Seldia supports more EU action on Female Entrepreneurship
On 12 July over 100 participants from EU, government and stakeholders’ organisations gathered in Brussels for the luncheon debate in the European Parliament on Female Entrepreneurship, hosted by Italian Member of European Parliament Barbara Matera, and organised by Seldia, the European Direct Selling Association. Focusing on entrepreneurial women in Europe, the event touched upon testimonials, current trends, obstacles and solutions and introduced participants to the social and economic benefits of direct selling.
“Flexible job opportunities and new entrepreneurial ventures help single mothers and the young unemployed female population to regain economic independence” said Barbara Matera, MEP for EPP and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. “It is not about social or gender arguments” adds Madi Sharma, Member of the Economic & Social Committee, “the economic argument is the relevant one. To get us out of the crisis, women entrepreneurs can generate much economic development”. Read the full story here!
EUROPEAN DIRECT SELLING
UK DSA House of Commons Reception
The UK DSA, together with some of the industry’s leading Chief Executives, attended on 5 July a House of Commons reception to discuss some of the key priorities for the industry and outline how it is contributing to the Government’s economic growth agenda.
At the event which was hosted by Conservative Member of Parliament Brian Binley, the UK DSA and leaders from some of its 50 member companies, called on MPs to recognize the vital contribution the industry makes in supporting people back to work, inspiring entrepreneurs, and creating micro businesses. Paul Southworth commented at the event: “Some people may still think of direct selling as just ladies and lipstick, but the industry has come a long way and it’s big business here in the UK, with annual sales of approximately £2billion. The event was extremely useful in enabling us to discuss the DSA’s priorities with key Members of Parliament and to plan for the future of our industry – which is closely aligned to the government’s current agenda around encouraging new businesses and entrepreneurship.”
DSEF publishes eBook “Business Owner’s Road Map to Success”
DSEF – the Direct Selling Education Foundation has just published its free downloadable eBook called “Business Owner’s Road Map to Success” which helps small business owners implement new ideas in order to take their businesses to the next level. “The DSEF blog posts collected in the Business Owner’s Roadmap to Success reflect the Foundation’s commitment to championing ethical entrepreneurship and standing up for consumers on behalf of the direct selling industry,” says Nancy Laichas, DSEF Director of Marketing & Communications. “This free e-book gives direct sellers—and any small business owner—actionable techniques to increase their confidence, reach their goals, deliver outstanding customer service and operate with the highest of ethics.”
To find out more about the e-book and DSEF visit the website or join us in Milan for Seldia’s Annual Round Table on 3 October where the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Executive Director Mr. Charlie Orr will be speaking.
For many direct selling companies, it’s no secret that when the mercury rises, sales and recruitment figures tend to dip. As school lets out and would-be shoppers embark on their yearly vacations, distributors often face new difficulties booking parties and connecting with members of their downline during the “dog days” of summer.
“The dreaded ‘J’ months of June and July are almost always challenging—so, we discuss, plan and implement programs and incentives to address the various degrees of motivation our field needs,” said Connie Tang, President and CEO of Princess House. “We traditionally offer an incentive trip contest that runs through the summer, keeping our top tier of highly engaged consultants and organizers active and excited. Additionally, we offer recruiting incentives and team development opportunities, which keep our active numbers steady or growing.”
In an effort to embrace the summer months, companies like Princess House also offer seasonal products and incentives to keep shoppers and distributors tuned in, Connie said. Read the full story here.
Maintaining relationships are essential to the success of your business. In this era of social media, it is easy to send a Facebook message or text to a contact instead of having a face-to-face conversation. However, there are times when interacting in person is appropriate and more effective than other methods. The following situations are opportunities for you to have conversations that will improve your business.
Face-to-face conversations to have with:
Clients – Once a month, you should meet with your clients to discuss the future as you continue doing business together. Even if it is just to touch base on a recent project or transaction, regular meetings with clients demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction. Additionally, these meetings will give you both a chance to analyze and reflect upon where you see the business relationship going. For example, the owner of a local coffeehouse should meet with his baked goods supplier about once a month to go over possible new menu options, changing dietary demands of his customers, and price points. The supplier can then use this time to suggest new recipes and delivery schedules. Tip: Meet with clients to ask for suggestions. Talking solely about matters relating to sales will only show that you are thinking of how the relationship affects you and your business.
Prospects – Connecting with prospects can have many benefits. If you’re a direct seller who has discussed your opportunity with a prospect, schedule a face-to-face follow-up meeting where your prospect will prepare any questions he or she has thought of while considering a decision. It can also be a chance for you to alleviate fears, build confidence, and share materials. Meetings conducted in person have an advantage over phone calls because they show prospects that they are high on your priority list; they also allow both parties to rely on visual cues, not just verbal ones. Prospects should feel comfortable with a possible sponsor, and face-to-face meetings help them get to know you.
Mentors – Even if you are operating a successful, profitable business, it is a good idea to meet with your mentor every now and then. Pick the person’s brain about the industry, their experience with changing economic climates, and ideas about how to grow your business even further. Most industries are always evolving, and a mentor will be able to give you useful information and help you stay on top of what is current and relevant for your business. If you get to a point where it seems your mentor cannot teach you anything new, it’s time to find a new mentor. When your business changes, your needs also change.
Other salespeople – Whether it’s someone else in your field, or just another local business owner down the block, reach out to other salespeople to brainstorm ideas about how to work together to improve business. Contacts like these are also great for motivating each other to continue despite setbacks and sharing ideas about common goals. Surround yourself with other businesspeople who strive for success, and you will be consistently motivated to strive to reach your potential.
Making time for face-to-face conversations is not always easy, but failing to do so will cause you to miss out on some wonderful opportunities for business growth. What other types of conversations do you think will improve your business?
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Roberto Gonzalez has been appointed General Manager of Latino Markets for non-member ViSalus.
R. Scott Montgomery has been named President of Reliv’s Asia-Pacific operations. He will be leaving his former position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer to restructure and further develop business in the Asia-Pacific region.
Shawn Soh has been named Senior Manager of Regional Business and Field Development in 4Life’s Chinese-speaking markets.
ACN was an Admiral Sponsor for the Charlotte, N.C., Big Brothers/Big Sisters 8th annual Big Day At The Lake, where children were given the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. ACN supports Big Brothers/Big Sisters in their other events throughout the year, such as the Chip’n For Children Golf Tournament and the Bowl for Kids’ Sake.
Avon has introduced a line of health and beauty supplements in the Philippines.
Creative Memories recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Mary Kay and Seventeen Magazine are sponsoring the “Fall Into Your Beauty” scholarship contest. A $5,000 scholarship and Mary Kay cosmetics package will be awarded to the winner later this fall.
Miche Bags recently partnered with its independent representatives to build a school in Abomosu, Ghana. They were able to raise more than $38,000 for construction of the school and uniforms.
Oriflame has announced its partnership with the Women’s Tennis Association is now global. The sponsorship, which began in 2011 and previously covered Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and Africa, has been expanded to include the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
Shaklee Malaysia recently sponsored an expedition aimed at promoting environmental conservation and bicycling amongst youth. The event engaged 60 students between the ages of 13 and 17 and was organized by the Batu Pahat High School and Batu Pahat Education Department. Along with promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, the students used the expedition to do their part for the community by carrying out charity work at several stops along their journey.
Youngevity Essential Life Sciences has entered into a sales and marketing alliance with Livinity. The alliance will integrate Livinity’s product line, customers and distributors with the rest of the Youngevity distribution base.