Tag Archives: direct sales 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.

computer

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.

Can I bring kids to the party?

This is a question to ask the consultant as everyone feels differently about kids at the party.   There may be rules about having kids at parties depending on the product but for the most part, kids can be allowed if the hostess wants them there.

Alpaca Bites Kid Goat

Alpaca Bites Kid Goat (Photo credit: Tc Morgan)

One thing to consider is if your kids can behave for an hour or two while the event is going on and ordering is taking place.  If you do not think they can, it may be best to leave them at home or not attend.   Maybe their grandparents would like to watch them for a few hours or they have friends they would like to visit.

If you feel that they can behave themselves for a few hours, it likely is okay, but check with the consultant.  Depending on the product, kids may not be welcome due to the break-ability factor or due to costs.  I find at my candle parties the kids are sometimes the most engaged as they enjoy sniffing all the scents and they make no secret as to what they do and do not like.

One exception to this is adult toy parties.  Anyone under 18 or the age of majority where they live is not allowed.  This is not because the consultant does not want the kids there; it is due to the law.  A consultant can be fined and have her business shut down if she does not follow the rules.  If she is not sure, she can also ID people.  I know of reps that have left as there were minors in attendance who would not leave.

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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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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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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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Finding Time for Direct Sales Parties

My iCal synced with Google Calendar

Image by guccio@文房具社 via Flickr

When it comes to finding the time to work your direct sales business and finding time for direct sales parties, it can be difficult if you have a lot of commitments in your life.  But where there is a will there is a way, and it can be done with a bit of effort.

Calendar

The first thing I recommend is making a copy of a page from a calendar that is big enough to allow you to write items into the boxes.  Or maybe you prefer a planner where you have the day outlined in hours, whichever you prefer is what you need to find.

Commitments

Mark in any commitments that you already have.  This may be things such as kid’s activities, your day job, dentist appointments or anything else that is already planned in your life.  If you have a reoccurring appointment that you do not want to miss, such as a social event, then mark that in as well.

Check the Blanks

Now you know what time is taken and what time is available.  You want to book up those available times.  You need to determine how much you can realistically do.  For some people, they want every minute of their time scheduled; for others, they only want to do direct sales parties twice per week.  Pick the days you want to book and then go book them!

There are a variety of things you can do to get the parties booked, but that is another topic for another day.  Finding when you are available to work your direct sales business is important though.

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