Sunday, January 20, 2008

Questions?

You got questions. Someone has an answer.

This is a good place to ask. Now it is even better. Because you can ask right here. On this very post. Just leave a comment with your question in it.

Anyone with an opinion about that question should feel free to answer it here.

*disclaimer. There are no guarantees about the accuracy of the answers that will be provided. Everyone here has an experience to share... Hopefully their experience can in some way help you.

If a particular question seems to be "front page" worthy, I will post it there. As more and more good questions (there are no dumb questions right?) get asked and answered, I will try to generate a FAQ page for first timers.

As anyone who has read this site for anytime should be able to clearly see, the real value of this site is not thanks to me. It is all thanks to the great readers and regular commentators here. Once again, thank you all for making this site what it is.

24 comments:

  1. I have a question. One of my biggest obstacles when I first started MK was getting to that first SCC. Does anyone have any tried and true methods for 1) getting someone to agree and 2) making it hold and 3) getting them to invite people to come (4 or more). I, personally, didn't want to start with family or friends. I wanted people I did not know. That was a hardship the entire time I was working. I know some here have had a lot of success in holding classes.

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  2. Hi Judi, booking is a challenge. You're looking for a science when this is really an art. It's a skill you have to hone. I've been a slow developer in sales because it's not my nature and outside my comfort zone. I do know that if I don't get out and talk to people, I won't get bookings.

    The first thing my director instructed me to do when I first signed my agreement was make a 100 names list. Yes, I had to write down names of people I knew. My first class was hosted by a coworker. My recruiter did the class and I observed. My best friend hosted my second class. This was the first class I did myself. My aunt hosted my third class. My sales ranged between $150-$250 per class. I think I just asked people if they would host classes so I could practice doing them. No objections.

    Now, if you prefer not to start with family or friends, I would recommend you look for some local vendor events that you could participate in. These are especially good because you interact with the people at the event so you're not cold calling like you would with a fishbowl. What are vendor events? They can be a variety of things:

    Bride Shows (generally held in January and October)
    Craft Shows
    Church Bazaars
    Community Fairs
    Health Fairs


    The problem you may have with these events is the cost of the table. It's best to find a few other consultants to split the cost.

    Getting someone to agree is more about your personalities meshing than it is about "getting them to agree." That's why MK is about building relationships. If you want someone to welcome you into their home, you need to build a trust with them. That is why they advise us to start with people we already know. Those people can potentially lead us to others we don't know.

    Tried and true methods? Talk to as many people as you can. Sales isn't a textbook science. It's more of an art. You have to practice talking to people. You really have to learn this business by doing. Everyone isn't going to say yes. You can't give up if you talk to 20 people and they all say no. This is why I only do 5 phone calls a night. If I get some yeses that is awesome. If everyone says no, I only talked to 5 people so it's less depressing. ;) You might talk to people who say call back in a few months. Fine. Just DO IT! Because they will probably book when they are ready.

    Once you find someone who wants to host a class, you get it to hold by coaching her. This part is more of a science. Once someone tells me yes and we schedule an appointment time, I have to coach her. I do this by telling her I'll call her in 2 days for her guest list so I can mail invitations to her guests. I call her for the guest list and get the addresses and phone numbers of the guests. I mail the invitations out so that the guests get them 5-7 days in advance. About 2 days before the appointment I call each guest. I let them know I am the consultant holding the class for their friend. I ask them the questions on the profile card pertaining to skin. I ask if they have ever tried MK. If so, how long has it been. Do they have a consultant (I want to know ahead of time). I ask their skin tone (Ivory, Beige, Bronze, Ebony). Finally, I ask them if they have any particular skin issues they'd like me to address at the class.

    I call the hostess a day or so before the class to go over when I'll be there once again.

    How do I get people to invite friends? I tell them they can get a discount if they do. If they don't want to invite friends, fine. They don't get a discount. Know what? They still buy what they want full price. If they aren't comfortable having a class, I'm not going to force them. I find that individuals buy more one on one than in a group.

    You have to practice, Judi. You just have to do it. As you hold appointments and get more loyal customers, your reorder business is also going to grow. So, when I have a slow month for bookings, I tend to get reorders that pull me through. It's true.

    I apologize if my thoughts seem a little disorganized. I may write something on this over on my blog when I have some time. For now, I hope this helps you.

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  3. Judi, I don't know if you've ever visited my blog, but here are some things I've written there that might help you:

    It's A Numbers Game

    Get On The Phone

    Networking 101: What to Say

    So Where Do These 30 Faces Come From?

    It's Not About You

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  4. shades, you sum it up nicely!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I went a long time not being able to book anyone for a class. I did ask some friends at church if I could "borrow their face;" some said yes, some said no. As far as getting classes rather than facials, I had to find a hostess incentive that got people excited. I had tried giving a percentage of the total sales off the hostess order, but that was too confusing for them and for me! When I simplified it to "hostess can order $75 in product for $35", I actually started to get people willing to book. They could understand what exactly their discount would be, and they got excited about it. And not only did I sell (full-price) to the others in attendance at the class, the hostess has so far ALWAYS purchased more than just "$35" (and I do charge the full tax). Guests in attendance at the SCC got excited about being offered that same deal, and they would book.

    I haven't tried this myself yet, but the consultants in my adopted unit who HAVE tried it swear by Pam Klickna-Powell's Slam Dunk Skin Care class. The CD that explains says she is able to book about 60% of SCC guests using the method, and the consultants I've talked to who've tried it bear that out. But I can't personally vouch for it. :)

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  6. I change my hostess plans because sometimes I get bored with them. The one I always fall back on, is one from the good ole days!

    I always give a small thank you gift to the hostess when I start the class. Then the hostess earns points. And the points add up,

    50 points for holding your party on
    the originally scheduled date.

    50 points for every guest who
    books her own skin care class.

    10 points for each guest who
    attends your ckin care class.

    1 point for each dollar of your
    skin care class & outside sales.

    and then I add these two.

    50 points if you book on one of my special days. This really helped me get bookings on the days I wanted them.

    and

    50 points if you hold your party at my studio. (I set up an area in my home for parties.)

    Points: Value:
    150-199 $10
    200-249 $15
    250-299 $20
    300-349 $25
    350-399 $30
    400-449 $35
    450-499 $40
    500-549 $45
    550-599 $50

    I always make sure they have the hostess packets and Look Books so they can get outside orders.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just to show how different things do appeal to different people. I have never had an luck with the $75 for $35, and I can tell you why...

    Having hosted many home paries in my life, I love it when I earn free stuff. I received many porcelien pieces from Home Interiors from adding my home party points together. Didn't have to spend any money. I have received loads of tupperware.

    The first time I wa introduced to the idea you could get so much at 1/2 price etc.. was at one of the jewelry parties I was attending. It didn't motivate me at all. When I earn stuff, I don't want to have to put out money to get my prize. It is just one of those little pet peeves for me that if I hold a show for a consultant and have a great turn out, why should I have to pay to get my hostess gift. If you are using a party to help the hostess earn stuff because she can't afford it, she might not be able to afford the $35 to get the $75. I know loads of consultants have had great success with this program, but because of my opinion, it doesn't work for me, because it doesn't excite me so I can't sell it.

    So when using a hostess program, make sure it is one that you are excited about and you can sell because it will increase your bookings.

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  8. Oh! MK4ME--that is such a great point! A director in my national area gave some booking/coaching training on a conference call and the one thing she said the stuck out in my mind was this:

    "Have a hostess program that you would clean your house and cook for!"

    You definitely want to sell a hostess program you yourself would be excited about. For me, I get excited about a discount. Some things I do (I change it up, too) are:

    10% off for each guest at the table up to 50%.

    50% off for hosting; free gift if class sales are at least $200.

    I guess that's all I've tried. ;) But those work for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. speaking the real truthJanuary 22, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Judi, I held my first parties in my own home. I invited a few friends over and it was great. I didn't have to pack up my things and worry about forgetting something and I could set up and clean up at my leisure, I didn't have to give any hostess credit. Then, once they fell in love with the products, they booked parties from those.

    I have had luck with the $75 for $35 because I present it as the minimum that she would get free. I use Mary Kay Ash's old program of 10, 15, 20% and I offer the current hostess gift if she gets 2 bookings. Simple. Whatever you do, make it simple to explain. I like offering the $75/$35 as a min., so that she knows that if she gets 3 guests there who do not have a consultant that she is at least getting something, no matter what they purchase.

    PS-Been busy lately, so no posts. $1100 in personal sales last week and traveled to work with consultants, plus held a party out of town! Excited to report that one of my consultants decided to run with me and sold $1100 as well. That's what it's all about.

    ReplyDelete
  10. speaking the real truthJanuary 22, 2008 at 1:52 PM

    Judi, why not start with those that you know? They do not have to be your closest family. I would not want to start with people that you do not know and would never encourage a new consultant to begin their business that way, it's very scary to think about approaching or working with strangers until you gain experience and confidence. The things that Shades lists can be good, but they can also be disappointing, I've had both. I can imagine a new consultant paying to work a booth, getting a bunch of names, calling them, getting stood up, etc., and being disappointed. I occasionally work those opportunities, but only ones with very low costs, and a limited audience (ladies, etc.), and often some type of connection. You can waste a lot of time calling those names. Maybe others have had great success with those types of things, but I've been successful in this business for a long time, and have always gotten most of my best leads, customers, and bookings from those that I have some type of relationship with. Shades even said that her first hostesses were her best friend and a co-worker.

    One great tip: Watch your use of the term "party". To a prospect, that means clean your house, mail out 40 invitations, cook and serve a buffet, etc. You might say, "Susie, why don't you have a few friends come over for makeovers, and you can get some things free?"

    Another tip: Don't be afraid to book an individual appt. first. Often times after she falls in love with the product and develops a rapport with you and trust in the brand, she will then invite her friends over so that she can earn the ADDITIONAL products that she cannot afford!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I just didn't want to start with friends or family. I didn't want to depend on them. I didn't want my mom's cousin's first born to be involved at all. I wanted this to be completely separate from my personal life. I hate to talk shop when out with friends except for the "hey, how's work going?" And I know I am not the only one that didn't want to involve family. Was just wondering what worked for others.

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  12. Having friends and family as customers doesn't mean you only talk to them about MK. I found out when I joined MK that my aunt and cousins were regularly using MK. Now they are my customers. I email them when I'm running sales promos, but it's not all we talk about when I see them. MK rarely comes up at all. It's really a matter of knowing when to turn it off, I guess.
    I don't rely on my family members for sales. I go out and meet new people at work and through friends and what not. As I said earlier, friends and family are a starting point. We don't get rich off friends and family. (My director likes to say that. :) )

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  13. judi, I respect what you are saying to a point. But it sounds like you want to make things black and white. I have loads of family and friends, some buy MK, some don't. Guess what, I don't talk about MK with the ones that buy any more than the ones that don't. I have a full life and have loads of things to talk about. MK happens to be my career, if I had any other career, it would be something I discuss on occassion. There is a big difference in talking about what you do and pushing sales. I don't bleed pink or sweat pink and don't push.

    I would be very hurt if I had a friend selling something that I might be interested in and she didn't think enough of me to tell me what she was doing. I really would be even more upset if I went somewhere else and paid full price when my friend gave everyone a discount. I would also feel that she didn't want me to supoort her and that would hurt my feelings. It would hurt my wallet if I found out she gave everyone a discount and I had to go find a consultant and paid full price to get something I could have gotten from my friend for a discount.

    I would not pester my family to death about buying from me, I wouldn't whip out satin hands at a funeral and have the ladies huddle in the bathroom. There is a time and a place for everything and as a responsible adult, we should know when something is appropriate or not.

    Have you been a hostess for any other home parties and invited family and friends to your home. If someone showed did you like them more than the people that didn't. If they didn't order, did you stop liking them? (I know the answer is no, but hopefully you are getting my drift). It might be a nice way to start to invite a few friends to your home, do your first class, your family and friends ARE going to know people you don't, it could be the way for you to start meeting people outside your circle.

    Just make sure you don't pressure your friends and family. You may be surprised that they may want to purchase and they may want to support you. As I learned along time ago, what right do I have to make their decisions for them.

    It almost seems you are afraid or embarrassed about what you are trying to do because of some of the horror stories you have heard on PT.

    I know this won't help alot but contrary to PT, not everyone laughs at a MK Consultant. They may laugh at a few that go overboard but, personally, I am respected as a Business Woman in my community. (No this isn't a statement because I am in the fog). I have been asked to speak at Women's groups, schools, etc..
    The paper comes out and takes a photo if I take the car instead of the cash and puts the picture in the paper with the title, She Earned Another Car!" I was a single mom for awhile up until 3 years ago and was able to get credit from my Schedule C's because it was clear that I have earned a good income for years, so even though I was a self-employed MK person, the bank took me seriously.

    Conduct yourself as a professional and people will see you as a professional.

    If your fears come from stories on PT, please think about some of the attitudes that come thru loud and clear in their postings, I apologize if this statement offends you but I have no problem figuring out why someone of them had no luck working with people and making a go of MK. My belief is if they were selling anything, MLM or otherwise, they wouldn't be too successful at it.

    Bad attitudes do not attract people, it turns them off. Stalking and not knowing how to take "no" for an answer turns people off. Being pushy turns people off. Simply offering a service does not turn people off. It isn't so much what you do, it is more how you do it.

    Good luck Judi!

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  14. I have a question for the MK reps who have been in a while.

    What are the pros and cons of having a sponsor local to you as opposed to a sponsor far away?

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  15. As a former adoptee, what I found was I had a recruiter and director that weren't close to me but supported me and then I had a group that I was adopted by. The first adopted director I had wasn't exactly "go-give" so I simply found another adopted director. So that was a major plus for me because basically I had my choice on where I went to an adopted meeting. So I actually had two support groups.

    Of course it can be loads of fun to have your unit close if things are great but as we have seen not all units are wonderful and it is very hard if you don't mesh with your group to go to another local meeting if your director is also local.

    One of the disadvantages I see is if your group that you meet with is in a different seminar group and you want to go to seminar, you would go with your affiliation, not the group you are meeting with. Seminar is the only time this happens because Career Conference don't run be seminar affliation.

    If you are a disciplined person and know what you want, it doesn't seem to make a difference. I love my adoptees as if they were my own. They love me and their director so they actually get more support than some people do.

    If you want a little more freedom, sometimes it is a little easier to have a distant not local unit but bottom line, I think it still is going to depend on how good the director is whether she be close or far away.

    My director who is now a National would on occassion come to my area, to help me and my team, and would always work with my adopted director to put on some great trainings and fun guest events.

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  16. Hi - I've just joined this site & have been in MK 9 mos. I, too, am having trouble getting classes scheduled & new customers. I've tried various businesses all over town but as my name says, Rural, we're not a big area and most places have MK consultants who work there. Does anyone have any ideas? I like having my own business but I've got to make it pay!

    All suggestions welcome!

    ReplyDelete
  17. shades of pink,

    I've just been to your site! I haven't reviewed everything yet, but thank you!

    It's also great to see the men of MK voicing their support here! Thank you!

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  18. I think that one of the quickest ways to make things harder for yourself is to "assume" or make decisions for other people in regards to approaching them about your business. When you do this you are only considering yourself and you are not really thinking of the other person.

    You may think you are considering the other person by rationalizing it like "I dont want to bother her, or I dont want her to think I am being pushy, or I dont want my family and friends to think I am always going to ask for orders etc..."
    But in reality what we are really trying to avoid is how we THINK they will feel about us. It makes US uncomfortable to think that they may feel this way about us if we approach them. So the person we are really considering is ourselves.

    Too many times we pass up the chance to have customers because we are afraid of how it will make US look if we ask.

    We have to get out of our own way and stop assuming how folks will feel about our business. We have to stop making "HER" decision for her.

    Early on when I started MK I too would hold back from offering the opportunity or offering my service to others due to being shy or assuming they would reject me, only to see the same woman at the unit meeting having signed up under someone else. I have seen women with MK products bought from another consultant, when I passed up the chance to offer my service and have them buy from me.

    Just offer. Whether it be the product or the opportunity. If they say no, you are no worse off then you were before. If they say yes, you have an opporutnity to make some money.

    It is what you do after they give you their answer, that determines how people see you.

    Just for the record, my cousin held my first SCC for me. My sales were around $250. Just enough for me to get started and active. Even if you do start with friends or family, it does not mean that you will have to depend on them. Chances are you friends and family know people that you dont know, and the purpose of having them host a class is so you can get to those ladies..the ones you dont know, then work it from there.

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  19. Well said, foreverpink! :)

    Rural--thank you! Hope you see something you like. :D

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have seen (from a few different people) about "having a few friends over - no more than 5" for a SCC.

    This is completely different than most party plan companies (who try to get as many as you can squeeze into the house).

    I think this is a great idea, because it really does a few things:

    1) She will pick the 3-5 people most interested in being there (or that she really wants there).

    2) If she has more than that many, she can always schedule another SCC.

    3) Less pressure for her - as was mentioned before on this thread (not cleaning the house and mailing invites for 40 people).

    4) More time to devote to each guest (I think this was mentioned, too).

    Are there any other benefits to this?

    Or benefits to having a large SCC?

    I would love to hear your input either way. :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. i personnally do better with small groups and I prefer facials. My last facial was just over $100. This happended on Saturday Feb 2nd 08. I say that because there are those that say we always quote our highest sales event even if it happended months or years ago and say it is our average, but this was very recent.
    I have always averaged about $80 on facials but my classes might run around $100 for the whole class with 3 ladies.

    I know it is this way because I can increase my sales when I can give more attention to the customer. Facials are less work, and less time so it seems that for me they are the best use of my time. Plus they allow me to listen to her needs more and that leads to more sales.

    But of course if the customer wants to turn her facial into a skin care class by inviting her friends or family I dont stop her. My sales might not be as high per face, but at least I have the opportunity to gain more customers.

    ReplyDelete
  22. My experience (and I apologize if I'm repeating info I've posted elsewhere) is that people will purchase more one on one.
    I sell Miracle Sets when I hold facials. I sell Basic Sets when I hold classes.
    My average facial is about $120 in sales--Miracle Set + an eye cream or something.
    My average class is in the $200-$250 range.
    I think one on one, there is more communication with the individual. Also, if someone is alone, she is more likely to just buy what it is she wants. I think in a group situation, they don't want to look impulsive to the other guests or what not so they curb their spending. I could be wrong, but that is just my theory and my experience.
    Basically, classes typically generate higher sales; but facials generate higher sales to individuals. Does that make sense? :)
    ~Shades of Pink~

    ReplyDelete

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