Buying Christmas Presents on a Budget – Tips to Help You Succeed

The Christmas countdown time has begun and with the low economy, buying Christmas presents on a budget is an utmost concern for many. For some, a fearful sense of trepidation seems to overtake the essence of the Christmas season. The joys of the Christmas season can easily become a distant thought as the necessity of buying Christmas presents on a budget loom before us.

Due to the low economy many are seeing their credit card debt increasingly mounting. Even the possibility of bankruptcy for some adds more stress to the upcoming Christmas season. For many buying Christmas presents on a budget becomes a forced priority and the outlook for a joyous Christmas season is dismal.

If you find yourself dealing with money problems and needing to buy your Christmas presents on a budget, then hopefully these tips may help you to succeed and bring back the joy of the Christmas season:

1. You should seek expert help in planning your budget and debt reduction needs. Putting together a workable budget and an effective plan to help you deal with the debt in your life should be a priority. The sooner you start implementing an effective budget and debt reduction plan, the better you will begin to feel. Thoughts of being forced to buy Christmas presents on a budget will no longer appear so dismal. In fact, no matter what your financial status, having a budget is a wise approach to help you effectively manage your money.

2. Look for ways to make some extra money. Sometimes the best way to make some extra cash is right in front of us. Go through your attic and garage and, no doubt, most of us can easily find things we no longer use or even need. Selling them in auctions is a great way to help clear the clutter in your life and bring in extra cash.

Consider taking a part time job during the Christmas season for some added cash flow. Also, doing some odds jobs such as baby sitting, stringing Christmas lights or cleaning gutters are just a few things you can do to earn extra money and most people will be thrilled to have the help.

3. Make saving money a priority. The saying “pennies add up” is true. You should look for ways to save, even if it is only a small amount. This will help put you in the right frame of mind to make saving a priority. Try buying non-brand named products. The grocery store is a good place to start. Carry this concept through with Christmas presents you select. Stay away from high-end department stores and shop bargain stores. You may be pleasantly surprised on the great deals you will find and this will be a big help in buying your Christmas presents on a budget.

4. Don’t feel as though exchanging gifts is mandatory. Since your budget will most likely not permit the giving of gifts to all your relatives and friends, let them know ahead of time. Suggest you do not exchange gifts. Most people will understand fully and may even find it a much-needed help to keep them within their own plan for buying Christmas presents on a budget.

5. Start Christmas shopping early. When you have budget constraints the earlier you start your Christmas shopping, the better. You will have more time to browse several of the bargain stores, or online shops, for the really special deals. It will also be a big stress reducer to get your Christmas shopping done early without blowing your budget. Just remember if you don’t have it to spend, then don’t spend it.

What Makes a Good MLM Presentation Part 1 of 3

What really makes a good MLM presentation?

This is a 3-part series in which I’ll discuss:

Part #1 (this part) – Your state of mind when you conduct an MLM presentation

Part #2 – The problem and solution approach

Part #3 – What is your offer to your prospects?

Here’s Part 1:

Not long ago, I watched Ruben Gonzalez — a 3-time Olympian in a sport that takes him down an icy mountain on a

sled at an incredible speed — who is now a motivational speaker.

He started after a short video clip of his triumph by saying:

“Many people asked me if going down an icy mountain at 85 mph is scary?

“I told them, ‘No, it’s not scary…

“It’s terrifying! It’s awful!”

As he said that with full of passion, energy and emotion, I began to wonder how many times he had said those same words that would capture anyone’s attention right from the very beginning of his talk?

5 times? 20? 100? 500?

I would reckon he had spoken those same few paragraphs at least a few hundred times. In fact, someone once told me that Madonna typically rehearse a song for at least 500 times before she performs on stage.

How is it that Ruben Gonzalez is still able to maintain his passion and energy level as he related his experience with the audience for the umpteenth time?

… Or should I put it this way:

Ruben Gonzalez is a professional motivational speaker who is able to make sure that every time he speaks – no matter whether it’s his 10th time or the 1000th time – with the same passion and energy!

And that’s expected of him, isn’t it?

After all, he’s a motivational speaker…

But, on the other hand, have you ever thought that he could in reality be sick and tired of telling the same old story over and over again no matter how exciting that story can be?

Now, think for a moment of those days when you first joined your MLM business…

You were totally excited and charged up… especially after your sponsor shared with you that you can earn a mind boggling income by simply sponsoring a few downline…

…And then you went out there and shared with your friends.

…And it was easy to sponsor a few people – I’m sure you know what I mean :-)

Your excitement, enthusiasm, eagerness, energy literally ‘electrified’ the prospect and he would be a fool not to take up your amazing offer!

Now… FAST FORWARD 3 months, 6 months, a year or two…

What happened?

You did your best to show your plan but found that your closing rate hit rock bottom.

How many times have you shared your business?

A hundred times? 200? 500?

Aren’t you like Ruben Gonzalez who’s sharing the same old plan, talking about the same old company, same old products?

It had gotten a little boring now and you just want to finish off quickly and get your prospect to sign up so
he won’t take up your precious time.

After all, this business is so simple and why did he (the prospect) not see it and kept asking so many questions?

So, before you make your next MLM presentation, take a moment to reflect on those days when you first joined and do your best to share with the same enthusiasm and then watch your success rate go back up again.

How to Improve Your Presentation – By Being a Good Listener!

Did you know that one of the secret keys to the art of good conversation is actually the art of being a good listener? This also applies to the skill of being a good public speaker – one would need to listen to one’s audience. Now that sounds very strange, but we’ll enlarge on that a little later.

How often do you hear of people being discussed and being labelled as being a bore? Usually this is because they do all the talking and very little listening. Have you, like me, ever been a victim of one of these characters at a meeting or party? I am sure you can relate to a situation where you finish up looking at everyone who passes by, hoping they will rescue you! I had this happen to me recently at a seminar. I had intended to spend some time mixing with other people who have the same interests as me and who I hoped to share some important information with, however I was cornered by one particular person who went on and on and on about their own efforts, their achievements and expertise and I just could not get away.

To be honest I felt that I had missed out big-time, the seminar itself was excellent but the time spent at lunch break etc. would have been very useful for networking and getting to know like minded people, but had just been a waste of time and I was more than a little irritated.

If you enjoy good conversation then you have probably learnt the art of listening as well as speaking. Have you ever used the expression, “It has been nice talking to you”? Would it not be more appropriate to be able to say, “It has been good talking with you”? There is a difference…

When you think about it, when you are speaking with someone, you are hoping to impart some of your thoughts or ideas to them, or perhaps learn something from them. If you do not take time to allow them to make a comment or ask a question or even indicate whether they have understood what you are saying, then what is the point of continuing to say things which they don’t really need or want to hear? In order to listen you need to learn to pause at the right time and that in itself is a whole new topic!

Now, you may feel that this does not apply to a situation where you are giving a talk or a presentation, because generally speaking the audience is not in a position to answer back to you, or to ask continual questions. So how can you listen to an audience which may consist of just a few people, or maybe even hundreds?

One way that we can employ the art of listening is by using it even before we actually give a presentation. Take the opportunity to speak to the chairman or the organiser of the event to make sure that you will be delivering just what they have organised or perhaps even advertised. In fact you should, as part of your preparation, have spoken to the organiser in depth when the presentation was being booked in order to prepare your talk with that specific audience in mind. Ask them what they are expecting to gain from your presentation and note the answer. In fact take the time to prepare a list of questions which will explore the nature of your expected audience, their age group, ethnicity, education and background – and listen carefully to the answers, they will prepare you for the next step which is:

Endeavour to take the time to speak with several members of your audience before you give the presentation, this will give you the opportunity to size up your audience and discover what they as individuals are expecting to gain from listening to your talk. From their comments you will learn exactly why they have put themselves out to come to hear you speak. This means of course that you will need to schedule your time to arrive early for your presentation, however you will find it time well spent.

Equally, don’t be in a hurry to leave after your presentation, be prepared to associate with your audience and listen to their comments and take them on board to improve your next talk.

In another article we’ll explore the technique of listening to an audience while you’re actually making a presentation and will learn just how this tip can improve your presentations no end.