Organize Your Office #3 InterviewPosted by Deb Bixler
The New Zealand Party Plan Expert talked about how to plan ahead and put systems in place to get organized before you are a success so that you can grow into them.
This is the 3rd in a 4-part series of articles that have been transcribed into text for the hearing impaired home party plan consultant.
If you have not listened to the first one, then please start at the beginning of the series:
Office Organization, Transcribed To Text
DEB BIXLER: Welcome back to the CashFlowShow Direct Sales Radio airing in every country in the world seven days a week. So we are live on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, and feel free to email with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And Anne, we did get a question during break on how to organize your office when doing a lot of recruiting.
ANNE HOWIE: Oh great, cool.
DEB BIXLER: Yeah, and it’s actually two questions in one. It’s from Lisa, and the first one — I’m pretty sure she is referring to your recruiting of 110 people or having your team leveraging, and that’s what this — you know, when you can get other people doing the same the thing, you’re leveraging your system.
ANNE HOWIE: Well, I’ve never been very keen on cold calling. I’ve always found it very difficult to do.
DEB BIXLER: Okay. [Laughter]
ANNE HOWIE: And actually, I’m now actively training people not to do cold calling because I think that what happens is that with cold calling, you sit down and you could make 50 calls, and you might get two or three successful calls, but in that time, you’ve actually wasted a lot of time in all of the other calls.
DEB BIXLER: Right.
ANNE HOWIE: So a major part of my business is always being customer service and customer care, making people feel looked after, giving them an experience so that they would not go anywhere else.
DEB BIXLER: Right, right.
ANNE HOWIE: In that way, you never have to cold call. You actually never cold call because you’re always working with people that are really happy to be associated with you.
DEB BIXLER: Right, and cold calling: for Lisa, there’s the article on the website with some real statistics about how ineffective cold calling is. [Laughter] So go to the website in cashflowshowradio.com. Click the blog link, and there’s like five or 10 categories on different topics, so that would be probably under sales, skills, or bookings, or you could do a search for cold calling. Cold calling rarely works, I think, because — it’s all about connections and creating a relationship.
ANNE HOWIE: It definitely is, and I think that often we do cold calling because we don’t know what else to do, and there are so many other things you can do apart from having to go through the pain and torture for yourself and also for the person that you’re calling.
DEB BIXLER: Right, right. Well, the other half of her question, maybe this will lead in to what we’re going to talk about anyway, was how do you break down the time? Maybe we have some people tuning in late; we’re talking about how to grow your business three, four, five, 10 times bigger. What’s it going to look like when you get there so that now before you’re there, you can plan ahead and put some systems into place to deal with that? So her question is how do you break down the time—admin, personal life, sales, recruiting—how do you break down your time? Do you have a system for that?
Systems To Organize The Party Plan Office
ANNE HOWIE: That would be difficult to answer in a really short, concise way, but there are lots of different ways that you can organize your time and your party plan office…. and what I’ve found is that the way that works for me doesn’t work for everyone.
So when I’m working with my team or when I was working with my team, it’s about finding a way that would work for them. The way that it works for me was using a planner and blocking in times.
So first of all thinking about what are the important people and activities in my own life, which involved obviously children, partner, friends, social time, and I think you put that in first, because those things get missed out when you are in the thick of things. You’re so busy doing your business that all of these things that are very important to you get missed out, so they go in first. They get blocked off. Each week every Sunday night, sit down and do this. They get blocked off.
Next, I would put in any other commitments that I had. If I was on a committee or something, they get put in as well. I’d end up with all of the spaces that are available for my business, and some of the times that are available will be suitable for doing parties. They would be party times. Some would be suitable times for working with team members. Some would be dead times of day where I couldn’t talk to customers, I couldn’t do parties, you know, I couldn’t do anything, so that would be times for me to do office work in those steps.
So I just organize it that way. I have it in my diary or in my calendar, and every morning, I just look at it and say right, that’s what I’m doing today then.
DEB BIXLER: Right, right. And something you said, prioritize a little bit. One of the things that I sometimes tell people is like okay, make a list from one to 10 of the most important things in order, make the list first and prioritize them in order, what’s the most important? Your personal life, your family, recruiting, sales - prioritize these things, and then try to line up the amount of time you spend on them, because then we tend to prioritize where we spend our time and it’s totally inverted. So you need to plan — where you’re spending your time one to 10, what’s most important, and then try to make an alignment so they’re congruent. But where do we want to go here? We’re going to talk about some more examples where we…
ANNE HOWIE: Okay.
DEB BIXLER: Yeah.
ANNE HOWIE: Yeah, let’s talk about how to get the system sorted, and really, all we can today is get you thinking and get you on your way, so I’m hoping that the listeners might be jotting down some ideas. You know, when we start talking about this sort of stuff, sometimes sections of inspiration can happen for you and you go…
“Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m doing it that way and I can do it this way,” so catch those things if they do happen while you’re listening. Catch them and write them down. And maybe it would be really quite fun if you do think of something while we’re talking if you emailed it into Deb and we could hear some of the light bulbs that might have gone off as you’re listening.
Organizing The Business
So there are really four areas that I sort of looked at in your business, and I think when organizing it can all be covered in almost every part of your life in four areas.
And the four areas would be:
- Your personal business, which is your own sales and your own recruiting at your own party. So your own business, what you did when you were just a consultant, because you still have to do that.
- The second area would be your personal life.
These aren’t in any particular order. They just… are random orders. I know personal life should have come first, or it should have, but personal life, so everything around personal life.
- Your office administration, which I’d make different to your personal business because this is just running the back office of your business.
- Then the fourth area, which is the area that’s most important for your growth, is running your team.
So we take it to those four areas…. What you could do as an activity is sit down and think about all of the things that you do within each area.
The Consultant’s Personal Business
So personal business, what are all the things that you do?
- You place orders.
- You possibly make deliveries, not everybody does, but some companies do deliver your products.
- You have to organize your parties.
- Maybe you have to make hostess packs.
You know, all of those things. You have to do customer follow-up, so make a list of everything that you do for your personal business, and then goes through that list and think about how you do it, how could you change it if your business is five times bigger, how would you have to change it. So first the thing I would do is see what I can get rid for all of these categories.
First thing is what I can get rid of, and that would mean delegating.
DEB BIXLER: Right.
ANNE HOWIE: So what can I delegate? You know, making up hostess packs. A teenager down the road could come and do that for me. So you don’t have to spend a fortune, but we need to try and free up as much time as possible. So first of all, delegating, and then you’ll be left with things that actually you have to do.
There are some things that only you can do. I don’t believe that anybody else should do your customer’s follow-up. If you are speaking to customers, I don’t think you can delegate that. I think you have to do that because it’s about relationship building. Same for deliveries, you know, you need to do that because that’s a fantastic opportunity for recruiting when you have another contact with the hostess. But what would you change? If you think about your orders, how would you change that? Would you maybe just place orders once a week? Would you change how you did it? Would you change how you do your deliveries?
And just think about all those things. You know, hostess packs. I went through a time where by the end of my life, these making up hostess packs and recruiting packs, actually, business information packs, I’ll be just about to go out to a party and realize that I didn’t have any so then I’d have to quickly print out stuff and stuff them in the envelopes and get it all ready. So when I did this activity, I realized that what I could do is actually make up a hundred packs.
DEB BIXLER: I see. That’s what I did.
ANNE HOWIE: In a couple of hours and make a hundred packs and have them on the shelf.
DEB BIXLER: Right.
ANNE HOWIE: And it took up a whole shelf. And every month, some of the contents were changed because promotions changed or products changed, so some content would change but most of it would stay the same. So that would mean I’d have all of these packs on my shelf, and then once a month, I would take out some that I thought that I needed and I’d put in the relevant information for that month, and then as I go out the door, I’d just take three or four with me. It saves me hours and a whole heap of stress, so that’s an example of a fairly small change that made a massive difference not only to my workload but to my state of mind.
DEB BIXLER: Right, we’re less than a minute out here. And you’re right, doing things like that, like making all your host packets for the entire season and then just adding the specials in at the last minute is excellent. There’s so many people do exactly what you said there, assembling at the last minute. Can you give us your contact information in 40 seconds or less, and then we’ll come back after this break?
ANNE HOWIE: I certainly can. If you’d like to email me, my email address is Anne with an E: Anne@thepartyplanexpert.com, and my website is thepartyplanexpert.com. I’ve got some blogs if you want to go and have a look at my blogs, and they are partyplanblogs.com.
DEB BIXLER: Excellent, excellent so your email was email@example.com.
ANNE HOWIE: That’s my email, yup.
DEB BIXLER: Yup, and that’s www.thepartyplanexpert.com. You are listening to the CashFlowShow Direct Sales Radio.
Party Plan Sales Training Transcribed
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