Hostesses are the people who help you the most when it comes to profiting from your direct sales business since they’re the ones who schedule your parties. Hostesses do a lot of work when they hold a party for you.
The hostess is the one who sets up for the party, sends out invitations, calls her friends and family and opens her home to guests. Pretty much all you have to do is set up your products, show them off, and collect the orders.
So make the most of your hostess package to let your hostess know how much you value her help. Something small can often make all the difference in the world in helping your hostess feel appreciated. Here are two suggestions for you.
Your hostess wants to know she’s getting something out of the party, too. Inviting her friends and socializing with them is great, but typically, not enough. Show her you care by offering her something free or at a good discount on her personal order.
Most direct sales companies offer hostess specials, but if you offer something above that, she’ll know how much you, personally, appreciate her. She’ll also tell her friends and be willing to hold more parties for you.
Offer to help your hostess, either by hosting the party at your home or arriving early and helping her set up. Sometimes busy moms have trouble getting ready for a home party and just the help alone may be the deciding factor in getting her to book a show.
As direct sales business owners, do what it takes to make a party happen. Even if that means going to someone’s home to help them set up the chairs and the food!
Finding hostesses can be a challenge. Here are some ideas that will help you find new hostesses or bring your former hostesses back for another show.
• Hold your own party
You play the hostess and invite your friends and family members. When you show your attendees all the perks that come with being a hostess many of them will consider it. Show them what to do and how to do it and they’ll see that it’s not as hard as they might have feared.
• Networking events
A lot of communities hold networking events once a month. Attend these events and see what you can do about finding people who are interested in your products. Make sure you talk to people about their business and their lives before you throw your own business out to them.
If your community doesn’t have one of these type events, consider hosting a networking event of your own. You’ll have full control of who’s invited and how it works, and be able to run it the way you want.
• Schools or grocery stores
When you’re waiting at the school for your children, strike up a conversation with another mom and see what you can do about getting her interested in holding a party for you. You can do the same thing when you’re standing in line at the grocery store. Make sure you have business cards and flyers to hand out.
Also, write down her name and phone number if she doesn’t’ have a card to give you in return so you can contact her later. And write down the place you met and any other important information that she shares with you for future reference.
When you call, you can mention some details in your conversation and your new friend will feel more comfortable holding a party because she’ll “know” you.
Finding hostesses can be challenging at times. But if you’re creative and use the tools available to you, you’ll find it’s easier than you may have thought originally. don’t be afraid to ask people you meet if they would be willing to hold a party for you. Some people may say no, but you won’t know until you ask. And you may find some of your best hostesses that way.
Whether you’re a full time or part-time direct sales professional, you’re in business to make money. Direct sales professionals know that more customers mean more sales. One of the best ways to more customers and more sales is through hostess programs and home parties.
Hostess programs reward your hostesses with incentives such as discounts or free merchandise when the party sales level reaches a certain amount. In addition to a great rewards program, do your best to ensure your hostess has a terrific party experience all the way around.
Share your enthusiasm about the party with your hostess. A happy hostess is an excited one. Show her all the impressive items she can receive for hosting a great party. An enthusiastic hostess will spread her excitement to her guests which can mean a larger turnout and more sales for you. Her enthusiasm will also help her stay focused on her goals of having a successful party.
Set goals with your hostess so she can take advantage of the best that your rewards program has to offer. Help her set manageable goals so she doesn’t set herself up for failure. Too large an amount may be unachievable, but help her set a large enough goal that it’s a challenge she can reach.
Go over the party plan and contact her at periodic intervals to make sure she’s on track with her goals. A prepared hostess is a happy one. Create a party plan that outlines the steps you both will take for a successful event. Go over any activities you have planned and any questions your hostess may have.
Coach your hostess. Create an easy-to-follow checklist that you can give her to ensure she has a successful party. Review the checklist often and answer any questions your hostess may have. It’s best that the checklist is short so it won’t seem overwhelming to your hostess and dampen her excitement.
Be flexible. If your hostess has her eye on a certain product that isn’t part of the rewards offered create a way for her to receive that item through her party anyway. She’ll love the fact that you went out of your way to help her. And be sure she’ll tell others what a great consultant you are!
Before the party, review the goals you and your hostess have set. Contact guests to remind them about the party and invite them to come be a part of the fun and games you and your hostess have planned for the evening. Encourage them to bring a friend to make the time even more enjoyable.
If your hostess has invited people who can’t attend, offer them the opportunity to order online or provide her with a catalog to gather outside sales. Your hostess will appreciate you going the extra mile to help her reach her desired sales level.
During the party emphasize how your product fits the needs of your hostess and how it will fit the needs of the party guests as well. Treat the hostess’s guests with respect. Listen to the questions they ask and answer them politely. Remember they are the friends, relatives, and coworkers of the hostess. Consider a party game that allows guests to win discounts or free merchandise in addition to what the hostess earns.
Direct sales professionals want happy hostesses for a number of reasons. Happy hostesses tell their friends about their great party experiences. Other party attendants are more likely to host a party with you because they see how much fun their hostess had and the great rewards she received. Word of mouth will spread about your products, but more importantly about your rewards and the great experience you offer your hostesses.
After the party ends, it’s vital that you follow up with your hostess. Within three days of the party, send her a personal note thanking her for hosting a party and remind her of her gifts for being a hostess. You can also send a little reminder that if she has any friends interested in hosting to pass your information along to them. Following up with your hostess shows her you care about her, not just your sales, and it gives you a chance to see how she and her friends likes their products.
The key to a happy hostess is great rewards, outstanding customer service, easy and efficient party set up, dynamic follow-up, and of course great products backed by a terrific money back guarantee. Work with your hostess and provide her with one on one personal service tailored to her needs for a successful home party for your direct sales business.
The popularity of having parties at home continues to grow and direct selling home party companies are a very lucrative business. Whether you like to sell food, adult products, dishes, toys, books, purses or jewelry there is something out there to satisfy everyone.
Once you have your niche and are enrolled in the company you’ve chosen, you’re ready to hold your first party. Having your first party can seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Ask your direct sales leader for help and ideas. Invite plenty of family members and friends. Having people you know and that you’re comfortable with attend the first party especially, versus complete strangers, will give you added confidence.
Invite two to three times as many people as your guest list is made out for. This will fill your meeting space even if you have some no-shows and hopefully land you some new customers as well. Be sure to invite anyone you’d like to recruit for your down line, too.
Life gets in the way and we all have other obligations. Sometimes guests won’t be able to make it. By inviting an additional guests you won’t have to worry about short-falls on your guest list.
Be sure to give your guests advance notice of your party. Doing so will help them to plan their schedules accordingly and you’ll have a better chance at a full house. If you give someone a month’s notice, they’re likely to forget. Giving two to three weeks notice is plenty of time for them to pencil in your party date.
Be sure to follow up with a phone call since you want to make sure everyone got their invitations. A good time to call is a few days after sending out the invitations. Then call again a few days prior to the date of your party to remind everyone and get an idea of who plans to attend.
Talk about your products to everyone. In direct selling, many companies push the phrase, “The Power of Three.” Every day venture out and talk to at least three people about your product. Show excitement. Let everyone know how wonderful your products are and how happy you are to be with the company.
Hand out business cards and invite people to a home party. If they’re unable to attend, give them a catalog so they can be ready for future parties and orders.
Serve light refreshments at your party. Most home parties last a couple hours. So make sure your guests are comfortable. Keep it simple and basic. Tea, coffee, bottled water, and soda allows something for everyone and isn’t too much work.
If your direct sales party requires cooking then your food is already taken care of. For others, it’s nice to have a snack for your guests. Again, keep it simple. A cheese and cracker tray or a vegetable and dip tray, or a pan of brownies are great.
Providing games is a fun way to increase sales. Start off with a “Get to Know Me” game. Doing so will allow you to customize products that are most beneficial for your guests. Games like Bingo and How Well Do You Know your Hostess is a nice way to offer product samples and everyone enjoys that.
The main thing to remember is to have fun. Enjoy yourself and your guests are sure to do the same. That will lead them to want to come to your next direct sales party… and even host one of their one!
Having a good hostess is one key to a successful direct sales business. It’s your hostess that your customers will deal with and ultimately, your hostess who will sell the product. The hostess has a stake in sales, too, since she’ll benefit from bonuses, incentives, and lower costs for getting sales.
Every hostess needs a good motivator. Being a hostess can be a tough job sometimes, especially if someone is doing it on a regular basis. Here are some tips for coaching your hostess to ensure that she’s always smiling, always ready to host a party, and always ready to sell your product.
Getting your hostess ready to sell will begin the first time you meet her. Make sure you give her with some good words of advice and support, and a packet of things she’ll need when talking to people about her party. This packet should include catalogues, some order forms, forms for collecting addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, and a wish list for her to start compiling a all the bonuses and incentives she wants to receive.
An unprepared hostess will feel uncomfortable because she won’t have the materials to help her when dealing with customers. Customers will pick up on this and won’t be confident in your company or products. So arming her with a simple starter packet will relieve tension and stress on her end, and give you peace of mind that the right information is getting out to customers.
From the first meeting with your hostess until the big sales event, it’s important to coach your hostess and give her the support she needs. Set gentle deadlines for her to have things such as her guest list confirmed, her wish list filled out, and a party checklist completed. These deadlines will give your hostess a clear-cut outline to follow and will make her feel more confident as she’s going through the party planning process.
During the party, collect contact information, order forms, and other important information from your hostess for each of the guests if you haven’t already. Once the hostess has completed a few events with your help, she’ll know to provide you with this information, but ensuring you ask for this information will help to ensure she doesn’t forget to give it to you.
At some point during the party, be sure to thank your hostess in front of the guests. Being a hostess is great and has its perks but it’s also hard work. Your hostess needs to feel appreciated so she’ll want to throw another party. Letting your guests know that she has worked hard for this party and that you appreciate it will go a long well to helping your hostess feel motivated.
While thanking your hostess, mention any free gifts or discounts she received for hosting the party. This might interest one of the guests to host their own party and you might just find yourself coaching another new hostess soon.
When you get a new catalogue or new products, you can hold a Hostess Appreciation Party at your home. This party would be just for previous hostesses and would be a great way to show them just how much you do appreciate all their hard work. Hostesses are your contact with customers so treat them just as you would want to be treated.
Set out samples of your new products and allow your hostesses to feel, smell, touch, and look at them. Getting your hostesses “up close and personal” with new products will give them a good knowledge and encourage them to have another party for you.
And any knowledge your hostess has will be passed right along to your customers. At the end of the party, make sure you have a small gift for each of them to show your appreciation in a tangible way.
Hostess coaching may take some effort, but it’s not difficult and the results you achieve will be well worth your time and energy when your sales continue to grow from successful home parties.
Holding an online party can be a great boost to your direct sales income. In fact, the more the merrier, for added sales! If you’re considering this option to build your direct sales business, keep these ideas in mind as you prepare.
• Plan your party in advance. As with any other event, your direct sales online parties should be planned at least 1-2 weeks in advance. This gives you and your hostess plenty of time to invite guests, book a chat room, and get your games and prizes in order.
• Create a theme for your party. You can use graphics on your invitation to fit the theme, play games that tie in, and even offer prizes related to your theme. Possible theme ideas are unlimited, but consider holidays, seasons, specific products (such as candles, even though you sell other items), and more.
• Use social media to promote your party. Post about your event on Facebook and MySpace. Tweet about it (often) on twitter. Tell everyone you know online about your party and invite them to attend. Be cautious, though, to never SPAM or post inappropriately!
• Include some great sales the day of the party. You can either add them to your website or have guests order directly through you, but be sure to have some discounts that are only available to guests.
• Organize yourself and your party. Set up an agenda that you can follow so you know what comes next. Keep the ball rolling so your guests don’t get bored and offer lots of fun and activity for the most participation–and them most sales!
• Keep a positive and attitude. There’s nothing that can turn off a customer quicker than rudeness. Be sure there’s not even a hint of impatience or irritation in your dealings with your customers and guests for the most positive impact. Become known as the friendliest direct sales consultant around!
• Have fun! Remember… this is a PARTY! Make it feel like one! Don’t get so wrapped up in the business of the party that you forget to enjoy yourself and help your hostess and guests to do the same.
• End on time. If you say your party will end at 2:00, stop at 2:00 not 2:10 or 2:15. Your guests will be happy to know you kept your word and stayed on schedule. And they’ll be much more likely to attend the next party you hold.
• Send a follow-up note to everyone who attended. Thank your hostess for her help and participation. And thank your guests for attending. Ask them if they’d like to be on your mailing list to be informed of future parties. If not, be sure you honor their wishes, by not sending additional invites. But thank them for attending this time, anyway.
Holding online parties can be fun and extremely profitable for your direct sales business. Try your hand at this lucrative event and see if you don’t discover an additional sales strategy to build your customer base.
One of the key methods to becoming a successful direct sales person is learning to conduct a good presentation. Often direct sales consultants aren’t seasoned or professional sales people so they never receive training to help them improve in this area. Below are some tips to help you prepare and create a winning presentation every time to ensure you never lose a sale because of a poor presentation.
• Know Your Product
Since many direct sales consultants don’t get proper training from their upline they’re often thrown out into the field their with canned presentation materials and methods that were created by the company. As a result, the consultant may not know how to think on her feet and edit or customize the presentation for each prospect. And they often rely so heavily on the company presentation format that they don’t really learn the product which would give their presentations depth and charisma.
This is why it is so important to use, know and believe in the product you’re selling. This will give you great and relatable stories to tell during your presentation, and more passion for what you’re doing. You’ll also be able to customize your presentations and answer questions easily. There’ll be some products or items that your company sells that you’ll know more about. That’s ok. Your goal will be to know at least the basics about everything you offer so you can speak intelligently about the products.
• Don’t “Throw Up” on Your Prospect!
This is good advice when taken literally, but here it’s used as a metaphor! When you make your presentation, don’t just rattle off endless information about your direct sales products. This sounds like common sense, but many direct sales consultants use this method every time they present. Most consultants start by selling to their friends and family who are very tolerant, want to be supportive, and will most likely buy anyway. But if you’re in this to make a solid income, then you’ll soon exhaust your list of personal contacts and begin presenting to people you don’t know.
The best advice for you is to Listen More, Talk Less. Most of your presentation should involve you listening to the needs of your potential customer and seeing how your product can help him, or make him happy. This way you can tailor your presentation for the receiver–giving the highlights of what your product can do for him, how it can fulfill his needs, and how it can make his life better. Doing this will answer the big question all customers are secretly asking… WIIFM – “What’s In IT For Me!”
• Use Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing is about long-term connections, not just transactions. In direct sales, you want to build a bond with your prospects so they’ll become long-term customers and advocates for your business. Your presentation needs to be about your customer, not you. This means asking questions, listening, being respectful and sincere. In other words, build your relationships deep, not wide.
Each prospect can become a customer or a part of your team, and they can bring you referrals, or become a winning sales person themselves; each of these scenarios will benefit your business. Getting to know the people you present to has so many advantages, such as loyalty to your product and you, fun interactions, added sales, and more. So, go deep rather than wide with relationship marketing and build off of each prospect. This is much more effective than trudging along simply looking for people to sell your products to.
• You’re Unique, So Be You!
Remember that “people buy you, not your product.” Sounds crazy, but it’s true. If you’ve been in sales for a bit, you will have experienced or heard of a situation where a direct sales person meets with a prospect, has a presentation, follows up, and does all the right things, but no sale. Then another rep comes along from the same company and “Bam!” gets the sale.
Looking at this you might say that the first sales person warmed them up or got them ready to buy and the second sales rep just took the order. That kind of thinking is okay for young consultants or those just starting out in direct sales, but once you’ve been around for awhile, you need to hold your ego in check and see that you can’t sell or build a relationship with everyone. And that’s okay!
Most times when you start a direct sales venture, you begin by meeting the top sellers in the company. Your first thought is ‘if I can be them then I will be successful.’ Wrong! You have your own unique selling style, you just need to find it and use it.
Start out by using the best practices and methods you’re given by your upline or company, then add your own style and flair in baby steps, if needed. This will make your sincerity, passion, and charisma shine through and these are sales presentation musts.
Frustration due to lack of sales is one of the reasons many direct sales consultants quit. Master these basic, but crucial concepts, and you’ll not only see your sales increase, but you’ll be less nervous and more confident when making a presentation.