General Business Tools
In order to achieve success in this business, you need tools to help you stay on top of things as well as to automate as much as possible to give you time to talk to and connect with people.
The first thing you need is a good Contact Manager.
Without a good system for tracking your contacts and helping you follow up with your leads, it doesn’t matter how many leads you have because most of them will slip through the cracks and never go anywhere. Your good tracking system is key to building relationships and increasing both sales and retention! Let’s face it, no matter how amazing our product is, or how great our compensation plan is, many people are not going to buy our products or sign up to sell Avon the first time you talk to them. Ultimately you want to stay with your prospect until you get either a Yes or a No. That could take days or even months. Having a plan in place detailing how you’re going to follow-up and keep track of where everyone is in your plan will have a huge impact on your business.
Your Contact Manager will also help you offer amazing support to your downline. You will know at a glance who needs a 48 hr follow-up call, who needs a T-2 training, etc., and it will keep a history of discussions, e-mails, letters, etc. you’ve had with the contact.
The system I use is called Big Contacts. Click Here to try Big Contacts. They have a 30 day free trial so you can check it out with no obligation.
Big Contacts is an online service that is easy to use and can be accessed from any computer, even when I’m away from my computer. This system ensures that I never have a Lead or a downline member fall through the cracks and that I’m on top of my business at all times.
And You Need Some Business Cards
You only get one chance to make a great first impression, so make the most of it with high-quality, full-color premium business cards. There are many places where you can get quality business cards, but I’ve found exactly what I need at Vista Print. They offer free cards featuring a wide variety of templates to choose from. All you have to pay for is shipping. They also have a larger selection of inexpensive premium cards to choose from. I’ve used them many times and have always loved the cards I received.
You can also design your own Business Cards at SendOutCards in the PhotoStore! Click here to find out more about SendOutCards.
I am a firm believer that there are three basic steps to success in your Avon business:
- You need to prospect for new customers and recruits
- You need to make sure every customer receives a new brochure every campaign
- You need to follow-up with every customer every campaign
As Richard and I were trying to grow our business, we kept coming up against roadblocks. We were finding that the things we needed to do for our business were taking all our available time. The time we had to spend on our business was very limited and so we needed to get creative to free up as much time as possible.
We realized we were spending all our time every campaign delivering the new brochure and calling on current customers. While those are crucial steps, it didn’t give us any time to grow our business by prospecting and talking to new people… and so we found a few tools to help out.
Bulk Mail is a fairly simple way to make sure every customer gets a brochure every campaign. Another advantage to mailing brochures is that people are more likely to browse through a brochure that came into their house via the mail than one left on their doorstep. Check with your Post Office, but the costs to get started are somewhere in the range of $185/year plus a one-time charge of $185 for the right to print your indicia (permit info). Having the bulk mail permit brings your cost to mail a brochure down to around 55 cents as compared to roughly $2.00 if you mailed it via regular mail. There are requirements however; you need 200 identical pieces or 50 pounds before you can bulk mail.
If you are ready to get started, but not quite at that level yet, there is a company called Consultant Depot who will mail your brochures for you. The cost is a little higher per brochure, but it includes the cost of the brochure and the postage for much less than you can do it yourself by regular mail, and you don’t have to worry about the yearly Bulk Mail permit charges. You can find Consultant Depot by Clicking Here. I have never personally used them, but I do know a lot of Reps who have and who love their service.
Another area that was taking a lot of our time was making follow-up phone calls to our customers every campaign. Making follow-up phone calls is probably one of the most important things you can do to increase your sales. People are busy. They want to purchase Avon products from you – they look at the brochure and even mark the pages… but then they forget to call you. If you call them, you’ll most likely get an order. If you don’t, eventually that brochure will go in the trash.
I found a service called Voice Shot – Click Here for Voice Shot. This service lets me call an 800 number to record my message. Then I upload my list of phone numbers to their website and setup a campaign where every one of my phone numbers will be called by their computer and my message will be played when the customer answers the phone. I keep my message very friendly and conversational. My customers love the reminder and tell me so all the time! My sales always triple and quadruple within 2-3 days of the phone calls. This amazing service only costs about 12 cents per call, leaving you time to go out and get new customers!
The Voice Shot service is also a great way to stay in touch with my team. When I have an important announcement, this is the service I use to get the word out to everyone!
One word of caution: If you are worried that a phone message will hurt the relationship part of the business, I want to tell you it really doesn’t. You will still be calling your customer to confirm her order, and you will still be making deliveries. These are great opportunities to work on the relationship part of the business. Most customers will perceive your phone reminder messages as just good customer service.
Greeting Cards and Post Cards
Another way I stay in touch with my customers and downline members is with the use of “snail-mail” Cards and Post Cards. People are receiving so much e-mail and e-cards these days that electronic mail barely gets noticed, but when they get a physical card in their mailbox, it really catches their attention!
If you’ve been keeping good notes in your contact manager, it’s easy to think of things to include in your cards. Here are just a few examples:
- Post Cards to your Top 10 in Sales
- Post Cards to Top Recruiters
- Recognize an accomplishment
- Birthdays & Anniversaries
- Get Well
- Tell them you are thinking about them
- Tell them you appreciate them
- Announce a special
- Show your support
I’ve discovered the most Amazing Way to send Greeting Cards and Post Cards for 1/3 the cost. You can send one card, or you can create a campaign or series of cards that will go out at set intervals without you having to do anything more. The cards are REAL and can be printed in your own handwriting and include your photos. Each card can be individualized and custom made for each person you want to send a card to. SendOutCards then prints the card, puts it in an envelope, adds a stamp, and mails the card for you. They even offer gifts and gift cards
The company is called SendOutCards. Click here to go to SendOutCards.
The best way to explain this wonderful service is to actually show you. Click here to visit SendOutCards and you can send some FREE cards on me with no obligation! Click on the banner at the top of the page to send a few free cards. Send one to yourself to see out easy it is, and then send two cards to two of your friends or team members to make their day! I have sent many cards to people just because their name popped in my head, and then I receive a call from them telling me how much that card meant to them at just that moment and what a difference it made in their day. It’s a great feeling… and wonderful for building relationships… and business too!
As you’re appointing Representatives online, you’ll need a way to train them. I LOVE GoToMeeting for this. It allows me to use Avon’s training materials and walk through them as though I was right there with the new Representative. I can also help them with their first order, and even let them use my mouse as I walk them through the order form. You can try it for FREE for 30 days to see if it will work for you.
A Conference Call/Webinar solution that makes it easy to do presentations, team meetings, etc. Instant Teleseminar gives your audience a local dial-in number across the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia…plus Skype access to reach your events from anywhere in the world. Your US callers can also get toll-free access to your conference. You can try a 21 day trial for only $1.00 to see if this works for you!
Although I strongly suggest starting out with your warm market and building a list, sometimes you just need a way to bring in more people to talk to. I have found a wonderful source of good quality leads, where most people I call are happy to talk to me. I have tried many lead sources, so I find this quite refreshing. Check Out Leader’s Club here. Their lead program is very affordable. They’ll even give you 10 free leads to try it out.
Another Lead Program I’ve been testing with great results is Profit Leads. These leads are people who have purchased a booklet on how to make money from home, which shows them to be serious. So far I’m getting great results with these leads, and the pricing is comparable with Leaders Club. One additional advantage is that Profit Leads gives you a free AutoResponder, so for the leads you can’t reach by phone, you can add them to the AutoResponder to stay in touch with them.