So you’ve started your Justine business and you’re super excited, right?
The idea of how much money you can make with this business has you amped and you have all these ideas in your head about what you’re going to do with that extra money.
I know, I’ve been there too!
But how many times have you heard of someone who was selling a direct sales product, and then a little while later they’ve stopped selling and they’re using the age-old “it didn’t work for me” line? I’m willing to bet you know at least one such person.
In my many years in this industry, I’ve seen some classic rookie direct sales consultants mistakes, across many different brands and products. Many times this leads to failure of their business, or sometimes even a failure to launch.
The good news is that I’m here to help you avoid the mistakes, so you can achieve success FASTER and avoid risking the livelihood of your business.
This, in my opinion, is the number one most common mistake of all.
You’ve just started the business, and of course the prospect of making tons of money is so exciting! But when some consultants are not making that big amount of cash quickly enough, they feel disappointed, ending up in the “it didn’t work for me” crowd and quitting before they’ve even given it a chance.
The important question is this: “Did YOU work for IT?”.
The reality is that any direct sales business takes time AND effort to become what you envision it to be when you start. Expect that it will take you time to learn the business, and the products, and to earn the larger amounts you might be aiming for. Expect that there might be days that are frustrating. Giving up at the first sign of anything but smooth sailing, is not commitment, that’s “I’ll try it and see” and it means you were never going to give it a fair chance anyway.
Accept the fact that YOU are the engine running your train. While that might be a little scary, its time to embrace it and let it empower you instead.
Being a direct seller means you serve customers. Understand that your function is about filling a need first, and being a salesperson second. And you cannot do that with a negative mindset.
- Keep yourself motivated by staying focused on your goals. If you plan to buy a new pair of leather boots for winter, keep it where you can see it as a constant visual reminder. On your phone as a wallpaper, on your wall at your desk, as your computer’s desktop wallpaper, etc.
- Don’t be a victim. There are going to be days where things don’t go your way. How you handle it will make ALL the difference to your success. You can either make excuses or you can make a plan. And customers don’t care about excuses.
- NEVER criticize, condemn or complain. Not the products, not the company, not your upline, not the industry. Doing so puts a negative perception of you and your business in a your customer’s mind, and nobody wants to be around that. If you don’t believe in the products you are selling, or the company, why should anyone else?
- YOU run your business. It is YOUR responsibility to place your own orders, to track your orders if needed, to keep up to date with any out of stock products, etc. Do the training, read the materials you are given, learn how to use your back-office systems. But also remember…
- You are not an island. You are in this business for yourself, but NOT BY YOURSELF. If you are struggling with an issue and you have tried to help yourself, please ASK! You are not expected to figure it all out by yourself.
Picture yourself for a minute as a brand new pizza restaurant owner. You would likely invite your friends and family over for opening night, give them an “opening special” like a 10% discount or something similar, and ask them to bring their friends. You would take some time and money to do advertising and let the neighbourhood know that you’re open for business, and keep expanding with innovative ideas to bring customers to your door so that your business can ultimately start making a profit.
This is exactly the strategy you need for your Justine business. You have to get a growing customer base if your business is to survive.
Your mom/best friend/sister/aunty Carol are only going to buy so much Tissue Oil/Skincare/fill in the product name here from you in a specific period. And relying solely on them to support your business on a regular basis will eventually alienate you from everyone. You’ll be that one family member or friend that everyone avoids because you’re becoming too expensive to be around, and that is definitely not what this amazing industry should be like for you.
Instead, start with your customer list, and you’ll soon see the potential list of customers you have at your disposal. Ask for referrals from your current customers, and with every new customer you get. You could even offer a referral discount, like 10% off an order of a specific minimum amount of your choosing.
Direct sales is not a complicated business model, and so having an organized business with set goals and plans might not be an important consideration for some consultants, with many choosing to “wing it” instead.
With a disorganized direct sales business, chaos and overwhelm will follow, making it impossible to track customer information, business expenses or goals.
ORGANIZING YOUR BUSINESS
I also recommend setting up a small area in your home for your business. You’ll need an area to do the business tasks like unpacking boxes, packing customer’s orders for delivery, etc. You don’t need a whole room dedicated for this purpose, a little corner in a room or garage is sufficient. Over time you might accumulate quite a bit of paperwork, samples, training documentation, etc and having it organized will help you defeat the overwhelm before it starts.
To help you with setting your goals, make use of the S.M.A.R.T goal setting method.
Your goals should be:
SPECIFIC – Set real numbers with real end dates. Instead of a generalization like “I want to earn more money” your goal should be specific like “I want to earn (fill in the amount here) by the end of this campaign”.
MEASURABLE – How are you going to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress. Measuring your progress throughout your day/week/month allows you to make ongoing adjustments to your action plan.
ACHEIVABLE – Make your goal something that is challenging, but still attainable.
REALISTIC – Wanting to be able to replace your salary in 3 months would be great, but its not likely to happen. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve, and any hurdles you may have to overcome on your journey to the goal.
TIME-BOUND – Give yourself a deadline. Continuously pushing towards a goal that you might hit “some day” will only demotivate you. Here are some ideas for questions to ask yourself during your planning:
- How much do I want to earn in this campaign?
- How much do I want to earn by the end of the next campaign?
- What is my average customer order size?
- How many customers do I need to reach my sales goals?
- Which incentives do I want to work towards?
- How many brochures will I need to order?
- How will I track my goals?
- How much will I reinvest back into my business for sales tools?
- How much will I spend on myself each campaign?
- How many times a month will I submit orders
- Which days will I submit my orders on? (Example: end of the week on a Friday)
- Which customers will pay at month end?
- Which customers will pay as soon as the orders arrive?
- Will I have specific days for order delivery? Which days and what times?
- How far am I willing to drive to do deliveries?
Being consistent can be an ongoing struggle. Life gets busy, and throws curve-balls. But whether you choose to work part-time or full-time in your business, you can’t only work SOME times. To ensure the longevity of your business you’ll need to show up every day, every week and every month to build a network of customers that trusts and supports you.
Nobody likes dealing with a flaky consultant who places orders on a random basis and then doesn’t have brochures to show customers when asked. Your customers want someone who they know is serious about their business, and who they can rely on every single time. And if you can’t be that, sadly, they will find someone else who will.
How to stay consistent:
- Use your planning time to break down your goals into actionable steps that you can do daily,weekly and monthly
- Make a commitment to yourself about what you are going to complete by the end of the day, and don’t rest until its done.
- Set reminders on your phone or some other visual reminder of the action steps you promised yourself to take that day.
- If you only have 15 minutes in the morning, or 15 minutes in the afternoon to dedicate to your business, schedule it into your day, and make the calls, and texts that you planned to.
Whatever your goals may be for your business, being of value to your customers, and building relationships with them is what will ensure that your goals and dreams become a reality for you.
A consistent cash flow in our business is exactly what we want, but ask any business owner about their least favourite task, and it will likely be money management. While it might be a tedious chore for many, its still a crucial part of ensuring the success of your Justine business.
Here are some tips to help you manage your money:
Don’t sell on credit – This is a BIG one! Selling on credit, and then collecting later is a sure fire way to guarantee that you won’t have a business a year from now. If your customer places an order with you, ask her which day she will be paying for her order, and you then submit her order with everyone else’s for that batch. If they are month-end payers, order the products closer to month-end so it arrives in time. But only deliver on the day that they agree to pay. All orders must ALWAYS BE payment on delivery.
Track your expenses – Keep track of any admin and brochure fees for your orders. These are usually so minimal, but they can add up if you’re placing lots of random orders. Instead, consider placing orders on a regular schedule and possibly even avoiding any admin fees if your order qualifies for the minimum amount.
Keep your money separate – When your customer pays you for her order, keep that payment separate from your personal money, so you don’t get them mixed up. Over time, you could even consider opening a separate bank account for your Justine business, which you could use for customer payments. Alternatively, have them pay directly into your Justine account.
Statistically speaking, 80% of all sales take at least 5 follow-ups to close, yet most consultants give up after the first one. That’s a lot of missed sales!
Many times I’ve heard consultants saying “I don’t want to bother them”, or “if they really want the products they’ll contact me“.
There is a common misconception that you’re only going to be successful if you’re pushing your products on every living human being you can make contact with. And this strikes the fear of following up into even the most determined consultants’ minds.
Remember the following:
- Your honest enthusiasm and passion for the products are more important than sales skills.
- Focus on THEIR needs, not yours. If you focus on your needs for the sale to make more money, or to make an incentive, it will be apparent in what you say, and your body language. If you focus on how the product can help them, they will feel your enthusiasm and it will naturally help you to close the sale.
- Most customers have busy lives, so buying your product is not on the top of their priority list. They WILL forget that they wanted to order their favourite perfume that is on special this month, or that they wanted to browse through your brochure for a special occasion gift.
To set yourself apart from all the other consultants, I challenge you to be the one that follows up with customers again and again. Get those limiting beliefs out of your head, and remind yourself that your products are fantastic, and that you are not just selling skincare, you are gifting confidence. You are not just selling a necklace, you are gifting her the perfect statement piece to her already rockin’ outfit!
Are you currently making these mistakes in your business? Did these tips resonate with you? I sure hope that its food for thought. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to have your comments. Please feel free to share with someone you think could benefit from reading this.
To your success!