Tag Archives: direct sales party

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.

 

What to expect when hosting a Direct Sales party?

Chances are, when you booked your event the consultant gave you some information to look over and to plan your party with.  Or, if you booked a few months out, the consultant is mailing this information to you when the date is closer.

Tupperware home party in Sarasota, Florida

Tupperware home party in Sarasota, Florida (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

The next thing that will likely happen is that the consultant will call you closer to in order to make sure that the party is still going to be happening and to go over some details with you.  This will be things like the amount of space that will be available or what is required to setup the display.  A separate space may be required for ordering or maybe she wants to make sure you have gone through the host package.  This is a good time to ask the consultant about any questions that you may want to ask.

 

You likely will have two or three calls from the consultant in the weeks leading up to your party.  This is simply because the direct sales consultant wants to make sure you have a successful party and that you are able to earn everything on your wish list when you have your party.  Many people do not host these types of events often so they require some guidance and help in order to have a satisfactory event.

 

The night of your party, the consultant likely will show up before the time you have all your guests arrive.  This gives them a chance to set up the display in a way that pleases them as it is always different in each house.  Then, when guests arrive everything is ready to go and the presentation is able to start.

 

The direct sales consultant may close your party that night or they may wait a few days depending on your preference.  Do not be surprised if they want to close that night as it benefits everyone instead of waiting a few more days.

 

Once your product is in, chances are your direct sales consultant will end up sorting it for you and delivering it all sorted out.  If you are not sure, make sure you ask what they do in this regard as not all consultants do this.

 

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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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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.

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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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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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.

Image via Wikipedia

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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