This week we received our first Christmas card. It always comes from the same family friend and is one of those things that lets us know Christmas is here.
It’s glittery (or flittery as we say in the card market), plain but very effective.
I do look at every card we receive, not just the first Christmas card, quite critically as I sell Christmas cards!
Every Christmas card that comes through our letterbox gets a good look over. Because I sell Christmas cards that are exclusively designed I am always on the look out for other cards of a similar appeal. Phoenix Trading asks us to submit Christmas cards each January in to a sort of competition to see who else is making popular or attractive designs. Therefore I am always on the look out for extra special cards (that obviously aren’t Phoenix ones!) to submit.
Are they charity Christmas cards?
Nearly every Christmas card that we receive is a charity card, but not all. I know some people just buy cheap cards then make a donation to a charity instead, I get that. However, if the card doesn’t say it’s a Christmas card then it does leave the impression that the sender just bought the cheapest pack of cards they could find because they felt they ought to send a card. Perhaps that’s just very judgemental on my part but that’s the impression I get that’s all. Personally I think every Christmas card could be a charity card, even some charity cards can be pretty cheap these days so there really is no excuse.
Does it stand up?
Most of our Christmas cards will end up hanging on a string in our hallway for everyone who visits to see. However a really special card may well get pride of place on the mantelpiece – but only if it can actually stand up! How many cheap, thin Christmas cards there are that come through the door that cannot stand without being sellotaped, glued or blu-tacked to the surface?!
I choose the cards I send making sure they look good, do good and are good quality. How do you choose yours?
Looking forward to seeing what Christmas cards drop on to the mat this week…
All our Christmas cards support various charities via the Phoenix International Charity. Our cards support three main charities; Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research and Together for Short Lives. Flamingo Paperie Partners nominate all the other charities. If you’d like to see your charity nominated then all you need to do is a fundraising event with me.
For people who run small businesses, it can be hard sometimes to stand out from the crowd. Competing against big multi-nationals who may sell similar things to you, at a fraction of the price – how do you make yourself different?
Changing what you sell doesn’t make you stand out as much as making sure the service you offer is better than everyone else’s.
How often have you bought something from a multi-national and received a personal ‘thank you’?
I don’t mean an automatically generated message, which cleverly has your name on it to appear personal but you know is the same message they send to every customer – I mean a real personal ‘thank you’ written just for you.
Be different, offer that extra personal touch and send a personalised ‘thank you’, if possible hand written.
If you’re thinking of starting a direct sales business then you’ll be probably be told to do some at home events, at least a launch one.
Why? Because it’s a tried and tested way of successfully launching your business. You’ll be inviting people you already know, who already trust you and care about you to come and test your new business idea. Once you’ve done it, if you follow some of the ideas I’ll give you here, your confidence will grow and hopefully you’ll get a friend who wants to do the same kind of event in their house and invite other people you didn’t know!
We Flamingo Partners call these kinds of events, pop up shops or coffee and cards, or ‘wine and cards’ too sometimes!
So what’s the big deal with an at home event, I’ve found there are 3 main hurdles to get over; too scary for you, house too messy, don’t like baking!
Get over it! These are your friends, they already know you and trust you. You’ve probably already told some of them about the business you’re starting, they’re already curious. If they turned up at your door anyway, would you be too scared to let them in to your house? Unlikely, so what’s different? Ah, they might not support you and you’ll feel let down. Yes that does happen from time to time and it is harder to take from people you expect to support you than from complete strangers but these people are your best chance at launching your business because you’ve already built a relationship of trust with them so go on, bite the bullet and invite them round. Try saying, “I’m starting a new business and I’d really love to know what you think of it.”
House too messy?
Your friends (not necessarily your family if my mother is anything to go by) will be most forgiving. Don’t you find it reassuring if you visit a friend’s house and it’s not totally spotless? Reminds you that you’re as normal as they are. Sure, clean the toilet a little and don’t have dirty dishes lying around, run the hoover around and make sure they can sit down somewhere but don’t go overboard, they’ll only feel uncomfortable!
Don’t like baking?
You think if you invite people round you’ll have to put on a big feast, you’ll have to get the baking bowl out and whip up some Mary Berry standard delights. No you don’t, that’s not what you asked them round for is it? Open a packet of biscuits and have the kettle on – if you want to really splash out go for chocolate biscuits not plain. Keep it simple, you’ll feel more relaxed and so will they.
So what’s stopping you now? Ah, you don’t know enough people. Would it surprise you to know I’ve done really successful home events with just 3 people turning up? It doesn’t really matter if there aren’t many. After all it’s meant to be an informal get together. Sometimes less is more because you can have more meaningful conversations with fewer people. The thing is those 3 people know other people. They know people you don’t know but because the 3 people you know trust you, they’ll pass on that spirit of trust to those other people who don’t know you.
Remember to ask if someone else would like to host a similar event too, at any home event you do. Keep it simple and your guests will be relaxed. Give some incentives like a % of sales in free stock or special free gifts just for hosts, then someone else will host a home event for you. Then they’ll invite people you wouldn’t have met otherwise and so your sales business grows.
Still too scary?
Then why not invite your local Flamingo Partner round to host a pop up shop for you, that way you can see how easy it is, and get some free cards and gifts too. You can keep these or use them to start your business along with your starter stock pack when you join!
Are there limits to how much I can do?
At some point your sales business will reach a limit. You can only be in one place at a time, at some point you’ll be so busy you’ll have to turn down events. It takes time to sort orders and make deliveries. You need to expand! You need a team. Share the same business opportunity you had at the start with someone else (even better, with a lot of someone elses!). Direct sales companies (also sometimes known as network marketing companies) don’t have shareholders. So instead of profits going to big cheeses at the top they are shared out through their network of Partners in the form of commission payments. Each Partner has the potential to earn the same money. It’s up to each Partner how much time, effort, positive mental attitude they invest to determine how much they grow their sales and their team network.
You can be growing your team from the moment you start your own business. It can be really fun if someone starts at almost the same time as you and you can build each other’s business from the very beginning.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words but in difficult situations I believe your own words are often the best. All our cards are blank on the inside for you to add your own thoughts, fond memories or reflections at those difficult times.
This is just a few of my favourite cards for these situations and you’ll find some of these, and more here.
What do you find helpful to read in a sympathy card? Do share in the comments below, it might help someone else who is struggling for words.
If you’d like to see a better range of greeting cards available locally, all high quality with stunning artwork and illustrations, at prices that are really good value – then why not stock Phoenix cards in your area?
Many people contact me from all over the world wanting to know how they can buy Phoenix cards. Well here’s the thing – they can’t – unless you sell them!
Wherever you are in the world you can now be an International Business Customer with Phoenix Trading. You can buy cards at a discounted rate and sell them on to friends, family, through your business, small shop, hairdressers, post office, etc., making a nice business for yourself – and of course having a never ending supply of fabulous, gorgeous cards for your own personal use too!
If you don’t know where to start, and what to order first, we’ve even put a pack together of some of our bestsellers to get you off to a great start.
However, you can’t do this if you’re in the UK, France, NZ or Australia – that’s because if you’re in these countries you have the amazing opportunity to become a Phoenix Trader and build a team of Traders around you.
Be the first in your area to stock these amazing cards, you can order now and I’m sure your friends and neighbours will thank you for it. I bet they’d love to know a ‘card lady’ they can depend on!