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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Successful Woman's Guide to Dating/Sponsoring

Having recently re-entered the dating world, my friends are continually trying to support me by sending me to dating sites, sending me dating articles, etc. Let’s face it—dating in the modern world can be tricky. Between work, time with friends, kids, and managing everyday life it can be challenging to find that person you really connect and have fun with … and, the more I read about dating (the less I want to do it) the more it seems you can apply these same principles to sponsoring.

For example, in the article “The Successful Woman’s Guide to Dating” they suggest five tried and true tips to land your man. Let’s see how they compare to sponsoring…

Tip #1: Be clear about what you want
“Just as the key to succeeding in business lies in setting goals, working hard and overcoming setbacks, the key to succeeding in the dating world is to be equally clear about what you want and then go for it.” So, for those of you dating, be really clear about what you want…or a lot of what you DON’T want will show up.

How many times have you been told if you want to succeed in direct sales, you need to set goals? And, not just any goals, but S.M.A.R.T. goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based) Ask yourself, “How many new team members do you want to add per month?” If 1 in 10 say yes…multiply that number by 10 and that’s the number of sponsoring interviews, on average, you need to hold. The key is in knowing what you want, scheduling it and then going for it.

Tip #2: Get to know your date (and let him get to know you!)
“A first date should be just that—an opportunity for two people to get to know one another as individuals.” And, how do you do that? By asking questions, appearing interested in their responses (Sometimes, this is REALLY a challenge.), nodding every now and then…basically paying attention and not being afraid of saying the wrong thing.

The sponsoring interview is exactly the same scenario (minus the awkward hug at the greeting or wondering if he’ll kiss you good bye…). When you ask someone to learn more about Willow House, your job is to find out more about them so you can then tell them what they need to know to make an informed decision.

And just like that first date, saying less is definitely MORE. We tend to get so excited about why WE are excited but this is not the time for our stuff—this time is for them. Ask questions like… “What attracts you the most to Willow House?” “How much money would you like to earn each month?” And, “How do you see yourself fitting your life into a Willow House business?” Let them sell you on why this is the company for them, and then share the benefits of joining Willow House that are specific to their needs.

Tip #3: Create (and maintain) realistic expectations
“Having high standards is important; having unrealistic expectations will keep you single.” What? I’m not exactly clear on the difference between high standards and unrealistic expectations. (Problem? Perhaps.)

In the sponsoring process, people join our company for their reasons and want what they want. So, it’s very important for us to know exactly what it is they do want so then we can help them by explaining how they get there…and setting the clear expectations. This is different than telling anyone what to do. We know that the successful direct sellers attend their monthly meetings consistently so, why can’t we set these expectations for our new Consultants? No one signs up to be unsuccessful! It’s just about being honest and clear about the action steps needed to get them where they want to go.

Tip #4: Give your date opportunities to woo you
“Let him pursue you, give you gifts, plan outings, and pay for things.” Huh. I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

Tip #5: Always make time for the guy in your life
“While you shouldn’t have to compromise your career ambition for the person you’re dating, you should always make time for them.”

Often when we’re new at sponsoring we think the goal is getting their signature on the dotted line. The truth is, that’s just the beginning of the relationship. When someone joins your team, she’s hired you to help her get what she wants. If you don’t make time for her, teach her how to be responsible for all the learning available to her on the Workstation, be honest with her by setting expectations for her success, listen to her challenges, offer new ideas and suggestions…you’re not doing the job you were hired to do. Set aside time each week in your schedule for new Consultant trainings, connection calls and Strong Start calls.

So, there you have it—set goals, set expectations, get to know your new potential team member, and make time for them. Good luck and happy dating…I mean…sponsoring!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ask Your Prospects to "Just Try Us On..."

How many of you have found “religion” in the Nordstrom’s shoe department? “OH MY GOD! Those black Prada pumps are the sexiest shoes I’ve seen!” I know…me, too!

That’s why I’m going to compare joining Willow House to shopping at Nordstrom’s on the first day of their fall sale. Just in case you don’t know, it begins the third Friday in July and in some circles (mine) is considered a National Holiday. (Hallmark and I are in negotiations right now for the creation of the greeting card.)

Imagine…You walk into the shoe department and peruse the many aisles of shoes, shoes and more shoes. You can feel your heart start to pump faster, your breathing accelerates (Maybe even a few gasps and squeals!), and your smile is stretched from ear to ear because the choices are many! This is what you’ve waited all year for…

You choose a few different styles…a pair of heels, one or two pairs of boots, a pair of running shoes (no?) and think, “What the heck” grab another pair of boots. A sales person spots you immediately (unless you have your own personal shopper who calls you by name, invites you to family dinners and calls YOU for fashion advice…) and hands you a number. Not just any number. Your number. Yes, it’s that busy.

It’s your turn. You hand the salesperson your choices (I prefer men. Whenever a man tells me a pair of shoes makes my legs look good, it’s an IMMEDIATE sale—especially when he grabs my leg and shifts it from side to side to get a better look. For some reason I don’t have the same reaction if it’s a woman. ) The salesperson comes back not only with the choices you made but others that he thinks you might also like. Ohhhhhhhhhhh…now we’re talking…

You try them on. The sleek, sexy heels…are too high and they pinch your toes. You almost consider buying them anyway because it’s not about how comfy they are…but about how they make your legs look. (What?) But then, you remember all the shoes you’ve given away because you just couldn’t wear them and you’ve vowed NOT to waste more money.

You try on the running shoes but they’re too small! But you’ve always been a size 7. What the heck? The salesperson lets you know that running shoes tend to run a half size smaller so you’ll want to go up half a size. Well, I think, it’s a good thing I’m here to try them on…

A perfect pair of brown leather boots is up next. Perfect heel size (3.5 inches), round toe, soft leather, a perfect fit around the calf… and he says the magic words, “Your legs look amazing in those boots.” Need I tell you the rest? I thought not.

Now that I have you all excited about going to Nordstrom’s for the National Holiday, let’s talk about how you talk about joining Willow House. (I know you thought this was all about buying shoes, right?) You see, joining our company is just like buying shoes. (No eye rolls just yet…) Your prospects will never know whether our company is a fit for them unless they try us on first. And, let’s be real…it may not be a fit…being a Willow House Design Consultant may be uncomfortable for them…we may be too big or they just might not like us.

But, what if it’s a perfect fit? What if, once they put us on, we feel like the shoes they never want to take off? The point is…they won’t know until they try us on. What have they got to lose? They’ll pay $99 and get some incredible products PLUS the opportunity to make money, have fun and make a difference in homes across America.

Joining Willow House doesn’t have to be a life-changing decision. It can be. It was for me. And, I know it was for you. So, when you offer the invitation to join Willow House, offer people the opportunity to just “try us on.” Maybe they’ll find their own “religion” at Willow House. Go ahead...just ask.