Lazy Green Mama's Training Tips
7 Dec 12: When you start your business, set-up a new credit card and checking account to use only for Shelf Reliance. I will make your accounting soooo much easier!
2 Dec 12: Most training resources recommend planning your first party to occur within 2 weeks of signing up as a consultant. I DISAGREE! Unless you've been using THRIVE for awhile, know that it will take about 2 weeks to get your Consultant Starter Kit. In the meantime, spend 2-3 weeks LEARNING, RESEARCHING & TASTING.
Choose your favorite out-of-the-can snacks (peaches, yogurt, corn, cheese), 1 appetizer, 1 entree & 1 dessert. ORDER MORE OF THESE INGREDIENTS as soon as you have them chosen. Otherwise, you will quickly consume your starter kit and be in a pickle for future bookings!
My Q&A with my enroller (Misty Marsh)
I suppose one hesitation is if I become a consultant, I know there are no minimum sales, but would there be a problem if I don't immediately begin earning income? I'd hate to be penalized or thrown into the gallows ;)
No minimum sales....no penalties. It is your business and you are allowed to run it how it works best for you and your life!. The only requirement is having an active Q. As long as you do that, you will be fine!
What happens if as a consultant, I don't have an active Q at some point? I don't plan to do that... but what if? If your Q is inactive for 1 month, you will not be eligible to earn commission on anything you sell that month. If you didn't sell anything, no consequence. If your Q is completely inactive for 6 months they will send you an email asking if you still want to be a consultant. You can say yes and re-activate it at that point or no and they will close your account.
When I had SR decide my Q based on my family size, I was really disappointed that I couldn't notate which foods I wanted to be included. For example, they suggest 20 cans of one vegetable and none of another. Is there a way to just get a suggest amount (ie for 6 months, your family would need x cans of vegetables)?Yes, and no. It is based on calories, not cans. So, the veggies range from 8160 calories per can to 240 calories per can. The system automatically chooses cans with an average price / calorie. Once it has chosen cans for you, you can adjust (the instructions are in the email I sent you). Up at the left it will give you a percentage of the calories you have vs what you need. So, if you remove 10 cans of corn and add 10 cans of celery, you will be under calories b/c corn has a lot more calories than celery. So, now the system will tell you that you only have 95% of your needed calories from veggies. Then, you know you need to add more cans of something else to make up for those calories.
I feel like there is a void of information comparing the costs of Thrive versus grocery store product. I know you've featured individual products and their comparisons on your blog, but I think a master list would be crucial for a home party. Is there one already made or should I make my own? I realize those lists quickly become dated, but would still give people a general feel for cost comparison. b/c of how quickly such a thing is dated and how it would vary depending on where you live (things are much more expensive in Cali than Utah for instance) Shelf Reliance will not release this. There is just too much liability. Plus, it is too hard to make it compeltely accurate. Some things are just really hard to compare..."exactly how many pears are in that can?" You can guesstimate, but it won't be completely accurate b/c it depends on how big the pears are, if they are peeled etc. In addition, I've found that focusing too much on price to be a detriment to my business. Some people just want what is cheapest and if you tell them freeze dried meat is more expensive than the grocery store than they won't buy it no matter how many other benefits you list out for them. I used to provide a list of those products that were cheaper than the grocery store and found some people then only bought those products. Now that I've taken my focus away from that (I still answer questions if people as me directly), my sales have increased.
Where is this food coming from? Who are the farmers? Where do they live? I believe that it is fresh and nutritious but what types of farms/ pesticides/ fair trade resources go in to choosing which fruits & vegetables are used for THRIVE? That is all on the THRIVE Product details page which can be found in the back office under "tools" "Consultant materials" "THRIVE" and then "THRIVE Product details." I will be selling to a lot of "organic only" people and they are going to be asking! I saw somewhere that THRIVE is trying to get that Organic label... so maybe the food already is and they just don't have the "go-ahead" yet to publicize? You are along the right lines. Many of their suppliers are organic but b/c Shelf Reliance choose to pkg their own food (rare in the industry), they also have to be certified organic at their own facility. This is a pricey and time consuming process that they will do, but have not yet.
How is it that you offer discounts different from what Shelf Reliance offers? I don't. I can't. No one can sell for below party price. I just know the price list really well and understand host benefits. I use the "specialty THRIVE Pkgs" a lot. THese are pkgs that are offered at Costco for a GREAT price so SHelf Reliance has to allow consultants to sell them for less than Costco. They are one pkg 6 of the current price list. There are a few emergency supplies that are similar. Anything that is listed without a retail price on teh price list is a Costco pkg and is a great price. I just highlight a different one or two each month. I also use host benefits as rewards. So, if someone purchases from me and didn't attend a party, then I can choose to create a party and tie just their one order to that party and give them the host benefits. I do this a lot for large purchases. Did you notice something specific you were wondering about other than those two things?
Why would I bother tuning in to the training phone calls when I can watch it on my own time later? Granted, I can't ask questions, but it's SO much more convenient to watch them during the kids' naptime :) I usually listen later too. That is why they are recorded. However, the smaller team calls are nice b/c it is easier to ask questions, I let you interrupt me etc. Plus, I forget to record them half the time!
Should I shred the physical Order Forms (with CC info) or file them? I shred them. I do not want the liability. Only exception is if you RE-SELL something (like at an expo or something) for retail price. THen, you must keep a receipt.
On the SR Evites, how do you add a Host Message? The only way I know if is to open the event and then click on "send message" off to the left. But personally, I don't like to use that system. It seems to get caught in junk mail too often. I hand deliver all my invites (or encourage my host to) and then send a followup via evite so I can track rsvps.
For my self-hosted parties, should I just add them to my November Open Party or make them separate events? Up to you. I like to lump them all together though as you get more 50% off product that way.
One problem I stumbled upon this weekend... ALASKA. I have a sister who lives there and she is excited about the Thrive food. Especially the Instant milk and produce. She also wants to host a party. As I was looking into it... I discovered the outrageous shipping prices! $9 per CAN!?! I know shipping to Alaska is expensive, but that is incomprehensible Do you have any insight on that? There's very little info anywhere, even on the discussion forums. It is actually $7 per #10 can, $3.50 per pantry can. The Smart start shipping is $54 flat. They spent over a year researching different companies. I've spoken to many top executives (even just as recently as Costa Rica) and they've really done their best. Part of the problem is that they don't qualify for flat rate priority shipping. The cans are light, but odd shaped. They've researched a BUNCH of companies and it is the best rate they can get. It used to be worse. They used to do it by weight. Once they have more demand there, they will be able to set up an actual warehouse and shipping will go way down. I have a lot of consultants in Hawaii and they deal with the same thing. I really don't think you'll be able to beat the price by re-packaging it....
I noticed that the THRIVE cookbook often calls for real butter. Even in the corn bread recipe (though the sample recipe printable doesn't and I used that recipe... it was OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious). Did they print the cookbook before that was in use? It's not in front of me right not to double check that it was never used, but I did notice real butter quite a few times and was disappointed. I don't know why they didn't use it. Their old chef liked lot of fresh ingredients. The powdered butter does change things, but if you know how to use it right, everything usually turns out okay. I did a post about it here: http://www.yourownhomestore.com/product-highlight-powdered-butter/
on the Order Form, they have the option to opt-out of receiving emails. If they don't check it, will they only get emails from me or will SR use it too? They will get emails from Shelf Reliance
Where do you find the unadvertised specials? They are on the price list. Most are on page 6. Anything listed without a retail price is an "unadvertised special" and a great deal! These are all pkgs offered at Costco. Shelf Reliance has to allow us to sell them for less. You can find what is in each pkg on the pkgs document under "specialty THRIVE pkgs" Another consultant's web page mentioned printing them and putting them in a folder for guests to look through.
You mentioned using a spray bottle to reconstitute fruit. Cool idea! Do you have any tips for the green beans? I made them last night and found them to be very spongy. I had planned to serve those at a party, but won't if they're not one of the best tasting items. The green beans our tough. THey are great in soups etc., but not so great by themselves. However, I've found that hydrating everything with the minimal amount of water (like Chef Todd does with the cheese in this video: ) to be best. The green beans turn out better that way!
There's no way I will make it to convention this year. The whole no money thing makes that for sure :) You could earn it for free! (-: That is the reward trip Shelf Reliance is offering right now. All you have to do in grow your team! (learn more here) However, how do you earn reward trips? Every trip is different. From Oct-ish - March-ish they have a competition to earn Convention for free. Then at convention they always announce the next "fun" trip which was Costa Rica this year. To get to Costa Rica you earned points by enrolling consultants, creating Qs and advancing in rank, so anyone could go, not just top consultants. Over half the consultants who went were mentor or director.
Hi Misty. My party went great! I only had 5 people there, but 1 of them is considering becoming a consultant :) its actually a pretty average turnout. They've done a bunch of surveys and only about 1/4 of the people you invite ( on a good day) actually come. Sometimes they just aren't interested (for now), but more often, they were busy or just plain forgot. I shoot for between 5-8 at my parties and I'm thrilled with more!
Is it best to set-up the Q's myself or walk them through it?
I ususally set up my customers Qs for them so as to avoid frustration. I just get the info from them that is on the order form (including a credit card, ship date etc) and then let the Planner set it all up. Then, I send the same email I sent to you when you enrolled about "personalizing your Q." That way, their Q is ready to go, but they are the ones who get to go through and personalize it. Let me know if you need that email again!
Also, I'd like to add a gift pouch to one friend's order... is there a way to charge a portion of an order to a different credit card?
Unfortunately, there is not currently anyway to split an order between two cards unless you call customers service directly to place the order for you. There will be eventually, but not for now. So, you can call customer service and have them help you with the order or you can place an order for yourself and include your friends gift and then take it to her later.
Do you have advice on how to reply to this question emailed to me from a coworker: "I'm curious about the products and was wondering where I might find information about carb counts in some of the products. My hubby is an insulin dependent diabetic who manages his diet and diabetes through carb counting. Some times a product is healthy in one respect, but really high in carbs which is difficult for him. I'd love to see how the fruits compare."
I'm tempted to reply that the carbs would be exactly the same as fresh. But she wants tangible information. The allergen chart wouldn't help.... but I might pass that along just to feel like I answered her. If you go to any product page on the Shelf Reliance website (so search for strawberreis and go to that page), you can scroll down and see the nutrition label for that product. It will tell you how many carbs are in a serving.
I've used the online chat feature quite a few times this week to solve order questions. Is that ok or would you rather all my questions go through you? I love the online chat feature, but I don't know if it's not the preferred means of asking questions. You mentioned this tonight and it reminded me that I'd been wondering :) I think I might have annoyed the customer service agent one day... I connected about 4 times! Do what works for you. I'm not quite as readily available as the online chat and I know sometimes you need an immediate answer! (-: If the questions are more strategy or advice type stuff, then it is probably better to come to me or the shelf Reliance sisters facebook page. I don't ever want you to feel like you shouldn't contact me, but I am grateful that you are respectful of my time. I try reall hard to always answer my phone during my "office hours" (unless I'm already on the other line), and I can usually get back to email within a day or less.
What do you (and everyone else) mean by "expo"? Around here there are a lot of craft fair/ consultant vendor type markets... is that it? Or do you mean like the RV shows at the large conference centers in big cities? Both. People use the term "expo" "Show" Or "home show" to mean any sort of event where you go set up a table and talk to people who walk by. The smaller ones are far more worth it though! Unless you can get into a big gun show or preparedness expo. Those tend to do really well.
That cheese video was GREAT and super helpful. However, most of the other product videos don't actually tell HOW to reconstitute the food the best way. For example, bananas or the sour cream... I could use some tips on that! Do you have a resource/ favorite blog for tips? (I always check yourownhomestore first, of course :) Most of it I just learn from trial and error and then post my findings on my blog. One other site I really like for that type of stuff is cookingwithmyfoodstorage.com by Heather Lorimer (another consultant). She is fabulous! And I will be making my own site much more searchable for that type of stuff in a few weeks. If you ever have a question about a specific product, let me know. I will either likely have an answer for you myself or know a consultant who does!
On Saturday I'm doing a dinner party and the host has some concerns about the moisture packet that's in each can. Do you know if research has been done regarding if that chemical leaks into the food? The packets that are in each can have nothing to do with moisture. They are oxygen absorbers and pose no risk whatsoever. They absolutely HAVE to be non-toxic to be placed with the food. It is just iron dust. It is not dangerous. Even if you ate the entire packet, it would just be absorbed by your body like an iron supplement.
Do I need to officially close each party or does it close when the hostess places her benefits order? And a party closes (meaning no order can be added) when two things happen: the host places her benefit order, or (2) 90 days pass from the party start date. If the 90 days pass without the benefit order being placed, the host will forfeit it.
Where do you find the pictures of the Costco packages? I'd like to make my own hand-out for my party folder... and to feature them on my blog :) I usually try to find something simlar on the SR site, but if I can't then I just take it from Costco and modify it a bit. SR prefers if we don't use the actual Costo pictures and you can't use Costco's name in any online ad...
Her #10 of tomato powder is deeply dented on the side.
The tomato powder recipe is a recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup that uses 2 T of powder and requires numerous cans of other tomato products.
I'm planning on posting recipes to use tomato powder soon, but I feel strongly that I should let corporate know my and my customer's disappointment with the recipe they chose for that can!
Call customer service and they will get her Tomato powder replaced asap. They will email her call tags for the damaged one and she can return it. Or, she can keep it for 50% off retail if she wants to.
As for any suggestions / concerns that you have, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org The owners actually read them all. Then they put everything into a database and those that are the most common are what is worked on first.
The recipe thing used to really bother me. (Sometimes it still does when the recipes are just incorrect), but one thing that has helped me is to realized that many people buy this product not to store, but just to use as a supplement. So, they want recipes that use other fresh ingredients. They don't want to cook with 100% THRIVE. I do, however, so I've developed my own recipes and put them on my site to share with others. You are always welcome to use anythign you find there.
Oh, one more customer question. A different customer just received her double chocolate chip ice cream bars. All but one of the ice cream squares has rips in the paper cover. The rips look more like razor slices, so I'm assuming that it's intentional. Do you know?
The icecream bars are just as they should be. They cut holes in the packaging like that before they freeze dry them so that they can get all the oxygen out. (-:
About the Q: can you only set a Q up for dates later in the month? I had a customer on the 8th who wanted her Q to be earlier in the month, but that wasn't an option...You can only set a Q to ship in the future. So, if you have a party today, they can't choose Jan 8th or Jan 4th, but they could choose Feb 8th or Feb 4th. (-:
a customer wanted to set-up an $80 Q... despite my best efforts to add that extra $20. Will she be a Bronze member unless she pays the annual fee? Nope, she will be platinum b/c there will be more than 1 Q attached to the party. As long as there are at least $100 in TOTAL Qs attached to the same party, then every Q attached to that party gets the free Platinum. (-:
Is there a certain time that people get their free gift or is it an anniversary thing? Can you give me an example of a gift that they give? No, SR just does it when they need a fun promotion, but usually about every 6 months. I'd guess they will do one soon. The last one they sent was a high quality hand can opener.
My "form letters" feel free to use as the base for your correspondences
LGM's School of Hard Knocks
*I buy mine at OC Chemical Supply. The medium size for the fruits and the smallest for the savory. I spent about $24 and received 250 of each size.
My favorite THRIVE resources:
Misty Marshes' Training Site
Amber Pearce's Training Site
Thrive Crew Training Site
Heather Lorimer's Training Site
Recipes/ THRIVE tips:
Your Own Home Store (my mentor's blog)
Shelf Reliance Sisters
Carolina Food Storage
Contact parties for any questions or concerns you have about a specific order, shipping times, website glitches etc.
Contact Bart with any questions you have about Shelf Reliance's emergency supplies. He is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Contact Adam with questions about a specific THRIVE product or product suggestions. He is the buyer for our foods.
Contact Mike for approval of all marketing materials you would like to use on your website / blog. Also contact him for approval to advertise on any other site.
Contact Shannon for questions about commission .
Use this email address to provide feedback on the website and products.
Use this email if you'd like to pick up an order in Utah.
Use this email if you need to place an order for a specialty food rotation system (a special configuration not available on the price list). You should also use this to have something shipped to Alaska / Hawaii that is not on the Hawaii / Alaska price list. Do not include a credit card, just your order and address and a phone number where they can reach you to get your CC info.