, Tupperware, and Vision.
  • Companies are required to get a license, a procedure that takes no longer than few days. Direct sellers on the other hand, are not required to get any licences, nor are they required to tax-register. Direct selling companies are to withhold a percentage of the commissions and transfer it to the tax office.
  • The Turkish economy has close ties with many countries, the EU being on top of the list. Turkey has customs union with the European Union since 1994 lifting any duties for products coming from and through this region.

So, what do you think? Isn’t the potential huge?

Our experience with a wide variety of US and international clients in 2011 has proven conclusively that the convergence of direct selling sales methodologies is continuing at a rapid pace.   It is almost impossible today to find a “pure” MLM marketing program or a pure one-on-one or a pure party plan.  Almost all companies today find, sometimes to their surprise, that their enterprising sales people are using all of the traditional sales approaches depending on who they are talking to and in what setting.  Then to top it off, they are selling on line also, not just for re-orders on their replicated websites, but for first customer contacts resulting from Facebook, Twitter and Linked in associations.

There is no reason to believe that this trend will not continue and even strengthen in the coming year.  As usual the independent sales force is often out in front of their companies when it comes to employing technology in innovative ways and exploring their own way of doing things. Coping with these trends requires all companies to be ever more nimble when it comes to adapting to the realities of the marketplace. For 2012, change and adaptation move from the periodic and unusual to simply the normal way of doing business.  Be ready for it!

http://www.luceandassociates.com

image credit Creativity103

W. Alan Luce, President, Luce and Associates, LLC, Member DSA Hall of Fame

Few people in the direct sales industry can match the experience, expertise and successes of Alan Luce. With over 25 years in senior management, guiding start-ups and established companies alike, Alan has met virtually every challenge a direct sales executive can face.  Learn more about how Alan can help your company at http://www.luceandassociates.com/Alan-Luce.html.

 

When working with field leaders, I’m often asked how to sponsor “good” people – ones who aspire to become leaders.  And on occasion, a leader tells me she only talks to people who “prequalify” as a solid prospective consultant. Ouch! I believe, without hesitation, that we can’t tell if someone will be wildly successful. We can have a hunch, for sure. But too many times I’ve worked with new consultants who just needed encouragement and someone who believed in them. What a rush to see them succeed! I would hate to eliminate them from the start. So I always respond by saying, “Sponsor everyone because you never know – you just never know.”

Recently I learned about an informal field test from Shelley Whitmarsh, VP of Sales for SimplyFun. When Shelley was in the field, she and a fellow team leader noticed that Shelley’s team grew proportionately faster so they set out to determine why. Was it personal sponsoring? No – they sponsored about the same number each year. Was it the amount of time they dedicated to building their business? No – that was also roughly the same. Yet when Shelley’s team tripled in size, her friends team doubled.

Here’s what they came up with. When Shelley presented the business opportunity – to everyone – she presented it as just that – a business opportunity. Her friend had a different approach. When she presented the business opportunity – to everyone – she positioned it as a part-time job. That “full-time vs. part-time” mentality worked it’s way through their organization. In Shelley’s team, more aspired to become team leaders, which led to overall team growth. Now, when asked if there is a secret ingredient to sponsoring future leaders, I’ll say, “Sponsor everyone and tell them about the advantages of building a substantial business from the start –because you never know – you just never know.”

.With over 25 years of direct sales experience, Lori develops training packages for start up companies and works with established companies to update sales training and methods.  Lori is an accomplished speaker and specializes in creating presentations tailored to meet each company’s specific needs.

In my last blog we explored the reasons for considering an outside a/v company vs. an in-house supplier.  Now it’s time to deal with the RFP (Request for Proposal) document itself.

 BEGIN WITH A BRIEF OVERVIEW

I like to begin with a very brief overview of the event, its “who, what, where & when.”  Be specific as to dates, location and attendance.  Here’s a typical overview:

  • Typical Home Parties, the direct sales division of Typical International, is having its 2011 “Believe It” National Convention at the Mammoth Hotel, in Mammoth, New Jersey, July 22-24, 2011. The event will be held in the Bodacious Ballroom, which has approximately 12,500 square feet of space.  The program will consist of equal parts promotional announcements, recognition and training for a largely female audience of approximately 500. Seating will be at rounds. 

I usually end the paragraph with a link to the room diagram of the space, which most hotels and convention centers are likely to have on their websites.  It’s also helpful to include a link to your own company’s website.  Other than that, you don’t need to go into detail about your company.

SCHEDULE

Next, I’m likely to include a brief schedule that shows what will be going on and when.  Don’t bother with a detailed presentation by presentation schedule.  Instead, offer a “glance-able” calendar-type schedule, something like this:

 

 

 

STATE YOUR NEEDS

Don’t try to get technical, just describe what you need equipment to do from your perspective. If you can be more specific, that’s great.  Definitely include basic dimensions, such as the approximate size of your stage and the number and size of your projection screens.  Here are some examples:

  • Lighting package & crew:
    • Stage will often be full of people for recognition, so we need enough general stage lighting to fully illuminate the stage. Most other presentations will simply be an MC speaking from the lectern. No spotlights needed, just general stage lighting.
    • Appropriate crew for install, show, and strike.  
  • Sound package & crew:
    • Sound system to fill room.  Music is a big part of our meeting, so we need speakers with good bass qualities.
    • One lectern microphone plus 2 wireless hand-helds or lavalieres. 
    • Onstage and backstage audio monitors.  
    • Audio mixing board with 6-8 inputs, including one dedicated to laptop for music playback.  We will supply laptop and operator.
    • Appropriate crew for install, show, and strike.  
  • Projection package & crew:
    • Two off-the-stage side screens, 10 ½ x 14’ or possibly 9 x 12. 
    • Projection equipment for Mac supported visuals (Keynote with embedded videos).   Client will provide laptops and operator
    • Appropriate crew for install, show, and strike.  
  • Staging:
    •  Hotel risers to create stage area approximately 40’ wide, 20’ deep, and 24” -32” high (depending on height of hotel risers). 
    • Pipe and drape to cover back of stage, and create wings and close in area between screens and upstage drape.
    • One lectern at stage right or stage left.  
    • Appropriate crew for install, show, and strike.  

Most important, tell them what total a/v your budget is, labor, gear, everything.  In short, what do you have to spend?  A/V companies are accustomed to working with all ranges of needs, but they have to have that dollar figure to give you an informed bid.  And often, they can be pretty flexible when it comes to gear, even if your budget falls short of what that gear might actually cost. 

INCLUDE PHOTOS & DIAGRAMS

If you have stage photos or room/stage diagrams from past events, include them.  Wide stage shots showing the entire stage and screen area are best.  These will go a long way in helping the a/v company understand how best to fill your needs.

YOUR CLOSING

Be sure to give the name and contact information for the person who should receive the bid.  And ask for a bid that spells out the details, otherwise you may get a bunch of lump sums like “Lighting Package- $3,500.”  I usually end my RFP’s with a paragraph like this one:

  • Please submit proposals by email (Word, Excel or PDF files only) by Monday, May 9, 2011 to (your email).  Questions may be directed to this email, or phone number ________. Also, please show us how you arrived at your pricing, i.e., daily rental times so many days, labor hourly rate times so many hours, etc.

Creating a good Request for Proposal is a big part of the convention production process.  It’s also your introduction to the people who will be partnering with you create a successful event.  Make sure the RPF you send makes it easy for a/v companies to understand and respond to your needs.

Writer/Events Producer Dick Wilson has worked on meetings as small as 50 and as large as 7,500.  He’s learned that dealing with an event’s audio/visual needs can be demanding regardless of the size of the audience.  Learn more about what Dick can do for you at http://luceandassociates.com/Dick-Wilson.html.

Do I have your attention? Sure hope so.  Because whether you are a sales representative in the field, a corporate sales leader or simply checking out the industry, this tip will serve you well.

While exciting new products, elaborate trip promotions and “raise the roof” conventions can increase performance; the best overall strategy to build sales and recruiting is to focus on finding and nurturing Prospective Team Leaders.

A Prospective Team Leader is one who is working to reach the first level of leadership as outlined in the company’s compensation plan. This typically involves a personal sales, sponsoring and team sales requirement. When these performance minimums are met, the Prospective receives a new title and substantial bonus increase.

Why are Prospective Leaders so important?  Because they need to sell more and recruit more in order to reach their goal. And when they succeed, their increased activity will be reflected in your company’s overall performance.  It’s a simple concept but one that can easily get by us.

Now, how do we find those prospective leaders?  Stay tuned…

Image Credit: pasukara76

With over 25 years of direct sales experience, Lori develops training packages for start up companies and works with established companies to update sales training and methods. Lori is an accomplished speaker and  specializes in creating presentations tailored to meet each company’s specific needs.

Let Word do Your Work

We spend literally hundreds of hours a year sitting in front of our computers. And for many if not most, much of that time is spent writing, reading or reviewing Word documents. So this week I’d like to explore the 3 features of Microsoft Word that I think you’ll find most useful in the weeks and months leading up to your national event.  These features are page numbering, line numbering and macros.  Let’s briefly examine each in ascending order of complexity.

Page Numbering:  I would guess most users know this feature is there.  But I’m amazed how many multi-page documents I see that have no page numbers.  Fortunately, the procedure for adding automatic page numbering is simple and hasn’t changed significantly over the past few years.  In Word 2003, 2007 and 2010 simply choose “Insert” and then “Page Number” (“Page Numbers” in Word 2003).

Line Numbering:  This feature is indispensable if a number of people need to collaborate on or review a document before it’s finalized.  With line numbering turned on, there’s no more having to describe where a certain sentence is (“Page 4, second paragraph, about halfway down…”).   Instead, Word automatically adds a number in front of each sentence so you can identify which sentence you’re talking about instantly (“Let’s go to line 342…”).  In Word 2003, click File/Page Setup/Layout/Line Numbers and check “add line numbering.”  For Word 2007 and 2010, click Page Layout/Line Numbers, then chose from the options shown.  I prefer continuous line numbers.  Once you no longer need the line numbers, repeat the process and uncheck the line numbering box or choose “none.”

Macros:  This one scares people because it sounds technical, but Word makes it a fairly easy process.  The ability to record macros has been part of Microsoft Word for a long time, and is now included in the latest version of Word for Mac as well. 

Basically, a macro turns a lot of keystrokes into just 2 or 3 keystrokes.  Macros are great time savers, which is why I turn any word or phrase I need to type repeatedly into a macro.  I mean, why type “2011 Imagine Excellence National Sales Conference” over and over again, when you can reduce it to “Control + N” or whatever keystroke combination you choose?  Macros are especially handy when writing scripts in which company & product names, technical cues and other words are used over and over again.  They also capture formatting commands like center, bold, underline, etc.

Creating a macro does require several keystrokes, and those keystrokes vary among the 3 current versions of Word that are most commonly in use.  So to find the steps that work for your version of Word, hit the F1 Help key and type “record macro” into the window that appears.  Also, there are excellent tutorials available on YouTube and elsewhere online.  Here are a few I found:

Word 2003: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C75HdmpvkI&feature=related

Word 2007: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5hIu9lBjWg&feature=related

Word 2010: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-make-a-macro-in-word-2010.html

Learning to record a macro may take a few minutes the first time you do it.  But believe me, once you know how, you’ll love how quickly you can accomplish those formerly repetitive typing tasks!

Writer/Events Producer Dick Wilson has used Word to create thousands of scripts, speeches and other event and promotional documents over the past 20+ years.  In the process he’s learned many shortcuts that save time and work.  Dick invites you to learn more about what he can do for you at http://luceandassociates.com/Dick-Wilson.html.

I was having a conversation with a colleague during the DSA Be Connected conference in Las Vegas last week about blogging.  He told me that he still hadn’t seen any reason why his direct sales company should have a blog.  Since I believe that a blog can provide a lot of benefits for a direct sales company, today’s post will give you some of the reasons I think companies should consider one.

By the way, if your company IS considering a blog, I refer you to the wise words shared by Lisa Kuftinec from USANA, during the blogging session at the conference.  Paraphrasing Yoda, she said, “Blog or don’t blog….there is no try.”  It’s good advice.  Either you’re going to commit to blogging, and be prepared to provide fresh content regularly, or it’s not worth the effort of setting it up at all.  And the best way you can ensure that the blog happens is to put someone in charge within your organization.

So that said, what are some of the benefits that a blog can bring to your direct sales company?

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google loves fresh content.  A blog, housed on the same server as your website, gives your site Google juice.  (By the way, when you allow your consultants to blog, and require them to include a link to your website on their sites, those incoming links are another great shot of Google juice for your site.)
  • Official Corporate Response. When things go wrong (which they will, at some point), you need a place where your side of the story can be presented, and where you can be part of the conversation.  The blog is a great vehicle to do that, and can also be a resource that reporters will use when writing about your company.
  • A Great Source of Sharable Content for the Field. If your salesforce is going to use social media effectively, it needs to provide content that is valuable.  And while some of them may be good at coming up with fresh content regularly, they won’t all be.  When you provide great content that your salesforce can easily share, you provide one more tool to help your salesforce market their businesses effectively.  They can also spend more time on selling and recruiting, and less time trying to think up new content to share.
  • Lead Generation. Sometimes people may have an interest in your company, but are not ready to commit to connecting with a consultant.  Capitalize on that moment of attention by giving them something to sign up for on your blog.  It might be a newsletter.  Or it may just be the RSS feed for your blog.  Either way, they’re hearing from you regularly, which makes it a lot more likely they’ll convert in the future.
  • A Friendly “Face” for the Company. In 2010 we’ve seen companies in many industries benefit greatly by getting more social.  As direct selling companies, we can’t ignore this trend.  People want to connect socially with their favorite brands, and a blog provides a great way for you to share some of the fun of your company.  Plus, you can auto-import all your blog content into your Facebook Page, which means fresh content there, too.  Once people like you because they’ve interacted with you, they’re a lot more likely to consider your products and/or opportunity in the future.  A blog can be a great tool to get that done.

We’ve seen companies in our industry take many successful approaches with their blogs.  Companies like USANA speak directly to their distributors.  Companies like Creative Memories are more consumer-focused.  Regardless of the approach, more and more people are expecting to hear from their companies, and don’t feel that a static website is enough.  You can meet that need through a well-planned blog.  Be sure to have a strategy first!  But once you do, a blog can be a valuable part of your overall marketing strategy.

Your thoughts?

image credit: ShashiBellamkonda

Jennifer Fong

Jennifer Fong helps direct sales companies leverage the power of social media marketing to increase sales and recruiting, and manage online brand perception.  She provides strategic social media consulting to companies, as well as conference speaking and training. To learn more about how Jennifer can help your company, visit http://luceandassociates.com/Jennifer-Fong.html.  You can also check out her direct sales and social media blog at http://www.jenfongspeaks.com, and her Facebook Page at http://facebook.com/jenfongspeaks.