Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rich Cherry Torte

1 cup (250 g) butter
4 T sugar
½ t salt
2½ cups flour
1¼ t baking powder
2 c cherries, pitted
½ c (60 g) chopped blanched almonds

3 t cornstarch
5 T sugar
pinch of salt
1 c (250 ml) milk
5 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 t vanilla

5 egg whites
5 T sugar
½ t baking powder
pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar and add sifted dry ingredients. Press firmly on bottom and sides of a well buttered spring form pan. Bake for 15 minutes in a 425°F (220°C) oven.
To make custard, mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt in the top of a double boiler. Add milk, then the egg yolks and place over simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Add vanilla and mix well.
Pour half the custard into the baked pie shell. Put cherries on top of the custard and then pour the remaiing custard over the cherries.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat in sugar mixed with baking powder and salt. Spread on top of torte and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Bake in a 325°F (160°C) until meringue is brown.

Serves 8

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chocolate Custard

2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 c milk
½ c sugar
1½ T flour
¼ t salt
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1 t vanilla
½ c cream, whipped

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Stir in milk and heat. Add sugar, flour, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in egg yolk and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Cool. When cool, fold in whipped cream. Chill.

Serves 4

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Coffee Pie

1 cup flour
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
cold water

1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup very strong coffee
3 egg yolks, beaten
½ cup sugar
1/8 t salt
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t cinnamon
1 T gelatin
¼ c cold water
1 t vanilla
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 cup cream, whipped
3 T grated semi sweet chocolate

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine bread crumbs. Add enough water to form a stiff dough. Roll out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Line the bottom of a 9" pie tin. Bake in a 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Cool.
Mix coffee and milk together in the top of a double boiler. Place over boiling water and scald mixture. Beat egg yolks with sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add a little of the hot milk mixture, beating constantly. Return to double boiler and cook over simmering water until thick, stirring constantly.
Soak the gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. Stir gelatin into coffee mixture until it dissolves. Add vanilla. Remove from heat and chill until partially set. Beat until fluffy.
 Fold in egg whites. Pour into baked pie shell and chill until firm. Before serving spread whipped cream over the top and sprinkle on grated chocolate.

Serves 6-8

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Creamy Fudge*

1½ cups sugar
½ cup margarine or butter
1 can evaporated milk (5 fl oz or about 2/3 cup)
1 pkg (10½ oz) miniature marshmallows
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups walnuts coarsely chopped

Lightly grease a foil lined 13x9x2" pan. Heat sugar, margarine, butter, milk, marshmallows over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 5 minutes.
Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla extract, stirring until chips are melted. Stir in walnuts. Immediately spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into 1" squares. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

For creamier fudge, let stand at room temp 1 hour before serving.

*Allergy alert: Contains milk and nuts

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dogs Gone Wild

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lemon Bread Pudding

8 slices bread, crust removed
3 T lemon juice grated rind of one lemon
¼ c butter
1 c sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c milk
3 T sugar
1/8 t salt
grated rind of one lemon

Mix lemon juice, grated rind and butter in a saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes. Add sugar and eggs and cook, stirring constantly, over a low heat until thick. Cool. Spread bread slices with the lemon mixture and place in a buttered baking dish. Mix together the 2 eggs, milk, sugar, salt and lemon rind. Pour over the bread and allow to soak for 15 minutes. Cover and bake in a 350°F oven for about 1 hour. 

Serves 6

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Expanding Your Business Through Booths

Sometimes we need help coming up with ideas on how to expand our business. Maybe we simply need a fresh perspective or we had an idea and aren't sure how to implement it or we have heard of something to try but forgot about it. Well, that's exactly what happened to me. 

Here is an article regarding expanding a business through a booth. Now before you say but I don't have that type of business... pause for a moment and read it again. There are many tips that apply for any type of situation. Some tips might need a bit of tweaking to fit your exact situation.  I found it very interesting the fist time I saw it several years ago. Upon rediscovering it today, I  found it to still be very interesting. I hope you will also.

This article may be reprinted and distributed as long as no changes are made to this document, including the author information. Please make suggestions specific to your company in an attachment.

June 2002
Expanding Your Business Through Booths
~~Holly O'Keefe, Independent Supervisor and National Trainer Natural Bodycare

Where do you find places where you could have a booth?
Call your state tourism dept for a list of fairs, the places where booth events might be held (malls, convention centers, etc.) to see what is scheduled, the local Chamber of Commerce of the area you are interested in, local community centers to see if they know of any local fairs or flea markets, representatives in other direct sales companies who might have a booth, and look in the yellow pages under Expositions, Trade Shows & Fairs. I also watch the community newspapers for ads and articles on events. You can also attend events this year to see if it is something you'd like to be involved with next year, then immediately contact the event manager to get your name on the list for next year. On a smaller scale, try garage sales, grocery stores, book stores, ToysRUs Babyfests and wholesale clubs. Also, check out opportunities to have a booth in conjunction with fundraisers (ie, I just did one during a Humane Society fundraiser event).

How do you know if this event will be a "good" one to spend your money on?
Attend the event (different days/times) or ask for several references (any home party person that had a booth). Ask them how they thought the attendance was. Don't ask about leads - many people do NOT know how to work a booth - I recently did a small event where I got 12 leads and the direct sales company next to me got NOTHING!

How do you get attendees to stop at your booth?

In a study of factors influencing an attendee's decision to visit a booth, 23% of that decision is based on exhibit location, 13% on exhibit presentation, and 28% on having an interesting product demonstration.

Location: Choose a corner booth towards the front and center, on a main aisle, away from concession stands or other things that will cause lines that will block entrance to your booth. Be in the middle of the traffic flow!

Exhibit Presentation: Your booth should be interesting, yet people should know when they walk up what your business is. I saw one beautiful booth that had so many flowers, vines, and fabric, that the products were secondary -- you saw the pretty display first, then noticed the products later (actually, you had to really study it to figure it out!). Make sure you have professional-looking signs - no hand written signs - and that your company name is LARGE enough and displayed high enough to see from the aisle over the heads of people standing in your booth. A sparse display looks much better than an overcrowded one. A display with too many products confuses an attendee - they don't know where to start, so they don't! I focus on recruiting at the booths that I do, so I display the products that come in the Natural Start Kit and the products that they can earn for free by doing 4 average classes in their first month. Then, if someone shows a little interest in the business, I can say "These products come in the starter kit for the business. Most people who start their business and do 4-6 average classes in their first month get all of these products, valued at over $450, plus earn their investment back, plus earn an EXTRA $200-$500 in commissions and bonuses! Have you ever thought about giving something like this a try?" On another table (or the other end of the table), you could display popular products or new products. I always have a catalog in a binder (in protector sheets) so people can see all of the products, but very few look at it. Be DIFFERENT than everyone else - push your table to the back or use 2 tables in an L shape, then stand in FRONT of your table and invite everyone in! Don't hide behind the table!

Product Demonstration: This is the key to your success. You have 2-3 seconds to attract attention! Attendees walking down booth aisles walk in "the comfort zone" - down the middle, with their eyes about two booths ahead. They are afraid of being pounced on, so they don't look left or right! Booth workers are afraid of looking too pushy! Everyone is afraid! As a booth worker, your most important job is to make an attendee feel comfortable and welcome into your booth without feeling pounced on. There are three booth worker "styles" that I've seen.

Style 1: It does not work to stand (or worse, sit) and wait for people to come up and talk to you. You look bored, unapproachable, and uninviting. Why would anyone want to talk to you?

Style 2: It works moderately well to ask people engaging questions as they walk by -- When is the last time you've been to one of our Spa Experiences? Or What's your favorite spa treatment? Even though these are "nice" questions, the attendee is still being singled out and may very well feel "pounced on". Therefore, you may get a "flippant" answer as they continue walking. If you choose to use this method, make sure to prepare a list of questions that demand an answer other than 'yes' or 'no'.

Style 3: This style seems to work best. One person starts demonstrating to "air". You start the demo, talking to no one in particular. It feels strange, but within seconds, people will come up to listen to what you are saying. They don't feel singled out, because you aren't talking to them, you are talking to everyone! You are making them feel comfortable and welcome! The other person talks individually to people and invites them to sign up. The Demonstrator should give a 2-3-minute demo (like you're in the middle of one of your demonstrations) in a clear LOUD voice. Then give a 30-60-second close, saying something like "You just saw an example of one of our relaxing Spa Experience Classes! Your friends will enjoy an evening of relaxation - candlelight, soft music, aromatherapy, a hand massage, a back massage, and the opportunity to give themselves a decadent spa treatment! Who would turn THAT down? Most hosts save over $150! We're also looking for representatives nationwide - part-time representatives and those would like to make $40,000/year or more working 2 nights/week. Whether you'd like to hear more about our products, host a class, or take a look at this incredible business opportunity, make sure to sign up to be invited to our next Spa Experience!"

Should I give them catalogs or flyers?
No! Give them something with your name on it and you give them permission to walk away. You will not hear from them! This is vital to getting leads. You may think you are saving money by handing out catalogs right away, but I guarantee that most of them will end up in the trash and you wasted the money on the booth by not getting leads. Get the names of the people who really want the catalogs and flyers! If you want to save money, hand out catalogs only after they give you their name. Keep the catalogs under the table. If you are splitting leads, the catalogs should NOT have any contact information on them. Tell people that you're splitting leads so you can't give them your phone #, but one of you will be calling them Sunday night (or whatever you decide on).

To do or not do a Prize Drawing A prize drawing is just an excuse to talk to people, and is an added expense. Properly-trained workers should not need this excuse. Everyone will sign up for a prize drawing. I'd rather focus my time and energy with people who are really interested in my business. I do not want to waste my precious 48-hour follow-up time slot with people who only circled maybe because they thought they'd have a better chance at winning! Women at one event I do are there for deals and lots of free stuff. Even there, when people asked "What are you giving away?", I never had anyone walk away because we weren't giving something away!

If you do decide to do a drawing, I would recommend a "FREE xxx with a July Spa Class" - make sure there is a minimum requirement for earning the free gift - I like "FREE Mango Lotion with a July Spa Class", and the requirements would be "6 guests = purse size, 10 guests = 8 oz. size, and 15 guests = 16 oz size"). If you really want to give away a prize, give away a Gift Certificate -- It is easy to mail and if they use it, great; if they don't, you didn't lose any money! Make sure the Gift Certificate states that it is "$15 off your order total" (so you don't end up paying for shipping and tax, that it is valid ONLY with you, and give an expiration date (I usually give them 3 months, or the end of the current catalog, whichever comes first). I also state on the Gift Certificate that they can double the amount by hosting a class (the order is placed on their class) or starting their own business (they can get the products after they qualify).

What should I bring to the booth?
I leave scissors, tape and pins for emergency repairs for the display, plus wet wipes to keep the booth and products clean, and sheets to cover the display overnight (especially at county fairs, even indoor booths, where there are a lot of flies). Everyone should bring money for parking and other things, snacks and water (you can't always leave the booth), breath spray, pens, appointment book, products used for demo, and sign-up sheets. You will want a luggage cart to use for setup.

How should booth workers split leads?

I like my representatives to feel comfortable working together as a team. I tell them to each start off their shift by telling each other that it is their job to help the other person get leads. We use 1/4-page contact slips on small clipboards. Attendees fill out the slip and hand it back to the person they spoke with. That person immediately writes notes on it that will help them remember who this person was (you will forget), tells the person when they can expect a call (that gives them a chance to respond, or they've given me permission and will be waiting for my call!) and puts it in their pocket. If several people came together, collect all of their slips and fold them together in fourths as a group so these leads aren't split up. You don't want one representative to do a class for one friend and a different representative to do a class for another friend! At the end of the shift, the workers separate out their slips into piles: yes for business, maybe for business, yes for class, maybe for class, invite to class. They count how many they have in each pile and work it out so they each have the same number of leads in each category. Some like to divide by location, others prefer to give preference to the people you actually spoke with. It doesn't matter how you split your leads, but it is important to decide before you start your shift! Since leads are split evenly, workers come across as a team and you do not have workers trying to get their contact slip in front of the attendee first!

What do I do with these leads?
When you set aside time to work the booth, set aside time for your follow-up too or you have wasted your time! Follow up with a phone call within 48 hours to everyone who expressed even the slightest interest in having a class, etc. Use the notes you made to make your phone call personal.

Example: “Hi Sue, this is Holly calling. We met at ____ and you ASKED me to give you a call tonight. I'm with Natural Bodycare, we were the ones with the yummy Mango Hand Lotion and we do the Spa Classes. Do you have just a minute or so to chat?” If yes, “If I remember correctly, you were the one who is going to school to become a massage therapist. [She's impressed that you remembered HER out of all of those people!] When will you be done?” ...... “What attracted you most to Natural Bodycare?” (the natural products) “That makes sense! A lot of people are really concerned about the chemicals that are in their skin care, hair care, and bath products. If you were to host a spa class, what part of the spa class do you think your friends would enjoy most - the hand massage, the back massage, or the foot soak?” (leading her into booking a class or whatever your goal is.)

Those who just want catalogs can wait till you've tried calling everyone else. Have a follow-up letter prepared ahead of time. Keep it to one side of one page, with bullet points. Cover the services you offer - hosting a class, placing an order, and the business opportunity. You might want to have a special - order by xxx and get xxx, host a xxx class and get xxx. You can hand-write a personal note on the letter, something you remember from the booth or from talking with them on the phone. Tell them on the letter that you'll call xxx (2 days from when they receive it). Send these letters to anyone you did not talk to within 48 hours and to those who requested that you send information to them.

What information should I ask for on the Contact Slips?
Name, city, phone number, email address, and best time to call and the following:
Hosting a Spa Class Yes No Maybe
Most hosts save $150+
Month:___________ select July for FREE Mango Hand Lotion!
Business Opportunity Yes No Maybe
Part-time, full-time or six figures - you choose!
Be one of the FIRST representatives!
Fun! Invite me to Spa/Biz Class (a sample Yes No Maybe
Sometimes I purposely do NOT ask for their address. First, it saves them time in filling out the Contact Slip - I'd rather have them answer all of the questions! Second, if they DON'T answer the questions (and I was so busy that I didn't have a chance to ask them about it at the booth), it gives me a GREAT "excuse" to call them (“I'd love to send you our Fair Special, but I don't have your address.” Then ask them the questions over the phone).

How do you manage a booth that is too much for one person to work?
In general, find out all of the costs and set up the rules before you start talking to other representatives about working the booth. Make these rules known to all so they can choose whether to participate or not. One person should manage the booth, delegating portions to other people. Determine a focus for your booth and stick to it. Are you looking for bookings and recruits? Then there should be no order-taking at the booth. If you take time to place an order, you are losing other leads. Do you want the people working the booth to come across as a team or as competitors? This will determine how everyone splits leads. The decisions you make as a manager will affect how attendees view your booth, view the representatives working the booth, and view the company as a whole.

How much should I charge representatives for working at the booth?
I determine the full cost of the event - the booth; renting tables, skirting and carpeting; electricity; and mailing information to workers. You can usually rent tables and skirting for less from an outside source, but then you need to haul them. Sometimes you can buy 'old' carpeting and skirting from a company that specializes in setting up booths. (Do not go without carpeting - concrete floors are very hard to stand on for long periods of time!) I charge per time slot, per person, with some time slots costing more than others, based on the expected attendance during that time. Determine when costs are due and make sure to collect money from everyone before those due dates! I give a discount for those who turn in their money early, even though I don't cash the check until a certain date. I tell everyone there is no refund and that they are responsible for finding a replacement.

Information on this tip sheet came from my own experience (managing/working two major booths and three smaller booths per year for 7 years), from Sue Rusch, and from the book "How to get the Most Out of Trade Shows" by Steve Miller, 1996. I was happy to see that Steve agreed with Sue and I on all of the major points! 

This article may be reprinted and distributed as long as no changes are made to this document, including the author information. Please make suggestions specific to your company in an attachment.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Carrot Pudding

½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup grated raw carrots
2 t grated lemon rind
½ cup raisins
1 cup currants
1¼ cups flour
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
½ t nutmeg
½ t cinnamon
½ t baking soda

Mix together the butter, sugar, egg, carrot, lemon rind, raisins, and currants. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix with the carrot mixture. Pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake in a 350°F oven for about 1¼ hours or until firm.

Serve 6-8