Thursday, May 19, 2011

Key Learnings from Washington DC / Baltimore Trip

Last week, I had the great fortune of traveling to Washington DC and Baltimore to meet with Paperly's amazing team of Consultants in that area. In less than 2 days, I had 2 lunch meetings, attended 2 parties, and probably drove 2 much (pun intended). I must admit, I learned so much (as I always do when I conduct field visits). In fact, there were simply too many ideas and suggestions to outline here. However, I wanted to give you a couple of truly key learnings.

#1 Key Learning: Simplify
Paperly needs to vastly simplify its parties. Honestly, a Paperly party should be a 4 hour event: 1 hour pre, 2 hours at, 1 hour post. To ensure that occurs, we need to consider potentially radical changes, such as:
  • Moving to 1 catalog as opposed to 2
  • Simplifying the catalog (i.e. less color options, less fonts, etc.)
  • Enabling direct ship of products at a reasonable price, and perhaps, shipping as ordered rather than waiting for the party to close
  • Continuing to reduce the error rates
  • Improving the labeling of samples
I cannot promise Paperly will deliver on all of the above suggestions (for a variety of a operational reasons), but they are all worthy of in-depth exploration.

#2 Key Learning: Enhance Support Processes
Paperly could also dramatically help its Consultants by improving its support processes. Such processes begin from the moment the Consultant joins Paperly and continue all the way through the delivery of the product. Areas of improvement might include, but are not limited to:
  • Provide a "90-Days to Success" roadmap for all new Consultants, so they know exactly what they need to do to be successful.
  • Provide a "recruiting packet" so Consultants can successfully deliver key messages to potential team members.
  • Provide better email invitation options/templates, be it for Paperly's system or third-party systems.
  • Provide a better reward and recognition program. For example, how can Paperly make Paperly Dollars more effective?
  • Provide more timely tracking of packages, so Consultants can communicate more effectively with existing and anxious customers.
Lots of food for thought, right? I greatly look forward to tackling these issues - collaboratively - because I know together, we can make Paperly a truly great company.

And finally, before finishing this entry, I wanted to thank the amazing team I met with: Crystal, Pam, Tammy, Kate, Nancy, Kristen, Tracie and Hilary (see photos below). I am super excited to know you are going to help continue to drive Paperly forward... the sky is the limit.

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gaby: A Peak at Being a Paperly Consultant

One of Paperly's most successful Consultants on the West Coast is GabyL. Recently, I asked her to document her Paperly business, such as preparing for an event, presenting Paperly's products, and highlighting some of Paperly's best sellers. Below are a few of the videos Gaby shared with me.

A Totable Business
Two common complaints about running an at-home business are:
  1. Purchasing and storing bulky and expensive inventory.
  2. Lugging around that same bulky - and likely heavy - inventory from one party to the next.
Fortunately, Paperly requires neither. Instead, as Gaby's video below highlights, Paperly's products are personalized (and hence no pre-purchase of inventory) and nothing can be simpler and lighter to carry than loose samples of paper.

(By the way, I love the grand entrance of Gaby's son. It's a perfect example of how family-friendly an at-home Paperly business can be.)

Two Display Tables
One of the most common questions I receive from new Paperly Consultants is, "How should I set-up my display table?" Fortunately, Gaby does an amazing job of showcasing her samples in the two videos below.

You can see additional examples of display tables at the following Paperly blog entries:
Best Sellers
Lastly, I love that Gaby has taken the time to highlight her best selling products: beverage napkins, hard-sided coasters, wine tags and self-inking stamps. Listening to Gaby, I know why she's great at Paperly. She doesn't "sell" wine tags, as an example. Instead, she enables customers to make a logical choice: non-personalized and expensive wine bags versus personalized, adorable and cost-effective wine tags. Easy choice, right?!

Thank you, Gaby, for letting us peek into your Paperly business. If you live in Southern California, and you'd like to learn more about Paperly, you can connect with Gaby via her website:

As for the Flip video recorder? It's my turn! I plan to take it on my trip to Washington DC to meet with the thriving community of Paperly Consultants there.

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Thursday, May 5, 2011

2 Videos, 2 Learnings

The following two videos were highlighted at the recent VideoPlus University I attended. Why am I sharing them on Paperly's blog? You'll have to watch and read to learn more.

This first commercial depicts a son using his iPhone to show his father a live video of his new grandchild.

Note that Apple - a master of commercials - never mentions the phone's features.  Apple never gets into the technical jargon that enables live streaming to occur.  Apple never talks bits, bytes or capabilities. Instead, Apple shines by answering the question, "Why?"  Seeing your grandchild for the first-time, even if you can't be there, is the "Why" you need an iPhone.

The same can be said of a successful direct seller. They too answer the question "Why?"  They don't focus on product features and functionality.  Instead, they ask "Why?"  Are you interested in Paperly because you love stationery?  Or is it because you want to earn additional income?  Or maybe it's because you crave creative fun?

Knowing your "Why" (and that of possible team members) provides the clarity you need to grow your Paperly business.

This second commercial depicts a blind man begging for money and a kind woman helping him in an unsual way.

I love this video because it shares the "Power of the Message". As the final panel says, "Change your words. Change your world." No matter what your cause, without the proper message, you will be overlooked.

Think about the message you use to promote your business. Are you too "me" focused?  Are you saying, "I'm blind... help me"? Instead, should you be saying, "I have a something special I want to share with you"?

We often talk at Paperly about your "30-second commercial". Basically, the 30-second commercial is how you explain you and your business in 30 seconds or less to a complete stranger.  If you don't have a 30-second commercial, you need one.  And if you have one, I highly recommend you review you message. Please make sure it's about the "beautiful day" you wish to share, and not about "your being blind".

I'd love to hear your thoughts. What commercials or videos do you love because they convey an important message to you?

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly