As I said yesterday, one of the best things you can do for your catalogue party is keep in touch with your hostess. People may be asking her questions about the product, how a special works or other details that she doesn’t know about. By keeping in touch with her, you are helping her to succeed. She may simply need more catalogues or order forms which would be great for you both!
It is best to ask your hostess what method of communication she prefers. Some people prefer the phone; some prefer texting while others prefer email or other communication such as Facebook. If she has setup a Facebook event page for her party, make sure you have access to it and try to visit it every day just in case people have questions they are posting there.
Make sure she knows that she cannot let this party sit open indefinitely, set a clear deadline. This is due to the fact that the person who ordered when she first got the books is going to start wondering where their product is after a week or two. They may never ask the hostess and assume that it is the consultant that is causing the issue and not placing the order. I know I get hostesses contacting me after their party wondering if their product is in yet, so I would imagine customers sometimes get even more anxious. I know I have! If you have the customer email addresses, it might not hurt to throw out a quick emailing stating you have received their order but hostess is not closing until X date so they should receive their product about Y date and to please contact you if they have any questions.
If you keep in touch with your hostess and set a clear ending date, you should be able to get a decent party without a lot of major effort on your part. But remember, a catalogue party is truly the last option as you will do much better with a physical event where people can see, touch and smell your products.
This week the blog is going to focus on catalogue parties and what you can do make sure that your catalogue party is successful for both the hostess and yourself. Here your hostess coaching will become even more critical so that you can help your hostess along the way!
Samples – One of the best things that you can do to be successful is to provide your hostess some samples or lend her some products to show. Depending on the type of product that you are selling, this may be easier than said. If you sell cosmetics, maybe you can lend her a basket of some of your best sellers; for candle sellers, leave some of the scent samplers you have; clothing, you could leave a piece or two so people can look at them to see the quality of the workman ship. Regardless of what you sell, chances are you can find something that you can lend to your hostess.
Tools – There are some great business tools out there that you can find to assist your catalogue parties (and likely in home ones as well). Visit a site such as The Booster or businessenhancements.com and purchase some of their supplies. You can use these to mark items saying – earn me for free or best selling product or any other variety of things. There are also stickers to put on the front of the book to let people know how they can pay, as this can be a tough one for people to remember. I also have found some sticky notes that say “Like” and “Love” so you could put a love sticky on your best sellers.
Give Clear Instructions – Give your hostess a one page write up to let them know how to collect orders and specials. I have a write up that discusses how customers can pay, who to make cheques out to, what the shipping rate is, and how to calculate taxes. You also want to let the hostess know anything special they need to know such as how long shipping takes and how long they have to collect orders. If you have tips to help her get more sales, you will also want to include them here.
Flyers – If your company has any flyers with the customer specials or other details, give one per catalogue, this way she can give a copy of the flyer with the catalogue and the customer is more likely to take advantage of it. If they don’t know, they can’t use it, and that could end up being a significant amount of sales.
Catalogues – While these can be pricey, you want to make sure your hostess has enough catalogues to collect orders. At a minimum, I recommend three books but you should ask her how many she needs.
Order forms – This is another no brainer. As these are cheaper, you should give them at least 10 to start out with. Pre-fill in the shipping rate (flat rate or %) so people don’t have to ask and mark the tax if possible (i.e. 5%).
Envelope – It is a good idea to provide your hostess somewhere to put any money and orders collected. An 8 1/2 x 11 envelope is great for this purpose. Depending on your product, you may want to give smaller envelopes for each order and then a larger one to collect them all in.
Instructions – Instructions on how to have a successful catalogue party as well as how to fill out the order forms. I will discuss this in more depth tomorrow.
Samples – If you can, lend your hostess some products or samples for them to show to their friends and family. This likely will help to increase sales as well – people need to see things to order them. I will also discuss this more tomorrow.
Most of us in direct sales have been told at one time or another that they need to have a 30 second commercial. The main reason for your 30 second commercial is to introduce yourself. It should give the other person enough information that they know what you do. From that, they know if it is something they may be interested in or not. If they are, they will ask a question where you can get into more detail.
But in reality, does it truly have to be 30 seconds? Which would you rather listen to?
Approach 1: I help others to decorate their home as well as gain financial freedom while they are doing it.
Approach 2: I help others to decorate their home with our wonderful pieces which can be adapted to every different type of décor out there. No matter what your colour scheme or your budget, my company has something that will work for everyone. For those that are looking for a way to make some extra income, or maybe just save some money on their décor, they can join my team. For only a few hours of work you can earn enough money to pay your bills and have some leftover.
Which would you rather say? Which would you rather listen to?
You might be scratching your head at this headline but once I am done explaining, this will make sense, I promise you.
Do you ever go to do a presentation and you forget to talk about a product, forget a feature or just got so flustered you rushed through everything and did not do a good job? Using cue cards will help you with this as they will keep you on track and remember what you wanted to say.
While you may think that cue cards do not look professional, there is nothing wrong with using them. Think about some of the top speakers you may have seen or heard. Chances are they were using cue cards during their presentation, and this is their full time job – making these speeches. You can always explain to the people attending your party that you are using cue cards for their benefit; so you do not forget anything that they need to know.
Cue cards are great because you can put your key points on it to help you with your presentation. Remember a cue card is not to write every single word on – it is designed to give you reminders.
Features – 5 colours, 2 sizes, $11.95 and $15.95
Can be flipped in any direction
Great gift for person with everything
Get 1 free with purchase over $50
Story: Jane and her widget
Make as many of them as you need and it wouldn’t hurt to put numbers on them to remember what order you want to present in. You may also want to make one to remind you to do certain things like thank the hostess, go over benefits or discuss the opportunity.
Have you tried cue cards with your direct sales business? How did they work for you?
Another method to increase your sales is to change up your presentation a little bit. Depending on your presentation method, you may be focusing more on showing products than really talking about them and their advantages. But if you focus more on a few of your best products, instead of on all your products, you may find your sales increase. This is because people get overwhelmed with options and they just want you to help them make their decision.
Widget Presentation 1 – This widget is a great item to add to your house as it looks pretty and will fill that blank spot.
Widget Presentation 2 – This widget is great to fill in that spot that you know needs something but you cannot decide what. If you feel a need to change things up after a while, you can then take the widget, lay it flat, and it becomes a floor mat. Another option with the widget is that you can purchase a stand or a frame if you prefer, and with proper mounting and hanging, it could become a lovely wall hanging. I bet with a bit of thought, you could even come up with more uses. (Poll the audience; offer a prize for most creative use).
Which presentation is likely to cause you to buy the product? While it will not cause everyone to buy this product, those that are on the fence will likely be swayed when you show them what all it can be used for.
Do not do this for 10 products as people will quickly get tired of you and will quit listening. This is best to use with a top 3 format or to feature one or two items.
Chances are, no matter what the sales are like at your parties, you would like to increase them. This week I am going to focus on a variety of things that you can try to accomplish this. There is no guarantee that these will work but it does not hurt to try something a few times to see what happens with it.
Simple Techniques to try:
Raffle Squares – Create a grid and sell the squares. You can decide on the size of the grid based on how many people are attending or some other method. You won’t want to have 50 squares if only 4 people are attending the party. Sell each square for $1, $2, $5 or any combination, or offer a deal if they purchase 3 so you could do 1 for $2 or 3 for $5. Sell the squares before the party and remind people of their existence throughout. The trick to make this work is to not pick a winner until after people have ordered, and they get the winnings ON TOP of their order – not to discount what they already ordered. Rolling a dice may be the best way to determine a winner – label the top of the grid 1 to 6, and the side 1 to 6, and roll until you have a winner.
Packages – Another easy method to increase orders is to offer packages for your customers. Sometimes they get overwhelmed by all the choices and decide not to buy anything instead of trying to make a decision. For this reason, make it easy for them. Put three popular items together and put a price on it. Some people recommend discounting, some don’t, so you decide. Create a few of these items, make a pretty flyer, and give it to them to look through while they have a book. If there are a lot of decisions within that group (ie. 1 popular candle size, but 50 scents to choose from) make the decision easier with a listing of the top 3 or top 5 scents/colours.
Incentive – Offer the customer something with their purchase. It may be a special item that is not in your catalogue, it may be a discount or it may be a free product. I always recommend something in your catalogue as it helps to increase personal sales levels. Set this offer just above your average order amount. For instance, if your average customer spends $35 (before shipping and taxes), offer them something if they spend $45 dollars. While it may cost you a bit, you should easily make it up with your sales, and it may raise you from one level to the next in personal sales making you extra money.
Do you do something other than these techniques that get you get results? Please share and I will integrate them all into another post! 🙂
This is a great little game to encourage your hostess to do a little bit more before you arrive for her party.
You want to create a tic tac toe board and each square is going to have a different activity for them to do. At the top, you list what they will get if they get a line on the board. You may also want to offer something extra for each line and if they complete all the items on the board. This would be on top of the normal hostess credit. Indicate on the form what they are going to receive.
Ideas to fill your tic-tac-toe board
Have 3 outside orders
Have someone who wants to book a party before I arrive
Have someone who asks about the business
Party starts on time
Have 7 people attending
Someone shares a testimonial at the party
Party sales are over $X
Receive $100 in outside orders
Have 2 of Y product purchased
Sending out an invite on Facebook/sending out an Evite
Essentially, you can add anything to this that you want your hostesses to do. If you find that they are always missing certain steps, then add it onto this checklist.
You may be wondering what exactly a hostess package is and why you should use one. Keep on reading to find out.
I like to create hostess packages in advance of going to a party or to a trade show or any other event. I use an envelope which is big enough to hold several pieces of paper and a catalogue as well as some other information which I will list.
What to put in your Hostess package:
Hostess letters – Mine is a one page write up with information about hosting a party
Monthly specials – The specials for the month they are hosting
Several order forms & envelopes for money and orders
Hostess Tic Tac Toe (will be posting tomorrow)
Business Opportunity Letter
Guest list ideas
I give these to the hostess when they book their party. If they book at someone else’s party, they will get it at that time if their party is within a month. Otherwise, I will mail it out to them later. This would be true as well if they book at a trade show.
Remember to put your contact information onto everything you can, as people tend to misplace things and you want them to contact you if they have questions.