The Party Host Challenge

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The 25th of the month and for some in direct sales (me included) we are working on closing out a strong February while casually glancing at next month’s calendar.  It is the fine line we walk as we approach the end of the month to be sure we “don’t leave money on the table this month” while ensuring we have bookings next month.

One of the most challenging aspects of direct sales is finding people to host parties especially home parties.  We all know home parties are the best way to share our products.  By touching and feeling the products, guest are more likely to purchase them.  Or are you one of those consultants who get people to say yes to hosting? The struggle is getting them to team up with you so their living room is full of friends and family.  Or they cancel at the last minute because the excitement has worn off or no one is responding to their invitation. Sometimes, there isn’t much you can do but chalk it off as a bad experience. Or is there?

What if you could spark a fire in your party hosts they simply couldn’t refuse to follow through on?unknown

Think about how you met your potential hosts – at a party, a referral from a customer, a vendor event or maybe they just clicked on your link.  The truth is most hosts fail due to a lack of trust in their consultant.   Crazy, right?

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The fact a potential party host may not trust you has NOTHING to do with you.  It is usually based on a past bad experience with another direct seller.  They “assume” (you know what they say about ass-u-me?) you’re just like her.  You can be the  nicest person in the world, have the best referrals but those bad memories linger. So, how do we change it?img_33901

#1 – Educate them.  Don’t panic! I don’t mean a full length course – who has time?  Just some simple tips to help your host have a successful party. I use a cover letter like this in my hostess packet:hostess-home-copy

No matter what system you use, make sure you walk with them through every step you expect them to take. The point is to make it as easy as possible for your hosts so they feel like they can’t fail.  Remember you are a team working toward a common goal – her success! Her success = money in your pocket!

#2 – Compel Them With an Incentive.  This comes with mix emotions.  You know your potential host has an interest in your products.  So why not turn the interest into a desire in them to succeed.  Some would say the “hostess rewards” are enough, for some it will be.  We know incentives work, right?  The free and discounted hostess rewards is probably what prompted her to take the leap of faith and say yes to hosting her own party.  But why not offer her something more if she meets your expectations.  Here is one way:

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Or offer an incentive for completing tasks such as: getting their guest list back to you within a week; having at least five guests at their party or for getting outside orders or bookings.  I know, you are in this to make money not spend it, right?  But the small cost will be outweighed by having a solid successful party.  The incentive can be free shipping or a less expensive item from your product line or a customer special or a favorite retired product you have in stock.  REMEMBER, your host doesn’t get the incentive until you show up for their ACTUAL party. Be sure to make it clear when you outline the incentives for them.

#3 – The Value Of Your Business Opportunity.  I will admit, I struggle with this some months. You know the ones I mean when  your calendar is empty and you need/want to book some parties?  Some advocate flipping your host before the party while I believe the party is her training ground to see how easy it is to be a consultant.  Your host is having a party for FREE and discounted product. She doesn’t see the bigger picture of what joining your company could mean for her or her family.  Plant seeds along the way.  Your guidance and a successful party may be just the encouragement they need to give what you do a try.  Offer to turn their party into a kickoff party and give them all the bookings you get if they say yes to starting their business.

#4 – Offer Assistance.  This one should be a no-brainer.  You want to make it super easy for your potential host to do her job.  You can help her by offering to call her guests to ensure attendance, send out the invitations for her, and offer to arrive early to help her set up which will also help to calm her nerves and build a relationship with them.  Make sure you stay in touch often before her party to give her support, answer questions, and remind her of what her next step is.

Will these tips guarantee success 100% of the time?  No, but it will definitely help to establish the trust factor.  The combination of trust and a growing relationship will decrease your cancellations and lead to more successful parties.

Are there things you do for your hosts to help them succeed? Share them with us in the comments below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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