Archives For Rodan + Fields

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Around this time every year I see a pattern start taking effect in the direct sales business. The months of September, October, and November (especially early) are a flurry of activity. Everyone’s having success. It’s a great time to sell, to recruit, and to promote. Honestly, autumn in the direct sales business is a wonderful time.

But towards the end of November and early in December these are the things I hear:

1. “It’s hard to get a party in December, everyone’s so busy.”

2. “I’m too busy to have parties! We have so much family stuff going on!”

3. “There are just too many distractions! It’s so hard to run my business right now!”

4. “I’m absolutely worn out from the last couple of months! I’m just tired right now.”

5. “I’m just going to take a break for the next month or so and then I’ll get ‘right back to it.’”

And you know what, a lot of that is true.

But BEWARE! There are pitfalls here…

Continue Reading…

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The key to tapping the incredible earning potential possible with direct sales lies in recruiting and developing a team. This takes time, but generates great rewards. Many of my posts have been directed towards husbands or consultants. This one is directed more towards girls who already have a team, or are actively growing a team.

Any time people start “grouping up” you’ll notice that each group develops its own “personality” and “character.” Even if you’re at a conference of peers, you’ll notice this same thing. People will gravitate towards certain groups and that group will have it’s personality. It may just be a group of people sitting together at a particular table. In those cases, eventually the group will find that there is a leader of the group. It’s not voted on. It just happens. Then when it does, the group follows the leader. 

In the case of direct sales businesses, the leader is determined by the hierarchy of the team through recruiting. That means you, if you have a team, ARE A LEADER! How about that? Here’s a simple definition for you:

Leader: Someone who has followers.

Unfortunately, this leadership position often goes to waste. This has some inevitable negative consequences, which are almost entirely avoidable. 

If you’ve been in Direct Sales long enough to have developed a team, then you’ve heard the phrase: The pace of the leader determines the speed of the pack. That’s true of your personal business. But it’s true in other areas as well. As the leader for your team, you have the ability to determine the “personality” and character of your team.

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Check out Top Reasons Direct Sales Consultants Fail (Part 1) if you haven’t read that already. Today we’ll finish discussing the main reasons why those people in direct sales end up leaving their business.

There’s a widely-spread statistic that says 95% of people who start a direct sales business fail. That’s pretty staggering. 19 out of 20 people who start in direct sales end up quitting. Wow. I’ve also read that the average consultant sticks with a company less than 2 years. Those are pretty sobering, depressing claims. So, why is it that way? I’m not entirely convinced these statistics are true. But if it is, how can we avoid this outcome?

Top Reasons Direct Sales Consultants Fail

1. Lack of Support

2. Lack of Knowledge

3. Running the Business Like a Hobby

4. Bad Product Fit

5. Bad Business Model Fit

6. Life Happens

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it covers the majority of cases. Yesterday we covered Lack of Support, Lack of Knowledge, and Running the Business Like a Hobby. Today, we’ll finish up with Bad Product Fit, Bad Business Model Fit, and Life Happens.

Rooty path

The path to success (or failure) is often bumpy. Stumbling is part of the process. Just get up, wipe yourself off, and get back to work!

 

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We recently covered some of the main reasons women sign up to run their own direct sales business. Today we’ll discuss the main reasons why those people in direct sales end up leaving their business.

There’s a widely-spread statistic that says 95% of people who start a direct sales business fail. That’s pretty staggering. 19 out of 20 people who start in direct sales end up quitting. Wow. I’ve also read that the average consultant sticks with a company less than 2 years. Those are pretty sobering, depressing claims. So, why is it that way? I’m not entirely convinced these statistics are true. But if it is, how can we avoid this outcome?

Top Reasons Direct Sales Consultants Fail

1. Lack of Support

2. Lack of Knowledge

3. Running the Business Like a Hobby

4. Bad Product Fit

5. Bad Business Model Fit

6. Life Happens

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it covers the majority of cases. Let’s take some time and briefly discuss each of these.

Fork in the path

There’s a fork in the path… which direction leads to direct sales success and which leads to failure?

Continue Reading…

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Many guys out there have never put a moment’s thought into this question: Why did my wife join that direct sales company? If you’re one of those guys, this post is for you. If you’re a lady who has stumbled upon this post, maybe you’re looking into direct sales. Check this out and see if it strikes a chord with you.

So, why do ladies sign up for direct sales?

In my experience and reading, there are 4 major reasons:

1. They love the product the company sells.
2. It’s an opportunity to socialize and meet new people.
3. It’s a great way to exercise an entrepreneurial spirit.
4. They want extra income.

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Continue Reading…

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I’ve mentioned before that I regularly see examples and hear stories of guys who are openly hostile or antagonistic towards their wife participating in a direct sales business.

While often they know it, but sometimes they may not even know they are being negative. Either way, the effect of their negativity on their wife is likely to be pretty dramatic, especially over time.

I’m not just talking about a guy openly telling their wife “I don’t want you spending time working your business,” (though that does happen a LOT). It can be veiled threats. Passive-aggressive comments or actions. Or more subtle things like refusing to help her with the house or kids so she can have parties.

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This is going to be an uncomfortably direct look at the reasons behind these attitudes. No punches will be pulled today. Continue Reading…

Top20

It amazes me that I was able to post consistently since July. During that period of time, I’ve produced about 80 posts, so I thought I’d bring together the top 20 of them for the year. Next year, there’ll be a lot more to choose from as I have plenty planned for 2013.

Top 20 Posts of 2012

A User’s Review of YNAB 4

$10-20 Gifts You Should Consider Getting Your Guy For Christmas

How to Help Her Direct Sales Business Day-to-Day

Incentive Trips ROCK!

Gift Guide for your Guy – $5-10

Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook – Part 6 – Debunking The Pyramid Scheme Thing

$20-40 Gifts Your Guy Will Love for Christmas

The 7 Keys to Direct Sales Business Accountability

Live It Up! Thirty-One Gifts National Conference 2012 Photo Gallery

Business Tax Basics 

Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook Rundown

Business Organization – Setting Up An Office

Consider the Paperless Office

Start Some Conversations! 4 Great Ways to Promote Your Wife’s Direct Sales Business

You Need A Budget

Business Organization Part 2 – Time & Calendar Management

Top 7 Free Resources to Improve Your Graphics Skills

Do’s And Don’ts of Going Paperless in Direct Sales

Paperless WorkFLow for Direct Sales Using Evernote

Time Management For Direct Sales & Small Business

 

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Bonus! Updated Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook Rundown (Part 2)

Incentive Trips ROCK! - My take on the Thirty-One Gifts leadership incentive trip from 2012 & suggestions on how to make sure your wife earns that trip.

Incentive Trips – The Obvious and the Hidden Gems - why you husbands should actually GO on that incentive trip with your wife. I was surprised at how many direct sales ladies went to Cancun by themselves or took a friend, leaving their husband at home.

Resources for the Direct Sales Husband - a run down of the surprisingly few direct sales resources for husbands.

Run That Business, or It Will Run You! - Simple business principles to follow in order for your direct sales business to thrive.

Leading From Within - why you should start within your home when it comes to leadership.

Business Tax Basics - new to running a business and paying taxes on it? Start here.

Business Data – What Should I Follow? - data analysis is how you determine where and how you’re growing your direct sales business. It can help you identify important trends or weaknesses.

How to Help Her Direct Sales Business Day-to-Day - the title pretty much says it all. One of my most-read posts.

Start Some Conversations! 4 Great Ways to Promote Your Wife’s Direct Sales Business - fast-talking your way to direct-sales business success. Well, not exactly, but you get the idea…

Be An Idea Sounding Board - like focused or directed brainstorming. Definitely somewhere most husbands need help.

Business Organization – Setting Up An Office - This is a great way for a husband to get involved with his wife’s direct sales business!

Business Organization Part 2 – Time & Calendar Management - important aspects for any small business owner. Running your own business can get hairy if you’re not organized.

Consider the Paperless Office - Going paperless is an awesome thing for small business people. Check this out!

Paperless WorkFlow for Direct Sales Using Evernote - Some notes on one of the best paperless assets out there – Evernote

Do’s And Don’ts of Going Paperless in Direct Sales - what should you, and shouldn’t you, scan when going paperless?

Time Management For Direct Sales & Small Business - Everyone’s heard of “time management,” but where do you start?

More Time Management Resources - essentially part 2 of the article above.

 

Hopefully you’ve found something on this blog useful in 2012. Or maybe this is the first time you’ve come across it yourself. Either way, please share this resource with someone you know who is involved in the Direct Sales Business. There are millions of married women in America who are doing direct sales by themselves. Maybe educating their husbands can change that a little bit. I truly believe that can in a very major way change some lives and families for the better. Maybe a lot of them. That’s my mission with The Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook. Help me spread it.

Thank you, and Happy New year!

-Jason

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I was reading through a Facebook page dedicated to Husbands of Thirty-One (H.O.Ts) and one of the guys asked the other guys what products they use to help promote their wife’s business, which started me thinking about this blog post!

4 Great Ways to Promote Your Wife’s Direct Sales Business:

1. Use Or Carry The Product!

It makes a ton of sense, if it’s at all possible to do so with your wife’s direct sales company, to actually use the product. With Thirty-One that means bags and accessories. They have many products in plain black and some are even marketed towards men. I love my leather and canvas messenger bag. If your wife sells products, there’s a good chance you can use something she has (maybe not so much for the Avon & Mary Kay husbands out there). Although guys sometimes need skin care products, too. I’ve recently started using the Unblemish line from Rodan + Fields which Holley sells. It’s really making an impressive difference for my intermittent acne problems.

Awesome Messenger Bag

This Thirty-One Gifts messenger bag looks great and I get compliments and questions every time I use it.

2. Wear Some Branding.

At National Conference for Thirty-One, there were tons of HOTs around. Often we’d be wearing our wife’s team T-shirt. Other times there were HOT-specific T-shirts. I try to wear these whenever I make a run to the grocery store or get my hair cut. People always ask what the T-shirt is about.

3. Carry Her Catalogs.

I try to keep a couple catalogs in the car at all times. You may want to keep some in your office or somewhere else convenient for you to be able to hand them out. You don’t want to be in a position of being able to get some potential business but not have something to make that happen. Mini-catalogs are great for this purpose as well.

4. Keep Her Business Cards In Your Wallet

I’m horrible about keeping my own business cards on me. Honestly, I’m not in a business where I solicit clients, generally. But I do try to keep some of Holley’s cards on me most of the time. I really need to make that all of the time.

The whole point of all of this is really just to get a conversation started. If someone sees you wearing a shirt that says “H.O.T.”, there’s a good chance their curiosity is going to overwhelm their aversion to talking to a stranger and they’ll just ask “What is that about?” Once that conversation is started, you’ll have an opportunity to talk about the company and it’s products. Keep it quick. You’re better off leaving them wanting to learn more about it. And that’s when you give them your wife’s business card and encourage them to call her to find out more. There are a million different ways to do something along these lines, and I’m sure pretty much anyone reading this is better at it than me.

Questions:

Girls: How can your guy expose people to your business? Share some creative ways or stories about it!

Guys: What lengths do you go to to get the word out about your wife’s business?


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Wow, I didn’t realize how many posts I’d written on this topic. And honestly, there’s a ton more to come! 

Here’s a rundown of the posts in The Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook thus far:

Part 1 – Introduction – Why does there need to be a Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook?

Part 2 – Buy In – The Top 10 Reasons to Support Your Wife’s Direct Sales Business

Part 3 – General Support – Attitude, Emotional Support, Motivation, & Accountability

Part 4 – Getting Involved – How to get your husband’s feet wet in your direct sales business.

Brief Note – Is there anything you’d like me to cover in this series?

Part 5 – Know Your Direct Sales – Party Plan vs MLM

Part 6 – Debunking the Pyramid Scheme Thing – Talking about the Direct Sales Business Model & debunking the myth

National Conference From a Guy’s Perspective – Top 5 Reasons For a Husband to Attend National Conference

Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook – Conference Day 2 – What to Expect at National Conference

National Conference Days 3 & 4 – More info about Thirty-One Gifts National Conference (from a guy’s perspective)

National Conference Wrap-Up – H.O.T. Day with Thirty-One Gifts! Every year Thirty-One gets the husbands more and more involved.

Live It Up! Thirty-One Gifts National Conference 2012 Photo Gallery – Lots of Photos from Conference 2012

Top 6 Ways to Use Your Contacts to Promote Your Wife’s Business – Guys, are you helping promote your wife’s business like you should?

How to Help Your Wife – Use Your Ingenuity – Advice on how you can start helping her direct sales business

It Really Is The Little Stuff – Little stuff you can take off her plate that can clear her mind or time & allow her to work her business better

Goal-Setting With Your Wife – Part 1 – Basic Principles of Goal-Setting

Goal-Setting With Your Direct Sales Girl – Part 2 – Apply Goal-Setting to her business

One of the things I do… Just a little insight into one of the ways I help my wife & her business.

Be Her Coach – “A coach is someone who can work along side of you and correct you without criticizing you in a way that is negative in your life.” – John Wooden

Brainstorming – General rules of thumb about brainstorming & how to use it in your direct sales business.

Top 7 Free Resources to Improve Your Graphics Skills – This is a great skill to develop to help your wife in her business

Do You Need Photoshop For Business Graphics – Discussion of different software you can use to create graphics for email, newsletters, flyers and other things that can help your wife build her business.

I hope you enjoy these blog posts. If you do enjoy them, please share this link with other girls (or guys) you know involved in direct sales, regardless of the company. Let me know what you think about them by posting comments on the blog posts. Let me know what topics you’d like to hear my take on as well. The more feedback in the comments, the more benefit you guys (the readers) get from this stuff!

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What’s the first thing you’ll probably hear when you mention your direct sales company to someone else? There’s a good chance it’s going to be something along the lines of: “Oh, that’s one of those ‘pyramid schemes,’ right?”

Hopefully we’ll be able to clear this misconception up a little in this post.

There are two major “types” of direct sales companies, and they have somewhat different “models” of their business, both still based on relationships:

Party Plan Companies

Companies that utilize “parties” as their primary sales platform. Consultants will ask their friends to host a party for them where they can show their goods and give the girls who come an opportunity to shop and mingle. The hostess will invite her other friends and they might even invite their other friends. The party may have a theme, like a martini party, wine tasting, a fiesta, a dinner party, or anything else the hostess thinks up. Those girls get quite creative! Examples of party plan companies are Thirty-One Gifts, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, & Cookie Lee, to name a few. 98% of PP consultants are female.

She earns commission on her personal sales at these parties. The hostess gets special incentives (like exclusive products, free items, etc.) for hosting and inviting her friends. The customers get to shop, interact with each other, and have a good time doing it. Often the consultant will give door prizes as well. If one of the customers has a good time and wants to host a party of her own to get those special rewards, all the better. Even better if she likes the experience enough to sign up as a consultant herself!

As the consultant builds a team, she will earn a small percentage of the sales of the girl on her team as well. She may get 5% on her personal recruits’ sales. She’ll get smaller percentages as the downline gets deeper.

Multi-Level Marketing Companies

These companies are, in a lot of ways, similar to Party Plan Companies. There is still a direct-to-customer sales model where the marketing is done by a “consultant,” “distributor,” “sales rep,” or “independent agent.” The difference is that MLM consultants tend to be more focused on promoting product through briefer interactions and less through “parties.” When given the opportunity, the MLM consultant will tell you about their product & its advantages, give you a card with website information and ask you to check it out when you have time later. They may get your information and follow-up with you as well. So, generally, sales are made on a one-on-one basis. MLM tends to be a male-dominated group. Examples of this group include Amway, Rodan + Fields, Herbalife, & Mary Kay.

MLM reps get a commission on their sales. Often in MLM, there is a focus on turning the customer into a sales representative. Both the original rep and the new rep get benefits from this arrangement (the new rep getting discounted prices on product and the opportunity to earn income, the original rep getting a percentage of sales from the new rep’s personal use and anyone that signs under them). This is where the “Multi-Level” part of the name comes from. Generally, a higher percentage of an MLM company’s customer base become sales reps themselves. They don’t tend to remain simply customers. Much of the earnings incentives for MLM reps are based on developing deep “teams.”

The majority of my experience with direct sales comes from Thirty-One Gifts. Holley has been a consultant with that company for 8 years and I’ve been helping her with her business for about 2 and a half years. She has recently become a consultant for Rodan + Fields as well as she has been using the product for a year and wanted to share it with others. We’re still trying to figure out how to operate in both of these worlds which is easier said than done.

Question:

What direct sales company(-ies) do you have experience with? What do you think are the main differences between the PP and MLM models?

Bonus question: Are these posts too long? I’ve been aiming for 500 words but overshooting it every time.