YOUR Great Ideas from our Rep Only Webinars in June

We’ve compiled all of your great ideas and responses from our June rep forum webinars in one place. They are organized by topic for easy reference.  If you have further questions about an idea you can ask that rep on the rep Facebook page.

Thanks again for all of your great feedback and ideas!

Social Media

 

Amanda 

Hi guys! I don’t know if other reps have a separate group for their AP customers but I’ve had one for a few years. Just last month I made it PUBLIC and I have had 3 new customers call me and people ask to be added to my group. It was a great tool to start the conversation for new customers.
Jennifer  I have a Facebook page for my AP too and I post on it a lot and I also post on my personal page.
Heather  I’ve put an ad on the local online FB yardsale pages and have gotten 5 new customers in the past couple months. The flash sale was good too! I had 2 customers who hadn’t ordered in 6 months. I’m still brand new at this, so still learning.
Cassey  I think we as reps need to be the best advocate for the products. I did a LIVE video on my AP Facebook group this catalog and had several customers say that they liked being able to see how products were packaged and it encouraged them to possibly try new products.
Paula  Love being able to share facebook pages that are created by Alison’s Pantry.
Jennifer Whittle One thing I do is going live on My FB page when I get the new catalog or when the list of Items Leaving comes in.
Amanda Maine I went live in my group when I got my cast iron set and I already have 2 maybe 3 who want the set!!!
Jennifer Hilton I told my husband if I didn’t send reminders I would not get orders
Jennifer Whittle I despise calling… I use to before cell phones LOL but now I despise it. I write down what I’m going to say, then that makes me less nervous.
Danielle Sayler I do know that FB is a great tool but have a real love hate relationship with it so honestly only use it for updates on the rep page and group page but have found the face to face interaction works as well if you are willing to put in the time.
Amanda Maine In my group, I share recipe videos and suggest the AP items to buy to make that recipe (with the code & cost). I get more likes on those posts than just sharing a picture.
Debbie Johnson You could remind everyone of the search function on the FB page.  Great tool for finding answers to common questions.
Jennifer  I like to take pictures of meals I have made using AP products and post them on FB.

Incentives/Rewards

Jennifer  I’m doing a drawing for my customers that give me new customers this month and the new customers will also be in a drawing.
Sara  I think having some sort of incentive as a rep every so often helps to get customers. I know last month on my own I did a drawing for an item if they place a $50 or more order, and my customers loved it. It wasn’t a spendy item by any means. Also, give your customers a reward for customer referrals. I know someone for a different company did a punch card for if you ordered x amount of times you would get a reward.
Cassey  What about a customer appreciation incentive? Sort of like a punch card type thing. ..after they spend so much they receive a gift card or code to get $5 or $10 off their next order.
Debbie  You can barter with other personal business owner.  Ex:  buy Mary Kay from someone if they will buy AP from you.  I do this with my massage lady too.  I pay her shipping and don’t give her a tip.
Mindy  I run my own punch card that I use for my customers.  I keep track for them.  They get one punch for each time they order and an extra punch for ordering over $100.  For every 10 punches I put a $10 credit on their account for their next purchase.
Shasta  I had a friend tell me to do a featured product each month and give the customer something cool for ordering it.
Joyce  One idea is to offer to do the food for birthday parties for kids, etc promoting AP products while trying to pickup new customers while they test the food.
Mindy  I have two suggestions.  I use a punch card system that I keep track of for my customers and I give them one punch ordering and an extra punch for ordering over $100.   For every 10 punches they get a $10 credit added to their account for the next order.  They love it .  I try to order my sample products a month before so I can get the samples ready ahead of time.
Fern Goodwin I have a referral incentive where I will give the referring customer 10% off the new ordering customers first order. It seems to work well.
Sharon  johnson I do a drawing each month for a gift certificate and an Alison’s Product from my gift basket.  I give anyone who brings me a new customer an Alison’s Product from my gift basket.  Working well.  The items range from 4 to $10.
Jeannie Sykes I do a basket also for any referrals plus they get free shipping or $5 off their  orders.
Troi Williams The best way I’ve found to get new customers is to do contests and go to craft and vendor fairs.
Becky Price Would love help from any of you reps who would like to earn the $100 referral bonus by helping us find new sales reps or replacement reps…I am looking for replacement reps in Lander and Afton, Wyoming, and Tribune, Kansas, for my area.

Sampling

Ceptember  I plan, when school starts again, to see if I can set up a sample table with catalogs in the local teacher lunch room.
Becky  I always try to sample something that is prepackaged or easy to separate out.
Shasta  I like the prepackaged stuff for samples.
Amanda  ok. so what if YOU don’t do the sample sizes, how about making the baggies available to us & we can do it ourselves?
Jala  I like the idea of putting together my own sample bags of the spices! That would be a great addition for customer orders on pickup day!
Jennifer Segler  Bringing samples like muffins to businesses has helped me get new customers!
Jeannie Sykes I’m sampling the bread this month. Spices, muffins, etc
jennifer Hilton a lot of times if there are kids I will give them an Icee 🙂
Kim Henke Use a sample that doesn’t require preparation–Fieldstone items, fruit snacks, nuts/candy, or other dry products and J & J Snacks treats…
Jaynee Metcalf  Your right, it is huge, and you would be amazed at how many people haven’t even heard of Alison’s Pantry but not sampling is a hold up.
Danielle Sayler Things that are already prepackaged are great like the fruit snacks.
Kelli BONE I bake all of my samples the morning before my order gets here.
Erin Brimhall I had the frozen root beer floats at my baby shower and got a lot of interest in them that way.
Danielle Sayler Dry products are much easier to sample,  plus if your sales skyrocket on that product you don’t have to have freezer space
Jennifer Whittle The Whole Fruit tubes is what I sample with the Uncrustables

Ordering/Customer Service

Lisa  I’ve been getting some of my previous (before the new ordering online) customers back by saying that I can order like before and they can pay me when they pick up.  I had said that many times before but it’s taking time to get it across!!  
Lauri  I agree with Lisa! I think reminding customers of the different ways to order would be GREAT!
Ceptember  All of my reminder texts say “order online or through me, pay online or at pickup” – just because I don’t trust that they remember
Lauri  I think the success of Alison’s Pantry is the personal contact with customer! The months I do best is when I take the time to text or call customers.
Allisha Hughes  I asked one of my customers to take over for me when I moved.  She jumped at the chance!
Jennifer   I agree that the success of Alison’s Pantry is the personal contact. I LOVE the online ordering, I think it’s fabulous. But I kind of miss people calling me with their orders. haha.  I guess I just need to be better at reaching out more to my customers to keep that personal feel even though they are ordering online.
Jennifer  I deliver a lot of my  customers orders and they appreciate it so much. One time I was asked if I had a delivery fee and I said no and they were surprised.
Paula  Customers that talk to each other are more willing to try a product that someone else has already tried. Even though everything is 100% guaranteed it still intimidates them to order something new. Especially if it is a higher priced item. We need to get our customers talking to each other. AND WE NEED TO TALK TO THEM TOO. Be personal!
Lisa  You guys do a great job, keep on keeping on!!  We need to work harder, customer service on our end is key and people order from US to help US so we need to do our best and let customers see our hard work!
Heather  When I text the week before closing day to the customers, I put the Flipbook link in and it seems to help.
Paula  Every month I try a new product. That way I can recommend that product to my customers.
Fern Goodwin The only way I have found to get new customers , is through referals. I have tried so many other options, and nothing worked.
Amanda Maine I’ve always asked my customers (who are not in my area) if they or someone they know might be a good fit for being a rep. It opens the conversation about the opportunity of getting a truck in that direction.
Kelli BONE In my reminder text a few months ago I just put in my text “I always love referrals” and I got 5 new customers from them.
Troi Williams I get most of my new customers from my existing customers.
Becky Price Don’t be afraid to ask them if they know about Alison’s Pantry.  If they do, ask if they are currently ordering from another sales rep.  If they are, move on.  If they aren’t and haven’t for over 6 months, then ask if they would like to start ordering again.
Sharon  johnson The best thing to get new customers, and new sales is just beat the bushes.  Tell everyone you see and encourage your customers to bring in new customers and reward them.  I treat my customers like family and they enjoy coming to the shop, enjoy the visit.  I give away a lot of freebies, but I don’t really have to, they just love to come and visit and try new samples.  Service sells. I don’t find big rewards with social media but I try to put recipes and info out to my FB Group.
Danielle Sayler Vendor fairs has been the number 2 source of new customers for me next to referrals
Haley Notter I just used the snipping tool to post all the sale items that were on overstock. Sold over 20 items!! IT WORKS and I plan on doing it often.

Shipping/Tax

Jala  So you know, I am in a rural area and EVERYTHING charges at least 10% shipping, except Amazon. And all home businesses that I have ever been involved in have charged at least 10% shipping.
Laura  I just had a customer get shopping and then left it in the cart when she saw the shipping fee!  But, to get groceries at this price to our area you have to travel and shopping online is cheaper!  Customers don’t think of that.
Paula  I remind my customers that they pay a membership fee to Costco and that should be figured into the price comparison.
Paula  I figured out what I bought at Costco and how much my yearly membership fee was. It came out to about 10%
Cassey  I think the commission structure works well for me. But I also think you get what you put into your business!

Freezers

Debbie Johnson I added onto my homeowner insurance a business policy in case my freezer would go out when full of products.
Irene HENDRICKS I guess freezer is not a problem.  I have a large order and we sort and customers pick up within a couple hours of delivery.  I do it in an event center that has no freezers.  Customers know that they need to be there.
Kelli BONE I just turn them off when I’m done.
Jeannie Sykes I power up my freezers the night before the truck. They are down or off the rest of the month after all are picked up or delivered.
toni ohrman My freezers I plug in a day or two before the truck comes, I check the temp, and then unplug when empty, easier on freezer when empty.

Misc.

Lisa  I’m glad you aren’t MLM, I love the new catalog pictures and layout…love the lower prices.  We might just need to keep working harder as reps?  I liked giving my customers a freebie with $100 orders, I miss it but don’t expect you to do it if it isn’t worth it!!
Joyce  I have had a great response to the smaller quantities being offered on the different products.  Hopefully there will continued to be more items added to this.
Sara  I have been tossing around an idea of a Tasting Party at my home to gain more customers. There aren’t a ton of vendor shows in my area sadly.
Jala  I never get out of town and I am 250 miles from the nearest Costco, Walmart or Sams Club so I LOVE AP and it saves my budget every month. Plus my kids love getting surprised when the truck comes as to what is ours.
Elizabeth  I found smaller packs of Flavor-Pak veggies at my local grocery store.  I can get more for less.
toni ohrman When looking for new customers, an option is to volunteer for your fair, a funeral dinner at church, anything you can do do be in the public.  Always carry catalogs in you car. I always do our county fair with a contest for if you bring your order there, or tell me you ordered online. People will ask what I am doing, it is an opportunity to get new customers, and explain what Alison’s is, it is great for making contacts.  Helping with events is a great way to help your community, and get the word out on Alison’s Pantry.
Kim Henke  Have you attended the webinars? If not, we have a lot of recipes in our webinar handouts, and some recipes on our blog as well.
Haley Notter Get yourself a new phone and use it as a tax write off. 😉
Shellie Christensen I always have myself listed in the mass text that I send so I know that it goes out ok.

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