Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom - Open Clubs

Open Clubs - A New Idea!

At Regional Celebration in Phoenix, Kristine Widtfelt talked about doing "open clubs" without any minimums. I've been doing that with one of my groups for a few months now and it works great! Especially in these economic times when people are worried about $$ and committing to a club, this is a nice solution that helps your clubs stay alive, but gives your customers peace of mind. Here are the details so you know what I mean:

There are no contracts or commitments that may make a gal reluctant to "join". Gals come as they are able to financially and schedule-wise. Whether you have 10 gals or 100, you place one order for all (usually). It doesn't matter what the club total is each month. All a hostess gets is $25 in FREE product whenever it is her turn to be hostess. All attendees are on a list 1-10, 1-100, or whatever. When you are at the top of the list, it is your turn to be hostess. Here's the catch....there may be one or 20 hostesses in any given month, or 50 for that matter. Here are some examples:

Example 1) Total club order is $200 for the month, the hostess rewards are only $25, so person #1 would be the only hostess.
Example 2) Club total is $300, hostess rewards are $40, but wait! Split your order into 2 $150 orders and then 2 gals each get $25 in hostess rewards. Person #1 and Person #2 each get $25 FREE.
Example 3) Club total is $350. Two gals each get $25 in hostess rewards and YOU as the consultant get the remaining $10 FREE AND the 50% off item. You can choose to do what you wish with this benefit. It could be used to invest back into your business, given to a special customer who placed an extra large order, or used to purchase a special gift for a customer in the future for example.
Example 4) Club total is $2000 because you no longer have 4 separate clubs, but one large combined one. Woo Hoo! Lots of 50% off items that you as the consultant can use to grow your business in many creative ways! I know many consultants have 2 rotating for the $25 in hostess gifts, and one for the 50% off item. One person could potentially earn both in one month, but more than likely, they are the guest feels like she is earning gifts and discounts a LOT more frequently!

Pros to Open Clubs:
1. Customers may have to get used to only getting $25 in gifts each time, but it will be MORE OFTEN! No longer does each gal have to wait 6 months to be the hostess again, it may be every 2-3 months with this new system!

2. We as consultants don't have to worry about that dreaded "Not Quite Full Club" It's always hard to deal with the club that just can't quite stay full. I've been struggling with that right now! I always seem to have just shy of a full club and have to supplement the hostess rewards. With this new structure, hostess rewards are given as they are earned by those who participate. After a gal is hostess, she moves to the bottom of the list and moves up as long as she participates. Participation isn't necessarily attendance, she need only make her minimum purchase if she is not able to attend one month and she stays on the escalator moving up as it were. If someone finds them self unable to participate due to financial constraints or personal choice, NO PROBLEM, they just move to the bottom of the list that month regardless of where they were at the time. If they do not return the following month, they are taken off the list until they return. Once they return, they are put back on the list at the bottom and begin moving up again. Gals can come and go as they desire without ruining the club. Those that stay and return every month are rewarded the most. Those that only come once in a while may never receive hostess benefits, but get to come and "PLAY" as they are able without hurting the rewards of others, or causing the consultant grief.

3. Using the rotating hostess list, gives you some flexibility as the consultant! A couple of examples of this are ...when a customer really wants something at 50% off NOW and she’s not quite at the top of the list, you can decide if it’s to your advantage business wise to put her at the top and no one would be the wiser since I don’t publish the rotation list to all my customers. OR If a customer wants to do an additional gathering to get more than $25 you can manipulate it so that her name is at the top the month she want to do the gathering. For this you first add up all club orders and divide out the hostess rewards as usual giving her $25. Then, you add in all of HER gathering and outside orders and she will get all the extra hostess credit and 50% items that she bumps it up to. Or, sometimes it's hard for customers to stay in the $25, or I don't charge them the shipping and tax on their $25. So, sometimes I’ll leave one $25 unclaimed and use it to “take care” of overages which my customers really appreciate. But they don’t really know how I’m taking care of it...I just tell them, “no worries, I’ll take care of it this time as my gift to you.” They love it and are tickled pink!

Anyway, I hope that this concept gives everyone something to think about! Post questions if you have them and we can have a discussion about it on the blog! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

Hi Everyone!
I have a short and sweet Wednesday Wisdom for you. How many of you know what Close to My Heart's mission statement is? Anyone? :) Here it is:

We show you how to celebrate relationships through the art of scrapbooking and stamping. Faster. Simpler. Easier.

It is so true! Let me share a story. My grandmother passed away last week. She was 103! Can you believe it? She was a sweetheart and we love her a lot. She didn't have a lot of possessions left, and had already given away many of her belongings when she moved into a nursing home. But do you know what she kept close to her? Photos of her loved ones and a scrapbook that our family had made for her years ago. All of the families and grandchildren had made simple scrapbook layouts (many of them are not scrapbookers) and put them together in an album. And it was one of her dearest possessions. That scrapbook celebrated her relationship with her family. When we teach customers about scrapbooking we are not just selling product to them. We are helping them commemorate dear relationships and memories that they will treasure. So, don't be shy to share what you do with others because you feel like you may be "pushy." You are really helping them celebrate what is most precious to them!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom 3-11-09

I've been reading over the new Start with Heart newsletters...have y'all seen them? They are fabulous! I know I've been a consultant for 10 years now, but there is always something new I can learn. Here is a tip I read this morning from Start with Heart issue #3 about the power of reminder calls.

One of the most important things you can do in preparation for a Gathering is to make reminder phone calls. Simply call each guest you invited, remind them of the date and time, and ask if they’ll be attending. There are two reasons this is so important:

  1. You need a head count so you can prepare enough materials.
  2. Your guests will know this is important to you and will be more likely to attend.

Use the reminder call as an opportunity to let each guest know it’s not too late to bring a friend, and that you’ll have a few extra projects on hand just in case. If you choose, you may even want to offer a small gift to guests who bring a friend; a stamp from the incentive set is an excellent idea. Here’s a sample of what you might say:

“Hello, Jane, this is Nancy calling. (Pause for her response.)

“I’m really excited about my Home Gathering on Thursday, and I’m busy making final preparations. We will be making a small project and I need to know how many guests to plan for. Will you be coming?” (Pause and wait for an answer.)

(If she says “yes,” say:) “Great! Are you planning to bring a friend?” (pause) “Great! See you Thursday at 7 p.m. It’s going to be so much fun!”

(If she says “no,” say:) “We’ll miss you. Would it work for you if I dropped off an Idea Book tomorrow for you to look at? Then I’ll call you on Friday to see what products you’re interested in, and to answer any questions you may have.”

I encourage everyone to go to the consultant website and click on "For New Consultants" under "Consultant Training" and check it out!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

Each Wednesday I will post a helpful hint, creative idea, or fun tip that might be useful! I encourage you all to add your own too. :) Here is this week's Wednesday Wisdom.

At the Regional Celebration this past week in Phoenix (I wish you all were there because it was fabulous!) there was a class about themes and there was a great list of Unofficial Holidays that you can use to make workshops or gatherings for fun! For example, May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day. Wouldn't it be fun to have a workshop where you each Chocolate Chip Cookies, use Chocolate ink and Chocolate cardstock in all of your projects etc? Or if April 13 is National Scrabble Piece, you could play a game at the party where you hand every guest a scrabble piece as they come and then draw a letter along the way for little prizes and if that's their letter they win! Of course you could show off our alphabet stamp sets on the projects. There are so many fun things you can do with your teams and customers with these wacky unofficial holidays! Here's the list that I have and I'm sure there are more fun themes out there. I'd love to hear what anyone has done with fun themes like these!

Little Known Unofficial Holidays

January 4 Trivia Day
January 8 English Toffee Day
January 20 Penguin Awareness Day
January 21 National Hugging Day
January 28 Kazoo Day
February 6 Wear Red Day
February 9 Clean Out Your Computer Day
February 10 Umbrella Day
February 15 Gumdrop Day
February 16 Do a Grouch a Favor Day
February 24 Tortilla Chip Day
March 2 Old Stuff Day
March 6 Dentist’s Day
March 12 Plant a Flower Day
March 26 Make Your Own Holiday day
April 2 Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
April 12 Licorice Day
April 13 Scrabble Day
April 24 National DNA Day
April 26 Hug an Australian Day
April 30 Hairstyle Appreciation Day
May 5 Hoagie Day
May 6 No-Diet Day
May 8 No Socks Day
May 11 Eat-What-You-Want Day
May 12 National Nutty Fudge Day
May 13 Leprachaun Day
May 15 National Chocolate Chip Day
May 20 Pick Some Strawberries Day
June 4 Hug Your Cat Day
June 6 Yo-Yo Day
June 7 Chocolate Ice Cream Day, Accordion Lover’s Day
June 17 Each Your Vegetables Day
June 24 Swim a Lap Day
June 26 Take Your Dog to Work Day
July 7 Strawberry Sundae Day
July 17 Pecan Pie Day
July 31 Mutts’ Day
August 2 National Mustard Day
August 3 Watermelon Day
August 10 S’Mores Day
August 12 Middle Child’s Day
August 13 Left-Handers’ Day
August 19 National Aviation Day
August 22 Daffodil Day
Sept 5 Cheese Pizza Day
Sept 16 Collect Rocks Day
Sept 18 Cheeseburger Day
Sept 19 Talk Like a Pirate Day
Sept 24 Cherries Jubilee Day
Sept 26 Hug a Vegetarian Day
October 5 Do Something Nice Day
October 10 Angel Food Cake Day
October 12 Egg Day
October 16 Dictionary Day
October 25 Make a Difference Day
October 30 Candy Corn Day
Nov 3 Sandwich Day
Nov 6 Marooned without a compass Day
Nov 7 Tongue Twister Day
Nov 8 Dunce Day
Nov 23 Cashew Day
Nov 27 Dental Floss Day
Dec 4 Wear Brown Shoes Day
Dec 7 Cotton Candy Day
Dec 13 Ice Cream & Violins Day
Dec 26 Candy Cane Day
Dec 28 Card-Playing Day