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One of the very first things I did when I started my direct sales business, was join a local women home business owners networking group. It was one of the best business decisions that I made, because it helped me learn all kinds of new business things. In addition, it got me out of the house and I met some new friends & business associates.

Today, we are sharing some great networking tips with all of you, especially for those direct sales consultants who are new to business networking.

  • One of the first things you want to do is find and event that is convenient and at a time that you can continue to participate with should you like it. There are so many different types of networking groups at all different times of the day, I am sure you will have no problem finding something that suits your needs.
  • Look for a networking group that has a topic or theme that fits in with the niche you want to promote. Going too far out of your niche may be a stretch and then you will not get the response that you are looking for.
  • You can look at local chamber meeting. These are great for getting to know your local independent business owners. This is a great avenue for getting your name out in your community.
  • There are also local MeetUp.com groups that meet on a huge range of topics. Whether you are looking for business groups, reading groups, religious groups, mommy type groups, social media groups or whatever your desire, you can find that through the MeetUp.com system. A lot of the groups are super active and little to no cost.
  • Also available are the BNI meeting groups. These are awesome for true networking and lead passage. You will meet a large array of local businesses that join the group for a year or more at a time. The cost of this is a bit higher and you need to commit to attendance policies.

When participating in your group, make sure to always bring your business cards. Make it a point to take some time to really talk and get to know people. Networking is about helping someone else solve their immediate problem or need. It is not about trying to get as many people as possible to listen to your 30 second elevator speech.

When networking with others, it’s an every-changing learning process and you need to be consistent with your efforts. In other words, don’t go just once and call it a day. You will need to regularly show up for meetings and participate in the group’s events.

Happy Networking!

Photo above: Conan O’Brien greets enthusiastic employees at Mary Kay headquarters in Addison, Texas, while filming a Mary Kay segment for his talk show. (Photo Credit: Meghan Sinclair/ Team Coco)

Photo above: Conan O’Brien greets enthusiastic employees at Mary Kay headquarters in Addison, Texas, while filming a Mary Kay segment for his talk show. (Photo Credit: Meghan Sinclair/ Team Coco)

While taping his popular late-night talk show in Dallas last week, Conan O’Brien made a stop at the Mary Kay headquarters to realize his dream of becoming an Independent Beauty Consultant.

In the ensuing segment, the comedian undergoes corporate training, dons a black beauty coat and heads to a party in a signature pink SUV, while shouting out the window, “I’m off to sell cosmetics!”

Conan generated that same enthusiasm throughout the taping, observed Pio del Castillo, Manager of Corporate Communications at Mary Kay. When the show’s producers first reached out to Mary Kay, Castillo saw an opportunity for the brand to approach a relatively untapped market. Conan’s viewership skews female and younger than Mary Kay’s established base of consultants.

“It was also an opportunity to be a little more relaxed about the brand,” Castillo told DSN. “We helped them a lot and were very happy working with them.”

After some back-and-forth on a concept, Castillo’s team went several weeks without further communication from the show. Then a call came through late Friday afternoon. The segment was a go, and they wanted to film Monday morning.

“Everyone got on board quickly,” said Castillo. “We had done our homework.”

The team even compiled 1,700 gift bags stuffed with Mary Kay products—for men and women—to distribute to Conan’s audience when the segment aired the following day at the Majestic Theater.

The experience was a positive one for Mary Kay, Castillo said, calling Conan’s producers the “best and nicest” he has encountered in 20 years of experience. To close out the segment, Conan greeted an enthusiastic crowd of employees in the Mary Kay lobby—where he led a chant of “Mary Kay! Mary Kay!”—and took the time to say hello to each fan.

The response from Mary Kay’s salesforce has also been overwhelmingly positive. Asked how his team is going to follow up on the Conan segment, Castillo says with a laugh, “Jimmy Fallon, Oprah—why not?”

If you are in direct sales, it is extremely important that you grow a healthy downline. Not only are you building a relationship with your customers through sales, but you should build a healthy relationship with your sales team. Here are 7 tips to generating a strong downline and keeping your direct sales business growing every day.

TIP #1: GET PERSONAL Your downline wants to know who they are working so hard for. Send a monthly newsletter will sales tips, monthly numbers, top salesperson, etc. Offer a free forum or chat group to your team so everyone can share ideas and offer support to one another.

TIP #2: BE AVAILABLE Schedule time to speak with your sales team often. Constant contact will show them that you care. This gives your team a chance to share their concerns, thoughts and ideas with you. It also allows them the opportunity to ask questions.

TIP #3: HOLD A CONTEST Offer prizes or free services to new recruits. Offer special discounts or coupons to the team member who recruits the most new partners.

TIP #4: WRITE ARTICLES Article marketing provides an avenue for free web site traffic. Write five articles, linking to a web site where your products are sold, then submit them to various free article directories.

TIP #5: EDUCATE YOUR TEAM Provide your current sales team with powerful information about your business and products. By educating your sales team, you will create an aura of excitement. This excitement pushes your team to recruit their acquaintances into this wonderful opportunity for self-based employment.

TIP #6: LOSE YOUR MIND Sometimes the silliest ideas are the ones that often get noticed in sales. If you’ve been playing it safe, get crazy with promoting your business. Print fliers, bookmarks, calling cards, booklets, etc. Go door-to-door and promote your business and sales opportunity. Focus only on promoting awareness of your business instead of sales.

TIP #7: DON’T STOP It has been said many times that for every 9 “no’s” you get, you’ll get one “yes.” Don’t stop promoting recruits, regardless of how many “no’s” you’ve had this far. Eventually someone will say, “Yes!” Sometimes the squeakiest wheel is the one that gets oiled!

About The Author: Stefanie Fauquet is the owner of http://www.workathomemomonline.com — A Site Devoted to Helping Moms Make Money in Direct Sales. Need More Recruiting Tips? Check out http://www.workathomemomonline.com/building-a-downline.html