Tag Archives: free product

Sales Specials for your Guests

When you are having a party, you need to get some of your friends to attend to make the event a success.  But you may be wondering if your guests will get something when they attend to make it worthwhile.  In short, the answer is most likely yes.

It is always best to ask the consultant about what guest specials are happening.  They can change from month to month and may vary in regards to what the customer gets.

Different guest options:

  • Discount – Guests may get a discount at a direct sales events when they spend a certain amount
  • Free Product – Another guest incentive is free items for spending a certain amount
  • Exclusive Items – There may be exclusive items that your guests qualify for when they spent a certain amount but these products tend to be reserved for the hostess
  • Booking Gift – Many companies offer a free gift to any guest who attends your party and decides to book their own direct sales event.
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Increasing Sales: Shopping Clubs


Image via Wikipedia

These days, many people are involved with shopping or buying groups.  Have you ever considered starting one?  I know of many people that do as these are a great way to have guaranteed sales each month.

Determine Requirements

You can do this in two different ways – start with a party total and work backwards, or you can work with an individual sales total and move forwards.

For instance, maybe $250 is an awesome hostess level – free product and a half off item.  Now, if you split 250 by $25, which is reasonable, you would need 10 people.  If you think you could get people to commit to $50, then you could decrease that to 5 people.

Set Rules

Let us stick to the $25 person group and 10 “parties per year”.  When people join, they have to know that they are committing to this for 10 months of the year.  A lot of people take December off and one of the summer months as it can be hard to organize.

Depending on the product, you as the consultant might have a pre-set order, for instance each month they are going to get this one specific product which is worth that $25.  Or you may set it up that they have to have your orders to you by the 10th of the month, but they can pick their product.  If you don’t hear from them, they get the default.

Where do the hostess benefits come in?

Here is the beauty of it!  Each month, you select a different hostess to get the rewards.  I have heard some people suggest you don’t pick the person until you have all the orders in as then if someone wants to order extra this month, you still get that order.  Others recommend telling them at the beginning of the month that they are the hostess for so that they have time to have a party or collect other orders to increase their rewards.  I definitely do not recommend telling your hostesses at the beginning of the year which month they are hosting in, as it will cause problems.

This may take a bit of organization to get going but once you have it setup, you have a great method of getting orders each month without a lot of work.

Note:  I highly recommend you write up the terms and conditions of your shopping club, including that if someone is to terminate their membership, they have to find a replacement.  You may want to have a credit card on file for each person as well as if you have to go to the default order; you still want to be paid.

Have you tried something like this?  How did it work out for you?  Would you recommend it to others?

  • How to handle the “I can buy at a discount store for less” customer? (directsaleshelp.com)
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7 Incentives to Fill your Calendar and Increase Sales

Why incentives don't work in education—or the ...

Why incentives don't work in education—or the business world (Photo credit: opensourceway)

If you are looking to increase bookings and sales, you may want to consider a variety of different hostess incentives that you can offer.   There are a quite a few different offers that you can make to get the bookings you want.

1)      Red Hot Days – A fun way to fill your calendar is to offer red hot days to your host.  This is a day that you really want to book up so you offer an extra special incentive BUT it is only good that day.   You might know the only night you can get a babysitter easily is Monday night, so you offer X if someone hosts a party Monday.  Red hot days are typically only in the next week or two.

2)      Sales Incentives – Another great idea is to offer your hostess extra incentives as they get more orders.  This is a good method to use if you are trying to increase sales.  Give them something extra at the minimum to be considered a party (if you find this difficult for hostesses to attain) and then offer something extra every $150 or so, depending on your hostess plan.  Not only are you giving them extra items but they are getting all the hostess rewards.   It will cost you a bit, but, if they get the sales you want, the increase in commissions should outweigh the out of pocket costs.

3)      Offer free product or a discount for customers – If you decide to use this offer, make it a decent amount.  Is someone likely to get excited about an item for free if the amount of credit they get will not cover the majority of items in your catalogue?  For instance, if you have a lot of products that are 15 dollars, you may want to offer $20 in free credit or any product worth $15 for free.  Offering a 5% discount likely is not going to get people excited, but 15% off might.

4)      Offer free product/discount to your hostess – Not only is giving customers a discount, but you may want to offer your hostess something even sweeter to get them to book.  Maybe you are going to offer customers 10% off – you could offer your hostess something at 25% off.

5)      Limit It – The purpose of offering extra incentives is to get bookings now, not three months down the road.  For this reason, make the offer a limited time offer or only good until X date.

6)      Original Date Only – Again, because you are likely offering this incentive to try to book up your calendar, you don’t want them to book it for next week but then have them cancel and rebook three months later and expect the same deal.  Make the offer a limited time, only on the original booked date.  You could choose to still honour it if they reschedule within the same month but that is up to you.

7)      Only in Home Events – It is easier to get sales when you do an in home demonstration.  For this reason, you want to make your offer only valid on in home parties.  Still let outside orders count but there must be a home visit and demonstration involved.

A few things to remember when offering extra incentives:

Customers need to know that the incentive is only good with you – other consultants will not honour.

Make sure your incentives are not costing you money.  If your commission rate is 20%, do not offer a hostess 30% off as you will lose that 10%.

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Putting your Direct Sales Business Cards to Work

Chances are you have business cards for your direct sales business.  But are they working as hard for you as you as they could be?  If you are not sure, read on to determine what types of jobs your business cards can do for you beyond the obvious of sharing your information.  If your card is not doing any of these jobs, it’s not working hard enough and you may want to re-consider how you use your cards.


Use your business card for many different purposes

Promotion Sticker – This is a great method to use your cards as you can create whatever you want to stick onto the back of your business card.  You may want to use a single time discount at a trade show – instead of having to tell everyone what it is, write it out, print it on an address sticker and put it on the back.  Tell everyone who stops at your booth to make sure to check the back of the cards.  Maybe you want to promote a monthly special, you could write something like “This months special: Buy X, and get Y for free!” or whatever it is.  The benefit here is that you can use a box of 500 business cards for multiple different promotions without having to buy a new box each time.

Referral Card – One way to get your card working harder is convert it into a referral card as well.  On the front, you would have the usual contact information but then you put the back to work.  The back would state something like, “Do you know someone who would love this product and want to purchase or sell?  Fill in your name in the blank provided and pass the card on.  If they make a purchase/sign up, you will get a free gift.”   Of course, this implies that you have some type of referral program which is easy enough to do.  Note:  At a party, give every guest 3 cards.  Tell them to put them in their purse right away (or pocket or bra).  One is for them to keep and the other two are for them to give away.

Loyalty Card – Chances are you have a loyalty card from somewhere.  Buy X amount and get something free or get a discount on next purchase.  Why not offer one yourself?  Many printing companies have a standard one they can print on the back of your business cards.  You just have to decide what the program is.  Do they have to spend so much to get X amount in credit or a free product?  Do they have to buy 12 of Y product and then they get the 13th free?  There are a lot of different options available to you.

No matter how you use your business cards, you have a lot of prime real estate on the back that you should be putting to work for you!  Do you do something else with the back of your cards that works great for you?  Please share!


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Responding to Booking Concerns in Direct Sales

The direct seller knows about the importance of booking parties to make money.  But, as long as there are parties on the book, the direct seller likely doesn’t worry about learning how to get bookings (a subtle difference).  This is not something that a person can remain ignorant about because there will be a day when the calendar is empty or they are trying to increase their business and knowing how to get bookings will come in handy.

The biggest aspect of getting bookings is learning how to ask for them.  While that sounds easy, how likely are you to put up the phone and say “Hey Jane, will you book a party with me?” – Probably not too likely.  This is going to tackle how to do that while being comfortable and natural.

Identify Concerns – They say that there are six main concerns that you will encounter. You likely can easily identify them if you think about it for a few minutes.  So you need to be prepared for these and provide a response.  You may have answers in the training materials you received when you joined your company or you can talk to your upline.

Turn it into a Question – Many of us do not want to ask for what we want as we are afraid of rejection.  But what about turning it around and seeing it as a need for more information instead of being turned down?  For instance, if Jane says she doesn’t know enough people, it could be that she is actually saying, could I just have a few people attend?  Or if she says that she does not have the time, what she is really saying how long will this take or why should I spare you the time?  Once you look at it this way, you can likely come up with a response to get what you want.

Another method that you can use to address concerns customers have is the “feel, felt, found” method.  It allows you to stay in agreement with your hostess but you are able to offer another view on the concern.

Taking the example of your hostess being too busy, you can turn it to something like this.

“Jane, I understand how you feel about being busy.  Many of the hostesses I deal with feel that they need a lot of time to prepare.  But, in reality, I find it only takes them about 45 minutes to prepare their guest list, make some calls and email everyone else. That’s all you need to do!  I keep my presentation simple the night of the evening and bring everything needed.  You get to enjoy a night with the girls, have fun, and earn free product.”

By approaching your customers in this method, it will feel more natural and comfortable for you which will come across.  Your customers will not feel that you are pushing them and you should have better success.

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A Unique Method to Gain New Customers

I do a lot of reading and searching of the Internet to come up with ideas to post here.  Some of these are things I already knew or had heard of, and some are new to me.  That said, maybe they are not new to you.  Not all ideas that I post will work for you or will be things that you want to do.  That is fine.  These are just that, ideas, to help you out and possibly be ideas that you had not thought of yourself.

This is one I read about a bit ago.  I’m not sure that I would personally be comfortable doing this, but maybe you would be.  You can use this scenario when you have a captive audience such as a cashier, waitress, receptionist or anyone else you interact with for a minute or two.

Say: “You look familiar, have we met at one of my parties?”

Likely reaction: “What party?”

Your response: “Oh, I sell ABC item” and hand over a business card, brochure or whatever you carry with you.

From here, the conversation likely will continue on naturally and you may have a new customer, hostesses or even consultant.  Of course, you may have to follow up later if they are thinking of signing, but you made the first contact.

Another variation I have heard is taking the phone book, opening it up to a random page, and calling that person.  Similar situation.

You:  “Hi, is this Jennifer?”

Them: “No, you have a wrong number”

You: “Oh, this isn’t Jennifer that hosted a party with me last week?”

Them: “No, it’s not. “

You: “Oh, my apologies.  I wanted to make arrangements with her to deliver all her free product”

Hopefully at this point, the person you are speaking to will pick up on the free product and ask for more information.

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5 Direct Sales Tips

When it comes to direct sales, there are some tips that can be helpful and make your business go that much better.

Tip 1 – Advertising.  Make sure you are always advertising.  Wear company clothing, carry a bag with your company name on it, and carry samples that you can give away to people that stop and talk to you.

Tip 2- Don’t give up!  Chances are, your business is not going to make the income you want within the first month or two.  Keep working your direct sales business and it will eventually end up where you want it.

Tip 3 – Separate money!  Keep your business money separate from your personal accounts.  While this sound like more work, when it comes to tax time, you will find that you will be glad the two are separate.  And heaven forbid, if you get audited, it will save your butt!

Tip 4 – Believe in your product.  If you cannot believe in and promote the product you are selling in a positive way, you are going to have a hard time selling it to others.

Tip 5 – Do not undervalue yourself or your product.  Many people discount their product to make sales.  All this does is tell people that you do not believe that your product is worth the price that it is listed for.  If you want to give benefits, offer a free product or gift which helps to grow your direct sales business.


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Having Successful Catalogue Parties

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.

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Frequent Customer Program

Have you ever gone to a store where they stamp or punch a card where you earn free items after so many purchases?  Or where you collect points when you buy things?  Well, you may want to start your own frequent customer program as well.

How you set it up is ultimately up to you but they all work essentially the same.

Start by deciding what you want to offer your customer

Then, figure out how much it is going to cost you

Next, figure out the minimum amount of sales you have to make to cover that

Therefore, they have to purchase at least that much in order to get the stamp/punch.

But chances are you are in this business to make some money, so you will want to increase the sales that they have to make before they get the free product.

Let’s say you are making 25% with your company.

You want to give them a free $10 item – your cost is $7.50.

In order to make $7.50 at 25% you need to sell $30 (7.50 divided by .25)

So you may want to make the program that they have to purchase $50 to earn a free Widget.  [Profit $5 (12.50 – 7.50)] but you may prefer to make it $100 instead [Profit $17.50 (25.00 – 7.50)]

Offer your Own Incentives

Some companies have customer incentives that they fund on your behalf to help you make more sales.  But sometimes these offers are not something that your customers will want to take advantage of or they do not offer enough for people to want them.

In the case, you may want to offer your own incentives to try and encourage people to purchase product.

Some ideas of incentives:

  • Free X if they spend a certain amount
  • Discount of a % if they spend over a certain amount
  • Free gift with their order
  • Buy 1, get 1 half off
  • Bundles of product
  • Preferred customer discount card