Category Archives: Parties

Can I Host Multiple Parties at Once?

Even if you’re new to direct sales, you’ve probably attended – or hosted – a Pampered Chef dinner or Mary Kay makeover at least once in your life.  As you laughed and gossiped with your girlfriends, did it ever occur to you to combine your parties into a giant direct-sales extravaganza?  You can easily host multiple parties at the same time, and it might just boost your revenue.

Think about your target audience for a minute.  What do they like?  How old are they?  What type of budget do they have?  As you’re thinking about the category most of your customers fall into, you may realize that your Tupperware customers might love storing your friend’s Dove Chocolates in your handy containers.  Your Avon ladies might have a blast getting all pretty while a Pampered Chef consultant whips up a tasty feast in the kitchen.  Your Scentsy buddies will probably also love the smell-good stuff over at PartyLite.

Talk to your customers to find out how they feel about a combination party.  You might be surprised by how excited they are.  Many people hate attending parties alone, and a combination party makes it easier for them to find a friend to bring.  Ladies who don’t like Tupperware might enjoy the handy kitchen supplies offered by Pampered Chef, making it easy for each attendee to find a guest or two to bring.

Consider offering the other associate(s) a percentage of the party sales.  This will get them on board and make them more likely to help promote your combined party.  Schedule your party for the same amount of time that you usually set aside for direct sales events, typically somewhere between 2 to 4 hours.  Make sure to bring plenty of change to eliminate some of the potential hassle associated with divvying up end-of-party funds.

You don’t have to host solo parties to make a decent profit. Network with other men and women in direct sales and give a combination party a try.  You might just hit your monthly sales goal sooner than you expect.

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Having a Successful Direct Sales Event

When you are looking for a hostess to have a direct sales event, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.  These include her motivation, a place to host her direct sales event and a time that works best.

One of these is what motivated her to host a party:

1)  The ability to earn free product in exchange for inviting her friends over to see/experience your products

2)  To help and support you with building your business

By understanding why she is having a party you are able to help motivate her to have a successful event.

Finding a suitable place to host an event can make a difference in the success.  That said, there are many places that can work out quite well.  Quite often we host in someone’s home but you can also have the party in an office, a community hall, the park or even the stands at a child’s sporting event.

Depending on your schedule as well as your hosts will determine the time that is best.  If your direct sales business is your full time job, it likely will be easier for you to find a time that works.  But keep in mind some unconventional ideas for when to hold a direct sales event such as:

1)  Lunch Time – Keep it short and simple

2)  After Work – Head to the local watering hole for a short demonstration and ordering

3)  Breakfast – For a group of work at homes, why not have everyone over and have breakfast?

Depending on your company and their incentives, it may be worth it to add something extra. For instance, adding extra for having a certain amount of attendees or for having outside orders for you when you arrive can give your hostess the extra push to be successful.  Do not forget to give something for any bookings that you receive or anyone who signs up with you at the party.

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5 Ideas to Quiet the Crowd at a Direct Sales Event

Sometimes when doing an in home party, the crowd can get a bit loud and rowdy and you cannot be heard over their voices.  But fear not, there are a few things that you can do to get their attention again to allow you to finish your presentation.  (Remember, keep it short, people have short attention spans!)

There are a few techniques you can use, so decide what you feel comfortable with, or try them all and see what works best for you.

1)      Talk Quieter – A great thing to do is start talking more quietly.  Chances are someone who is trying to listen will start shushing the crowd because they cannot hear what you are saying anymore.

2)      Play a Game – Depending on the game you play, this will allow them to get a bit of their wildness out or else capture their attention.  Play even if people are not paying attention, and maybe when they see you giving out a prize they will stop talking.

3)      Ask a Question – Ask the group a question about something you said.  Those that were paying attention should know the answer and those that were talking may stop when they realize what is going on.  You could give a gift to those who can tell you what you said.

4)      Hostess – Make sure you tell your hostesses in advance that if the group gets out of control, she will in charge of quieting them down.  Work out some sort of signal in advance or just simply ask her to get her guests quieted down.

5)      Ask for Help – Another idea is to ask one of the talkers to come help you with your demo.  Say that you need an assistant and ask them to come up.  Or you could ask them to try demonstrating a product that you have.  This is especially fun to do if you can hear them talking about how they could do a better job.

6)      Blow a Whistle – Some people carry a whistle that they can blow to get people’s attention back.

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5 Tips to Keep your Direct Sales Presentation Short

When it comes to your direct sales presentation, most people are not willing to sit there for an hour while you talk.  After about half an hour people will get restless, want to get up to use the washroom or have a smoke break.  If at all possible, you want to make sure your presentation is done by that point.   Here are a few pointers to help.

Keep Your Presentation Short

  1. Limit the Products you Discuss – Do not talk about every product you have.  Each product you discuss takes a minute or two to talk about.  Times that by 10 and you are already at 20 minutes.  You still have hostess benefits, customer specials and other items to discuss.
  2. Top 5 – One of the best ideas I have seen is to talk about the top 5 products.  Talk about why they are your favourites or why they are your customer favourites.  Do not forget the benefits and why people should order them.
  3. Tag Your Product – If your product is the type that you pass around for everyone to see, label it.  I cannot tell you how many times I have passed something around and then people ask what it is as they were not paying attention.  Tie on a label with the name, price, colours and what page it can be found in the catalogue.
  4. Be Prepared – The more prepared and ready for your presentation you are, the easier it will go and the more likely you will be done within your time.  If this means using cue cards, then go ahead and do it.  Practice ahead of time to get an idea of timing and practice for friends to help with nerves.
  5. Set a Timer – A great idea to keep you on track is to set a timer.  You can tell everyone at the party that you promise your presentation will be 20 minutes but for this to happen they have to pay attention and not interrupt.  Set a timer on the oven, on your phone or bring one along.  Set the time on it and start your presentation.  Give a small gift to the hostess and attendees if you do not make it.

Do you have other ideas that you use to make sure that you keep your direct sales presentations short and sweet?  Please share them in the comments!

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Party for One, Please

Sometimes it happens where your hostess is excited and she tells you that she has 10 people who are coming to the direct sales party.  You arrive at the appointed time, get into the house and get your display all set up.  The appointed time comes and no one is there.  You and the hostess decide to wait a little bit, still no one.  Getting antsy as she has all this food and no people, she starts calling around to her friends to find out that no one is coming.  But there is no need to panic; this can still turn out okay!

Do a Modified Presentation

You still have one attendee – your hostess.  You have already driven there, setup and booked your evening.  So you may as well do your presentation for her.  With only one person, it should be relatively easy, painless and quick.  You know she is interested in the product or she wouldn’t have booked the party.

One on One

A great thing about this party is that it is one and one and cozy.  Your hostess will feel comfortable asking you questions that she may not have with all her friends around.  You can also get to know her a little bit better and share information that you may have not been able to with everyone else around.

Orders

This is where it can get tricky.  Hopefully she had already gotten a few outside orders before you showed up.  Now that she has seen the product, she can be a spokesperson and try to get a few more orders.   If she saw a few items she had been hemming and hawing about, and decides that she wants them, she will hopefully go to the effort of drumming up more business.

Another Party

It is a good idea to try and get this hostess to book another party with you.  While there is no guarantee this will not happen again, it is a rare occasion when no one shows up so hopefully next time will be more successful.

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Do you really provide an in home party?

This may seem like a silly question and one that you reply “Duh!” to, but hear me out.

When you mention to someone that you do home parties, how often does someone give you a horrified look and then runs away from you as fast as they can?  Quite often?  Then maybe it is time to re-look at what you do and consider renaming your event.

Oohh.. did you see that?  I called it an event!  That is a start!  Let us start by calling these “In HomEnglish: Screenshot taken from the video link ...e Events”.  Doesn’t that sound a bit nicer than an in home party and something that maybe isn’t so scary?

Let’s take it one step further.  What type of products do you sell that you could have an event for?  If you sell food products, maybe you want to have a “Tasting Event” instead of a tasting party.  Its interesting how one word can make a difference as an event just sounds that much nicer and less intimidating.  It also tells people that something is going on with food, they get to taste it but an event says that they do not have to come out and spend money if they do not want to.  There are too many people that associate an in home party to spending money that they run far away from you.

As well, in this context, event becomes a bit of a novel idea which may compel more people to come out and see what is going on.   They have not been to an event before and they are curious.  As a direct sales consultant, you can run these differently than your regular in home party and make it more interesting and interactive for the guest.  Get them involved – taste the products, help you put them together, or whatever they can help you with – and see if it doesn’t help to increase your sales at the end of the night.

 

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Should you eat at an in home party?

I do a lot of browsing on different forums as part of research for this blog as to what to write and to offer my help and assistance.  You certainly learn interesting things!

A topic that came up recently on a direct sales forum was gaining weight when doing in home partys as you tend to snack when the guests are snacking and how you can prevent this from happening.  There were several suggestions which I am going to share with you.

English: A Hostess CupCake, shown whole.

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Eat before going – This way you are full and do not feel the urge to snack

Politely decline – Thank the hostess for the offer but decline.  You can combine this with stating that you had eaten before hand and that you are not hungry.  This is what I tend to do myself.

Just have a nibble – Another suggestion is to stick to the healthier items that are available, if there are any.

Bring a Snack – Someone suggested that you could bring your own snack to eat while the others are having something.  This way you are guaranteed to have something that is better for you.

Do you have refreshments when you are doing an in home party?  If not, how do you handle it when the hostess invites you to help yourself?

 

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Why close the direct sales party that night?

Quite often our direct sales hostess asks us to leave the party open for a few more days so that they can collect moEnglish: Screenshot taken from the video link ...re orders.  This is especially true if they did not get as many orders as they would like and they are trying to collect more hostess rewards.  Overall though, this is not worth doing and this article explains why.

1)      Product Delivery – The simple truth here is that the longer it takes for you to order, the longer it takes for customers to receive their product.  If a customer doesn’t have their order within two weeks, they start to wonder about where their product is and if the direct sales consultant that they ordered through is trustworthy.  They likely will not even consider that it is due to the friend who didn’t close their party.

2)      Penalizing those in Attendance – When you hold the party open, it looks like you do not value those that made the effort to come out and actually attend the event.   It says that you value those who could not attend more than those who actually adjusted their schedule to be there.

3)      Outside Orders – In my experience, a hostess rarely gets any orders once her party has finished.  For those of my hostesses that have, they tend to be small orders and hardly worth the time that has elapsed.

4)      Excitement – For those that leave saying, I will contact you in a day or two with my order, you are not likely to hear from them.  They are trying to leave without spending anything but getting you excited that they might.  Once they get home, your product disappears from their mind and they forget about you and the possibility of ordering.  Unless you specially call them up and remind them, you are not likely to ever hear from them again.

5)      Time – If you leave the direct sales party open, you have to find time later to get in touch with your hostess again and close it out.  If the hostess isn’t ready, you may find that they are avoiding you until they are ready which can make it very difficult.  Unfortunately, I have heard stories like this.

If you do your direct sales hostess coaching properly and keep in touch with your hostess, they should be prepared to close the night of the party.  If you have to keep it open, I recommend no more than a day and this should only be to allow the hostess time to decide what she wants.

 

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Easy Tips for Making Your Direct Sales Parties More Successful

A direct sales party shouldn’t feel like a business meeting. On the one hand, the clients are much more comfortable and amenable to the whole experience if they feel as though they are actually at a party. At the same time, direct sales don’t even need to be formal.  Long presentations and a discussion about the best contract management software are hardly prerequisites of a successful party.

So how to go about making the party more laid back, thereby increasing client comfort with the experience? Here are a few suggestions.

Don’t Try to Integrate Your Pitch Too Seamlessly

It is understandable that some hosts try to perfectly incorporate their sales pitch into other aspects of the party. For someone selling kitchen appliances, for example, this would mean extolling the virtues of a particular product while introducing the food, making the food, and presenting the meal. Oftentimes, this strategy does not work. People at the party know that they are there, in part, to hear a sales pitch, and they’d rather you be upfront about your pitch as opposed to discretely trying to hide it. A better method may be to explicitly preface your pitch and then move on to the crux of the party. Say something like, “this will only take a minute; then I’ll stop talking and we can eat” before getting into your presentation.

Bring a Foil

Whether it’s a friend, a spouse, or a child, having another person can help make the party more laid back. They can attest to what you’re saying, provide a comedic or lighthearted response to a comment you make, and generally can hold more validity in the eyes of the clients, who will see your helper as less invested in making the sale. Of course, they can also be instrumental in helping you set up and clean up as well.

Don’t Push the Sale

People don’t want to feel pressured into making a purchase, and they certainly don’t want to feel conned. Once you’ve shown them how well your products work and have given them time to enjoy the gathering, a simple reminder at the end of payment options should suffice. Once one person starts buying many others will feel obliged, but people will be less likely to follow through if they sense that the pressure is coming from you, not simply from the situation.

There are many other ways to go about making a party more relaxed and laid back, at least as far as your participation in concerned. While it’s only counterproductive to be so sensitive to client desires that your sales suffer, a balanced approach should make everyone happy – even your bottom line.

 

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Communicating with your Hostess for her Catalogue Party

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.

 

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