Category Archives: Parties

Are Parties Necessary for Direct Sales Success?

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People who are considering a home based business in direct sales begin to think about companies that use party plans as a means to generate income. Party plans encourage prospective customers to host a party in order to earn free or discounted products. Are parties necessary if you want to work in direct sales?

Not all direct sales companies require their associates to conduct parties. In fact, some direct sales companies don’t require parties at all. You may want to look further into companies offering a different plan for marketing if you are not comfortable talking to crowds of people.

Melaleuca, Avon, and World Book, among others, do not require a party plan. So, are they necessary for success? Obviously, the answer is no. Even people that are associated with party plan companies can succeed by using other marketing plans. It happens every day, you just have to do some research and determine what the other options are.

Direct sales success really depends more on you than on the method of marketing the product to potential customers. If you don’t believe in the company and the product, it doesn’t matter what you do – you won’t be able to make your home business a success. Here are some ideas to help you succeed whether you’re using a party plan or not:

1. Familiarize yourself with the business manual you received in your start-up kit.
Make a list of questions you have and then contact your upline sponsor as soon as you can. Understanding what is expected of you, what you can and cannot do to market the product, and how the company will pay you will make all the difference in how you conduct your business.

2. Follow the instructions given to you during training.
Most likely you will be told to make a list of everyone you know. This will be your master list, the first people you will contact about your new business. If you don’t complete this task, you’re not going to do the rest. Swallow your pride and ask for your money back. This company is not for you.

3. Begin networking with other business owners.
Join the local Chamber of Commerce and get plugged into regular meetings. You must promote your business if it is to grow, and networking with other business people is a great way to let others know about your company.

What Does a Home Party Look Like Going into 2015?

If you are new to direct sales, or just curious, what a home party is, there is no need to look any further.   But the definition of a home party is continually changing, just like everything else.

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In Home Party

If someone is having an “in home party” chances are they are inviting you and everyone else over for a chance to see the product and then make a purchase. Expect to be there for two to three hours depending on the product, if you want to visit, or other variables such as starting late or having to wait your turn to order.

Sample Event

Sometimes instead of a party you will have a hostess that would like you to come over and show them a few products. Maybe these are seasonal items or newer products that she has not experienced yet or she wants your opinion on what you recommend. These are much more casual, she might have one or two people over but these are people who have already tried and enjoyed your products but are not comfortable ordering just through ta catalogue.

Facebook Party

With Facebook allowing you to have event pages, many people are opting to do their party online. You are invited to an event and you go to that event page at the correct time. The hostess might say something briefly but then the consultant takes over and basically posts her presentation.   Hopefully she has typed it up before hand to make it go a bit faster and then people can ask questions on each topic as they have the chance.

Hybrid Catalogue Party

While a catalogue party isn’t necessarily a home party, many consultants will give their hostess a few samples or products for them to take around and get orders. This gives people a chance to experience the product if they have not done so but the consultant does need to trust the hostess a bit more to get her products back. Typically this is not an issue.

I find that these types of events are more popular than they used to be as people are busier. They do not want to spend an evening out of their lives at a sales type event, especially if they already know what they want.

 

How To Get People To Come To Your Online Party

As a hostess, deciding to have an online party is a very smart one especially when it is difficult to get your friends and family together in your home for an in home party. Keep reading to find out how to get people to come to your online party once you have chosen a date, a place and a time for your party.

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computer (Photo credit: jaci XIII)

Tell your friends.

You should be sure to tell all your friends and family about your online party. Send out emails that give them the time and the URL of the website where your party is going to be held and be sure to let them know how very excited you are about the party and how happy they will be if they decide to stop by.  Evite.com is a great site to utilize to send online party invitations. If there are going to be any specials on certain products or free shipping or anything being given away, be sure to let them know at that time.

Choose Incentives.

While we are on the topic of giving something away or planning specials, know that this is something that you should definitely plan on doing. Everyone loves to get a special deal on something they plan on buying —  and who doesn’t love having a chance to get something for free?

Advertise your party wherever possible online. Take the time to find great places to advertise your upcoming online party. Make sure to pay attention to the posting rules in the sites you are looking to place an advertisement. You do not want to be accused of spamming. Forums for moms or for moms that work from home are excellent places to start advertising your online party.

Have Fun.

Make sure to really share your enthusiasm about your upcoming online party. If you are excited about the party and the products that are being offered, then it is very likely that you will get others interested and excited too.

These are just a few ideas that you can use in order to get people to attend your online party. Remember to follow up with last minute reminders and you are sure to have a fun and hopefully very profitable online party.

What is a Basket Party?

Basket or sample parties are becoming more popular.  Instead of the traditional party where the direct sales consultant comes into the home and does a presentation, a basket is given to the hostess and then passed around to her guests.  This gives them a chance to try the product and make their own decisions.  Depending on what you sell, this can be a bit time consuming but it should also be higher sales as people have experience with the product already.

Basket full of toys...

Basket full of toys… (Photo credit: lorises)

Having a Basket Party

There are a couple different ways to do this and how you do the basket will be determined by the type of product you sell.  For those that sell candles, a basket that goes from home to home is likely easiest.  If you sell a consumable, the basket also goes from home to home but a few could get together and try it out.  In that situation, encourage your hostess to have a get together with a few people and do some cooking/baking to try things out.

Put together some of your best selling items and put it in an attractive and easy to carry container.  It can be a basket or it can be a bag.  Whatever works for you and your product.   Include order forms, information on how to fill out the order, and any specials that are going on.

Include a notebook and encourage people to make notes or comments about the products they tested.  Offer an incentive for writing something – a chance to win something, a discount on orders, whatever you think will entice them.  If they have questions, have them indicate that and make sure you go through the book and call them with answers before placing your order.

Set a deadline for the party.  Depending on how many people the host is planning to pass the basket to will help determine this.  Typically, you never want a party to last more than two weeks as those who had it first start to wonder about the status of the party and when their product is going to show up.

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I have heard people mention the term “red hot dates”. What are these?

I have heard people mention the term “red hot dates”.  What are these?

A red hot date is a day that you want to have a party.  It is typically a date within the next week or two that you have not booked up and you are willing to give an extra incentive in order for someone to book it.

A great way to do this is to take a copy of a calendar page with you to a party and circle the dates you want in red market.  You can then choose to write in there what the extra benefit is or you can play a game with it and make it a bit of a mystery.

Take this calendar with you to a party, to trade shows or anywhere else you think you could get a booking at.  Do not have more than one or two in a month or else it starts to look bad and that you are desperate.

What do I need to do when giving a presentation?

Chances are when you signed up with your company there were some training materials provided to help you with your presentation.   This is always a good resource to check out whether you are learning, have taken a break, or just need a refresher.  That said, there are some things that should be included.

–          Who you are and a bit of your history

business women looking in her hempty hand on white

–          History of the company you are with

–          An overview of the products

–          Hostess gift presentation

–          Ordering Information

–          Review of hostess incentives

–          Booking game

These can be in whatever order you prefer to do them in, and you may want to leave out one or two things depending on how comfortable you feel with them.  For instance, you may prefer not to play a booking game.

What does a home party entail?

When it comes to doing a home party, you are in control of what you do and do not do.  That said, there are some things that are rather essential.

–          Presentation – This varies from 10 minutes to an hour depending on what your product is.  Include time for games or other activities in this time.

–          Games – Games are optional but they are something that can be used to increase sales or bookings.

–          Hostess Gift – Typically the consultant gives the hostess a gift for having the party.  This is best done as part of the party to try to encourage others to book to get the same type of gift.

–          Order Taking – Once the presentation is done, you need to take orders.  Let the customers know in the presentation what shipping rates are, approximately how long until they receive their orders, how they will receive their orders, and how they can pay.

Help! I have my first party booked but I have no clue what to do now!

The first thing you need to do is calm down, and relax.  🙂

Next, you need to make sure that your hostess knows what to do, as your success is going to be dependent on her as well.  Give her a couple books and order forms so that she is able to collect orders for you from those that cannot attend.  Make sure she knows about tax rates, shipping charges and what forms of payment that you can take as well.

Provide her with a copy of the monthly specials and a list of people to help her determine who to invite.  It may be a good idea to provide her with invitations that she can give out to friends or you may ask her to return a guest list to you so that you can do the invitations.  The advantage to this method is that you know the invites go out, but not all hostesses will be receptive to it.

Make sure you keep in touch with her as you may be dealing with someone who has never had a home party and is not sure what to do with her.  Depending on how far out you have booked it will determine how often you contact her, but definitely a day or two before the party to find out how many are attending.

If your hostess asks you about food, tell her to keep it simple.  A bag of chips and some drinks or some cookies is enough.  Some direct sales consultants choose to bring the snacks to help the hostess, in which case they will only bring a tray of brownies or something else easy.

Have your hostess create her wish list before you come to her party.   Go through the incentives with her so she understands it.  This way she will have an idea what she needs in sales to get it.  If her list is large, she will make sure to invite more people and to make sure they attend.  The rule of thumb is that only a quarter to a third of those invited will come to the party.

Products you don’t want to sell?

This is a tricky question as we are not in control of what we sell when we are in direct sales.  The company dictates the colours, the style, the size and the products that are available for us.

But there are ways that you can work with this and still be successful with your direct sales career.

Depending on how you work your presentation, it is fully possible to avoiding discussing these products.  This is especially true if you focus on a best seller list or your favourite products presentation.   You may still choose to have these items with you at a demonstration but just not discuss them.

I personally have a few items that I do not showcase when I do a party.  But, I still have one or two in my kit with me in case someone asks about them.   That said, I do not necessarily know much about them.  But no one has asked me about these products as of yet in two years.

Tips for a Successful Catalogue Party

Hostess Wish List – Have your hostess create her wish list when she first decides to have her party.  Then, get the list from her and figure out the sales she needs to make in order to get that product for free.  If it takes 300 dollars, remind her it only takes 10 $30 orders or 5 $60 dollars, which depending on your product, probably is not difficult.

Guest List – There are many different lists out there that you can provide your hostess with so she remembers to talk to people.  If your company hasn’t provided one in your manual, you can create one yourself.  Just search for “guest lists” or “people to invite” and you likely will get all sorts of ideas to pass on.

Favourite Product – Have your hostess point out her favourite item to everyone that looks at a book.  Word of mouth is one of the best ways to make sales!  While she may feel a bit awkward, one of the easiest ways to do this is have her put a sticky sticking out on her favourite page, and when she hands a book off to someone; she can simply say “Do you see that sticky?  It’s on my favourite item, the X!  I have this in my house and love it!”  The sticky helps her guest to remember what it was later on as well and sales will likely increase as well.

Keep the Catalogues moving– Make sure that the hostess always has a few books out with people to look at.  This helps to keep the sales adding up so that the party will close on time with the most sales possible.

Deliver Products Yourself – Depending on where the party is, you may want to deliver the products yourself.  This way you have a chance to meet your customers and you can offer a little bit more customer service.  You can also ask if they would be okay with you calling in a few days to see if they have any questions about their products.

Offer to Make Calls – If your hostess doesn’t feel comfortable talking to some people about the products, tell her to get their phone numbers for you and you will call.  Make sure she talks to them first as you do not want to call and have them tell you they have no interest.

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