Contact, It’s the name of the game!

During rep calls each month, occasionally I hear a rep say “I only had one customer call me with an order” or “no one called me with orders”  When I hear these statements, I have to wonder how much follow up contact she is making with her customers. Is she waiting for them to call her with an order? Unfortunately, in the busy world in which we all live, this seldom happens. In my own personal business, if I don’t contact each customer until I receive a response, I wouldn’t even have a minimum order.  Part of the responsibility of being a rep is to work your business. By work, this means to advertise, promote and follow up with your customers.

One of the ways to follow up is to check with EACH customer through an avenue of communication i.e. Facebook messaging, Email, Texting and lastly phone calls. If you aren’t contacting your customers personally, then you are missing out on orders. Part of the customer service that we pride ourselves in is to watch out for our customers, to be an extra set of eyes for them. To offer her 100% customer service.  When I contact my customers, I am showing them that I care how busy their lives are and making sure that they didn’t forget to let me know if they wanted anything. As busy as we all tend to be, calling an AP rep with an order falls low on the list of priorities, right down there with cleaning up after the family dog!

rule of 7

Have you ever heard of the Rule of 7?  

This is an old marketing strategy. It states that a prospective customer needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they act and buy from you. Now, the number 7 isn’t set in stone, but you get the idea.  Our competition advertises in the media, our only form of advertising is our personal touch, through messaging and texting and calling.

Keeping the lines of communication is imperative in maintaining the working relationship with your customers. In Money Magazine, it states.

  “Part of relationship selling involves maintaining regular contact. If you neglect a client who has trust in your integrity as a person and as a salesperson, that client may finally be forced to turn to your competitor. (Who has probably been calling regularly to get their business.) So, make sure you not only build the relationship, but keep regular contact and keep all channels of communication open.”

As AP reps, we see our competitors every time we drive by the supermarket. If we want to earn the business of our customer, we must advertise just like the local grocery store. How do we advertise?  Here’s a couple of ideas for you to ponder on.

  1. If you hand deliver your catalogs, you are demonstrating one contact point to your customers. When you hand them a catalog, let them know that you will check back with them to see if they want anything.
  2. If you have your catalogs mailed, as convenient as it is, your customers are not receiving that personal touch. So, you MUST send out a notice to your customers to watch for that catalog, and to let you know if they don’t see it.
  3. Encourage them to order by offering contests. For example, an early bird contest, or when we go live with the new website, for anyone who places their own order.
  4. Make a Face Book post on your group or page once a week leading up to order week. You can use the pre-designed Face Book ads available on the pantryacademy blog  https://pantryacademy.com/category/sales-tools/images/
  5. Post once a day during order week on your Face Book group or page. Post pictures of your dinners, recipes using our products or share ideas from the Alison’s Pantry customer page.
  6. Text all your customers a reminder using a Mass Text app. (Hi Everyone, it’s order week, I know that life is busy and I don’t want you to miss out on any of our super deals this month. Please let me know by _________ if you want anything. I will check back with you if I don’t hear from you.)
  7. Finally, if you haven’t heard from them using any of the previous contact methods, please call them on the old-fashioned phone. (Hi _____, I hadn’t heard back from you and didn’t want to miss you if you needed something from Alison’s Pantry….. )
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In the Rule of Seven an article in http://www.thebabyboomerentrepreneur.com it states:

Too many entrepreneurs only market sporadically because they are “too busy” to market themselves. Then they wonder why they don’t have enough clients. Set aside regular times to engage in marketing activities, even when you’re busy.

We make the mistake of thinking that we are “bothering” the customer instead of offering great customer service. Look at it this way. If your friend found a screaming sale at the local mall and she went and saved a bunch of money and then didn’t tell you about it until the sale was over, would it bother you? You would think to yourself, (Wow, why didn’t you tell me?) Treat your relationship with your customers, the same way. Your customer wants to know of all the great products we offer and the sales, she isn’t always aware and doesn’t always have the time to look over the catalog. If you point out items that you love and use, then she will be more likely to trust you and order.

Good luck on your sales, and remember to check in with your customers often. If you need ideas for growth, please contact you RSM, she is willing to share ideas and help you grow.

Good Luck and Work Hard!

Stacee Izatt RSM

http://money.howstuffworks.com/business-communications/sales-technique3.htm

Catalog #3 Email Templates

Email #1 Catalog #3

Subject line: What if we could make getting dinner on the table easier?

Hi,

If you are anything like me the dinner hour is the crazy hour.  I am finishing work, we are shuffling kids back and forth to various activities, and everyone is hungry and tired! Alison’s Pantry has the solution!

You asked and we’re delivering!   We’re excited to introduce 3 new Meal Kits to make dinnertime easier for busy families.  Each kit includes premium AP ingredients and an easy-to-follow instruction card for assembling the meal. 

Your family will love the warm nourishing food and you will love that all the thinking and deciding is done for you.  Just follow the simple directions for a quick, easy, delicious meal.  Now you can spend time chatting around the dinner table and catching up with everyone instead of worrying about dinner!

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Are you looking for more fresh ideas for dinner? Did you know Alison’s Pantry shares yummy meal plans and recipes every week?  Click here to receive yours for FREE every week: Get your free weekly menu plan here

Guess what?  Our favorite Daily’s Bacon and Pork Sausage Patties are on sale! Stock up!

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There are so many more great products in the catalog this month!  You can see it here or just let me know if you need a paper copy. 

The Alison’s Pantry order goes in (date).  Check out the catalog and text or call me with your order today!  Or you can place your own order here: www.alisonspantry.com

Thanks so much!

(Rep Signature)


Email #2 Catalog #3

Subject Line: Doing the happy dance!

Hi,

I am doing the happy dance!  Chef Shamy butters (an absolute customer favorite) are back!  The options with these creamy favorites are endless!  Prepare with any meat, from chicken to steak for a juicy, flavorful meal.  They are heavenly melted over seafood or vegetables. 

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Don’t miss our sweet flavored Chef Shamy butters either.

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Can you believe Easter is just around the corner?  Spring is creeping up on us (thank heavens!).  Don’t miss out on the best ham you will ever eat our best- selling Carve Master Ham– on sale now.

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You have to have dessert with that tasty ham.  Check out these great option!

Macaroon Mix is on sale!  There are so many thing you can do with this from cookies drizzled with choc to homemade Easter Egg nests with malted milk eggs. My very favorite is to top our Richly Delicious Fudge Brownie Mix with it!

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Brand new this month are these darling Grahm Tart Shells.  The filling ideas are endless!

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Don’t miss all of our other family favorites in the catalog this month!  You can see it here or just let me know if you need a paper copy. 

The Alison’s Pantry order goes in (date).  Check out the catalog and text or call me with your order today!  Or you can place your own order here: www.alisonspantry.com

Thanks so much!

(Rep Signature)

Good, Better and Best

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For the next few months we would like to focus on helping you to strengthen your businesses and gain consistent sales each month. One of the best ways for you to maintain your sales is to have customers that order regularly and often. It is said that it costs more in business to find a new customer than to reactivate a previous one. We all have customers that have stopped ordering for no apparent reason, this is money that we are leaving on the table. With the switch from old portals to the new online system, many reps had customers that didn’t transfer over because they lacked emails or vital contact information. These customers are not lost or gone forever. These are what we call in the sales industry “hot contacts”. They have had contact with our company and have engaged in business previously and will likely do business again if they are contacted and approached. Your customer list is one of your most valuable resources when it comes to increasing your sales. What is the best way to contact your “lost” customers?
These “Lost” customers need a little more focus than just a random text. They need you to rekindle the relationship that you once had when they ordered. How do you do this? You must have personal contact, not just words on a screen. When you take the time to contact them through phone or in person, you are showing that they matter to you as a person. You are taking the time to show them that you will serve them and offer them your services. Take the time to ask them what they liked or didn’t like about AP, overcome any problems they may have had and then offer them an incentive to order again with you. If you are a brand-new rep and have been given a customer list from a previous rep, you will need to contact each customer face to face or minimally on the phone. Remember that these customers do not have any established relationship with you. Your focus should be to build a relationship by getting to know them and extending a hand to them. Whether the previous rep was bad or good at connection, you are following in their footsteps. You need to establish a connection to the new customer to gain their confidence in you. The faster you do this, the more likely you are to retain the customer. It takes a lot more energy to warm an ice cube than it does a glass of lukewarm water.
Of course, in a perfect world, we would like our customers to place their orders online without us having to do it for them. But we don’t live in a perfect world and most of us need reminders and encouragement for even the most common tasks. We can’t expect our customers to place orders without reminding them and sometimes it takes 3 or 4 times before they remember. So how do you go about contacting these customers? Whether they are regular customers or once a year ordering customers, they all need to have regular contact with you to keep the relationship open. How will you know if they have an order for you if you don’t ask? Remember, they aren’t likely to place the order without your contact. What is the best way to contact your customers? There are three types of contact.  Good, Better and Best.

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Any contact is GOOD contact. Text message and email reminders are good but, unless the customer responds back to you, you won’t know if they have seen the text or email and you won’t know if they have an order or not. No response is not a “NO”. You need to make sure to ask them for a response and continue trying to contact them until you receive one.
Text or Email:

Hi, __________, I haven’t heard back from you and wanted to check and make sure that I didn’t miss you. Was there anything that you wanted in the catalog I dropped of the other day. The order will close on ________________, just let me know. If I don’t hear back from you, I will contact you again. Thanks, and have a wonderful day.

Texting reminder for orders:

Hi _______, Just a quick note to let you know about the Alison’s Pantry order. The deadline for catalog #___ is __________ and I didn’t want to miss you if you wanted something. Please let me know either by texting, FB messaging, or email, or you can go online and enter your own order. If I don’t hear back from you, I will call you back again so that I can be sure I didn’t miss you. Thank you for all your support! You’re the best!

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A BETTER form of contact is to contact them by phone.
As mentioned before, a better way to contact your customer is through personally speaking to them, whether face to face or on the phone. When you talk to someone, you can distinguish underlying tones. They can feel your excitement and can sense your likes and dislikes of a product. In turn, you can distinguish their thoughts better in their voice reflection than in words on a screen. If they are interested in a product but are hesitant in their voice, you can reassure them of our money-back guarantee. You can also offer your suggestions and recommendations. They are less likely to brush you off if you are talking to them. Sharing your comments and thoughts on a specific product is much easier on the phone rather than texting it.
If you have a phobia to the phone and have a tough time initiating the call, you need to practice first. Just like anything we do in life, practice makes perfect. One of our previous reps Stacie Callahan, shared with me the difficulty she had in beginning her business. “I was shy and didn’t like to talk to people. I was afraid to call them. I began calling and it got easier and easier. After a while, it became something I enjoyed. I began to love the relationships that it had fostered. Alison’s Pantry has been the best thing for me as a shy person to help me to get outside of the box and meet new people. Along with helping me feed my family, it helped me gain confidence in myself as a person.” Pick up the phone; it just takes practice. Here are a few scripts to help you on phone calls:

An established customer:
Hi___________, this is _______. How are you? I just wanted to check in with you and make sure you received your Alison’s Pantry catalog. I left it the other day for you. I know that it is so busy this summer and I have a hard time getting back with you, and I don’t want you to miss out on anything if you want to order. If you have it ready, I can add it right now. If not I will call you back next week and check in with you. You can email, text or phone me when you’re ready. Thanks!! Have a good day!!!

Call back-Follow up:
Hi__________, I haven’t heard back from you since we last talked and I told you I would call you back. Did you get a chance to look over the catalog? If yes, then say. Good, do you have your order ready? I can take it now.
If no, say ok, do you need more time? I can check back with you tomorrow. The deadline is ___________. If you want you can text me the numbers or email it. Whatever is easier for you. Thanks!!! I appreciate your support.

Follow up on a catalog placement:

Hi ___________, Do you have a minute? Yes, great! I wanted to check back with you and get your thoughts on the Alison’s Pantry catalog that I left with you. What was your first impression? Did you see anything you might like to try? Yes: I love that product and it is one of our customers favorites. Did I tell you about our guarantee on everything in the catalog? Would you like to me to order it for you to try?
We have an online site where you can place your own order. O if you prefer I can do it for you with your information. If you prefer to do it yourself, that’s not a problem. I have already created an account for you so just log on with your email and the password 123123. You can change the password when you log in. Enter your items and the payment form and I will do the rest. Thank you for your help. I will be happy to help you or if you have any problems, please let me know. I appreciate your support!

Hi____________, Do you have a minute? NO- Is there a better time to catch you? I just wanted to ask you about the catalog that I gave you. I don’t want to keep you long because I know your time is tight. I will call you back. What time works best for you? Thanks!!

Another wonderful way to contact customers is in person. If you can introduce yourself and establish a face to face contact, this will be your best chance of gaining a customer. This is one reason why your friends, family and neighbors will make a good customer. They already have established a trust with you as a person. Find every opportunity to talk face to face when you can. Here are a few scripts to help you with this:

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Scripts in person:

Introductions to AP.

“Hi ________, My name is __________ and I have recently started working with Alison’s Pantry. Have you ever heard of it? No, well, do you have a minute? We are a UT based company that offers restaurant quality food for your home. It is delivered by a truck about a week after the order deadline. Everything we sell is 100% guaranteed, if you don’t like it you will receive a refund. We send out a monthly catalog that you order from either through me or on our new website. I was wondering if you would mind taking one and then looking through it? I would like to call you in 2 days and get your opinion and thoughts on our catalog and products. Would you be willing to do that for me? Can I get your phone to call you back on _______? Thank you!”

Hi ________, I have been thinking of sharing this with you. Here is a catalog from a company called Alison’s Pantry. I have been using these products and love them. I thought you might like to see some of the things that I love. Would you mind taking a minute to look through it and I will check back with you to get your opinion and thoughts? What time is best for me to contact you? What is your number? Thanks, I will call you back and see what you think. Thanks!

The BEST form of contact is using all forms. Texting, phone, in person and messaging. By using all of these, your chance of contact is greater. I watch FB messaging on order week and, if any of my customers are active, I message them. Send text reminders along with email reminders. Most people will not check email daily, so you have a better chance of reaching them using text but use email too. You never know the best way each month of contact and it will likely vary. The most important thing is to follow up and maintain the contact. Work hard and your efforts will pay off. Contact is the most important part!

Stacee Izatt RSM

Meet Tammy Payne

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My name is Tammy Payne. I live in the Cleveland/Elmo UT area. I have been an Alison’s Pantry rep for almost 3 years. I have 4 children – A 10-year-old daughter, and 8-year-old son, and 2-year-old twin boys. I started selling Alison’s pantry when I was pregnant with my twins. Although I’ve always done all the contacting, ordering, delivering, etc. my husband would schedule his work week to be able to help me unload the truck (since I shouldn’t be lifting) and has continued to help me ever since. I love that he is willing to do that with me. My kids enjoy helping during the summer months, too.

20180206151439a0931c09f83ce257My favorite thing about Alison’s Pantry is interacting with customers and helping them fill their freezers with good, quality food. I also love how easy it is to “sell”. Everyone must eat. Although some months are better than others, I’m always amazed that if I do my reminders, the sales just come. The extra income has been great!

 

Besides selling AP and chasing my cute kiddos, I teach 30 piano students each week, and am currently the Young Women’s President in our ward. I understand busy, I love that I can work AP around my schedule.
As a family, we enjoy rodeo and horses. My daughter is a beautiful dancer. My son plays soccer and could saddle a horse before he could ride a bike. My twins are 2, so they enjoy making messes, hanging on my legs while I cook dinner, and making me laugh. I think I used to enjoy playing the piano, baking and being crafty. Now I enjoy an early bedtime. Thank you, Alison’s Pantry! The journey has been a joy!

Thanks Tammy, You do a great job of representing Alison’s Pantry and we are so happy to have you!

Stacee Izatt RSM

Do it Yourself!

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When it comes to your Alison’s Pantry business, would your friends know that you were a representative for the company if they looked in your freezer or pantry today? If so, I applaud you. If not, here’s a few ideas to help you become better at what you are selling. The best way to become the sales person you want to be is to become the customer that you are looking for.

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No one ever said sales were easy. To be good at what you do you must have a conviction for what you sell. How do you receive that loyalty and confidence in what you sell? By using your own products. By gaining a knowledge of how they work and how much you enjoy using them. How can you expect your customer to purchase products from you when you yourself will not purchase them? As a rep you even get a discount on your own products, why wouldn’t you buy from yourself? Why support the competition? A successful business person buys from him or herself. If you were in the market for a Toyota and happened to see your salesman drive away in a Honda, how much confidence would you have in the salesman and the product that you were planning on purchasing? The same is said for you as a representative of Alison’s Pantry. You should not be purchasing any products somewhere else that you can purchase from yourself. It’s the #1 rule of sales. Walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

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Here’s a challenge for you, grab a black marker and your newest catalog, find five minutes to look through the catalog and circle all the items that you use in your home. Now look and see if you can find a competitor’s item in your cupboard or freezer. Make an additional mark in your catalog on that item. The next few months, concentrate on replacing those competing items with a product from your own store. This will take a few months, but at the end of it, you will have tried more of your own products and learned more about them to share with your customers. Besides learning and experience with your own products, you will also be gaining exposure to your products. You will also be making an investment in yourself and in your business. If a customer or friend stops by and happens to see in your cupboards or freezer, there would be enough of your own products there that they would know that you believe in what you sell. By supporting your own business, you support your customers.

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Being your own best customer will not guarantee your success with Alison’s Pantry, you still must do the work, but not buying from yourself will certainly guarantee that your success will be more difficult.

This year be your own best customer!

 

Stacee Izatt, RSM

 

Do You Have a Business or a Hobby?

 

Alison’s Pantry is a great business and a fantastic way to earn extra money and stay in touch with your friends and family.  But are you treating it like a business, or is it more like a hobby for you?  How do you know the difference?  And why does it matter?

Your business is a hobby if:

  • You work when you feel like it.
  • You are not scheduling time to work your business. In fact usually you procrastinate until the last minute.
  • You aren’t intentionally adding and looking for new customers each month.
  • You customer information is not up to date in the new website including address, phone number, and correct email address.
  • Your customer service is spotty.  Sometimes you don’t respond to messages, emails and phone calls until you get around to it.

The biggest challenge of treating your business like a hobby is that it will pay like a hobby.  “If you treat your business like a business it will pay you like a business.  If you treat it like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby.”

“Even though your hours are flexible, they are not optional.  If you want to achieve a consistent income and build a growing, thriving business.  Random actions produce random results.”  Lydia Martin

Here are some tips on how to treat your business like a business.

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  • Have a separate bank account for Alison’s Pantry and track your expenses, keeping good records for taxes.
  • Have a goal of where you are going and what you are doing. You may not want to grow your business, but you still need to regularly get new customers to keep things status quo.  What are you actively doing to get new customers?

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  • Block out time to work on specific tasks.
  • Get organized! Get current, up- to- date customer information into the new website.  Have folders and systems for tracking expenses and other important information you need every month with Alison’s Pantry.
  • Read your emails!

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  • Invest in education by attending the webinars, visiting with your RSM on a regular basis and checking out all the great tips at pantryacademy.com

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  • Consistently do your reminders and follow up with customers. They want to hear from you.  You need to ASK for orders if you want them.

For more information, check out this great blog post about treating your business like a business:  19 Ways To Start Treating Your Business Like a Business

Julie, RSM

What’s Next?

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We did it, we made it through this year. So many changes, growths and struggles.  When you look at where you’ve come, and where you want to be, how do you feel? If you want more from your AP business, what is your plan to get it?

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Too many times, we set a goal only to realize that the goal is bigger than life and so unrealistic.  To avoid this situation start by setting a goal that is doable, it should be a goal that requires you to stretch and push yourself, but not so much that you quit before you even start. Maybe you can plan to learn more about the business you work with, the products you sell and the people you serve.  Knowledge builds confidence. Have you ever been looking to purchase an item and go to the store only to come away frustrated because the sales person didn’t know as much as you about the item you were wanting? Before I spend my hard-earned cash, I like to be informed and gain as much information as I can about the product to make a good decision. This information usually comes from the sales person helping me, but when that person can’t tell me anything about the item that I didn’t already know from my own research, then I feel that the process is a waste of my time and I generally dig deeper from another source to find out. This can happen in our business too. We have many products that are new and different from what is offered by the local grocery store. These differences warrant the need for knowledge of how to prepare, use and make the most of the products we offer. If we aren’t familiar with the products and how to pass that knowledge on to our customers, then chances are, we are probably losing sales from our customers.

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One of the best ways to be informed is to learn about the products you sell. How do we learn about these items? By using them, by experimenting in our own kitchens and becoming familiar with them. Sampling AP items to our own friends and families and customers. What are your thoughts of a person who sells skincare and makeup, but won’t use it herself? My thought is…She must not believe in her own product. How can she expect her customers to buy and believe in those products when she herself does not?
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Do you use your own products? Do you believe in what you sell? If you don’t you will never become successful in your own business. Your actions speak louder than words. You need to be your own best customer. You should be learning all you can about the products you offer. Sample the products for yourself. Get familiar with how to use and prepare them. Order something new each month that you haven’t tried before.  I have heard reps say that they “can’t’ afford to use AP products”, honestly you can’t afford to NOT use your own products. People are watching you, watching what you purchase and gauging their purchases on what you use and how you speak about it.

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Regularly attending the webinars is another way to stay informed! The quarterly rep sales training webinars are a great way to help you build better sales. Invite your customers to the product webinars, we will teach them for you. Are you taking advantage of this tool? They are full of information for you and your customer.  Set a goal to invite your customers and to attend all the webinars this coming year. They will help you in your business. Give you knowledge and confidence in the products that you offer. We look forward to seeing you there. Good luck in the coming year!!

Stacee RSM

Danielle Sayler, Steele, ND

Hi, my name is Danielle Sayler. I have been an Alison’s Pantry rep for just over 3 years now. I live in Steele ND which is a small town approximately 40 miles from the nearest major shopping. My husband Travis and I have 2 amazing kiddos, Riley-7 and Gavin-5, that I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home with. In addition to Alison’s Panty my husband and I both run several other businesses. My husband’s business is a gravel and excavation business.  I help in the day to day operations by moving and operating equipment, the book and secretary work, or any other hat that I need to wear that day. I also have an auto detailing business and work a very part time position as a zoo registrar for the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck ND.

I began my Alison’s Panty business kind of by chance.  I already had a lot on my plate but our local rep was quitting. I threw the idea around for a couple of months before I made the jump, and am so glad that I did. The previous rep had a good foundation and an existing customer base which made starting out a little bit easier. Since then Alison’s pantry has grown for me enough to where I can cut back a bit on the other jobs that I am doing and over the next year or so hope to grow my business enough that I can eliminate and replace those other jobs with Alison’s Pantry alone.

I always have a running goal to beat at least the previous months sales and ultimately top my best sales ever. However in reality that is not always possible, so each month as sales come in, I look at my total sales as the deadline approaches and push myself to hit a threshold, whether it be just one more sale, or to reach out to one more customer to put me to the next commission level. This year I also looked at my overall position in the company and decided that I wanted to be at a certain level next year and that is my major goal at this point. I one day hope to be in the company top ten, and look to those reps who are currently at that position and try to model my business after things that they do to become as successful as they are.

One thing that has helped my business tremendously is expanding the area in which I serve.  There are several other communities that are anywhere from 20-60 miles from where I am located. I simply reached out to customers from those areas and offered to provide AP  to them. It is difficult to deliver if you only have a small order to those areas and not lose money, so I did go in with the stipulation that I needed to have a minimum order for the area. I have had an overwhelmingly positive response to this offer. So for example if I am going to deliver 40 miles away I need to have a minimum of $300 combined from all orders to make it worth my time and expense to travel there, and nearly every time I have at least double the minimum if not more in orders.  If someone decides to order and we don’t meet the order minimum I either hold on to the order till the next time or make other arrangements to get them their products.

The AP staples in our house are the Trident ultimate fish sticks and the Mediterranean chicken.  But honestly I think every meal we make has AP incorporated into it in one way or another, whether it be the main course, the side, the spices to bring it all together, or even the pans we use to make the meal. My husband jokes regularly about feeling like he knows Alison personally since she is such a big part of all of our meals. LOL!

I also try to provide samples each month. The ones that are individually packaged already like the fruit snacks are the simplest.  But I seem to have the greatest success with ones that are bigger quantity items. That way the customer gets to try them before investing into a bulk box of something without knowing if they like it or not. One month I made protein balls and gave each customer a protein ball with the recipe (that listed numbers for each of the AP ingredients) and ended up having several customers order all of the ingredients from the recipe!

Personal experience and service with products is by far, hands down, the bestselling tip that I have.  After I try things I try to let customers know what I think of them. My customers have become very reliant on my opinion of products. I will be 100% honest about a product, not only on quality and taste but also on price. We live far enough that the big box stores aren’t always convenient but close enough that my customers aren’t going to pay a significant amount more just to get it locally.  My customers know that I always have their best interest in mind even if it means my bottom dollar might be a little less.  That trust encourages them to tell other people about products and my services which more than makes up for a product that they may not order.  Instead of discouraging them from ordering what I will do is point them to the unique products that we offer and honestly those are the products that sell better for me anyways. Hot Deals are a HUGE portion of my monthly sales especially when the Mediterranean chicken was/is available. I have a feeling I have a reputation as the crazy chicken lady but know that once people try it they are going to be in love with it too. If it has been several months since it has been available I have no problem selling upwards of 35+ cases of that single item. I keep a running list of customers and what they like to order regularly and let them know when those particular items are available or on sale or if there is another similar item that they might be interested in.

Finally I make a point to be honest and sincere with all my customers. I truly have some of the most amazing customers out there and am so grateful for that. I reward them with referral bonuses, various drawings, and early bird bonuses. When I see them I don’t expect to talk about AP, if they bring it up we discuss it but if not we talk about the other things going on in their lives or my own. I see quite a few of my customers on a regular basis. I have always jokingly said to them, “ I don’t ever want to be the person you see walking down the street and you have to dodge behind the nearest light post and hide because her comes that crazy Alison’s pantry lady.” Of course I want my business to thrive but I have to remember that these people are my friends and neighbors first and foremost, and that my business is successful because of them so I need to be sure that my customers are my number one priority and the sales will then fallow.

I am a huge fan of the changes that have happened with AP over the past year, there are have been rough patches but that is all part of change. I really like to try and embrace it, roll with the punches so to speak. We are given a multitude of resources to help us succeed, and I try to take full advantage of them, whether it be marketing kits, finding information on the blog or reaching out to rep support for help with questions and issues. This business allows you to make it what you want it to be. The more you put in the more you get out.

Meet Marie Moore!

 

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My name is Marie Moore. I live in Coalville, Utah. I have 3 children. My daughter is 11, and I have two boys a 7-year-old and a 3-year-old. I have been a rep for Alison’s Pantry for almost 8 years. I started just as a trial, and then ended up loving every minute of it. My family and I live on a ranch. We raise pure bred shorthorn cattle, horses, and sheep. My kids play basketball and wrestle. We enjoy being together as a family and helping grandparents. My family is a huge fan of everything that we had tried so far. My kids will go through the book and circle everything that they want. They also go through and pick out stuff for friends and teachers for Christmas. We love all the products. One of our favorites is the Farmland Shredded Smoked Pork #5586 and the Smuckers Uncrustables #3119. There are so many other items that we love.

I am still getting used to the new program and the possibility of some items being sold out or out of stock, it makes ordering early a priority.  I like the addition of the restock date on the website though, so when an item is out of stock I can order it on the date that it comes back in.  I only have two to three customers that put their own orders in by themselves, which made it hard at first, but I have adjusted and use a credit card for my customer’s that don’t feel comfortable with using or placing their own orders. This is part of the customer service that I like to provide.  I have also had larger orders since we started so that’s different but great, even with me ordering for my customers. I love the mailing of the catalogs it has been a tremendous help with my customers as well.  Alison’s Pantry is a wonderful company to work with and is extremely rewarding.

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Great job on your business Marie, you are always so consistent in your sales and we enjoy having you represent us. Thank you!

  Stacee Izatt RSM

 

 

 

Managing Sales During the Busy Holiday Season

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The holidays are just around the corner which means we will all be crazy busy with shopping, holiday parties, and family celebrations.  Here are some great tips to keep your Alison’s Pantry business running smoothly in the middle of it all.

Plan ahead – It’s important to schedule time ahead to work your business.  Decide in advance when you will be sending out reminders, making phone calls, getting catalogs out, and anything else that needs to be done.  When the time is already set aside to accomplish those important tasks, you won’t be scrambling at the last second with no time left to do what is important.   Schedule time to work your business.

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Share great  Christmas ideas with your customers through email, Facebook, and text.  One of the best things about Alison’s Pantry is CHRISTMAS!  We have so many fun gifts to give, yummy treats to eat, and fixings for Holiday meals.  Share all of the great ideas we have with your customers!  Give them ideas of what to buy for those hard to buy people.  Show them how easy holiday meals are to prepare with Alison’s Pantry products, and let them know that our chocolates and candies are must haves!  Alison’s Pantry has recipes to share from our webinars, and beautifully made professional images for you to share.  You can find both here on this blog.

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Customer appreciation- Christmas is a great time to let your customers know how grateful you are for their business.  Start planning right now what you will be giving your customers to say thank you. Appreciation makes your customers feel important and needed.

Extra reminders are important because customers are extra busy – and start early! Everyone is so slammed during the holiday season, so start early with reminders and don’t stop until they order or tell you they don’t need anything.  Your customers will appreciate you going the extra mile to remind them since they have so much on their minds and it’s easy to forget.

Hopefully these tips will help your holiday season with Alison’s Pantry go more smoothly.  A little bit of pre-planning and going the extra mile will really make a huge difference for your business!

Julie Hawkes, RSM