Here's a question from a work at home mom who is
frustrated that she isn't able to book parties. Our guest Expert is Lori
Booking Parties After the Holidays
Here's my Question:
I am a with a Party Plan and I am having trouble getting parties booked off-line and getting recruits. I had several people tell me before Christmas that they wanted to book parties in February, but none of them came through. Right now, everyone says the weather is too bad, cold, etc.
I am still getting orders from people, but without parties it's hard to keep everything going.
I have my customers fill out a customer care card. I send out sale fliers and new catalogs to those that request them on this card. I also send birthday and anniversary cards to those that have filled in that information and include a coupon for 10% off of their next order or free shipping.
I guess I'm just looking for some new ideas. My sponsor just keeps telling me that it takes time to build your business and I know she's right, but I would think she would have some more advice than that.
First let me say that this is a very common problem with people trying to get over the after-holidays hump. But there are several ways to conquer your problem.
1. I noticed you said people you met in the fall were interested in booking parties but didn't end up booking. If you meet people at a fair or event this spring, let's solve half of the problem before it starts. The answer is: SET THE DATE immediately. It is so important when you're talking to people who are interested in doing a party that you actually book a date right then and there.
Now you're probably thinking, "How can I get a date? People don't seem to want to commit."
No problem! Here are some tips:
Have your calendar with you always. When someone is interested you want to tell them, "When were you thinking a party would work for you ... in January or February?" (pause
and wait for the answer) "Great, what I usually suggest is that we go ahead and pencil in a date so that I have a spot for you on my schedule. Do you think weekdays or evenings would work better for your group of friends and family?" (Notice I am giving them choices, and it is not a "yes" or "no" question.)
Also, note that I said "pencil" in a date. This helps this feel more relaxed, and yes, you can even say it if you're holding a pen!
If your prospect says, "Well, I want to check with my friends and see what they think," I would respond, always with a smile, "I understand. However, there is never going to be the perfect date for everyone, and I've found that when you simply give them a date they are much more likely to work with the date you give them."
2. It is such a great idea to have your customer fill out customer care cards, and I applaud you for that. And you are doing great by sending them birthday cards and really giving them personal attention.
One thing I noticed is that you said you were "mailing", and I didn't read anything about "calling."
Think about it this way. How many times have you received a catalog in the mail or at a fair, and you've held onto because you were interested, but invariably you laid it down? Then, a few days pass, then a few weeks, and then as you are getting rid of clutter you decide to go ahead and throw it away.
What if two days after you received the catalog, you received a call from the sales rep asking if you received and if there was anything in it that interested you? Would it make a difference? Absolutely!
I would go ONE step further and call BEFORE you mail. Call, mail, call. That is the formula for success. You call first so that they are looking for it and it doesn't immediately get thrown away, then you mail, then you call to check their interest.
3. Now that you've called all of your contacts, go back and revisit your List of 100. You can actually go back and do this every 3 to 6 months, as your circle of friends will constantly evolve.
4. If you can't get a booking, you can always book yourself! Use the weather to your advantage and host a "Spring Fever" party! Make it sound fun, with a spring theme, flowers and prizes for everyone. Remember, CALL people to invite them and then do those very important reminders. Give prizes for those who bring guests so you can meet more people.
5. Host a "Book-a-Thon" and call all of your interested people in one day, letting them know that you're in the middle of doing a phone-a-thon to get parties. Everyone who books a party that day will be in a drawing for a prize!
Remember to always stay positive and smile when you're talking to people. Your positive attitude will make you a magnet for new business!