Tag Archives: parties

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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Using Your Calendar

When you are in business yourself, its important that you keep track of any commitments that you have.  This means keeping track of when you have parties, when you have events or anything else that is relevant to your business.  If you miss something, it can make you look like you do not care about your business or that the event is not that important to you.

Monket Calendar

Monket Calendar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I will admit I am not perfect, and we all make mistakes, it is best to try and minimize these.

Some examples:

Years ago, a lady called me a day or two before her party.  She had scheduled months prior with a different consultant but she had never heard from her.  She had about a dozen people coming to her party but no consultant.  She wondered if I could do the party for her.  I was able to cover her event and it was over $1000.  My best party ever!  Sure, I didn’t have a chance to do hostess coaching but this lady was a great hostess on her own.

I screwed up last year and got my date confused for a trade show.  That Saturday morning, my phone rang but I ignored it.  I didn’t check the voicemail for a few hours and it turned out that I was missing the trade show.  I hadn’t marked it down in my calendar and I had a different date in mind for it.  I quickly packed up and was going to head out to it, but I ended up not going as I realized by the time I drove to the event and got setup, there would be maybe an hour left.  Yes, it probably did not look that great for me, but my experience shows that most people come through in the morning.

Are these two examples enough to tell you why you need to make sure you keep track of your events and your calendar?

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Why hostess coach?

  • To help the hostess to be successful
  • To get the hostess all the products she wants for free
  • Make sure that your hostess knows what is expected of her
  • To let the hostess know what you expect from her
  • To make sure the party is a financial success from the consultant’s point of view
  • Let the hostess know she does not have to go overboard with snacks
  • Support your hostess to success
  • Lets your hostess know that the party is still on and allows them to feel comfortable with you

Why do you feel that it is important to coach your hostess before her party?



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I don’t have a car right now; can I still enrol in direct sales?

You can, but it may be more difficult for you to get to and from parties.  That said, you may prefer to stick to catalogue parties or Internet sales until you have a vehicle.

If you have access to public transit, that can be a good way to get to and from, but as you know, it is not always the fastest or more efficient way to get around.  Invest in a good suitcase to help haul your stuff to and from.

Of course, you can always cab to and from, but this could get pricey and there is no guarantee you will be make your money back.  You can use these costs on your taxes though.