Monthly Archives: September 2018

What if you could predict failure?

Randy Gage is on a roll.

In the past two weeks he published a series of blog articles regarding the 5 most harmful causes of failure in our profession and how to avoid them.

I don’t always agree with his point of view; however, his writing makes me think about why I hold the assumptions and expectations of my own viewpoints.

If you haven’t already read the series, I suggest you take a peek at the first entry today.

(I am not compensated in any form for marketing his blog or services.)

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #randygage #5causes #directsales #leveragedsales #partyplan #networkmarketing #mlm

 

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Hard, messy, and gorgeous

Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. -Robin Sharma

Where are you in the process, in your business?

My guess is, you are experiencing all three stages simultaneously.

When we decide to learn about a new technique, we face fears of looking uninformed and acting awkwardly. As we build new skills, the messiness increases. As we master those, we experience the gorgeousness.

Above all, I hope you are finding ways to enjoy the journey.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #hard #messy #gorgeous #networkmarketing #partyplan #mlm #directsales

How to build “cred” when you don’t have any, Part 2

There are 2 basic types of credibility in your business: inside the company structure (covered in a prior post) and with the potential distributors and clients. Let’s discuss the latter situations, particularly for a first-time business owner.

Part of building your business is to spread the word and gather new people into your organization, whether they join as distributors or clients.

Some of you will be fortunate to have people who join your distributor team or buy your product simply because you asked them to. I envy you, and please understand that I truly am happy for you. However, this post is not written for you, so please send the link to your colleagues who are building their business reputations against mild or strong resistance.

I’m here to talk to the people who are struggling, who are told “You’ve been a (job title) for years, what could YOU possibly know about building a business?”, or for whom this is their first adventure into owning a business.

This post is long. I cover 12 tips. Some of these were hard-earned lessons, and I want to save you the pain of discovering them yourself the hard way. Skim through the bolded topic headings and read the ones that are most interesting to you. Bookmark this post, come back next week, and read a few more.

 

Tip 1. DWYSYGTD

Do What You Say You’re Going To Do. This guideline is the foundation of all the other tips.

I’m not talking about loud public declarations that you’re going to rank-advance to “starship commander” level in your first 6 months, followed by a too-busy-to-sleep work schedule.

Instead, I mean show dependability in the everyday promises. Send the email if you say you will. Send the text or make the call when you say you will. Start the live broadcast, webinar or group meeting on time, and end on time. Be in “business hours” on the hours you have scheduled for that purpose.

And we all mess up…. when it happens, apologize, do the delayed task that same day, then make extra efforts to be dependable for this person in the future.

 

Tip 2. You will never be good enough for some people

The faster you accept this fact, the happier you will be along your business journey. You will recognize these people by their actions: if you mess up and sincerely apologize, they never trust you again because they expect nothing less than perfection. Or, they name numerous “conditions” you or the company needs to fulfill before they join your team or purchase your product. When those goals are accomplished, they simply add more conditions. This is otherwise known as “moving the goalpost.”

Even if they don’t join, they will still be watching you. Just smile to yourself and keep working.

 

Tip 3. Be consistent in your outreach

If you join a networking group, show up every time. Becoming a familiar face will help you be known as someone dependable. It is better to be a member of three groups that you attend regularly, than to join 10 but be sporadic in most or all of them.  Likewise for social media or blogs: post consistently. For example, I post on this blog every Thursday.

Most non-business-focused social media platforms have birthday reminders. If you post a happy birthday message on their social media page, post a personalized messages (with similar impact) for all your contacts on that forum.  Either log in each day to post the current messages, or log in every week and post those messages for the upcoming week. By doing so, you show people you are consistent and you pay attention to details… which add to your credibility.

 

Tip 4. Connect with your new contact in a memorable way

Texts, emails, and social media messages are quick, but a different approach is needed to stay top-of-mind for the long term.

Consider mailing a nice-to-meet-you physical greeting card to each person you meet in a business environment.

Paper cards may seem “old fashioned” by the major populace, but they have always been in style among people in the high economic brackets and leaders of large corporations.

Sending to those latter groups of people shows you understand the unwritten but important rules of operating as their peer.

The more money people make, the more important it becomes to thank them for their time, which is their most precious resource. If you wish to attract high income earners or influential business owners into your distributor team or have them as clients, DO THIS STEP.

With more and more companies adopting Relationship Marketing philosophies, personalized paper greeting cards are making a comeback.

With nearly everyone, paper cards will make you memorable in a good way, because people rarely receive fun mail. (When’s the last time you received something other than a bill or an advertisement in your postal box?) Many will display the card on their desk or somewhere in their home for months or years.

Avoid sending the note on business stationary… it’s not a memo or a financial quote for a project!

Use an online service that prints your quickly-typed personal message into a greeting card and physically mails it on your behalf, or buy some cards at the local store. If the recipients are from the same company, it’s fine to use the same cover design, but remember to use a unique personal message for each as they are likely to compare cards.

Please be aware that USA people born after approximately 1980 were NOT taught how to write or read cursive handwriting! So if in doubt, neatly print the body of the message, and sign it in a cursive style.

 

Tip 5. Choose ONE company to represent

Credible people focus on one business. If I want to choose an expert so I get good advice, I choose someone who concentrates their business on that area or that company. The ideal is, when people at networking events hear your company name, YOU come to mind.

 

Tip 6. Have a long-term view (be committed to your business 3 years minimum)

Longevity with ONE company shows people you’re serious about this. You automatically gain credibility by simply sticking around!

Your company’s product or service is the cornerstone of its profitability. A business, by definition, SELLS a product or service to generate revenue. So, do you LIKE the product? Are you proud to use it? Would you buy it if you weren’t getting paid to market it? If you can’t offer an enthusiastic Yes to all three questions in your current company, keep searching until you find a product that can.

Are you dismayed by the wait-and-see attitude of your family, friends, or networking contacts? Perhaps your friends and family have seen you excited about projects, then 2 weeks later you have moved onto something else. It’s likely that the people you are meeting at networking events have seen their friends join and quit in quick succession for various leveraged sales companies. In both cases there’s nothing you can do about their opinions. However, multiple-year longevity speaks for itself (and sometimes you need to remind yourself of Tip 2)!

Please note that I understand some people choose to move to other companies. I understand and respect people who change when the product quality degrades significantly, or the upper management steers the company away from long-term healthy growth. Know that you WILL lose some of your credibility by moving to a different company, and you will lose even more by quitting the profession altogether.

If you quit, your customers might choose to stay… and sometimes that locks you out of approaching them about your new product line (due to noncompete clauses for your former and/or new company). Don’t think you can ignore those noncompetes… the parent companies protect their organizations and will proceed with legal action. Besides it damages your credibility once the word gets out (and it will)!

Think twice or three times about jumping to another company because of the “shiny new thing” syndrome or because they are offering large “fast money.” If you want something to excite you again, take an adventurous vacation instead of jumping ship.

 

Tip 7. Be a connector

Think about the people in your networks: colleagues, networking groups, religious groups, sports clubs, etc. When you meet a new person, ask yourself, “Who in my network needs to meet this person?” Invite them both to coffee, or host a videoconference among the three of you if they are geographically remote. They will remember you were the one to connect them, which builds your credibility.

 

Tip 8. Be a continual student of your company and your profession

When your company announces a new product or service offering, learn about it. Keep your team and clients informed if your company does not send timely announcements. Think about your clients or potential clients who can be aided by this new offering, and let them know it is available.

You lose credibility if a colleague or potential teammate mentions the new offering and you have no idea what they are talking about!

 

Tip 9.  Share information THEY are looking for

People are more than their job or business. Find out what they like to do for fun. “What do you like to do when you’re NOT working?” is a good question to ask. For example, when you learn someone likes kayaking, you can send them links to kayaking articles or announcements about a kayaking specialist coming to town. They may already know, but guaranteed they will be impressed that you remembered their hobby AND you took the time to share the tidbit. By doing so, you stay top of mind, and that creates a reputation of credibility automatically.

 

Tip 10. Look for ways you can write articles or post instructional videos

If you have a business-focused social media profile (different from your personal profile), you can post business-focused articles you write.

Does your local Chamber of Commerce, networking group, country club, school alumni association, or other organization publish an electronic newsletter? Most of these are looking for quality content, but be advised they will reject a self-promoting article. If you can write about your area of expertise/experience in general terms (such as the importance of applying sunscreen to prevent premature skin damage), then in your end-of-article author’s bio you can usually give people a way to reach you. And in this digital age, people can search for your name online and find your web site.

Posting videos on easily-searchable platforms is another way to gain credibility. That’s not my area of concentration, so search for instructors if you’re interested in this aspect.

Slow: Self-publishing a book (electronically or print) is a major multi-month or multi-year step. Such a project is, quite frankly, a distraction until you have advanced at least 2 ranks in your current company. I have talked with authors who are distributors in our profession, and they say they spent much more money than they made on publishing a book.

 

Tip 11. Speak well regarding your colleagues, other companies, or their distributors

You might get away with badmouthing in the short term, but when people find out this tactic you will become known as “two-faced,” and that automatically damages your credibility. At the same time, you are not obligated to speak in rousing terms about other companies, so I suggest you take a respectful positive tone when asked about them or when referring to them.

 

Tip 12. Say a sincere thank you.

Express your sincere verbal thanks immediately. Look them in the eye, say “Thank you,” and hold their gaze for another 2 seconds while you naturally let your mouth curve into a genuine and friendly smile. Connect with that person visually so they FEEL your sincerity.

If you want to make a longer-lasting impression, send a physical greeting card of gratitude. The higher up in the economic or business-decision-making level, the more appreciative the person will be to receive a physical card. And clients should definitely be thanked for their initial purchase, once a year minimum thereafter, and unexpectedly at least one time during the year. See a business profitability firm’s study to increase profits. See Tip 4 for guidelines for writing and sending cards.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #trsc #credibility #potentialclients #potentialdistributors #directsales #partyplan #mlm #networkmarketing #leveragedsales #growingcredibility #part2 #thisoneislong #longpost #howtobuildcredwhenyoudonthaveany

 

 

 

 

How to build “cred” when you don’t have any, Part 1

Imagine you’ve been an employee, and you just clicked “Submit” on the distributor enrollment form.

You have been an employee all your adult years. You have zero credibility and zero experience as a business owner with your potential new teammates and potential clients.

You also have a second “zero cred” situation: within your own company structure.

How can you build your credibility from scratch?

Let’s look at the inside-your-company situation first. (I will address ideas for the other situation in another post.)

I will share 7 ideas in this post.

This will be long, and I feel it will be worth your time. You might want to bookmark this entry, read the numbered subject lines, then read the details about the sections that apply to your situation.

  1. Have high rank or experience running a successful company
    Credibility inside a company comes most obviously from someone who has achieved a high rank. This can be a top-notch field leader or someone in the C-suite (corporate officer such as COO, CEO, CTO, CFO). If you ran a successful business before, you likely have some credibility. However, if you’re starting at the beginning distributor level with no experience, you score zip (zero) here.

 

2. Submit suggestions for internet or other company process

Submitting thoughtful suggestions for improvement to your web site or company process is another avenue.  This is powerful when you have personally experienced the situation.

Basic Rule: Experience or observe other people’s experience, THEN submit the idea.

Notice I didn’t mention “improvements to the compensation plan.” If you reach out with ideas about the comp plan as a newly enrolled distributor, your suggestion will likely be dismissed out of hand. So make notes of such ideas and save them for when you have advanced a rank or two.

Find out where distributors are welcome to submit suggestions to the corporate office or field leader. This is likely an email address or a web-form in your distributors-only section of your web site.

As a new member of the team, hopefully you are using the company web sites, Slack conversations, social media discussion groups, Zoom conferences, etc., on a daily or weekly basis. While using these tools, notice if something seems awkward, a button or link on the web site is not working properly, etc. Please make notes right away (write or type it, that way you’ll remember it!), and use the company-provided suggestion-collecting method to submit it (AND A SOLUTION if possible).

Here’s a suggested wording for submitting a suggestion , and a possible solution:

When I [specific action, such as clicked on specifically-named link or button and its location], the system did [result]. Can we please have a [item] that [describe the desired result]. [If you have expertise in that area, you might include a possible solution: A possible solution is____________]

Sincerely,
Your name
Your Distributor Number
Your city and state (or other location)

Notice you didn’t gripe. (No one likes people who complain!) Instead, you stated a cause and effect, and described a fix or the desired outcome. This prevents people from feeling defensive if it was their idea in the first place. And you identified yourself as a person who sends respectful and helpful suggestions.

People who send respectful suggestions will build a positive reputation. It sends the signal that you care about the company as a whole, and that you are a solution-focused person, instead of a complainer.

 

3. In technology communications, add value (and don’t add to the negative)

More and more, companies use technology (social media, Slack, email chains, etc) to make announcements, let distributors ask questions, and let other distributors discuss solutions.

Use these online forums to be a calming and respectful influence. (Please note: Don’t spend umpteen hours surfing these forums. However while you are engaged in them, simply watch for ways you can contribute something of value.)

For example, if someone has a question, direct them to where the answer is located. If you see some negative discussions happening, don’t contribute to the negative; instead, alert the group administrator of the situation.

If appropriate, occasionally share a link to a positive article of interest (such as a third-party praise of the profession or product), an inspiring quote, or a public thank you to someone behind the scenes (observed at your local in-person event or on your customer service line).

 

 

4. At in-person events, fix a small problem immediately

Did a sign tip over or fall off the wall? Set it back up, or find some tape and put it back in place.

Seeing someone in a walker or wheelchair struggling with a too-narrow aisle? First ask if they would like assistance, and if they say yes then make the walkway wider or find another route for them.

Someone looks lost? Walk up, smile and shake hands, and ask how you can help.

You get the picture. And don’t make a big deal about it. More than likely an event coordinator saw you do it. And solving small problems can lead to …

 

5. Submit suggestions AFTER an in-person event

If your company has weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual in-person events, attend as many as you reasonably can. When you attend the group events or post in the discussion groups, you will be noticed as your face becomes more and more familiar to the leaders who are running these events.

Pay attention to what bugs you, to how the event can be run more easily, to what questions seem to be asked multiple times, etc. Make a quick note about these sticky points when you first notice (otherwise you won’t likely remember them by the end, when the situation becomes “normal” from multiple occurrences or by sheer mental overload from absorbing the information or excitement).

Important: Don’t mention a “we should do it such-and-such way next time” to anyone running the event, during the event. They are focusing on the logistics and situation happening in front of their eyes, and they will almost likely view your idea as a criticism.

So, AFTER the event, send a message to the appropriate decision maker or suggestion-collecting method.

Here’s a formula:

Hi (decision maker/event coordinator name), I attended the (describe the event or events). Thank you for (something they did well during that event. Everyone likes authentic and sincere praise.) I have a suggestion for next time: When (describe situation), can we do (your idea)? I think it would (how it would improve the event for the attendees, guests, or coordinators). (and if applicable: “I would be happy to help implement it.)

Sincerely,
Your name

Your Distributor Number
Your city and state (or other location)

Three things are happening here.

First, you are acknowledging their role and contribution to the event, which means you respect the skills and work necessary to plan and run it. You would be shocked how few people receive ANY praise, even simple sincere thanks, about their role. (Just ask anyone helping at the event, after the fact!) The typical attendee only speaks up when they’re displeased, so you will immediately stand out in a positive way.

Second, you show that you attended the event. This demonstrates your commitment to the public/group aspects of your business, and leaders appreciate those who show up to attend the event they took time to plan and hold. If you show up consistently, they WILL notice.

Third, every leader appreciates someone to step forward and offer to implement a new or different procedure. Leaders can drown in a flood of complaints and suggestions. If you are given the approval, then do it. Your leadership reputation (and hence credibility) will grow.

 

 

6. Contact the event leader one week early and offer to volunteer

Volunteer to help out at in-person events: arrive early to set up or stay late to help clean up, be an usher, assist at the registration table, introduce yourself to distributors who seem alone and introduce them to the leaders (if this is within your company guidelines). Volunteering is especially helpful if you have attended one or more of this specific event, so you are familiar with the basics of how it is run, so no one will have to spend long minutes describing the basic event flow to you.

By contacting the leader a week early, it gives the leader time to figure out where they need you most and to get you trained so you are a helpful member of the team. If you ask on the spot, you are catching them off-guard because they are no longer in future-planning mode, they are in what-needs-my-attention-right-now mode. Your on-the-spot offering is kind, yet likely distracting to the people who need to focus.

Be humble when you are assigned a specific role for your first volunteer session. Do what is asked, provided it doesn’t adversely impact your health (don’t set out or stack chairs if it might throw out your back!). And if your talents are better used in a different role, suggest it several days after the event or during the planning stages of the next one.

Through the simple act of helping run some aspect of the event, your personal credibility rises among the leader in charge AND with any guest you bring. You are demonstrating your willingness to contribute to the group’s success, and that success is exactly what a constructive leader aims for.

 

 

7. Fill out the after-event survey

Does the event you attended hand out or send out a survey/suggestions form? Be sure to fill it out and submit it. Nearly everyone will “not have the time”… and by filling out this form authentically and respectfully, you will be among a TINY percentage of people who do this. The leaders who run the event will know and remember your name for doing this.

During my years of assisting at and running weekly public business presentations and distributor trainings, I craved hearing honest opinions: what we did well and how we could improve to make the event more valuable to the attendees. I felt we did a good job, and also that there’s always room for improvement. The more relevant your event is, and the more distractions or problems you eliminate for your attendees, the more successful your result will be.

 

That’s plenty for now! I will publish a Part 2 another week, which will focus on building credibility with people who are looking at the business or product.

–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™

#lynnselwa #therocketsciencecoach #credibility #growingcredibility #part1 #thisoneislong #longpost #howtobuildcredwhenyoudonthaveany