Getting Bookings to Hold

February 16, 2009 · Filed Under Growing Your Business · Comments Off on Getting Bookings to Hold 

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.

Avoiding the Last Minute Cancellations

February 13, 2009 · Filed Under Growing Your Business · Comments Off on Avoiding the Last Minute Cancellations 

You’ve worked hard to get your calendar booked for the dates you want to hold shows. You’ve coached your hostesses. You’re packed and ready to walk out the door and the phone rings. It’s tonight’s hostess and she’s decided to cancel. There’s no emergency, she just feels like no one is going to come, or doesn’t think her show is going to be a success. This probably isn’t the first time this has happened to you and it won’t be the last. So, what can you do to avoid those last minute cancellations?

Obviously, the first thing to do is encourage her to hold the show. Let her know you are on your way over and in the unlikely event that no one shows up (you sent invites and made reminder calls didn’t you?), you can talk about what to do next when you are there. At the very least her mom, sister, cousin & best friend will be there. 😉

If she still insists on cancelling, encourage her to book the show for the following week and that you will help her invite friends and encourage sales. Ask her if she’s taken the catalogs to her friends, family and co-workers? If she has not, remind her that a lot of people will buy something, although they may not come to the show. Outside sales are a great way to increase sales and get potential new hostesses and customers!

If she’s truly unwilling to reschedule her home party then suggest is that she hold a “book” party for outside sales only. A “book show” can be almost as successful as an actual show if she gets enough orders. Be sure she gets all the contact information from each person that purchases so you can follow up with them.

The best way to avoid those last minute cancellations is to do the work ahead of time. Keep in contact with your hostess from the time she booked the show up to the day before the show. Send out Thank You notes, reminder cards and make phone calls to encourage her and help her be a better hostess.

Take the time to get to know your hostess and coach her from that perspective. If she is shy and reserved, help her by giving her “words” or scripts to use when calling her potential guests. Put the information in her hands to help her be successful.

If your hostess is unorganized, but social (those two usually go hand in hand) help her be organized by giving her ‘save the date’ cards or magnets she can have in front of her at all times. Give her a plan or help her schedule time to make phone calls to friends and family. Give her plenty of brochures to hand out to co-workers and make sure she puts them in her briefcase or by her purse so they go with her to work the next day.

Sometimes in direct sales, we do have to “babysit” some of our hostesses; in other words, you have to help them along, every step of the way. But remember, you can never go wrong when you invest a little time and effort in someone to help them be successful. After all, your success depends on their success.

In direct sales you won’t be in business long if you are not willing to invest time, energy and some money into the lives of others. Being in a direct sales business should not be all about you and what you’re going to get out of it; you have to help others be a success if you’re going to be a success!

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