Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Apoligies!

I have been running for the past two weeks!  Thankfully for good reasons!  Between working on the house, working UL, and wrapping up our Girls on the Run season I have been CRAZY busy!  My apoligies!  I am planning on making a strong comeback as we stretch into the summer and wrap up another UL year!

One tip to keep in mind as you begin thinking about making new goals for the upcomming UL year.  If you write long term goals they may seem daunting, so continue to write small goals to encourage you along the way.  I keep a ticker like the one below to show me progress as I continue to accumulate it.  If you go to you can create your own ticker!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Recognize your strengths but focus on your weaknesses!

It isn't fun!  In fact, chances are that your weaknesses are weaknesses because you don't choose to focus on them.  The problem is that the gap between your strengths and weaknesses will get broader if you only focus on things that you are good at.  And I should know...

I have actually fantasized about hiring someone to tackle the things in my life that are weak.  I would prefer to PAY someone to handle them instead of struggling through them.

So how do I(we) go about strengthening our weaknesses?

I think you start by making a list.  What are you good at?  What are you passionate about? What do you DISLIKE?  What do you know you could spend more time doing?

I will give you a few examples-

What are you good at?
-one on one contact with customers

What are you passionate about?
-enriching customers lives through the power of words

What do you dislike?
-making phone calls

What do you know that you could spend more time doing?
-organizing, phone calls, mailings

The funny thing is that like me you may find contradictions in your list.  In my case, I am good at talking to people one on one about UL and things that I believe UL can do for their lives BUT I hate calling!!!  I am the email, texting queen and would prefer to conduct my entire business day with my keyboards.  Do you see the problem?  I know that my customers respond to my contacts BUT I don't do need to focus on that weakness alone to build my business!

I think that once you take inventory of your own skills verses things that you really dislike, you can force yourself to get over a hurdle in your mind, thus moving your business forward.

I dare you...write a short list and dwell on the weaknesses instead of the strengths!  You might even surprise yourself!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Conventions...they are not to be missed!

If I were new to Uppercase(or any company), I would think that the company and demonstrators alike were trying to brainwash me so that I would come to convention.  And even if I had been with UL for awhile but hadn't been to an event...I still might not drink the kool-aid, but I have been to an event and I have been with UL for long enough to know the secret...


It is...
-business re-charging
-the best way to learn about new products
-a place where you are understood
-an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends!
-a place to reconnect with old friends.
-where you hear the new announcements RIGHT AWAY! :)
-full of suprises
-an occassion to buy a new dress
-where you get to know the home office team
-hands on fun!

So even if you are new...maybe even SO new that you haven't put a party through is well worth the time and expense to advance your business!  I urge you to ask your upline and see how you can share a ride and room so that this is a more affordable trip! 

I can't wait to celebrate with all of you in July!  This has been a great year!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A reader question! THANK YOU!!!!


I have a topic for your blog. Party consultants that talk about their personal life when they are doing a party. We all know a few like this. I wish the ones that do it would be more aware of how the ppl in the room are reacting and change. I just did a Mary Kay party and my mom ended up leaving before it even really got started because the consultant wouldnt shut up about her personal life and get on with the party.
Angie Dowling-Buckhannon, WV

Thanks again for writing this question! 

As a demonstrator who does NOT do parties with other consultants, I don't have a ton of experience with these types of demonstrators.  If I were in a situation where I felt that the other demonstrator wouldn't move on...I would try everything in my power to re-direct the party towards something that was much more constructive.

I also have a set of things that I do at every party (either instinctively or learned) to keep the party moving and to maintain a professional image.

1. I do not eat or drink at parties - I believe that the hostess has made the refreshments for her guests.  Not me.  I will get a water if I feel parched but other than that, I have never eaten or drank at a party.

2. I don't tell stories unless they are absolutly appropriate and have something to do with the product.  So, for example...I DO start my parties with "Welcome everyone, my name is Erin and I live in Woodstock with my husband and 5 daughters".  This typically is quite the attention grabber!  There aren't many parties where I have met someone who wasn't impressed with the amount of children or girls that I have.  They remember me and sometimes ask me questions about what my girls ages are, names, etc., and I believe that is completely appropriate.  Sometimes its the stories that help other women relate with the demonstrator BUT when the stories replace the product knowledge that you are able to give them...they are NOT constructive.

3. I do not take a good parking space.  This is a very little thing but it shows the hostess that you respect her and her guests more than having to walk an extra 100 feet.  My box isn't heavy and I only have one,  so this isn't a  big issue.

So, if you have someone on your team that you believe isn't being as professional as you would have hoped OR that you feel needs to stay on point, maybe you can ask them to shadow you at one of your parties.  That way you can show them what it looks like to be professional BUT still FUN!  Just like parenting you want to be these guests "friend" but you don't want them to get annoyed or walk all over you because they think that you will give them a discount.

I hope this answers your question!  If anyone else has an opinion, please post your answer in the comments section!
Have a great Mothers Day!  You are some of the most hardworking mothers I know!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Warning!  I am about to go off topic!

Please count your blessings. 

Yesterday morning I found out that an old family friend's son was killed in a car accident and although we weren't close, things like this always shake me.  Gone too soon at the age of 27, leaving behind a wife of almost 4 years and loving parents and shakes me.

When things like this happen, it seems like I throw away my priority list and write a new one.  It reminds me that not only is our life here temporary but that there are things that I should be pouring more time into instead of other things.  This all goes back to my balance post a few days ago.  It just helps me take the blinders of success off and allows me to ask myself where my success lies.

Hey Followers!!!!

Do you want your name and website on the right hand side bar?  If you do please leave a comment with your name and website you would like added.  I am HAPPY! to add you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hostess Gifts {walking a fine line between losing money and looking cheap}

What a dilemma!  Most party plans have great benefits for the hostesses and it seems that this debate is quite prevelant in the direct sales circles...what to give the hostess ABOVE what you she will get based on her sales?

I have heard of demonstrators creating hostess gifts for each hostess, presenting them in beautiful paper or bags and lavishing upon them the fruits of their labor.  And I think that is great!  I just don't have the time to keep up with these types of gifts.  I think I have an average amount of creativity in my blood, but honestly...I get bored with my projects!  If I create the same thing over and over and over it drives me crazy, and although it is new to the hostess(usually), it isn't new to me and I have a hard time getting really excited with the project.  AND!  I don't want to spend money on items that I am not getting points and sales credit for(if I were to buy certain items to apply expressions to that weren't UL)

Flip that coin.  I have also heard of demonstrators giving nothing as a hostess gift.  They believe that the rewards speak for themselves and that is quite enough.  And I also respect this decision as well.  There is something to be said for having great confidence when it comes to your hostess rewards.  It speaks volumes as to what you believe about the hostess plan.

So where do you stand on this great dilemma? :)

I am in the middle.  I don't give a lavish wrapped gift.  Again...I don't have time.  I do however give them a hostess gift in the form of an expression(not the plain words, an actual expression) which I leave up in a great area of their home.  I also use this gift as my demonstration.  I put a party order in for these expressions per quarter, and I can honestly say that not only do people want to buy whatever expression I have put up on the hostesses wall but the book parties because they see the value in not only having an expression that they will like BUT also having me put it up.

So...Inquiring minds want to know...what do you do for your hostesses?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Prepare to be enlightened by a Dummy! :)!  Look what I found at a used book sale?  Perfect!  Prepare yourself!  I also picked up "networking for dummies".  Perfect for all my spare time!

Your success is in your head!

(I love this photo...but seriously...who can be that "peppy")

We all have those kind of days...where the family is sick, the customers are harassing and the third hostess has cancelled.  UGH!  Who likes these days?  Or better yet..which one of us does not EVER let this get us down?  not me...I can promise you...not me.  I too have succomed to the frustrations of running our home and my business and it isn't pleasant to be around me when I am frustrated.


I know that all of my frustrations with circumstances that are beyond my control are in my head.  I know that if I can re-frame my frustration into something that will benefit my family and my business, that I will grow from the experience and rise above where I was in the first place!

For example-

When a customer calls and has a problem with a color, I am able to spend time talking to her about a better choice AND prove to her just how great our guarantee is.

When a hostess calls to cancel, I can re-schedule her and take the time that I am home to spend time with the kids, get some paperwork done OR drum up a fundraiser for a local organization!

The point of the examples is that no matter what situation that comes your way(and I realize those examples were VERY general), you are in control of how you see it and react to it.  You can choose to move along in a positive way OR to let the situation take the wind out of your sail. 

It's up to you! 

Jump in on the conversation!  What situations have you been able to reframe lately? 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Researching your majorities!

To truly know who your ideal audience is, you may want to look over your hostess list for the last 6 months and ask yourself a few questions...

1. How old is your average hostess?
2. What type of neighborhood does your average hostess live in?
3. What town were the majority of your parties located in?

With these three answers, I believe you will be able to broaden your perspective on your audience, your market AND the type of person who might be interested in joining your team.  Another great thing you can learn is...where to bring your door to door marketing!  To find the right neighborhood you need to know which neighborhoods would be WRONG!  My neighborhood would be a good place to start but because I have 8 people on my team in this town...I think that reaching outside of my town might be a greater market.

To help you learn more about this industry read below :

According to the DSA, the following facts gleaned from its 2008 National Salesforce Survey and industry statistics in 2007 reveal the vital role direct sales play in the lives of millions of entrepreneurial women in the US:

Direct sales accounted for $30.8 billion in sales in 2007

Direct sales employ 15 million salespeople, 87.9% of which are women

The marital status of direct salespeople:
77% are married
10% are single
12% are divorced/widowed/separated

The age of direct salespeople:
32% are 35-44
25% are 45-54
21% are 18-34
14% are 55-64
8% are 65 and older

The educational status of direct salespeople:
32% are college graduates
29% have a two-year associate degree/trade school training/some college
22% are high school graduates
10% are post graduates
5% have some high school education or less

The percentage of sales made by direct salespeople broken down by major product groups:
32.8% of sales are in clothing/accessories/personal care
(cosmetics, jewelry, skin care)
25.6% are in home/family care/durables
(cleaning products, cookware, cutlery)
21.4% are in wellness
(weight loss products, vitamins)
4.0% are in leisure/educational
(toys, books, videos)
16.2% are in services/other

How/where these sales occur
77.1% involve face-to-face selling.

Of the face-to-face sales:
70.4% take place in the home
3.7% are in a temporary location
2.5% are in the workplace
0.5% are in other locations
22.9% involve remote selling.

Of the remote sales:
11.4% are through the Internet
8.8% are by phone
2.7% involve other remote means

The geographic location of sales broken down by region
31.6% take place in the South
26.8% are in the West
23.3% are in the Midwest
18.3% are in the Northeast

The method used to generate sales:
64.5% involved individual person-to-person selling
27.7% were party plan/group selling
6.6% involved customer direct order
1.2% involved other means

The amount of time spent each week on direct selling
31% spent 1-4 hours
23% spent 5-9 hours
22% spent 10-19 hours
12% spent 20 or more hours
12% spent less than 1 hour or no time at all

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog!  If there are subjects that you would like me to tackle, I would love for you to leave a comment or email me directly so that I can research your question and get it on here! :)  Have a Great Monday!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Goals - Break em down into bite sizers!

Thinking Ahead - How to turn BIG goals into SMALL bites!

Most direct sales companies have a "company year".  That may be from January 1st until December 31st, from July 1st until June 30th or whatever dates they have decided to start and stop their "business year".  At the close or beginning of your year most of you typically make some end of year goals for the following year.  At the time that you are writing them, they seem HUGE!  Maybe you have a sales goal, acheivement goal, prize goal, customer goal, team member goal or family goal...but chances are you have some goals!  What do you do when your goals seem too big to digest...or too overwhelming to even get started?

Break them down!

I like to take my year goals and break them down into monthly goals first.  So for example...our company has a FREE trip that you can earn when you hit 40,000 points for the year.  You earn points based on sales dollars sold(1 dollar = 1 point), new qualified team members(500 points), and promotions(varies based on who and what promotion).  So  here is an example of a very simple way to break down a daunting yearly goal.

40000/12 months = $3333.33/month in sales
$3333.33/$400(average party) = 8.3 parties

For me to earn the trip on sales dollars alone I know that I have to have 8 parties booked per month consistantly.  This is NOT taking into consideration that I have a goal of qualifying 1 person per month(adding 6000 points to my tally), or my online or individual sales(roughly $800 per month).

I am convinced that too many people don't realize that IF you start planning ahead on your goals, they will seem more acheivable and less daunting! 

So what are your goals?  Have you written them down?  Are you ready to starting taking small bites? 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My one track mind turned juggling act!

Does this illustration speak to you? 

Balance is the word that I think my entire first year in direct sales could be summed up with.  B-A-L-A-N-C-E!!!!!  It is nearly impossible when trying to break into a market with a completely unknown product. 

I hate to say it, but honestly there was little to no balance in my life during 2008.  The kids were still looked after during the day but many of my evenings and spare moments were devoted to strategies to get my "name out there" or educating myself about our products and applications.  I swear I had that first catalog memorized.

2009 was better as far as the BIG B WORD went.  I had many customers who I knew and had formed a relationship with and actually had a life and hobbies outside of my business.  I started a raised planter box garden and gladly took off 7 weeks in December and January so that I could refresh my mind, enjoy a trip and love on my girls. 

So, if you feel like you are lacking the BIG B WORD in your life(trust me...I am no way close to having this down yet), maybe these tips will help you.

-write a list of things that you feel like you should get done every day.  This does NOT have to be a "put on deodorant, brush teeth list" but maybe more like "30 minutes of puzzles and games with toddler, make heatlhy meal" kind of list.  In other words really search your heart and think...if you were 20 years in the future what would you want to look back on and knew that you did? 

-now that you have said list, prioritize your day to devote time to that list.  If you have decided to spend 30 minutes playing with your toddler DO NOT pick up the phone during that time.  IT IS OK!!!!!  Your customers will understand and want you to have that time with your child! :)

-cross out a few days a month on your calendar so that you don't book them.  Thanks to JC from Kay-Dough Mills and HP from Houston I am not working on Sundays anymore!  They challenged me to put my family first and I can't even begin to tell you how great it is to know that we can go to church as a family AND that there is a day of my week where I don't have to worry about anything else.(p.s.-I am a worrier...shocking right?)

-Enroll the help of your spouse or family.  This is rather least I think so.  My daughter(middle one, age 7) LOVES to help label things, make packets and generally do just about anything that she sees me doing(please don't have me arrested for child labor).  This is a prime example of something that will give you some time back in your day.  You need help, and chances are if you let your family know that IF everyone pitches in you will be able to do the fun stuff sooner, they will want to help out! might even be creating little marketers!

And for my last little tidbit...

Don't be so hard on yourself!  As women we take on so many different things.  SO MANY!  The house, children, finances, food, businesses, and overall well being of everyone who is involved with those things...and when we find ourselves falling short in one of those areas we are quick to allow it to torment ourselves.  ITS OK!  Your house might be a mess, you might be feeding your kids McDonald's every night, you might need to contact your down lines...ITS OK!  You are human and you are busy.  Cut yourself a little slack :)

And don't forget...keep moving forward!

My soapbox Saturday!

Door to Door Marketing...I dare you to!

Those who have heard me talk about this subject know that I am terribly passionate about it.  I realize that there are great online tools, marketing sites, networking sites and rescourses to get your information out to a broad group of people HOWEVER!!!  There is something to be said for old fasioned marketing.  The way that the Avon women took(and some still do) their information and left it door to door was I am sure...effective.  My mom bought in and I have to have I!  I actually DID look through the little catalogs that came to the door in the plastic avon bags!

So, here is my DARE if you will...

Get out and market door to door.  Maybe choose a neighborhood that is a bit furthur from where you live so that you are able to reach a whole new set of people.

What do I think you should put in your doorbags?(btw, they are easy to find online...just google them)

-mini catalogs
-information about hostessing
-sample and instructions
-business cards
-coupon or promotion info
-any other fun, informational info you might have!

Because the truth is...they WILL look at them.  And if you want to see your business GROW you want them to look at it...and maybe even show their friends!!!!

So who will be so bold?

Could you imagine how your business could grow IF you were reaching out to 50 new potential customers on a day that you have off...or maybe even a day when a hostess had to cancel!?!?  Now that's what I call making lemonade out of lemons!!!

And now I will step off the soapbox!

Have a great weekend everyone!