Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's Never Too Late to Make a Good Impression!

May  is International Business Image Improvement Month!  What better time to take a look at the type of image your business is presenting.  And if you don't like what you see, now is the time to make a plan to change it. 

Take a step back and look at your business.  Think about what your customers/clients see when they first interact with you.  If you have a physical brick-and-mortar location, walk in through the front door.  This is what a customer sees when they enter.  What do you see?  What type of image does it present?  Does it match the image you want for your business?

Now take a look at your online presence.  Ask friends to browse your website and ask them what they think.  Is it well-organized and user-friendly?  Can they find the information they need quickly?  Does it present the kind of image you want for your business?

Next look at all the other areas customers may come into contact with your business:  business cards, letterhead, brochures, advertising, even the message on your answering machine.  Do these present the same image as your website or your physical location?

Finally, take a look at yourself.  Yes, that's right.  When you meet a client, are you neatly dressed and professional looking?  Do you convey confidence and skill?  You don't have to be dressed in the latest designer fashions, but you must appear neat and organized and appropriately dressed for the type of business you represent. 

If you find that you are not quite projecting the image you want, don't fear!  There is an old saying that you "never get a second chance to make a first impression."  But I believe that it's NEVER too late to make a good impression.  So make the changes necessary to improve your business image.  Hire a graphic designer or website designer for help with your site.  There are professional image or brand consultants that can assist you with everything from logos to letterhead.  If your physical location needs some work, hire a professional organizer or interior designer.  If you can't afford, then ask colleagues or friends for input. 

So for the next two weeks, examine your business image and plan your strategy for improvement.  Take the steps to make your business stand out in the crowd. Because it's never too late to make a good impression.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Network Marketing Tip - Which Company is the Best?

There are dozens of opportunities out there - some legit and some not. Many of them promise to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams - overnight, while you sleep, with no effort on your part. That's usually a dead giveaway that it's not a good choice. Those companies will lead you to the first stumbling block in MLM disaster - failure to build a downline. People that get involved with these types of "opportunities" have the "get-rich-quick" mentality that makes them highly unlikely to commit to your team long-term. They will bail after the first few months of minimal income (my first check from one of these was a whopping 84 cents and I never made more than $20 dollars a month the entire time I was involved - which was before I learned the facts about MLM). Or once they discover that in order to actually make "real" money you have to either invest some money of your own or actually put in some "real" work, they will be gone to the next flashy promise.

So the first sign of a good MLM business is one that let's you know up front that money can be made - if you are willing to do the work. By the way, don't confuse a bad associate with a bad company. Unfortunately, there are perfectly great companies misrepresented by associates who will promise you anything to get you on their team. Don't take the word of the person recruiting you unless you know and trust them. Check out the company for yourself and see what they actually promise.

Second, look at the comp plan. Can you actually build a team and customer base big enough to make some money? How many levels down will you be paid commission on? Are there breakaways (a team member promotes to the same level as you or higher and leaves to start his own downline, taking everyone he has recruited so far with him). Do you have to buy products yourself or hit a certain quota to get paid? The first company I joined had great products and a stellar reputation. But you had to have a huge downline or tons of customers to make any money. Still not a problem except for one thing. You were not allowed to mention the company name in any promotional material until the prospect asked for more information. And you were not allowed to use any type of capture or squeeze pages to build a contact list. So how were you supposed to build your business? Door-to-door, in-home parties, and hounding everyone you knew. Plus you had to purchase a certain amount of product yourself each month to get a check. No thanks. I'd rather have a job. Lots less hassle!

Third, check out the support and training. Is there actual training? Do you have the phone numbers of your upline sponsor and perhaps his sponsor and maybe even two or three more people above him? Is there promotional material available - either free or at an affordable cost? Is your upline willing to assist you while you begin to build your customer base and downline?

Last, but most important, look at the product. All of the above is meaningless if you're selling a product that you don't believe in. That's what you want to focus on. Selling the product. If you focus on just building a downline, once you run out of friends and family to recruit, how are you going to continue to grow? Selling the product provides you with a ready made list of prospects for your business. That's how I got involved many years ago with my current company. I loved the products and use them regularly. So when my salesperson asked if I'd like to know more about the business opportunity, it was an easy decision. The product sales are where the money comes from. So unless you're planning to buy a whole bunch of whatever it is yourself, you'd better have some customers. The biggest downline in the world is useless if you the company isn't making enough sales to pay you. do I know my current company is the best? 1. No one ever promised I'd be rich overnight without any effort on my part. They all told me I could build a great income if I was willing to put in the effort. And they even told me what type of effort would be required if I wanted significant income. I make a good living with this. Network marketing provides me with the freedom to pursue other interests.

2. Comp plan is fabulous. And it's based on customer sales not recruiting new members so you don't have to worry about people giving your organization a bad name by trying to simply recruit as many as possible to make the next level. 

3. Support and training. Conference calls, training videos, meetings - we have them all. And that's just from corporate. My team also sponsors training calls and meetings. I know how to contact everyone on my team - upline and downline - and any of them will help me whenever I ask. And as an added bonus - you get me and my team and all that we have learned about MLM over the years. Everyone of us has been doing this successfully for a while.

4. Finally the products. Health and wellness products.  Cleaning products.  Beauty products.  Even pet products.  And more coming all the time. Stuff everyone uses everyday.

Now you know what to look for. The choice is yours. Find out more about my company. If it's not for you, then use these guidelines to find a company that is.