Friday, July 29, 2011

How would you like to be trained?

I am developing a comprehensive new consultant training program (I am making good progress but it is not ready yet but as soon as it is I’ll let you know).  I will continue to do Monday team trainings but I have been thinking that for new consultants it would be helpful to have the information organized and easy to assess.  I am in debate on how is best to deliver said training.  So I just thought I should ask.  Right now the choices are

1.  Ebook—A pdf version for sure and other formats like kindle if I can figure them out.

2.  A series of e-mails (sort of like the Monday e-mails I send out but these would be auto sent in a series, so today you get lesson 1, tomorrow you get lesson 2 etc.)

I've added a poll on the side of the blog so please vote or comment on which you would rather.  Or if you have a better idea I would love to hear it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Product Review

The product review for tonight beginner training call can be found here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Product Training: Powdered Milk and Instant Milk

Powdered Milk and Instant Milk
For many consultants the difference between powdered milk and instant milk is confusing.   This is how I explain it to customers:
“I store both powdered milk and instant milk.  I store instant milk for drinking, and powdered milk for baking and cooking.“
Often the customer than asks;  “Why ?”
“I really love instant milk for drinking; it is a lot like skim milk.  I love having it on hand so I don’t have to run to the store for a gallon of milk.  I love know that I am storing milk that my family especially my kids will drink. 
I store powdered milk for baking and cooking.  It is a little cheaper and works great in baking and cooking.  You don’t need to store both, you can just choose one.  Both are great products.”
Here is a little comparison about the differences in milk products.
1 % milk
THRIVE Powdered Milk
Thrive Instant Milk
Cost per Gallon
$2.99 *
Aprox $3.60
A can makes

5 gallons
8 g
10 g
Shelf Life
1 to 2 weeks
25 years (2 year open)
25 years (2 open)
How to use
Drinking, baking, pretty much everything
Cooking and baking is its best use.  You can add it to your recipe dry and just add the appropriate water.   It can be used to drink.  If you are going to drink it try adding a little sugar and a little vanilla, and be sure to drink it COLD!
Drinking.  If you make it up with cold water it is great to drink. Very similar to skim milk.  I serve it a lot at parties and it is always a big hit. (once I convince them to drink it).  Can be used for baking any other milk use.  I prefer to reconstitute it and then add it to recipes as I would fresh.
*National Average in Jan 2011  source:
Basic powdered milk conversions:
To Make:   You need
Instant Milk
¼ cup
¼ cup
1-½ T
¾ T
½ cup
½ cup
3 T
1 ½ T
1 cup
1 cup
1/3 c
1 quart
1 quart
1-1/3 c
1/3 c
1 pint
1 pint
2-2/3 c
1-1/3 c
1 gallon
1 gallon
5-1/3 c
2-2/3 c

Recipes I like using Instant Milk
1.     Thrive Instant Milk Whipped Topping:   I know I talk about this all the time but have you tried it?  It is amazing.  I love making whipped topping from my powdered milk.  The whipped topping ends up like cool whip or dream whip.  Love it.
2.    Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream:  Really do I need to say more?
Recipes I like using Powdered Milk
1.     Blueberries and Cream Cookies:  This recipe highlights a bunch of food storage ingredients.  I really love the milk crumbles. They make these cookies amazing, and they use powdered milk
2.    Magic Mix:  I have been making magic mix for year and I love it, (I especially love to make it with powdered butter because it is than shelf stable.) If you are new to magic mix it is white sauce mix that you make using powdered milk (not instant) that you can than make into white sauce, gravy, cream of anything soup, pudding etc. 
3.    Homemade Yogurt Okay I’m a geek and I make my own yogurt.  It turns out that dry milk is perfect for making your own yogurt
4.    Make Your own instant oatmeal:  My kids love instant oatmeal.  One day I was thinking what is in those little packets anyway? Well it turns out that what is in those packets are all things that come from your food storage.  Oats, Dry Milk, Sugar, Dry Fruit. Easy

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogs--Should I write one? What do I need to know to decide?

I recently had a consultant ask me if I had any advice about starting a blog to advertise her Shelf Reliance Business.  As I wrote back to her I found that yes, I do have quite a lot to say about it.

1.  Think it through before you start a blog. Blogs are time consuming, do you have the time to devote to having a successful blog.  Do you have something to say that isn't already being said?  I find blogs that are original and are content driven are the most successful.

2.  There are a slew of blogs out there right now being written by SR consultants most of them are solely a marketing piece.  Focusing on "buy from me."  I think that these types of blogs will have limited success.     The successful blogs will be ones with original interesting helpful content.  So as you are thinking about what kind of blog you would like to have think of what content you can add to what is out there already.

3.  Think about the platform of your blog:  My blog is hosted on my own website.  Notice it is  I did not start that way I originally had a blogspot address.  If I was doing it again I would start with my own domain name.   My blog is a blogger blog.  But I think if I was doing it again I would use wordpress.  I did look into both before I started and I chose blogger because it is easy to use. But now I wish I had taken the time to learn wordpress because you have so much more control over the layout, format, etc. 

4.  Blogging is a long term strategy.  I do think it is a good strategy but it is slow going at first. It took me months before I had anyone reading my blog, and months more before I had a purchase from my blog. 

5.  Before you launch your blog have some content.  I recommend having 12 to 15 good posts up before you start marketing your blog at all.

6.  I have really benefitted from the e-book  31 Day to build a better blog by Darren Rowse.  He is the author of ProBlogger and the book is great. You can check it out here

7.  I don't worry about SEO although I know a LOT of bloggers are obsessed with it.  I blog to share my content and since I think I have good content I think people who are interested in it find it and share it.

8.  Think about how often you are going to try to push people to your online store.  Many of the SR consultant blogs are very heavy handed in pushing people to purchase through them. Personally I don't like this approach.  I do post about Shelf Reliance and its products but I try to be selective about how often. 

9. Decided from the start that you are going to be an ethical blogger.  I define this as:  disclosing that you are a SR consultant, being honest in your opinions of products,  and not doing anything sneaky to your readers (like linkbaiting, hiding cookies, or anything else sneaky).  I have found that doing these things drives traffic AWAY from your site.  I know which blogs I read do these things and I won't link to them.  The bottom line is they decrease your readership and have little impact on sales. Good content = more readers, more readers = sales.   Don't be seduced by the dark side. It is VERY tempting.  I know I have been tempted too. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Have you heard the news? Bigger is better.

Shelf Reliance is offers a variety of THRIVE foods in many shapes and sizes.  Each size fits a different need I (you) have.

Mylar Bags-- just the right size to stash in my purse or diaper bag. Perfect for on the go snacking.

Pantry Cans-- perfect for storing in the kitchen pantry.  Pantry cans are approximately the same size as a small coffee can and hold about 2 1/2 cups of product. 

#10 cans-- or gallon size. The #10 can contain plenty of servings of healthy THRIVE food that you can use daily to whip up a variety of tasty homemade meals.

But what about the things I really need a lot of?  Can I buy it in an even bigger size?  Yes (very soon).

I'm so excited about these bigger sizes.  For those of us with hungry boys living at home this is the perfect solution.

I don't have any specifics yet. But I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Business Training: Rank Advancement

Recently I got asked an interesting question.  It was left as a comment on the post I have on my blog on the post How Much Shelf Reliance Consultants Make?   Here is what the comment said:
…What made the difference in advancing at each level? What do you do differently at a Silver Executive that you didn't do as a consultant or mentor?
I have been thinking a lot about it. I think the question comes in two parts so I’ll answer them separately. 

1.     What has made the difference in advancing at each rank?

Consultant to Mentor:  for me the key to this rank advancement was signing up my first consultant.   It is not necessary to have any consults under you in order to advance in fact I would like to encourage you to try to hit mentor in your first month of parties (the first month you are actively doing parties for the entire month).  To hit mentor by yourself you need $3,000 in sales.  That is about average 4 parties, I find that consultants who start big have awesome parties. If that is your plan don’t wait for parties to come to you find 4-6 parties or how every many you want to do and get them scheduled.  

Mentor to Director:  for me the key to this rank advancement was attending Shelf Reliance Convention.   I attended convention just after I hit the rank of mentor.  It was a HUGE help.  But you are thinking “I am a mentor now and convention isn’t tell next spring” You can still access I know you are thinking the next convention is not until next spring.  I don’t want to wait that long.  Well you don’t have to, the power points and notes are available online (consultant materials → training→ Convention Presentations).  Or you can purchase a DVD of all of the classes.  The Home Party Convention DVD ID number is 71113 and the party price is $3.70.  If you didn’t attend convention it is $3.70 well spent.

Director to Executive: For me the key to this advancement was focusing on Q Customers.   When I was a director I finally started to understand how important Q customers are.  They are, to quote Sariah, “like gold.”  As a Director I think it is a good time to reevaluate your party presentation and make sure you are emphasizing the Q.  I really like the white board presentation.  If you are not using it maybe you should learn it and give it a try. 

Executive to Silver Executive:  For me the key to this rank advancement was training my team.  I have been serious about offering training for my team since my first consultant signed up.  I have found that if you want to hit the higher ranks you need to offer consistent training to your team.  I did not start training my team as an executive but I did start really reaping the benefits of it. 

2.    What do you do differently as a Silver Executive that I did not do as a consultant or a mentor?  
1.    A shorter party presentation (about 20 minutes)
2.    Prep hosts better
3.    I’m more organized
4.    I’m more creative and willing to take risks
5.    I am better educated about the home party program and Shelf Reliance Products
6.    I train my team better
7.    I ask for training from my up-line
8.    I have a plan and I stick to it
9.    I know where I want to go with this business and I know how I’m going to get there.
10.  I’m more careful with my time.  I try to work on the thing that will benefit my business the most. (not the things that is the most fun, or the most rewarding)