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Oh, the dreaded calendar white space. If you’re gazing at a little too much extra time on your calendar early in the year, know that you’re not alone, and there are a few quick steps you can take to fill it on up! Traditionally in direct sales, we have a lil’ bit of a slump in January. You spend a little too much time shopping for gifts, basting the turkeys, and baking all the treats. I know that sounds familiar to most, right? You walk into January and realize, huh, maybe I should have spent a bit more time looking ahead.
What I first want you to do is take a minute to breathe.
Don’t get down on yourself. We have literally all been there.
Jumping back into the year can be really dang tough, but that’s why now is the best time to start digging back in. It takes some time to reset after January, but by March, many of us are getting in a groove again, the sun is shining, people are feeling motivated and trying to get things in before summer break arrives.
So, to fill up your calendar and reach those big goals you have this year, it’s never too late! And with these six lil’ steps, you’ll be on your way to filling up that calendar in no time. Happy booking, friends!
Step #1: Set Your Goals
How many bookings do you want on your calendar?
This is the question I want you to ask yourself when setting your goals. Because y’all, without that booking goal, you will never know when you’re done filling your calendar!
Your goals could be income-based. How much commission do you want to make?
They could be personal. How many times do you want to leave the house and drink a glass of wine with other ladies each week?
The most important thing to remember is you are the CEO of your business. You, and only you, can dictate what you want out of your business. That’s the glorious thing about this direct sales business, friends!
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut or overbook yourself if you don’t have goals guiding your strategy. So, sit down and write out your goals, and check in often.
Don’t know where to start?
Check out our blog post on how to set and reach your direct sales goals!
Step #2: Block Off Booking Times
So, once you have those goals set, you’re going to need some time to go after them. Some of y’all think bookings are just going to appear magically. If you send two emails a month, your calendar will not be full. Sorry to break it to you. Excuse the sass, but it’s true!
It took you a while to fill up your calendar in the beginning, right? Well, it’s going to take time now to get it back in shape!
Depending on how big your goals are and what else you have going on in your life, block off time daily or weekly to work on your direct sales business goals.
Whether it’s 20-minutes every morning, every day at lunch, late-night sessions after the babies are in bed—whatever works for you, your schedule, and your goals. Just make sure it is physically blocked off for that accountability!
Step #3: Make a List of Prospects
If you’ve ever read the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, he explains we’re 25% more efficient when we work from a list. Many direct sellers have a shotgun approach to booking, which simply isn’t effective for long-term growth.
You need to make a concentrated to-do or to-contact list, so you’re going into booking with a plan! Here are a few lists you can whip up today to start checking off some asks:
I like to call this customer care, y’all. Check-in with those customers! Do not forget about them for six months at a time and expect your business to grow. If you have consumable products, check to see if they need a refill. If you’re a kitchenware company, share a recipe you just made using their new product and ask if they have any questions. Simply ask how they are and how their products are doing. Spark a conversation that could lead somewhere!
Listen. I know it’s spring launch season! This is the BEST time to be booking. Are you reaching out to past hosts to see if they want to get some friends together and see what’s new?! Most direct sales companies will have a backend system where you can pull a list of your previous hostesses. Print it out and check ‘em off!
Those Who Fell Through the Sticky Note Cracks
Anyone else have a house and office filled with sticky notes? Maybe a notes section on your phone filled with brain dumps and spur-of-the-moment thoughts for your business? If so, you’re not alone. But it is super easy for those to fall through the cracks. So keep a comprehensive list of these ideas on your computer so that you can work through them over time.
Your “Chicken List”
We all have a chicken list. Those people we’ve been afraid to ask. We have started messages but gotten into our heads only to hit “delete draft” and scrap it. Whether you think the ask is out of your league, or think they’ll say no—whatever it is, don’t let it stop you. Be brave, be bold. You got this! Your product or service provides VALUE, don’t forget that.
When was the last time you hosted a party, friend? If you haven’t held your own party in a while, let’s say 3 or 4 months, it’s time to host a party. Whether it’s a Mystery Host Party, a birthday party so you can celebrate with all your friends, a launch party for a new spring line, you can host too!
Learning Events or Workshops
A calendar doesn’t have to be filled with just parties. It’s about business-building events, too! Learning events and workshops are super fun; they’re value-centric and focused on educating while also getting your products out there. I used to choose the hostess promo product for the month, and I’d do a workshop on how to use it, tips and tricks, etc. Then, if someone would say, “OMG, I NEED this product in my life,” which they inevitably would, I’d respond, “Girl, host a party—you may get it for free or at a super discount!”
Your Testers and Besties
One way to spark some interest is to try a new party format! Try Sqweee or Zoom, do a shortened format—whatever it is you’ve wanted to try. Who are your adventurous people who will give you honest feedback? Ask them to try this new party format with you and provide you with feedback at the end.
Phew, these should keep ya busy for a while, yes?
Step #4: Check Your Ask
If things seem to be failing, I want you to check your ask. Are you sending a mile-long letter or a novel? You want your follow-ups to be short, sweet, and come from a place of service. You don’t want to make it sound like you’re just checking off people to talk to on your list, and you don’t want to overwhelm them with questions.
Keep it 3 to 4 sentences and make sure you’re providing value.
Step #5: Just Do It
Alright, y’all. You’ve got your goal, your time, your list, and your ask—it is time to stop the dilly-dallying and start reaching out. Do not wait, do not procrastinate, don’t do your spring cleaning, don’t respond to messages or email—just do your booking asks. It is the ONLY way you’re going to fill that puppy up!
If you don’t have a day to sit down, that is okay! The beautiful thing about the direct sales business is you make it what you want it to be. Maybe your booking time is the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing you do before you go to bed. Do it whenever your schedule allows, but procrastination will just waste time. It doesn’t serve you—so just do it.
Step #6: Follow-Up
This one is seemingly simple, but I know so many ladies who don’t add follow-up to their booking strategies list. And I love y’all, but that’s a mistake. Follow-up is one of the simplest ways to get more parties on that calendar and sell more goodies.
When you reach out, some people will not want to host a party. They’ll say not right now, maybe in March. Well, if March has arrived and you haven’t followed up with that person about hosting their party, you need to get on it, friend. People always have stuff going on in their lives, but if you’re consistently asking, you’ll reap the benefits of that 30, 60, 90 days from now because you’ll have a list of ladies that say, “not now, but definitely later.” Remember that, and don’t drop that follow-up ball. If you do, you’re leaving money on the table!
Be Consistent & Don’t Give Up
Your calendar didn’t get empty overnight, friends. It took time. So, building that business back up will, too. That’s okay! As long as you’re consistently following these steps and persevering through the setbacks, you’ll get there. The more you practice these steps, the more it will become a routine. These will become non-negotiable habits and weekly to-dos for your business, and you’ll reap the benefits. Just be patient, you’ll see.
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Mary Haynes is a highly successful direct seller turned direct sales strategist and coach! She loves helping direct sellers streamline and scale their businesses using simple, tried and true strategies. Her goal is to reduce the overwhelm so you know what to do and when to do it in your business. Mary is also a homeschooling mama that lives in sunny Florida with her husband, 4 kiddos, a dog, and various other backyard animals.
Hey, I'm Mary!
My passion is helping you simplify and streamline your direct sales business using tried and true systems that reduce overwhelm and help you reach your business goals even faster! Find out more about what we do here.
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