The Planning Process
The first four Articles, present what I believe to be four foundational pillars to business success in essential oil marketing: educating yourself, having a vision, asking good questions and persevering. Whether you have been in business for years or you are just getting started, these four actions will serve you well.
Ideally, right now you have worked with these steps and are working your plan and simultaneously preparing for the upcoming season. Are you ready to step up to the plate? Marketing essential oils involves communicating with people. If we don’t do that in some fashion, we’re really just in the business of keeping a good secret. 😮 The question is this: How are you best suited to communicate to people the value of essential oils?
Here is a wonderful planning process to help you answer this question. It was inspired by Dave Kahle’s book. This process can also be used to help a new Distributor identify his or her possibilities. It will also help you to take any idea from concept to concrete plan. Are you ready to have some fun? Great – get a pad of paper and pen and write down…
1) Your Objective. What do you want? Your objective is why you’re doing this business in the first place. Don’t skip too quickly over this step. The answer will form the foundation for the steps that follow. Your Objective is like the destination on the map – everything you do must you lead in that direction.
2) Your Assets. Take stock. An asset is anything about you that qualifies as something good. For example, do you like meeting people, belong to a lot of networks, have many friends, like public speaking, entertaining, etc. Include personal characteristics that are positive, whether or not you now see how they will contribute to your success, for instance, do you have a good sense of humor, like to learn, are you a good listener, organized, an excellent researcher, a clear writer? Write down everything you can imagine about yourself that is an asset.
3) Your Obstacles. What’s standing in your way? What potential problems will you have to face? It can be a busy work schedule, or a lot of time spent driving the kids to their activities, being shy with strangers or having a house too small to host a meeting. List everything you see about your market that may be an obstacle as well, for instance living in a remote area may be perceived as an obstacle. Or perhaps you live in a community where relying on conventional medicine is the norm, or you may not be the first Distributor in your area to get into the essential oil business. The more obstacles you can identify, the more potential pockets of opportunity you will be able to find thanks to what you will do in step #4.
4) Turn your obstacles into assets. Discover a way that each obstacle can work in your favor. Often a new Distributor will say they don’t have a lot of time to build a business because they work a lot of hours at a job. They have written that down under “Obstacles.” How do you turn that into an asset? Working a lot of hours has to involve a few breaks including a lunch one. You may work in or near to a shopping mall – a place filled with people. Your work may give you the opportunity to meet a lot of people (having a chance to build relationships, let them smell your oil, comment on your pendant). It may involve a commute on public transit where you can meet people, or it may mean daily opportunities to put posters or notes on bulletin boards in public places around work and adjoining offices/buildings. There are assets in your everyday world everywhere masquerading as obstacles!
5) Your Tools. List all the tools at your disposal. The obvious tools are your essential oils and Company literature. Include any tools you have made yourself like testimonial brochures, flyers or websites. What other tools can you find? Hint: Terra Cotta Pendants!
6) Your rough General Plan. Ask yourself, “In light of my assets, obstacles (which are now assets) and tools, what is a rough general plan for reaching my objective?” Your answer could look like this: make a website, have meetings in my home, do health shows, advertise the business opportunity in the paper, offer introductory sessions to social groups, offer Library classes, visit local businesses, set up a kiosk in a mall etc etc etc. You may have several ideas down on paper by the time you are finished.
7) Your Detailed Plan. Work with the ideas to come up with a Detailed Plan of Action. If one of your rough plans is to do Health Shows, for instance, you know that you need to locate them, book them and prepare for them. In finding and booking shows (which is ongoing) and in preparing for them (which will evolve as you gather experience in doing them) you can use this planning process. Organize each idea by putting it through this process to see how it will work for you. Then schedule each detail of the activities you choose on your calendar.
How do you turn your Plans into a System?
That’s the subject of the next Article.
Photo credit: John Althouse Cohen
©2007 Terra Cotta Pendants About the author: Lori Gosselin has worked in network marketing since 1997. In 2003 this passion led to the creation of www.Terra-Cotta-Pendants.com This is the fifth in a series of twelve Articles which outline a simple way to market essential oils.
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