Getting Bookings to Hold

Written by Nicole Dean

Congratulations, you have 12 shows scheduled in your datebook or on your calendar. You’ve scheduled 3 for this week and 2 for the following week.  Then, you have four the week after that and the other three are scattered across the following month. If you want to make sure that none of them cancel then follow these suggestions and ideas how to keep your hostesses motivated and excited about their shows.

When you book a show, ideally the farthest you want to go out is 2-3 weeks. Remember, you’re in charge of your schedule and if you schedule too far in advance then you run the risk of not only your show cancelling but of you needing to reschedule due to your life’s commitments.

Here’s what you can do to ensure that your hostess doesn’t cancel:

1.    When booking the party, give your hostess a nice little “save the date” card with the time and date of her show. Some direct sales companies may have premade ones you can use or you can create your own on your computer or by hand if you’re crafty. You can even purchase some handy magnets from a craft store and make some “save the date” magnets for their fridge. This is the first step in keeping the show in the mind of the hostess. You don’t want your hostess to forget about her show or to forget about the hostess gift or free product she is working toward.

2.    When booking the show, be sure to give your hostess enough brochures and order forms to hand out to their friends, family and co-workers for outside sales. If her show is more than 3 weeks away give her periodic calls asking for her outside sales totals.  Remind her of her hostess benefits and set another goal.  Outside sales are awesome for keeping the hostess excited and boosting their sales. Not everyone will attend the party, but many will buy something.

3.    The day after booking the show, get a “Thank You” card in the mail to your new hostess. If you make your hostess feel special she might work harder so she doesn’t disappoint her favorite consultant.  It can be a simple post card, and make sure it has the date of their show, reminders and suggestions of people to invite, and the hostess gifts they are working toward. Make sure your phone number is on the card so they can call you with any questions.

4.    A few days after you send the “Thank You” card, call your hostess to be sure she received it and answer any questions. Also, see how her guest list is coming along; has she started inviting guests yet? If not, encourage her to do so, so that her guests can make plans to come and invite their friends as well. Find out how her outside sales are doing. Often the outside sales outweigh the sales at the party. Be sure your hostess is getting the contact information from those outside sales as well. Those are potential new hostesses and new customers for you.

5.    If they are having trouble getting guests to commit to coming to the show and she starts talking about canceling, encourage her to keep the show because you never know who will come even though they didn’t commit. Give her more ideas of people to invite that she may not have thought of; if she hasn’t sent out any invitations herself, offer to help her get them in the mail. Help your hostess be a better hostess!

6.    Two days before the show, call her again. Find out how many people are coming. If the number is low find out who she’s called and offer to make some phone calls for her. Perhaps your hostess is shy or just not a go-getter. You can help her by getting together and have her listen while you make phone calls to some of her friends on her guest list.

7.    The day before the show, give her one more follow up call. Keeping in touch with your hostess is so important. The purpose of this call is to get the final number of commitments and potential guests, and give that final boost of encouragement by reminding her of the hostess gift she is working toward. Find out how much in outside sales she’s received and give her an estimated amount that she needs to sell at the show to get the hostess gift she is working toward. If she has exceeded the amount she needed in outside sales tell her what the next item to work toward is.  If she hasn’t gotten any outside sales, let her know it’s okay and that her show sales will probably be enough to receive the hostess gift she wants.

8.    If, after doing all of the above and your hostess decides to cancel, encourage her to book the show at a later date instead of cancelling all together.

Make it a point to only schedule shows 3 weeks out, that way your hostess will have a short wait and is more likely to remain excited about her party.  Book the show farther out if you must but explain to the hostess the pitfalls of doing so.  As we all know, life happens and stuff comes up that your hostess can’t avoid, so there will be cancellations, but if you follow up, encourage and help your hostess be the best hostess she can be, you will get fewer cancellations.

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