Feb 21, 2009

10 Steps to a Thriving Direct Sales Business

From MLMWoman.com

Whether it’s your first direct sales business or you’ve been down this road before, everyone could use a few tips to make their business successful. So here are 10 tips that will go a long way in helping you to create a profitable business.

1. The Products – Know, love and stand behind the products you sell. If you know how it works, why it’s worth it and actually like it yourself, you’ll do a better job selling it to others. Know what similar products are all about as well. If your competitor sells a product like yours, be able to tell your customers why yours is better even if it costs more.

2. Network, Network, Network – It’s important to build a business network. Be yourself and take the time to build friendships and other contacts beyond just potential customers. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or a business networking group like Leads or BNI.

3. Online Presence – Create a website or a blog for your business. Nowadays, you are missing a huge opportunity if you’re not doing business via the Internet. One of the first places people go to find something they need is the World Wide Web and your product is no different. Even if you sell a lot locally, broaden your horizons by going online too.

4. Take Your Business Seriously – Your website, business cards, products, presentation and everything else you do in your business should exhibit that you’re serious about your business. Sometimes this will take a bit of money, like hiring a web designer to put your website together if you don’t know how. However, most of your professionalism will show in you personally, so treat it like a real business and you’ll reap the benefits of doing so.

5. Honesty is Key – When your customers feel like they can trust you they will be back. Don’t be shady or pushy in order to make sales or gain team members. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and move on. Remember people buy from those they know, like and trust.

6. Accept Rejection – In the direct sales business, the word No is one you’ll hear frequently. Don’t take it too personally and realize this is just a part of this business. Keep working hard and you’ll get positive replies and more sales too.

7. Attend Meetings – Take the time to attend meetings for your team. Not only will you learn about new products and sales techniques, but you’ll receive some needed encouragement from others who’ve been where you are. Even better, you will be able to help some of the newbies on your team eventually.

8. Set Goals – This tip is extremely important when it comes to the success of your direct sales business. Setting goals and constantly working toward them will help to make your business more profitable. Set big goals and then break them down into smaller easier to achieve steps. As you work your way through your list you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something and your ultimate goal won’t seem so out of reach. Be realistic with your goals, but don’t be afraid to set them high either.

9. Be There for Others – You will some day remember what it was like when you first started out. The help you received from others was invaluable and once you’ve worked your way up, be sure to lend a helping hand to others too. Being a mentor is both rewarding and educational. Remember: "What goes around comes around."

10. Work Hard and Stick with It – There will be hard times when you just want to quit. But remember, any business takes work and nothing happens overnight. Just keep moving forward taking small steps every day and you'll find yourself on the road to success.

Feb 17, 2009

60 Minutes Interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook, which he founded in 2004. Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, families and coworkers. Mark is responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for the company. He leads the design of Facebook's service and development of its core technology and infrastructure. Mark attended Harvard University and studied computer science before moving the company to Palo Alto, California.

Feb 3, 2009

Update: How The Economy Is Effecting Our Industry...

I've been watching the home business industry closely over the past few months to determine if our niche was going to grow or contract with the current decline in the economy, and I finally have enough data to come to a conclusion which I'd like to share with you today...

It's no secret that we're in the beginning stages of a grand super-cycle in the global economy that's never been seen before.

Right now, the biggest question isn't whether things will get worse, but how fast... Thankfully, we're in one of the only industries that has the potential for growth. Logically, I've been expecting the work at home world to see a nice bump in growth now that so many people are needing to supplement their income or replace a job, but the question remained... Would these people still spend money on a business or related training materials?

So I've been watching the numbers and waiting for some real data before coming to any kind of conclusions, which I now feel comfortable making...

Here's what I've seen...

Our industry is definitely benefiting from the bad economy in a very big way. Over the past 13 months, Magnetic Sponsoring as a company has seen an increase in sales of 470%, and January 2009, was the biggest month in our 4 year history.

I compared numbers with my friend Jay who runs a marketing system that's tied to a top-tier opportunity, and they've seen the same thing.

Yesterday, they had their best day in over six months for total daily leads generated.

Last month, they had a 65% increase in sales over last Quarter of 2008. More people are coming into the networking industry, and they're spending money... BUT...

I know several big internet marketers out there who have been experiencing a large increase in refunds. People are willing to buy, but they are looking for quality, and they'd prefer to buy from people they purchased before in the past.

There is little patience in the market for sub-standard products, and the relationship you form with your prospects and customers is now more important than ever.

So here are 4 tips that will help you take advantage of this massive influx of new people into our industry...

1: Put yourself in their shoes...
If I'm brand new to this industry, my biggest challenge will be information over load. With 100's of opportunities in the market, and 1,000's of potential sponsors found on Facebook, YouTube and Adwords, my biggest questions are...

Who can I trust?
Which business is best?
Which products should I buy?

The single best way you can answer all of these questions as a marketer, is with "social proof". If I'm brand new, and researching you as a potential sponsor, how do I know if you're the real thing or not?

I'm going to look at your videos and see how many views and ratings you have. I'm going to see how many friends you have on Facebook, and followers on Twitter. I'm going to look for testimonials from customers and distributors.I'm going to look for pictures and screen shots that show results.

All of these things will instantly show me that I can trust you, that you have value to offer me, and that I can feel safe doing business with you, before we've even spoken on the phone.

2: Pick up the phone and call your leads!!!
If someone's shopping for an opportunity, they're probably going to fill out 3-10 capture pages for different businesses. Who are they going to join?

Simple... The person who took the time to call them and establish a relationship. If you don't call them.

The next guy will, and that's who's going to get their business. Don't be needy. Don't sit there for an hour and compare your opportunity or comp plan to others over the phone.

Establish a rapport. Position yourself as a leader, and tell them what to do next.

3: Educate yourself.
This is THE opportunity of a lifetime for you in this industry. This is as good as it gets, but the only way you'll be able to take advantage of it, is to learn the skills and strategies required to do so. You must know how to brand yourself.

You must know how to get traffic, and you must know how to market your business to your prospects. If you do not own a copy of Magnetic Sponsoring or Traffic Formula yet, how do you honestly expect to compete against the people who do know these techniques?

You can't. There are no short-cuts here. Get educated or get run over.

4: Make your offer "Risk Free", whenever you can.
Give your prospects the opportunity try out your products risk-free, as often as possible. For example, we increased the money money back guarantee period on the Magnetic Sponsoring course from 3 months, to 12 months.

If someone buys the course and doesn't like it, they have a full year to request a no-questions-asked refund. We're giving our customers all of the power because that makes it even easier for them to choose our products instead of someone else's.

Once someone experiences the quality of our products, they usually purchase 2-3 more because they know they can trust us to deliver the best information out there.

Make it as easy, and as risk free as you can for your prospects to do business with you.

Talk to you soon,
Frank Tocco