Everyone who is in a party plan business goes through a period where they don’t have enough bookings on their calendar to feel as if their business will sustain.
Ask the most successful direct seller and he or she will tell you that they have all experienced times in which they were worried that the bookings “well” would dry up.
Isn’t it nice to know that it isn’t just you? It happens to everyone and it is a normal part of your direct sales business. So instead of feeling worried, getting down about your business, or giving up; take action and within a few days you will have more bookings then you know what to do with.
Here are 7 quick ideas to get more bookings on your calendar FAST!
Let’s talk about what you can do immediately in your parties, changing one thing, that will ATTRACT more parties to you. Yes, I said attract!
- Marketing your business is all about creating relationships and developing customers that love not only your products, but want to enjoy your company as well. Most direct sellers use the word “booking” to describe getting a party on their calendar.
When I hear the word “booking” it sounds like a scheduled event with a consultant who is going to sell something. It sounds like a business term and not a fun evening with friends. If you want to create a fun atmosphere and attract more bookings, STOP saying:
- When you book a show, you get this…..
- The host gets xyz when she books 2 shows…
- If you have 3 bookings you get……
Instead create desire, attraction, and fun by saying something like this instead:
- When you invite me to your home we will have some fun with your friends, sample some products, and give lots of gifts!
- My gift to you is x when we schedule 2 girls night in parties!
- Whose house are we gathering at next month?
You should be doing a booking commercial during your parties. You know, a 30 second talk about why your guests should book a party, right?
During your booking commercial, talk about an alternative. I was the queen of fundraising! I would tell everyone that I booked one party a month with the specific reason that we were fundraising or giving back to a charitable organization of the hosts choosing.
I chose to give part of my commission away for one party a month and I was booked six months in advance for the fundraisers. I always found someone who wanted to raise money for their baseball team, a child with medical issues, or a cause near and dear to their heart. Many of these parties led to shows for church’s and other large organizations.
Are you visual at your parties?
When you are talking about what the host gets for the evening are you:
- Stacking the host with her gifts?
- Using a flipboard or presentation deck to show how much she earns?
- Peppering her with post-it notes, showing one gift per note, so she is lost in the sea of notes when you are done?
- Using the products she is getting in your presentation so you can talk about bookings during your presentation?
All three of these suggestions are easy to do, easy to change within your presentations, and will spice up what you are currently doing! Yes, there are a myriad of games you can play for bookings but changing verbiage is way more effective immediately.
When my calendar started to get light I would always look for expos and vendor shows to fill in. They are easy to find on Facebook, Craigslist, Eventlisters, and other places. Look for ones that attract a crowd but don’t cost and arm and a leg.
The primary aim of vendor shows is to fill your calendar with home parties. You should always have marketing material aimed at bookings and place some free gifts on your table with bonus dates. I liked to make these gifts attractive so visitors to the table picked them up and looked at them, allowing you to talk to them about the bonus date and what’s inside. Your visitor got a chance to get a FREE prize that day plus the gifts she receives the night of the party.
You can play games at your table for dates, like spin the wheel, roll the dice, etc. My drawing slips asked what gift they wanted to receive the night of their party and listed three items to choose from allowing me to pamper them with a special gift of their choosing.
Be aware that there are different types of people you will meet at vendor shows. Know how to deal with each and every one of them in order to increase your sales and bookings. Also understand that if the promoter of the show tells you that they are expecting 1000 people, you may only see 10-20% of the visitors at your booth.
Here are some common types of people you will meet:
- The sticker people – These people want to win everything free but don’t really want to talk to you. You can almost ignore them and just give them some marketing material to take home.
- The expert – These are people who know more about your products and industry then you do. They may try and question you to stump you. I don’t engage too much with them but always ask them to fill out my drawing slip. Note that these people may end up becoming your best customer however so don’t totally ignore them. Engage but don’t ask questions that would require long explanations. Ask about them, their families, how they have used the products, etc.
- The newbie – This is the 1st timer attending the show and is excited to talk to everyone but also overwhelmed. They monopolize your time talking about nothing in particular. You will need to learn how to disengage and qualify them for your products. They are ripe for bookings if they are interested in your products.
- The consummate salesperson – they will always sell you on something even if they are only attending. Disengage and move on unless they engage you in your business and want to hear about your parties.
- The all about “Me” person – They will tell you their life story if asked. You will need to talk to them to see if they are a fit for you and possibly give them a catalog. I tend to shy away from these types.
- The social butterfly – Love these people. Use them. They are reporting on social media what they are doing. Do a selfie, talk to them, befriend them and they will put you in front of others. They are the party queens so keep your eyes and ears open.
- The lead- This is your ideal client and they will give you a green light to follow up with them (and you had better do so in 48 hours)!
Host Your Own Party
Here are some easy ways to host your own parties. Be creative and have fun!
Be your own host, where you get the hostess gifts, and invite your friends to try a new product, a new catalog launch, your business launch, a fundraiser, a pampering night, etc. Make it fun, engaging, and a PARTY night.
Host a “Mystery Host” party either in-home or online. Do you have friends that like to go to parties but don’t like to host? Invite them to your home, or a neutral location, and have the host be drawn from the guests who attend. You can split the hostess gifts amongst several friends if you wish. Give gifts for bringing friends you haven’t met. Play games and enjoy the evening.
Host a Customer Appreciation or Host Appreciation Night. Have an open house and invite your clients and hosts to shop at a discount.
Do you have several hosts that are friends? Have them host a multi-host party. It is similar to a single in-home party except that each host invites friends that the others don’t know and typically it is not held in someone’s home. Each host gets their own host gifts depending on the sales from their individual guests.
Don’t forget theme parties, catalog parties, and Facebook parties! One of my favorite catalog parties was getting 5 friends to shop for a minimum or to sell $50 each. I ended up with a $250+ party and did very little work!
To Be Continued Next Week!