Sending thank you notes is an excellent cornerstone habit for your direct sales business. Once you make it part of your business routine, it will become part of your brand. And don't you want your brand to be known for excellence? Here is a list of people you can send thank you notes to in your business.
Thank them for their purchase. If you keep inventory, you can tuck the note into their order. If the order is shipped from your company's warehouse, send it the day the order is placed.
2. Party Guests
All party guests should get a thank you note whether or not they purchased anything. If they did purchase, thank them for their attendance and for their purchase. If they didn't, thank them for their attendance. It shows off your professionalism, and if you send it the day after the party, it is a gentle reminder that they attended a shopping event and there is probably still time to order.
Thank them for their time, for introducing you to their friends and for the opportunity for you to do your job (don't say it like that though). Here are sample thank you notes you can send to hostesses.
Thank them for thinking of you and for trusting you. When someone sends business your way, either by giving out your information or by giving you her friends' information, she should be thanked because it means she likes and trusts you. When random people contact you or shop from you, you can say, "who can I thank for sending you my way?" And if you're going to say that, you actually have to thank the person.
5. Potential Recruits
Thank them for their time. Coffee dates, meeting guests and opportunity call listeners should get a thank you note. If you use thank you notes as a business-building tool, it probably won't be the first one they get from you. And if they are shopping for a company or an upline, you'll move to the top of the list because they will know that you are thoughtful, caring and have your act together.
6. Networkers and Connections
While this isn't technically a thank you note, I included it on this list because you should treat it like you do a thank you note. You should send it out shortly after you meet the person, make it about the person and not ask for anything from them.
Thank them for their support. If your upline is supportive, thank her. Yes it is in her best interest for you to do well and she does profit from your efforts, but you profit from your customers' purchases and you don't think it is weird to thank them. If your upline isn't supportive, don't fake it. Just don't send her one.
8. Anyone Who Helped You
Thank them for their help. This list could include the hostess' daughter who entertained the kids at her party, the neighbor who rescued your UPS delivery from the porch when it rained unexpectedly and the Staples guy who helped you figure out the cheapest way to mail surprises to your team. They might not be customers, and you might not profit directly from them, but I bet they will remember that you were appreciative of what they did, and that's probably the kind of person they want to refer to their friends.
9. Your Peers, Home Office Staff and Trainers
Thank them for their support. Your peers will probably become your best friends in your business. You don't profit from each other, but your relationship does help you make money. If they quit, ugh. Make it hard for them to quit. The Home Office Staff is often overlooked, but you wouldn't have a business without them. Thank the consultant service rep who helped you straighten out an order that a customer (or you) screwed up. Thank the field development manager who trained you. Thank the breakout speaker for her speech that was exactly what you needed to hear.
10. Your Business
Thank it for everything. Treat your business like a business partner. Thank it for the money, the experiences, the knowledge and the stuff it gives you. Here are some ideas for how to do this.
Thank you notes are part of your professional brand. You can't overuse them.
Celebrate every day,
The thank you note is the most important note you'll write in your direct sales business, and it is the easiest way to make note-writing a business-building habit. The thank you note can become the gateway to all kinds of notes which will make you stand-out, be remembered and be respected. It is a business tool that can't be overused.
Here are 5 things the thank you note will do for your business.
1. Cause you to feel gratitude.
The simple act of writing a note makes you pause, reflect and give thanks. You're grateful for the person to whom you're sending the note, and you're thankful for the reason why you're sending the note.
2. Make the recipient think about you.
When the recipient reads the note, she will think about you. And because thank you notes have good energy, she'll think positively about you.
3. Measure business growth.
The more your business grows, the more reasons you have to send thank you notes. Getting referrals, receiving sales, making connections and participating in opportunities to share your products and services are all business-building activities. If you set a goal for the number of thank you notes you'll need to send, you'll create more reasons to send notes.
4. They make you stand-out.
There is competition in the direct-selling world. Customers can get the exact same product from lots of other consultants, and they can get similar products from lots of other companies. Replicated websites and packages shipped from warehouses look identical. A handwritten thank you note makes you stand out from everyone.
5. They make you look professional and service-oriented.
When you buy a house, the real estate agent will send you a thank you note. When you make a purchase at a high-end boutique, you'll receive a thank you note from the sales girl. But what criteria determines when a note should be written? Is it the price? The length of the buying process? The amount of personal attention required to get the sale? Why should there be any criteria? What if everyone got a thank you note? What if you made every customer feel valued and appreciated for every purchase?
The thank you note is a time-tested, proven business-building tool that good sales people use. Their connections with their customers are stronger, and stronger connections lead to repeat sales and referrals. In some sales transactions, the thank you note is expected. But there is no rule that says it can't be used for all sales transactions.
Celebrate every day,
All thank you notes are important, but if I have to rank the notes you write, the ones to hostesses are the most important. I believe they are an essential tool for a successful direct sales business. Here are six reasons why you should always write a thank you note to your hostess.
1. It's hard to host a party.
A hostess risks rejection. You are trained to handle "no," but she isn't. She just wants to have a fun time and get some free stuff. She's going to go to the path of least resistance and invite the people she thinks will come, and it's hard when even they say "no." Write her a note regardless of how many people come.
2. It's time consuming to host a party.
You might be in and out of the party in an hour or so, but she isn't. You probably told her to personally invite people. That takes time. You probably told her to send reminders, and that takes time. If it's an in-person event, she had to clean her house, stuff her kids in a closet, make food, worry about being judged for what she served and clean up after she kicks out the guest who doesn't know when to leave. Send her a note to thank her for her time.
3. She unwillingly becomes a middleman.
I know you're not expecting her to do your job, and you probably prefer to do it yourself, but she is going to have friends who want to use her as a middleman. Maybe they couldn't come to the party, but they are curious about the product. Maybe they aren't on Facebook, but still want to see a catalog. Despite your best coaching, there are going to be customers who put her in the middle. Thank her for her service.
4. She is your partner for the event.
Some people aren't going to come to the event, but they still might order. You don't have access to them. If you want their orders, she is going to have to touch base with them. She might have to drop off a catalog, take the order over the phone and then get it to you, etc. Send her a note to thank her for her partnership.
4. She gave you access to her friends.
She is the gateway to a whole new group of customers, hostesses and recruits. She trusts you and likes your product enough to introduce her friends to you and to it. Your business is only going to grow if you get new customers. A handwritten note is the least you can do to thank her for the potential for growth.
5. She'll assume the right things about you.
Your hostess is at the top of your list for potential recruits and for future parties. She chose to host a party with you, but it doesn't mean that she is going to choose you again. If you end the party experience with a thank you note, it leaves a lasting impression. When she wants to host one again, you'll be top-of-mind. And if she decides to become a consultant, it will be reasonable for her to assume that you will be a caring, appreciative and supportive upline. Send her a note because you want to fulfill her expectations.
6. It's excellent customer service.
You can't control your hostess, the guests or the party results, but you can control your customer service. And if you have control over it, why wouldn't you want it to be excellent? Send her a note because you are known for your excellent customer service.
Check out this blog post for examples of what to say in your thank you notes to hostesses.
Celebrate every day,
Before you start goal setting, you should begin with making a list of what you're grateful for in your business because everything starts with gratitude. And when you do this, you'll find that it is easier to set goals that you want to stick with. Here are some examples of things to get you started.
- Your team and employees. You might not have an official staff or team, but you have people who have helped you like the kid who showed you tricks on social media.
- Your customers because without them you'd just have a hobby.
- Your cheerleaders who keep you going when you feel like quitting.
- Your upline/mentors/coaches who give you how-tos.
- Money. Even if you didn't make as much as you wanted to, be grateful for the money you did make.
- Knowledge. You learned a lot last year. Some of it was through mistakes and some of it was through classes and workshops. But in any case, your business is that much farther along because of it.
- Connections. You've met people because of your business. You might not have met these people any other way.
- Celebrations. Hopefully you've been celebrating the successes along the way. Cheers to a sale! A special treat for reaching a goal. A dance party for doing something scary and living to tell about it.
- Expanding your comfort zone. You did some things for the first time, and because of that, your comfort zone is a little bit bigger.
- Processes and Systems. You are much more efficient now.
Once you have your list, write your business a thank you letter for 2018. Thank it for the growth, the support the experiences, etc. You wouldn't have had any of those things without your business.
And then, and this is powerful, write a thank you letter to your business for 2019. Write it as if it is the end of 2019. Thank it for everything it has done for you. Be as specific as possible. Dream big. Partner with your business. Let it work for you.
Here is an example of what you can write:
Thank you for our most successful year yet! Thank you for reaching our goal of earning $____ this year. And thank you for allowing me to travel to ___________ and experience ____________.
I also want to thank you for introducing me to the following people. ___________ And for enabling me to learn how to __________________.
Thank you for all the success and milestones such as _______________________. It has been a fantastic year, and I look forward to continuing to grow with you next year.
Celebrate every day,
If you are a leader or a coach, you know that the level of fear someone has is inversely related to the level of risk she is willing to take. Decrease her fear factor, and she'll increase her risk-taking. Here are things you can do to help someone overcome fear and take more risks:
1. Show her that you believe in her (or at least believe that she won't die).
You don't have to tell her which one you believe in. Tell her she can do it. If she is afraid to invite someone to join her team, remind of the reasons why someone would want to join her team or point out that you invited her and you're still alive to talk about.
2. Empower her.
"Knowledge is power" might be a cliché , but it is true. No one wants to do something for the first time blindly. But if she knows what to expect, how it works and how it usually ends up, she'll have a little more confidence. Give her a formula for what to say. Role play with her. Teach her to overcome the obstacles she might face.
3. Take baby steps.
If she's afraid to recruit, break down the recruiting process into baby steps. Go over her list of potential recruits with her. Talk about how each one would benefit from being on her team. Give her the words to say to invite someone to an opportunity event. Give her an outline to do an opportunity coffee chat. Share your training guide with her. As she completes each step, she'll gain confidence and be ready for the next one.
4. Lead her.
Your shadow can be a safe place to learn. Take her with you to an opportunity chat, and afterwards point out the key things you said and how you overcame objections.
5. Celebrate her journey.
Acknowledge each risk she takes. Picking up the phone might be no big deal to you, but she might find it easier to do practically anything else. So when she makes the first phone call, celebrate it. When she does it again, celebrate it. Celebrate it until she does it fearlessly. And then celebrate the next thing that she does.
Eventually she'll realize that she is fearless.
She eats raw cookie dough by the bowlful and then immediately goes swimming. She's logged at least a quarter mile running with scissors, and she drinks regularly from a hose. Once she walked into a brand new hair salon and told the stylist to do whatever he wanted. She is fearless. (The story on the back of the greeting card Fearless from the She is . . . Collection.)
Celebrate every day,
Set your goal. Plan. Redesign your plan. Overcome obstacles. Figure it out. Do it. Celebrate.
Every goal is accomplished the same way. Every goal will have obstacles and setbacks. Every plan will need to be adjusted. Every achieved goal needs to be celebrated. I think people skip the celebration too often, and I wonder if the celebration was planned when the goal was set, if more goals would be achieved.
The celebration doesn't need to be a big grandiose thing. Getting caught up on your laundry doesn't mean you have to throw yourself a party, but now that your clothes aren't all over the floor, there might be room for dancing. So your celebration might be a quick dance party or it might be getting to wear your favorite shirt again.
You can, and you should, plan your own celebration. When you plan the reward at the end of the goal, it gives you something to reach for when you have to regroup. The celebration puts punctuation on the goal. You can move on to the next one with more confidence and with a better formula for what works.
You can, and you should, celebrate someone else's achievements. The celebration level can match the size of the goal. Say "woo hoo" for someone's empty laundry bin. Write "woo hoo" in a handwritten note for a promotion or anniversary. Clink glasses for a milestone achievement.
Celebrate in layers. Start with the spoken word, and then add the written word for a bigger goal. Add a gift or an event for the next goal level. And never underestimate the power of cake.
When I was a leader. we used to have cake for every promotion at our team meetings.The person promoting got to pick the flavor and take home the leftovers. The more often we did it, the less leftovers there were because some people came because they knew there would be cake. I didn't care if that's why they came. I was going to feed them with training while they were there.
The story on the back of Did It from the She is . . . Collection
She set her goal, mapped out her strategy and planned a victory celebration which may or may not include cake. At first, everything was going so smoothly she was afraid she might reach her goal before she made a decision about cake. But eventually the setbacks came, and after working through them, cake was a definite. In fact, sometimes the only reason she didn't quit was because cake was at stake. When the day finally came that she reached her goal, she celebrated with a cake that said "she did it."
Celebrate every day,
Q: How do you know which party guests get a thank you?
A: The ones who are breathing.
It seems obvious that consultants in direct sales should send a thank you note to the party guests who purchase at the party. Of course they deserve a few heartfelt sentences of appreciation. They just gave you money.
But what about the ones who didn't buy? What did they do to deserve your written thanks? Well, they gave up something to attend. Maybe it was their favorite TV show or maybe it was a chore that is going to be neglected (because heaven knows that no one else is going to see the dishes piled in the sink).
Maybe she didn't buy because she is an investigator. She gathered all the information you provided, and she plans to research the product, the company and the consultant (that's you in this scenario). But first she has to tackle the mountain of dishes that grew while she was at your party. And then life happens, she forgets about the party, the party closes and she never gets the things on her wish list.
But if you send everyone who is breathing a note, it will serve as a reminder. She'll get it a few days after the party occurred, she'll read it over an empty sink and have time to place her order before the party closes. She'll get her treasures, the hostess will get her goodies and you'll get new customers, sales and maybe even a free trip.
You can collect mailing addresses at a physical party by giving everyone an order form and asking them to fill out the top. They can use the order form as a wish list. You collect the part you usually do so that you have their addresses and so that you can let them know if anything on their wish list is on sale or retiring. You can also print out drawing slips. Have everyone complete the slip, and draw for something fun at the end of the party. If you're doing an online event, you can set up a Google form and have everyone complete that for a drawing.
The day after the party, write out your thank you notes for purchasing and for attending. Let them know you were happy to meet them and that you'd love to serve them. You will make an impact on them because while it seems obvious that a consultant should write a thank you note to everyone who purchased, many (if not most) do not.
Celebrate every day,
There may come a time when you either want to or have to find a new gig, and you’re probably going to want to take everything you've built with you. Your clients and customers. Your team. Your network.
I don’t know if a history of sending handwritten notes will cause them to follow you, but I bet if you’re someone who sends notes, you are probably doing a lot of other things right. Your clients might not care what you sell, they just want to give YOU their money. Your team might not care what they sell; they just want to be lead by you. Your network might want to sell something else, and following you might be the reason they switch.
Note writing is good business practice. It keeps you top-of-mind and makes you stand out. It is also one of the most inviting ways you can intrude into someone's day. If you're a welcome intrusion, it will be easier for you to reach out to announce your new adventure even if you do it in a mass email.
So, if you haven't made note-writing part of your regular business practice, you should start now because you never know when you'll have to revert to Plan B.
Celebrate every day,
Ummm . . . how about the handwritten note?
When we decided to put our house on the market, the reason I picked the Realtor we used was because she always wrote me a note after I did a party for her. Did you follow that? She was the hostess and I was the consultant, and she wrote me a note after each party she hosted (and this is when we thought we were going to live in that house forever). I hired her even though other Realtors were going to give me a better deal because I knew she understood that she wasn’t in the real estate business. She was in the people business.
I was never the only consultant in my direct sales company, and everyone in the company sold the exact same products. Customer service is the only thing that distinguished me from other consultants. The handwritten thank you note was an easy way for me to stand out, and I got referrals as a result of them.
The percentage of sales placed electronically without any interaction between a consultant and a customer is increasing. If I don’t get a thank you note (at the very least an electronic one) from the consultant on whose website I ordered, I will choose another consultant’s website to order from next time. And more importantly, I won’t recommend her to another potential customer or recruit. If she’s too busy to thank me for the sale that didn’t require any effort on her part, I assume she isn't interested in building a relationship with me, and I want to work with people in the people business.
Don't underestimate the power of a handwritten thank you note. Most of the time the recipient won't acknowledge that you sent it (it's weird to thank someone for a thank you), but when she has a need your product or service can fill, you will have an edge over everyone else in town.
Celebrate every day,
When you're a little fish in a big pond, you will get overlooked. And no matter what size fish you are or how big the body of water is, it is difficult to have your family see you as a business woman.
Most direct sellers are working their businesses as side gigs, and most of their days are spent in their primary roles as career women, moms, wives, volunteers, etc. They aren't bringing in the big bucks (yet), and the time they are working their businesses probably used to be the time they spent with their support systems.
Getting coffee with friends, watching TV, making home-cooked meals and volunteering at every school event is being replaced with training calls, parties, networking, marketing activities and growing a team. And although not all coffee dates are refused and not every meal is from a box, their support systems might feel neglected.
Less than 10% of the field for any direct sales company will get public recognition from the home office. Which means that more than 90% of the field aren't showing up in company newsletters, hobnobbing with big wigs on incentive trips, walking across stage at conferences or driving free cars. And when someone is new to her business or working hard to promote to leadership, the top performers' numbers aren't a fair comparison or accurate measure of her success.
Sometimes the consultant is stuck in the middle between her passion and her family. No matter how big she wants to build her business, the support of her family is important for her success. And it's hard for them to see the big picture when they are eating mac and cheese again and looking at numbers that seem unreachable.
But a carefully placed handwritten note can help put things into perspective. Her husband could come across a note casually left on the counter and read your words of praise for everything she's accomplished. You also write how proud you are and appreciate everything she brings to the team. And you close (or maybe you write several notes because this one could get long) with a sentence of how strongly you believe her perseverance will payoff.
Perhaps he will see her as more than a wife/mom/career woman/volunteer. Perhaps he will realize that she's kind of a big deal.
Celebrate every day,