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Archive for 'Sales Growth'

By  John Fong

From Jen: Since I’ve stepped into my corporate role as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications at SwissJust North America, my business partner (and husband!) John Fong has stepped out from behind the curtain, managing the consulting business we used to run together. He focuses primarily on lead generation for direct selling companies, and does an amazing job for his clients, helping them create a steady flow of new leads using Facebook Ads. John generates more leads for direct selling companies than anyone else in the industry today. In today’s post, he shares some tips on creating an effective lead generation campaign. I have personally seen him generate 1,000 leads or more per month for his clients. Here are some of the techniques he uses with amazing results.

Facebook Ads are an incredibly effective way to generate leads immediately for your direct sales company. If you’re interested in creating a Facebook Ad lead generation campaign for your company, here are some quick tips you can start using today:

  1. Create ads that have photos of real people.
  2. Use language that is clear and concise about the product and the opportunity.
  3. Include your current consultants in your target audience and tell them to engage/share the ads when they see them with their network/friends/family to help increase the reach of your ads.
  4. Make sure you use News Feed ads.
  5. Set the daily budget at a minimum of $50.00/daily to maximize your reach.

What to do next?

  • Step 1 – Read or re-read this blog post from my lovely wife Jennifer Fong to have a clear idea on how to establish your FB lead generation program – http://www.worldofdirectselling.com/online-recruiting-campaign/
  • Step 2 – You must set up Google Analytics to track how well the ads are doing and what kind of conversion your ads are generating, or you will not be able to make adjustments to increase leads.
  • Step 3 – Now create a group of new ads incorporating the tips from above and define the target audience you want to reach.
  • Step 4 – Once you find a few ads that are generating the best leads, keep creating new ads similar to them and continue to make adjustments that resonate with your target audience. Now, your goal is to create as many ads with high conversion rates as possible.
  • Step 5 – Once you have ads that are performing well, start analyzing and tracking the time of day and days that most leads are generated.
  • Step  6 –  Once you have a consistent level of leads at a certain ad spend budget, you can now consider gradually increasing the budget to maximize as many leads as possible on those best time of day and days of the week. Do not rush this process. Do not just simply increase your budget and expect that the leads will increase. It does not work like that, most of the time you will get a similar number of leads and waste the increased budget.
  • Step  7 – Only increase your budget if your leads increase. That means you have to analyze your data very carefully as you incrementally increase your ad spend. Facebook Ad lead generation is more art than science. It does not follow the concept of cause and effect. Just because you spend more money and have more people seeing your ads, it does not necessarily mean they will convert.
  • Step 8 – At this point, if you continue with this process, gradually increasing your budget as leads increase, and are willing to increase your ad spend accordingly, you can reach your goal of 1000 leads per month.

Allow anywhere from several weeks to a couple of months for your lead generation to mature. Once you’ve built momentum, continue to analyze your data and increase your ad spend strategically to maximize leads. The key is to track the data, make adjustments to maximize your ad spend to increase leads and to build momentum.

One last note, start your lead generation program now, because it will take a couple of months to establish! You want to have a lead generation program in place once the holiday selling season is over. This way, you can offset the lower sales volume that comes after the holidays with increased leads and can also reach those individuals with New Year’s resolutions to start a business, make a life change, and/or who are looking to pay off holiday debt.

Are you using Facebook ads? How many leads are you generating per month? Please share your tips in the comments!

John Fong is a lead generation specialist who creates Facebook Ad lead generation campaigns for direct selling companies. He also handles the day-to-day community management and content for the Direct Selling Education Foundation and other direct sales company clients. For more information, or to contact him about services for your direct selling company, click here.

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.

 

Hmmm, I never thought this would be a high priority topic – or even a blog topic at all.  But a recent incident made it come front and center. I was working on a training project out of town, and realized that I needed a car. Since I was already at the office, the company arranged for a car to be picked up at a nearby hotel. How convenient.  My colleague and I headed over and found a very small rental counter tucked in a corner of the lobby.  The representative looked over the paperwork and said she just happened to have a 2-seat convertible sports car for only $19.00 a day more.  We didn’t mean to offend, but we chuckled at the thought of pulling up to the office in a bright red corvette, hair flying in the wind. “No thanks,” we said.  “The car that was ordered would be just fine.”

The representative asked how much luggage we had because our car would only accommodate a few pieces.  A larger one would only be $14.00 a day more. “No thanks”, we said. “The car our company ordered would be just fine.” “GPS?” she asked. “Only 13.00 a day more.”  We declined and asked if she would kindly give us car that was ordered. “Sure thing”, she said.  And I would imagine you want insurance, right”? Only $6.00 a day more.” We held firm and said we were a bit behind schedule. “Let’s just finish up then, she said.  But I highly recommend prepaying for gas.”

At this point, I was finding it hard not to laugh, so I started writing a talk in my head about the danger of excessive upselling. In the background, I heard that something would only cost $2.00 a day more. Then I found out just how far my friend could be pushed when she screamed “NO. JUST GIVE ME THE CAR!” The representative said she had the perfect one for us, but I think I detected a smirk.

Did you know that a top rental car agency still has at least one car with hand crank windows and manual door locks?   I sent a picture to my kids so they could see what it was like in the good old days. “Yes, she got her laugh, but I was ahead of the game because I walked away with the framework for a talk, inspiration for this blog and some wonderful nostalgic memories.  Yes, we do want our sales force to upsell. But let’s make sure they don’t go overboard!

Lori Moser

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.

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.

This post was originally published on Jennifer Fong’s Direct Sales and Social Media blog at http://www.jenfongspeaks.com.

Last night I signed up for NetFlix.  Now I realize that I am probably the last living American to do so.  But I’ve been a Blockbuster Video loyalist for decades, and wasn’t in any hurry to change that status.  But the Netflix business model finally hooked me, when I discovered we could stream videos on demand to our TV through our Wii, and have 1 DVD at a time, all for a monthly fee that was less than 2 videos a month at Blockbuster.

And it really got me to thinking about business models, and how getting too comfortable with ours can cause us to lose touch with what appeals to even our most loyal customers.  You see, Blockbuster was on top for a really long time.  And holding that percentage of the market share, in my opinion, made them short-sighted.  They didn’t even consider the competition anymore.

Yet the competition was innovating.  It started through a mail order service…where DVDs from a list you create online would be shipped to you to keep as long as you like. Then, when you’re done, you ship it back (postage free) and get another DVD on your list.  For some people this was super convenient.  Yet for people like me, their loyalists, we wanted to choose the movie we were in the mood for the night we wanted to watch it.  The NetFlix model didn’t meet that need, and so we stayed with Blockbuster.

The next thing I was aware of was the on-demand model.  We’re not big TV watchers in my house (heck, I’ve still got a VCR!), so we didn’t upgrade to a cable box until we were forced to by our cable company.  At that point we got a whole collection of on-demand programming that we could access for a fee similar to what we would pay at Blockbuster (as well as a collection of free children’s programming).  Without leaving our house.  You couldn’t keep your movie for a week (my kids like to watch things multiple times), but it was sure convenient to not have to leave the house on rainy nights.  We took advantage of some programming through the cable company. Yet we still remained loyal to Blockbuster too, signing up for the loyalty program, etc.

But then Blockbuster began to betray our trust.  They switched from 7 day rentals to 5 day rentals, and didn’t tell anyone (well I assume it was on our paper receipt, but they failed to mention it.)  We racked up late fees as a result (didn’t Blockbuster a while back do away with late fees?  Yeah, not anymore.  We didn’t know that either.)  The loyalists that they should have been rewarding and courting were experiencing betrayal after betrayal.  We didn’t matter to them!

Then I saw a blog post about how we could have 1 DVD at a time in the mail, plus on demand programming to our TV, for under $10 a month through NetFlix. I fiddled a bit and saw how easy it would be to set up. It was a no-brainer.

By the way, have YOU seen any online social efforts to reach me through Blockbuster, either through sponsored blog posts, Twitter, etc.?  To retain my business?  I certainly haven’t. Other than the regular email I get trying to sell me stuff, I never hear from them at all.

And so Blockbuster has lost another loyal customer.  Because they weren’t listening.  And they weren’t paying attention to my needs.

As direct sellers, we have to be very careful that we don’t make the same mistake.  We are VERY fond of our business model, and very slow to change.  And that’s because it works.  But if we don’t continue to adapt to modern technology, and the way our customers want to shop, we could easily go the way of Blockbuster.  It’s hard to believe, but in this day and age there are still direct selling companies that don’t provide their reps with personal websites for shopping.  There are still companies that aren’t reaching out to customers through the social web.  And yet consumers are telling us, loudly, that they EXPECT to be able to interact with their brands online.

Look at Stella and Dot as an example.  How did this direct sales jewelry company get so big so fast? By taking advantage of the social web, and encouraging its reps to do the same.  They haven’t abandoned direct selling principles.  But they’re smart enough to add online technology to the mix, in order to provide their customers with the shopping experience that fits into their lives.  And as a result, they are on par with the Silpadas and Cookie Lees of the world, who have been around a LOT longer.

Customers aren’t going to bend to your traditions.  At least not very long.  They expect you to adapt to them.  Are you prepared to do so?

Your thoughts?

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.

by Lori Moser

When you’re in this business long enough, you’ll begin to hear the same training over and over again.  And you can never be quite sure who said it first.  But I do know who taught this to me first.  Thanks, Francine. 

I’ll tell you up front. I can in no way do this justice in a few short paragraphs, so I’ll probably revisit this one.  But here it is – the best training tip I ever heard. Whenever you hear an objection – whether it’s for booking a party or learning about your business opportunity – someone saying, “No, I just can’t because….” Don’t try to overcome that objection, simply solve the problem. 

This mindset made all the difference when I was in the field and has helped many others since.  See, no matter what company, no matter what product, one of the things direct salespeople have in common is that we don’t want to be _________.  Yes, you got it – we don’t want to be pushy.

And another thing we have in common, no matter what company, no matter what product, is that we like to help people.  And both come into play when we look at an objection as a problem to solve – we’re not being pushy and we’re helping someone.   And that’s why, for me, it’s the best training tip I ever heard.

http://luceandassociates.com

Image credit: kfarwell

 by Lori Moser

A couple weeks ago, I had my regular dental checkup. The news was pretty good. My dentist told me that I had a small cavity and that at my next appointment, it would only take an hour of my time.  Something about that seemed strange.  I knew I needed to have the work done, no matter how long it took. And I hadn’t said anything about being busy.

After I scheduled the appointment, my dentist walked by and said, “I’ll see you next Monday – it will only take an hour of your time.”  Again, kind of strange, but oh well…

On Monday, my schedule was more hectic than I expected, so I looked at my calendar to see what I could dump or postpone.  Well, it would have been that dentist appointment had it not been made very clear that it would only take an hour of my time. 

The  number one reason a host decides to postpone her party is because she feels overwhelmed or too busy to do it justice.  It’s our job to help her understand that hosting a party doesn’t have to be a big deal or require a big time commitment.

Hats off to my dentist for anticipating that problem and taking care of it in advance.

Lori brings a clear understanding of the building blocks necessary to create an active and thriving sales force. Her commitment and passion for the direct sales industry comes through in every assignment, and translates those projects into results with clear and lasting value for the client. She has an excellent intuitive skill set that allows her to extract the key components of a company’s strategy and turn them into actionable steps to build training and promotional programs for the sales team.

And best of all, she helps companies build relationships in the caring and supportive way that brings the best out of each and every individual member of the sales force.  We love her!

Patty Pearcy

Simply Fun

It’s basic party plan knowledge – when booking a party, try to schedule it within the next two weeks.  Otherwise, it’s more likely your host will lose her enthusiasm and postpone or cancel her party altogether.  But during the holiday season, booking a party two weeks out is still too far.  Schedule a couple parties from that one – book them two weeks out and that’s it – holiday delivery cut-off – time’s up.

Years ago, I heard something that really stuck.  Most people don’t know what they’re doing 2 weeks from now, but they do know what they’re doing the next day or the day after.

I remember when that really hit home. I had scheduled a party –a couple weeks out – with a lady named Jeannie. And during those two weeks, I have to say, I did some mighty fine host coaching – textbook host coaching.  And it showed, because 18 people came to that party.  

Afterwards, I asked Jeannie how she did it. Actually, I wanted to know what in particular, I did or said to make it happen.  OK, I was looking for a pat of the back. Jeannie said, “Now, don’t get angry, but I didn’t do anything you said.  I didn’t even remember I was having this party until yesterday, so I just called everyone last night and this morning and told them to come over.”

 From then on, whenever someone said she was too busy to host a party, I suggested that we just throw something together in a couple days. All she would have to do is call some friends and ask them to come over. It would be informal and easy. Then, I would tell her the story.  And it worked – time and time again.

Now, more than ever, it pays for your salespeople to compress their business.  My advice?  Think easy, think informal, and book them in very, very close.

Lori brings a clear understanding of the building blocks necessary to create an active and thriving sales force. Her commitment and passion for the direct sales industry comes through in every assignment, and translates those projects into results with clear and lasting value for the client. She has an excellent intuitive skill set that allows her to extract the key components of a company’s strategy and turn them into actionable steps to build training and promotional programs for the sales team.

And best of all, she helps companies build relationships in the caring and supportive way that brings the best out of each and every individual member of the sales force.  We love her!

Patty Pearcy Simply Fun

Lori Moser

Working for yourself is hard… much, much harder than working for someone else at a job. When we work for someone else as an employee, they tell us what days and hours to work, they define our job and what constitutes success at that job, and they worry about whether there is enough money to pay the bills.  Employees, even senior managers, go to work and do the job that has been defined for them.  Sure there are big, high stress, complicated jobs that many employees do. But at least most of the scheduling, tasks and limits of authority have been defined for them by someone else.

When we are our own boss running our own business we not only have to accomplish the tasks that will bring us financial rewards, we also have to create a work schedule, define the tasks to be done, create a strategy and business plan and take out the trash.  There is no “boss” to help us prioritize our time and work on the “big picture”.  No, the self employed must do it all.  And that is the downfall of many who try to build their own businesses.  This inability to effectively manage ourselves is the single biggest reason that direct sales leaders fail.  In fact, it may be the primary reason why many self employed people are unable to be successful.

Think about it:   If you are unable to create and maintain a productive work schedule each week without the benefit of someone prodding and reminding you to do the work, how can you teach others to do so?  If you are unable to effectively prioritize your tasks into “must do” tasks versus “nice to do” tasks then you will not get the truly important business building things accomplished. You will waste time doing things that don’t really count.

So often over my career when counseling a leader who built a good downline and business and was now watching it fall into decline I have heard:  “I’m just so busy doing my newsletter and recognition and planning my team holiday party that I just don’t have time to do my personal business anymore!”

This is a classic example of not managing one’s self well.  She built her business by doing the fundamental business activities well: strong and consistent personal sales, effective recruiting activities, teaching new sellers to be successful and coaching the most willing and promising to become leaders themselves.   These are the “must do” tasks.  Newsletters, recognition and team celebrations are important, but should never be given priority over the must-do tasks that are fundamental to success.  My advice to leaders is this situation is always “Go back to doing the things that made you successful and hire some part time help to do the important “nice to do” things.  When you concentrate on doing the important stuff, your volunteer sales team members will do the same.  After all, they too want to build their own business and most are not sure how to do that.  So, they look to you and copy what you do.

If you run your own business, now may be good time to review how well you are managing yourself.  Are you concentrating on the “must do” tasks or have you been sliding into spending time on the “nice to do” things?  Are you focusing your most productive hours of the day on your income producing activities?  Do you work consistently at your business on a daily, weekly, monthly schedule?  In other words, take stock:  Are you managing yourself well?

Alan Luce

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.

Ah, the fall selling season. Isn’t it wonderful?  We pretty much know that sales will increase as the holidays approach.  It’s a magical time – but it also takes preparation and training to help your sales force receive the full benefits of the gift-giving season.  One way is by doing some math.

Turn Sales into Income: Help your sales people understand in dollars and cents just how much they will earn by doing one more party, meeting one more customer, running one more event. Make it real for them.  Show them the numbers.

Calculate the Real Cut-Off Date. Have you announced the cut off date for guaranteed holiday delivery?  Great!  But your salesforce needs to keep a few things in mind:

  • Will the order be delivered to the host?  She won’t want to be running around delivering orders at the last minute.  So move up the date.
  • Are your products great to have before the holidays – for entertaining, preparing food or attending parties? Well then, move it up some more!

While it could seem like you have seven or eight weeks to bring in the sales, you might, in reality, only have four.  Basic stuff? Yes. But has that really sunk in with your sales people?  You can help them understand and create a sense of urgency by just doing the math.

Lori Moser

Lori Moser built a personal sales organization of thousands, and now helps direct selling companies put the salesforce training in place they need to succeed.  Lori can help your organization by both creating and delivering training that brings results!  For more information, contact her at lori (at) luceandassociates (dot) com.

photo credit: cogdogblog