Direct Selling For Dummies
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When you're new to direct sales, you're also very excited; it's human nature to want to jump on the phone, call everybody you know, and try to explain everything about your business to them. But because you're brand new, the best thing to do is make a list of everyone you know and put them in your Booking Lead Notebook.

You can keep your notebook on a physical pad of paper, on a document in your computer, or in an organizational application like Evernote. You know a lot of people. And they probably divide into more categories than you may have considered. Here are some ideas for your list:

  • All the places you've ever lived: Think of current and past neighbors, acquaintances, people in the communities, landlords, realtors you have worked with, and so on.

  • All the places you've ever worked: Consider coworkers, associates, past bosses, past employees, employees of other firms with whom you've done business, clients, and vendors.

  • All the places you've ever gone to school: This can include grade school, middle school, high school, community college, university. Think of old friends from classes or seminars you've attended, people you met at swimming, yoga, scrapbooking, or cake decorating classes. Don't forget past teachers, administrators, and staff.

  • Friends and family: This is the category that's the easiest to think of, but ironically, these are the people who may not be as eager to assist you. So, when your lifelong best friend decides not to have a party for you, get over it and move on to the next one. Those who make the best hosts are your second and third level of friends. (The people you don't see often but who are on your holiday card list.)

  • Organizations, committees, and affiliations: This could be comprised of acquaintances or members of your church, folks from recreational activities like bowling and/or softball leagues, and people at the gym or fitness center where you work out. You may know people from children's sports activities, such as soccer, Little League, dance, or gymnastics. Think about committees or groups you've belonged to, like Scouts, political organizations, ladies' groups, leads clubs, or women's business groups.

  • Children-related contacts: Kids' friends' parents, coaches, teachers, doctors, tutors, and so on.

There are a couple of ways to organize your list. Beside each name, you can categorize them as 1s, 2s, or 3s — the 1s being the people you think are most likely to have a party (what you usually classify as your friends and family), and the 3s being those that you think may be least interested. Your inclination would be to start with the 1s because you think they are most likely to help, but this is not always true. Sometimes your best friends feel more comfortable shutting you down and giving you a no.

The 2s and 3s are actually better candidates. These are your second tier friends, old friends from high school and so on. This group of people is actually happy to hear from you and are more likely to say yes. So think about starting with those first.

Another way to organize your list is to write C, H, or R beside each name. C is for those likely to be customers, H is for those most likely to host, and R is for recruits, those who could potentially be right for the business. This list will help you be more intentional in your conversations when you're reaching out to your list.

However you categorize your leads, your goal is to get them to see the product in person — or if you run your business completely online, to send them a video or share photos of the product. After that, your goal is to secure a date for a party within your first 30 days.

For those first parties, it's important to create several chains of business — this means having people from as many different categories as possible. Doing so exposes you to many different circles and areas, which makes for a healthy and diversified start to your new business.

Think of a wheel. The spokes on a wheel represent the different categories of people you know. If your first parties are done with your sister, mom, aunt, and cousin, that may sound like a lot, but all of those still only represent one spoke on the wheel (the "family" spoke). With only one spoke, a wheel collapses.

Instead, if your first parties include a family member, a friend from church, a neighbor, and a coworker, you will expose yourself to a larger group of people. Your spokes are spread out, and your wheel will continue to roll along successfully.

Once you get your six bookings secured and dated on your calendar you should continue to refer back to your original list in your Booking Lead Notebook for ongoing bookings. Don't forget to add to this list with the people you meet moving forward.

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