Mr. Wonderful – Here’s How I’d Sell Cupcakes in a Jar

(Stock photo - NOT from Wicked Good Cupcakes)

(Stock photo – NOT from Wicked Good Cupcakes)

If you were given just half an hour to go out on the street to sell a new kind of cupcake – what would you do? Today I’m going to share how I’d sell cupcakes in a Jar.

Here’s the background…

A couple weeks ago, on a special episode of 20/20 called “Secrets of the Sell” – “Mr. Wonderful” (Kevin O’Leary) taught his special sales techniques to four people who were screened based on tryouts, and then, by O’Leary.

After going through his sales training, O’Leary ran a contest to see who could sell the most Cupcakes in a Jar in 30 minutes. (These cupcakes are made by Wicked Good Cupcakes, one of the companies he invested in on the TV Show “Shark Tank”).

I posted a question on my blog, challenging my subscribers to post their ideas for making this sale.

Congratulations to the two consultants who posted their ideas on the post — Diane and Rachel. You get your choice of one of my three published books.

So Mr. Wonderful…here’s how I’d sell Cupcakes in a Jar out on the street:

1) Attract their attention! As Rachel suggested – I’d get some samples (definitely Sweet Potato because it was the highest points, and second would be chocolate). I’d break the cupcakes into small bite size samples, put them on a platter on a table near the food truck, and then I’d grab one of the jars – and get out into the traffic flow on the sidewalk.

2) Holding up the jar, I’m going to ask people, “What do you think is in this jar?” (I want to get some engagement. Notice this is an open ended question!) That will turn into a short discussion (after all – I only have 30 minutes), and I’m going to invite them to go to the table for a sample. (That will also attract other people to the table, as well.)

3) I’ll explain that our new Sweet Potato cupcakes have become one of our most popular flavors. Think: Sweet Potato Pie. (Gets you thinking about Thanksgiving, time with family, and a yummy meal.)

4) After they taste a sample, I’ll ask, “Which one did you like the best?” They will give me their feedback, and now I can tell them the benefits: This is the new craze in cupcakes (people want to be the first to try a new fad!) There are two whole cupcakes in each jar, and the jars are layered – cake, then frosting, then cake, then frosting. So every bite is absolutely delicious. They can reseal the jar, so they can eat some now, and some later (but once you dive into this, you won’t want to stop!). Plus – you’ll come up with tons of uses for the jar, once it’s emptied (for me, they become pen holders or change holders).

5) The close! You’ve got to ask – “How many jars would you like today?”

6) Next, I’ll work on the up-sell. “Where are you off to today? Wouldn’t it be an amazing treat to bring back jars to share with your co-workers? Or, “wouldn’t it be fun to take all the women at the hair salon a fun treat, too?”

That’s it – an easy sales process and a “sweet deal!”

Next post…What the reporter of this story “should” have asked those former Mary Kay reps…

Business Lessons from 20/20

Did you catch the episode of 20/20 on October 2nd, called “Secrets of the Sell?”

If not, here’s the link: CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT NOW.

In fact, I recommend you watch it a couple times.

The first segment features “Mr. Wonderful” (Kevin O’Leary) from Shark Tank. He selected three college students from an initial group of six, gave them a short course on selling, then sent them out on the streets to sell “Cupcakes in a Jar” – one of the companies O’Leary invested in a couple years ago through Shark Tank.

The second segment was a story about Mary Kay.

There are some important lessons from this story – both good and bad – plus a couple questions I felt the reporter, Rebecca Jarvis either missed, or possibly were edited out (I’ve just posted those questions on her Facebook page.)

So I’m going to do a couple posts on this topic.

Today – I’d like to know what YOU learned from Kevin O’Leary’s Selling class.

I would have approached the cupcake selling a bit differently than the 3 finalists. (If you’re listening ABC – I’d be happy to challenge the winner to a “re-match”).

Post below: How would you reel in the customers, and what would you say to upsell them to the Sweet Potato Cupcakes, and to more than one jar?

I will be sharing my recommendations on Wednesday this week (and by the way, this will be extremely helpful information for anyone booking tables at vendor events) – and I will be choosing at least one person’s answer for a fun prize (their choice of my published books).

Those who participate always learn the most…

Go ahead – tell us how you would sell the most jars of cupcakes…

What’s your Biggest Lesson from attending your Conference?

Many of you have recently attended your National Conferences.canstockphoto18920803

Most of the home party or network marketing companies truly put on spectacular events (I’m sure you agree!).  From the speakers, to the “exciting news,” to the new product reveals, to the recognition and awards.

Plus – I always felt like it was a big “family reunion” because I got to spend time with my “consultant family!”

I highly recommend that you ALWAYS attend your conferences.

I can still remember the first conference I attended with my former company…

It was the company’s second year in business, and I’m guessing there were about 75 consultants in attendance.

I remember watching each of the speakers (every speaker was one of the top Sales Managers or top Salesperson/Sponsor) and thinking, Read More→

Some Common Myths About Promoting to Leader

I’ve literally coached hundreds of consultants who were ready to take the next step in their myths about promoting to leaderbusinesses – meaning earning their first (or next!) promotion.

That is really the only way you can expand your business (without doing 20 shows per month yourself).

Here’s some of the common myths about promoting to leader in your home party or network marketing business:

Myth #1: It’s really hard.

If you typically hold one show a month, and rarely get a booking from it – then yes, from that perspective it would seem hard.

Remember – learning to book parties is a skill that anyone can master. And once you start booking two, or three, or even more shows from every show you do – you NEED to sponsor teammates because you simply don’t have room on your calendar to hold all of those parties.

Myth #2: Read More→

Word Choices Can Make or Break Your Business!

Last week at a networking meeting, I gave a presentation about the importance of your word choices.Susie Nelson Training, How do you ask for a booking?

The words you choose can have a huge impact on your sales, on future bookings, and on the number of prospects who are willing to take a closer look at your business. Huge difference!

How do you ask for a booking?

After the meeting I was talking to a woman who would really love to build a bigger business – but she shared that she is struggling to get bookings.

So I asked, “Let’s say that you and I are sitting at your closing table, you’ve just taken my order, and now it’s time to ask me to book a party. What would you say to me?”

Now I realize that asking someone to do this exercise can be a bit uncomfortable. But you can also learn so much!

Here’s what she said:

“Susie, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d book a party for me.”


(Keep in mind this woman is extremely talented, has a great personality, and could literally build her business to whatever level she chooses with some “tweaking.”)

So let’s have some fun with this…

I would love to hear your comments about what is wrong with this statement, AND, how you’d say it differently.

I’ll post my response in a few days…

Thanks for commenting and sharing!

Here’s a way to figure out who is serious about their business…and who is not.

While building my Million Dollar organization, I learned some important business building lessons along the way…and today I’m going to share one of those with you.Susie Nelson Training for Social Selling Consultants

What I’ll be sharing is one technique you can use for figuring out who your “serious” business builders are…

So stick with me while I give you the background, then the lesson…

Many years ago I heard the phrase: “Knowledge is Power” – and it really resonated with me.

I’m passionate about – not just “learning” something new – but implementing what I’ve learned to see how it works for me.

So over the years, I never hesitated to invest in my education.

I took a Dale Carnegie Sales Course (to the tune of $1500); have 3 book shelves full of books and training CDs (easily worth at least $10,000); invested in coaching two different times (over $10,000) and was part of a “Certified Business Advisor” program for a year (initial investment was $30,000 and ongoing $619 per month).

Those investments in training have paid for themselves over and over and over again – and continue to do so today.

But I learned an even bigger lesson about the value of “investing” in training…

The first few years when I was building my organization, I traveled to many locations to provide training to my rapidly growing group of consultants. It cost a fortune – in dollars, time, and frankly – my energy.

Being the little engineer that I am – who loves to try things, test things, and analyze the data – one year I decided to put on a “special kick-off training” on January 2nd. It was an all-day training session, and I charged those who made the decision to invest in their businesses and themselves a $40 attendance fee (and that included lunch).

About 20% of my consultants in the area CHOSE to invest their time and their money.

Here’s what happened…

First – that extremely small investment weeded out the “whiners” and the “want-to-be’s” from those who were focused and passionate about building a bigger business.

The energy in the room that day was incredible.

Every single consultant in attendance had a clear vision and a goal to move their business to leadership that year.

They eagerly practiced the training exercises, asked great questions, and fully participated that day.

But it didn’t end there…

Of the 14 consultants who chose to invest in themselves that day…9 became managers that year (6 from my unit, 3 who were guests who I welcomed to my training from other organizations).

They went home and they implemented what they learned – and it made a huge impact on their lives.

So today I’m challenging you to evaluate training you provide for “free” and training where you charge a fee (that will at least help off-set your expenses).

It was a big lesson for me. I continued to monitor what happened after my “free training” events and my “charge a fee” events.

I learned that I wasn’t necessarily “helping” my consultants most effectively when they didn’t have some money in the game. When they paid for training, they got better results.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your experiences and comments regarding “paid” versus “free” training? Enter your comments below…

What do you Listen to on the way to your Shows?

I got this great message from one of my coaching students last night. Visualize your success in social selling, Susie Nelson, mental movie

She said, “I can’t wait to tell you about the best party I had today. I swear it’s because I did a mental movie of it.”

What she’s referring to is a visualization exercise that I recommend to all of my students.

I first learned this when I stumbled onto a tape program (yes, in those days my car had a tape player, not a CD player) by a company called “Effective Learning Systems.”

This was a program created for sales people, and it helped them get mentally prepared for their presentations by visualizing everything – from the prospect arriving on time, happy to see you – to your presentation going smoothly – to the prospect being excited to sign on the dotted line and handing the salesperson a check.

I started playing the tape on the way to every one of my presentations.

What I noticed was, in a very short period of time (much shorter than I expected) my sales were increasing, I was easily getting 3, 4, or even more new bookings at every presentation, and I started to have prospects asking me if they could learn more about my business before I even had a chance to bring it up.

Pretty cool stuff.

Eventually I took it to the level where I created my own recording, so I could incorporate some numbers – such as how much I wanted to sell at each party – and terms, such as “bookings.”

Most of all, listening to my “mental movie” on the way to each party helped me get into “the zone.”

Just like you hear about athletes who get “into the zone” during the game – and become so tuned in that they don’t really hear the crowd roaring, and can’t be easily distracted.

Think of this in the same way.

Our mind is a really powerful thing – and I have many examples of using the mental movie technique, not just in my business, but in my life.

What’s important to note is that using the mental movie is just one part of an overall plan for success.

I can assure you that my coaching student did everything to ensure that her party would be successful. I know, from our discussions, that she has implemented what she learned in my training classes about how to get bookings, how to plant seeds to find prospects, and much more.

The mental movie helps you take it to the next level.

I challenge you to give it a try – and to let me know what kind of results you get!

A New Year, a Fresh Start

I hope you enjoyed the holidays – and I want to wish you and your family the very best for 2014 and beyond.Susie Nelson Training for Direct Sales Consultants

Now that all of the holiday festivities have come to an end…

…it’s time to get busy!

Hitting the ground running has always been one of my best strategies for increasing sales and sponsorships, and promoting more leaders in my organization.

So today – before you get back into the swing of things with kids returning to school, or going back to work yourself – there’s something I want you to think about.

Often in this business, we talk about focusing on your “why” – “why” are you in the social selling business?

That “why” often changes as your social selling business grows.

The consultant who started her business, thinking she’d be thrilled to earn an extra $300-$500 per month to cover the car payment has achieved that goal and more – and realizes it’s OK to dream bigger.

The consultant who has started building her organization, and is receiving some small commissions, based on her organization’s sales, now understands the potential if she believes in her abilities and takes action.

“You learn it as you live it” in this business…

So for the next couple days – I’ve got a couple things I’d like to ask you to think about:

1) What’s your NEW why?

2) Are you DREAMING BIG?


3) How much do you need to earn per month in 2014 to support your “why” and your dreams?

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing a really cool program I’ve developed to help you plan out your business – depending on your monthly income goals.

The person who wants to aggressively build her organization and focus on creating a six figure annual income has to approach her business much differently than the consultant who wants to earn $300 – $500 per month.

Can’t wait to share it with you!

Happy New Year and Big Hugs,


Here’s how to have a Guilt Free Holiday!

During one of my private coaching calls this past week, one of my students asked me a really great question.
Enjoy your holidays guilt free
“Should I keep trying to connect with people right now – or since everybody is so busy, should I wait until after the holidays?”

I’m really proud of the progress this student has made since we started working together a couple months ago. She was also preparing to leave for a 2-week vacation this weekend.

So, like any good coach, I had to answer her question with a couple questions.

Question #1:

Are you jumping to the conclusion that you can’t reach people this week simply because YOU are really busy yourself?

She was swamped. Between her kids’ school activities, dealing with kids home from school for snow days (I think half of the U.S. got buried in snow in the past 2 weeks), and making those last week before Christmas sales…my student was incredibly busy.

Yes – most people are very busy at this time of year…

But that doesn’t mean your prospective hostesses and business prospects don’t have time for a quick call.

Question #2:

What does your calendar look like for January and February?

My student had added additional bookings on her calendar for these months – but she wasn’t at her goal…yet!

Waiting to fill January…in January…is a bit too late.

Question #3:

Wouldn’t it feel great, when you’re on that 2 week vacation, to truly take a vacation?

What would a vacation feel like without checking emails and checking phone messages?

Wouldn’t it feel wonderful and powerful to take a vacation (or take a holiday break) – KNOWING that your business is already in great shape for January and February??

So I challenged my student – and I’m challenging you – to make the calls, fill your calendar with bookings, schedule appointments with prospects – and THEN…take your holiday break GUILT FREE!

Is your calendar booked?

Share your comments below!

What are you Resisting?

I’m a big fan of Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” show. A few weeks ago, she interviewed Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles.”overcoming resistance in social selling, Susie Nelson Training

They spent a great deal of the interview talking about “Resistance” – and that caught my attention immediately (and prompted me to purchase the book).

Pressfield explained that the more resistance we feel – whether it’s about losing weight, putting words on the page (since he’s a writer), or in our case – making that next phone call or booking a new hostess – the closer we are to a big breakthrough.

In his book, he explains how resistance and fear are related.

“Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.” 

This was huge for me – especially with some of the big projects I need to complete for launching my 2014 – yet feeling a lot of paralysis when it comes to getting them done. The more I procrastinate, the more it leads to me beating myself up, which in turn, leads to me veg’ing out in front of the TV, or going on a run to Cold Stone Creamery.

It’s time for each of us to face those demons.

Pressfield explained that the way you conquer resistance is to deal with it head-on.

You’ll learn, if you read the forward of his book, that he uses a lot of rituals to put himself “in the zone” for writing. His lucky hat and shirt, special pictures on his desk, and so on…

Remember…feeling a lot of resistance means you’re heading for a big breakthrough…

The biggest area where social selling consultants find the most resistance is with making phone calls.

Following Pressfield’s lead…try this:

Sit in the same location in your house.

Wear your “lucky outfit” and “lucky hat.”

Put pictures on the wall in your “phone space” such as an incentive trip flyer you want to earn, a picture of you getting a $25,000 check (that you photoshop in), your favorite vacation destination, pictures of your bills with “paid in full” written across the front, and so on…

Then…sit down and make the calls.

At the end of the day – it doesn’t matter how many people you connected with, how many appointments you scheduled, or how smooth you were in the conversations.

All that matters is that you overcame resistance.

What do you think? What are your ideas for overcoming resistance?