The best place to start helping your wife with her direct sales business is to provide her with emotional support. Letting her know you support her having the business is the most important thing you can do at the beginning. If some of you haven’t been supportive up to this point, then now’s the time.
Once you get the supportive husband role down, what are your “next steps?”
Honestly, there are no shortage of options, but here’s what I would suggest:
1. Learn about her business
I’m not talking broad specifics, here. By this, I mean look through the company’s website. There will be business training available for new consultants. You should look at everything they have available. For Thirty-One Gifts, this means getting to know www.ThirtyOneToday.com. (The consultants call it TOT). Whatever your direct sales business, the company wants every single consultant to be successful, so they’re going to have good quality training available.
Spend time in her company’s “back office” to see what features it has. This may or may not be a strength for her, but you may notice useful things about it that she doesn’t.
The time you spend with this stuff will help you understand her business better. A lot of it comes down to learning the “lingo” of the business and it will help you to be able to talk to her about it and understand what she’s saying better.
2. Enter shows for her
After a party plan show, orders will need to be placed in the company’s computer system. I know guys in Thirty-One who literally place every show order for their wife, allowing her to spend her time calling people to make bookings, recruit new consultants to her team, or just spend time with the kids. Make sure you do a good job (getting orders incorrect is a sure way to undermine her business and her confidence in you).
You may need to do some shows together until you get the hang of it. Also, you don’t necessarily have to do every show for her. Maybe it’s just something you do when she needs the help because she’s particularly busy. I do think it helps for you to enter shows at least from time to time so you know that part of the business and understand if she expresses some frustration with something.
Also, if by entering the orders yourself she can close out parties quicker, then it’s less likely she’ll run into end-of-the-month server issues and the like.
3. Sort product
Every direct sales company is different. Some ask that the consultant buy inventory and sell through it. Some have you order everything and ship it directly to hostesses or customers. In Thirty-One it seems that most of the orders are delivered to the consultant in boxes. We get more boxes than you can shake a stick at. It takes time to sort through the product and place them in bags for each individual customer, but it’s an important part of the process. It’s definitely something any supportive husband can do. With other companies, it may be more about managing inventory and making sure she has plenty of the most popular items on hand.
4. Deliver product
So after that party is sorted and each customer’s items are ready for delivery, there’s an opportunity for you to deliver the items. Most of the times you can put everything in a box and deliver it to the hostess (and she can deliver the individual items to the appropriate party guest). Again, this is just a way you can take something off your wife’s plate.
Fundamentally, there’s a million ways you can directly help with her business, but you’re not going to be able to go and do parties for her. Every once in a while you may be able to get a recruit for her, but that’s not something you’ll be able to do on a monthly basis. Once you understand the business a little better (after starting with #1 above), you’ll be able start thinking about how you can help. What little things can you do to directly assist her? As long as you’re putting some thought into this (and discussing it with your wife, of course), there is no doubt you’ll find the best way(s) you can help. And it will make a differenceI
And remember, the reason you’re doing this isn’t because she can’t do it all herself. Of course she can. You’re doing it to show her that you support her. The stuff you do may allow her to get through a negative period in her business. Or it may just give her to motivation to take it to the next level. If she’s just starting out, you may be able to get different stuff out of the training materials that will help her out in a pinch and allow her to be successful in a way that she might have missed if she were doing it all on her own.
Also remember (and I don’t understand why many guys just don’t “get” this): everything you do to help HER also benefits YOU! And your whole family! There is no competition to see who can earn more money! You guys are a TEAM! So go out there and play hard together. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish!