8 Ways to Find More Customers for Your Direct Sales Business

November 25, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing, Growing Your Business · Comments Off on 8 Ways to Find More Customers for Your Direct Sales Business 

As a direct sales business owner, you know your customers are the lifeline for your business. Without them you won’t make any money and that’s not good.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you gain more customers, no matter what time of year it is.

1. Cold Call

Now this is one that some people don’t like to do, but it works. Go through the phone book and call people. You can start with the letter A and call the first person listed or start with the letter Z and call the last person in the book.

You’ll need to mark your phone book so finding an extra one would be ideal. Use a simple code for your responses such as NI for not interested, NA for no answer, or DC for deliver catalog. Whatever works for you to be able to record the responses.

2. Ask for a Party at the Party

When you hold a party, ask the people attending if they would like to have a party of their own. A good way to get people to set a date for a party is to offer an incentive of some sort; maybe a free gift or a discount on their current or next order. Whatever you think will work.

When you give them an incentive, they’ll see the value in hosting a party themselves. People like receiving something free and most often don’t mind “giving back” when you give them something first.

3. Postcards

Mail out postcards to people or businesses who might have an interest in what you offer and invite them either to visit your website, call you for party or order details, or visit a party you’ll be holding. You’ll want to keep track of the places you send your cards so you don’t send them again to the same people. It’s also a good idea to follow-up with a phone call a week or so after you send the postcard.

4. Flyers

Handing out flyers is a good way to spread the word quickly and easily. The only downside to flyers is that you really don’t have a way of contacting the people you hand them out to. Unless you get a card or a phone number, you can’t contact them to see if they want to order or schedule a party, but it’s still a viable soft-selling option.

5. Newsletter

Start a newsletter that you send out weekly or monthly and use it to your advantage. Ask for a party in your newsletter and offer a free gift for anyone who uses a booking code or lets you know they read about it in your newsletter.

6. Business Cards

Not yours… those that other business people give you! Gather business cards from everyone who will give you their card. You never know who may have an interest in holding a party or placing an order. Make a note on the back of the card that lets you know where you met them and if they express an interest in booking a party, placing an order, or even your business opportunity.

7. Open House

Hold an open house and invite everyone you know. Ask each person to bring someone and offer an incentive to everyone who does. Be sure both the person you invited and the one they invited receive a free gift for attending. Samples, discounts, or freebies are always make good incentives.

8. Information Packs

Create packs that you can hand out at a parade, daycare, school, or some other place where you find your target market. Include your business and product information as well as things from others. Also include your business card, a flyer, and a sample product.

Direct sales business owners need customers to profit. When you’re running short on ideas for attracting new customers, you can use the suggestions above to draw in new customers almost every time.

What Can a Direct Sales Consultant Do to Increase Sales?

November 24, 2009 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity · Comments Off on What Can a Direct Sales Consultant Do to Increase Sales? 

In direct sales, the term “don’t reinvent the wheel,” is often used. Many reps, especially beginners, look for new ways to increase sales and rack their brains night and day for new ideas. No one likes to be a copy cat, however discovering the basic principles of advanced marketers and applying a personal touch is just smart business. In fact many large corporations’ success is based on sales tactics learned from competitors. It’s time to take a look at what fellow reps and competitors are doing to increase sales this holiday season.

Stocking Up

It is difficult for many reps to keep products on hand and have their money warehoused, so to speak. However, it can be very lucrative if the items move quickly. Successful direct sales reps know their products. They know which products are fast movers and have an eye for what pleases their customers. Many reps keep a good supply of fast movers to sell directly to customers at parties and functions. Lots of people buy on impulse and don’t want to wait for an order to arrive. They will not place an order, but if a product is before them that they can see and touch they will make a purchase and supplied with a catalog may possibly become a lifetime client.


Many companies offer rep discounts on discontinued items or samples. The savvy marketer knows these make perfect freebies. Everybody enjoys the surprise of a free item. Make it a point to offer free items with purchases. The items may or may not complement each other. If possible they should be personal and client specific. Using new products for freebies will expose customers to an ever widening product base. While offering freebies may slightly decrease profit it will boost sales and be well worth the return on investment (ROI).

Holiday Baskets & Bulk Discounts

It is the holiday season and shoppers are looking for gifts. Smart reps are creating gift sets. This pleases customers and lessens the burden of gift wrapping and shopping. Shoppers have many people on their holiday list and if they can check off a few names in one stop, they surely will. Another good sales tip is to offer discounts for multiple items. This will encourage more sales which will make up for the discounted pricing. Catalogs, sales flyers and a business card should be included in every gift set. The customer base has just been greatly increased.

Useful Ideas for Clients

No matter how attractive a product may be, if the customer has little or no use for it sales will decrease. Business savvy reps educate their clients on the multiple uses of their products. This can be done face to face with unbelievable results or it may be done with teaching tools. Teaching tools may be as complex or simple as fits the situation. Bright and colorful flyers can inform customers of the many product uses. Simple miniature cookbooks that include company products encourage more use of items. New ideas for using products, or explanations as to why they make great gifts increases sales. Finally, a list of the benefits or real life stories about the product may convince customers to open their wallets.

While focusing on increasing sales is important for business, direct sales reps know their team members are their best asset. Recruiting of team members should not be forgotten during the rush of the holiday season. Many new team members are gained by noticing how lucrative a rep’s business appears. Open arms and inviting explanations to customers and potential team members will increase sales the most.

5 Tips to Increase Direct Marketing Sales

November 23, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing, Growing Your Business · Comments Off on 5 Tips to Increase Direct Marketing Sales 

With the holiday season upon us we can practically feel the excitement in the air. While many individuals are focusing on Thanksgiving, some have already put up Christmas decorations. Direct sales reps are pouring over catalogs and booking parties and events. Organizing a business plan for the holidays can be a difficult task. A few tips are in order to increase sales this season.


While this may seem natural and common it is often overlooked, especially as the season progresses. Things get busy, orders get misplaced, are late or don’t arrive at all. Through every situation the direct marketing sales reps must maintain their composure. The simplest way to do this is with a smile. A smile transcends almost every misunderstanding and sets the stage for goodwill. Don’t forget that a happy demeanor is for all occasions, not just mishaps. Smile as you answer the phone, type out an email, write a note or chat on an instant messenger. Customers will feel the glow through the communication and respond accordingly, with appreciation and more orders.

Promote Product Benefits

Customers can see the product, maybe even smell or taste it, so they know what it is. However, they may not realize the full benefits it holds for them. Reps must tell their clients how the product will make them feel, how it will affect their minds and bodies, how it will lessen their stress or increase their productivity. As humans we want to know what is in it for us. If we make a purchase we don’t just want to possess one more item; we want that product to transform a part of our lives.

Know The Products

Direct sales reps must know their products. If products are presented without knowledge, the customers can tell. Why should they buy a product they know nothing about when their rep doesn’t even have firsthand experience with it. Products that are similar are simple to handle. Comparisons can be made and little differences noted. Hopefully the differences are better features which will encourage clients to try new products and give referrals to their friends. When products are completely new to the line it is advisable to obtain at least a trial size to sample. Many companies have monthly packets loaded with the latest items or seasonal favorites at discount rates. They understand the need for their reps to be prepared for questions from customers and also fill the need for samples.


Everyone likes something for nothing and samples are a wonderful way to spread a little joy while increasing customer base and sales. Samples are nice surprises for returning clients and prompt purchases of new items. They should be included in the delivery package of every order along with any available catalogs or sales flyers, and a short personal note. These nifty people pleasers should be readily available at parties and other sales functions where products are displayed. Many companies have samples available to their reps at minimal pricing. However, when samples are not available for a particular item it is wise to purchase at least one full size product and use it as a sample in presentations.


Most companies offer a money back guarantee, and direct marketing sales reps will want to take full advantage of this by educating their clients on the company policies for returns and refunds. If a company guarantee is not in place the reps can increase sales by offering their own guarantees. These can be as simple or complex as necessary depending upon the type of product offered. For rep created guarantees, or for companies who don’t require the rep to return the items to the company, there are a myriad of uses for returned merchandise. Full size items make the best display samples. Customers get to see exactly how large the actual item will be and visual types will be compelled to make a purchase.

As direct marketing sales reps march out to meet the challenge of increased sales this season, they should be well supplied and knowledgeable. Samples, catalogs and flyers will do their part, while knowledge of products and benefits assist customers in positive decision making when placing orders. Above all reps should spread the cheer that belongs to the season.

Encouraging Your Direct Sales Team through Coaching

November 20, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing, Training Your Team · Comments Off on Encouraging Your Direct Sales Team through Coaching 

As a direct sales consultant, you know that one of the most important ways to grow your business is to build your downline and help them build their businesses. When your team members are successful and add to their teams, you all reap the benefits.

There are a number of ways to help your downline grow, but one of the easiest ways is to coach them. Coaching is where you encourage and train your team to do what’s right and what will grow their businesses.

One of the most important things you need to do when you’re coaching your team is to continually communicate with them. You can stay in contact with them via email, instant messenger, mail, or the telephone.

Set a daily or weekly time for communication and stick to it as often as you can. If you communicate via email or snail mail, you won’t have to worry about the time, but instant messenger and the phone do require a specific time so you know your team members will be there when you’re ready to meet.

Another thing to consider when you’re coaching your team is to regularly offer training. Training is one of the best ways for your team to grow and succeed. Offer training once a week and cover something different each week. Ask your team what they need help with, what they want to learn, and what will help them grow then offer training on those subjects.

Team meetings are another important aspect of coaching. Have your team attend the meeting each week and bring a list of things they accomplished in the prior week as well as what they plan to accomplish in the coming week. Consider holding this meeting on Monday morning. When you keep it at the beginning of the week your team will start their week nice and fresh and ready to go.

Something else to keep in mind is either attending a presentation by each team member, or calling during the presentation so you can help them with any mistakes they may be making. You can also suggest things to make their presentations even better. It’s not easy to have others tell us what we’re doing wrong, but it’s the only way to grow and improve our skills. When done with kindness and a sincere desire to help, your team members will more easily understand and accept your constructive criticism with the right attitude.

Taking your team to the next level will require encouragement from you more than anything else. Show them you care and that you’re available to help them grow. Build trust with them and show them you’re not there only for the money, but to see them truly succeed.

You can make use of team coaching calls or one-on-one coaching sessions. For a consultant who’s just starting out in direct sales, the one-on-one coaching may be best. Newbies require special attention because they are more than likely new to the business all together or at the least to direct sales in general.

Show your new team members that you’re there for them all the way and that you want them to succeed. Help them determine their goals, show them how to write them out so they know what they want and what they need to do to achieve their dreams.

Create a weekly, monthly, and yearly goal sheet for team members to use. Make sure you show them how to take one goal and break it down into reachable daily goals. Breaking a goal down into bite-sized pieces helps your team members see that each aspect is achievable. They’ll know exactly what to do to reach each goal.

Show your team how many contacts they need each day to reach the number of presentations or parties they want each week. Teach them what to say when they contact someone, whether it’s on the phone, via email, or in person.

In direct sales, a lot of your income comes from your downline. When you coach them and show them how to advance, your business will grow. When you use the suggestions above, you will see new levels of success and you will reach your own goals as well as helping your team to reach theirs.

Successful Advertising for Your Direct Sales Business

November 19, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing, Offline Promotion · Comments Off on Successful Advertising for Your Direct Sales Business 

You probably realize that without advertising, your business isn’t going to get very far. This is especially true when you’re in direct sales because your store location is usually your home, a website, or in some cases, your car.

This means that you’ll be limited as to signage and people won’t know about your business. While advertising can be challenging, it’s not difficult. Direct salespeople just need to get creative in advertising.

With just a few business cards, some flyers, and maybe even some posters, advertising your direct sales business can be easy, and even fun! Think about the places you go and think how you can get the word out about your business at every one of these places. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Visit the library. Go through various books and leave your business card in them. Pay special attention to books that are related to your business. If you sell jewelry, look at books that tell others how to make their own jewelry, or jewelry appraisal books. Flip to a random page and tuck a business card inside. Leave your business card in books that aren’t related to what you’re selling, too. You never know who’s going to take an interest in your business.

Place a poster, flyer or business card on the back of public restroom stalls. Have you ever noticed the wide variety of advertising that’s now done on the walls of a public restroom? This is because people know this type advertising works.

Many public restrooms have magazine style racks attached to the back of the stall doors. If you’re lucky enough to find one of these, tuck a catalogue inside. You never know who will stop by to pick it up. If you do leave catalogues, keep a list of where you left them. That way, you’ll be able to check back in a week or two and replace the catalogue someone was interested enough to scoop up.

Take some catalogues or flyers for your next party to a play date, or on a trip to the park. Many direct sales consultants are stay-at-home moms and dads. And they make especially valuable prospects because they probably live near you and would be able to attend a party to see your products.

Because other stay-at-home moms are doing the same things you do every day, you’ll most likely have a lot in common with them, too, and be able to connect with them on some level. And they probably have some of the same needs that you have, which is perfect since you’ll already know what they want.

Leave a flyer on your local laundromat’s bulletin board as well as a catalogue on the folding table. Laundromats are hotbeds for people who have time on their hands with nothing to do. If the laundromat is large, count how many tables they have and leave a catalogue on every one. You might be surprised how many phone calls you get just because you caught someone when they had time to browse.

Anyone can put up flyers in the grocery store or on community bulletin boards. As such, these locations often become overcrowded with different ads and yours might get lost in the shuffle. It’s important to think outside of the box and consider places that others may not have thought of. This is one sure way to get you noticed, get more people to attend your next party, and increase your direct sales revenue quickly.

Promoting your Direct Sales Business

November 19, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing, Growing Your Business · Comments Off on Promoting your Direct Sales Business 

Obviously, the only way your direct sales business will grow is if you promote it. Without parties or presentations you won’t go anywhere in direct sales–or any other business. And of course, you started your business to earn a profit. To do so, start promoting it right off the bat.

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you promote your direct sales business both online and offline. Even if you take orders through your website only, you still need to promote your business offline. Some people may not know you have a website unless you tell them.

• Offline Marketing

Promoting your business offline is not as difficult as you may think. You do need to be creative and take some time to make it work. But that’s not hard.

Make use of the best offline marketing tools you can find. Put them to work for you so you aren’t wasting your money being in business without earning a profit. Invest some time into your offline marketing strategies for your success.

Consider these tools to promote your business offline:

1. Business cards
2. Flyers
3. Postcards
4. Brochures
5. Pamphlets
6. Product samples
7. Catalogs
8. Magnets
9. Calendars
10. Notepads

There are several things you can do with these tools once you have them in hand. First, decide who your target market is and where they can be found.

For example, if your business focuses on moms and small children, then it would be a good idea to find ways to submit your marketing materials to them. If you focus on women in general, then you need to find them.

Once you figure this part out, you’re ready to start marketing. You can mail your marketing materials, hand them out, give them away, or include them in packs to be given out. Whatever you do, make sure you do it in a way that is not pushy or inconsiderate, of course

• Online Marketing

Online marketing is done on the Internet. There are so many different ways and places you can market your direct sales business online. Again, you need to decide where your target market spends time online and visit those places to market to them.

Here are some techniques you can use when to market online.

1. Graphic buttons
2. Banners
3. Text ads
4. Social media
5. Blog posts
6. Article marketing
7. Teleseminars
8. Webinars
9. Chats
10. Conferences

Realize that some of the techniques listed above cost money, but others are free. In addition, the amount of money you pay to advertise on one site may be more on another site. Often the amount charged is based on the traffic and the content available on that site.

Social media is something that a lot of people use, and it’s a great tool if used properly. Just be careful when you use sites like Twitter and Facebook. You can lose followers and friends fast if all you post are ads for your business. Instead, post tips, tricks, and good information along with subtle ads for the best results.

With blog posts, and article marketing you’re building trust with your readers so you want to make sure that what you talk about and what you post will help them and be useful to them. For the best results, write things that will help your target market with problems they face or that will prevent the problems from happening in the first place.

With teleseminars, webinars, chats, and conferences you’re teaching things to your listeners, so you want to provide them with detailed, useful and easy to understand information that they want.

Direct sales businesses are fun to work, especially if you choose a company whose products you absolutely love and that you want everyone you know to enjoy. When you use both online and offline marketing to grow your business, you will reach levels you never thought possible in your business, so get started right away!

Generating Leads for your Direct Sales Business

November 18, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing, Growing Your Business · Comments Off on Generating Leads for your Direct Sales Business 

There is one thing that any direct salesperson needs in order to grow her business… leads! Without leads, you have no potential customers and no one to sell your products to. This, of course, translates directly into no profit and pretty soon, no business.

Generating leads can seem a daunting task. No one wants to spend hours on the phone cold calling. But not to worry. Cold calling has been proven ineffective most of the time, anyway. Because you don’t really know the person you’re trying to sell to when cold calling, you can’t possibly expect to know her needs, wants, or interests.

It’s even unlikely that potential customers you call won’t stay on the phone long enough to get to know you or your product well enough to become interested in it. There has to be a better way to generate leads for your direct sales business. The good news is– there is!

When you first start out in direct sales, chances are good that your leads will be people you know and who you see or talk to on a regular basis. Typically, these will be your family and friends. The chances are good that your family and friends will be happy to buy a few products from you when you first start out because they want to support you in your new business endeavor. Your excitement about your new business will also rub off on them and they’ll be excited for you, too.

But you can’t expect your family and friends to be your sole support throughout the course of your business. Sooner, rather than later, you need to generate leads elsewhere. Thankfully, there are many ways to do so.

The most obvious place to generate leads for your direct sales business is at home parties. Here, not only will you find a roomful of people who are already interested in your products, but you can ask these customers for the names and numbers of people they know who might also be interested in your products.

Offering an incentive to current customers to entice them to hand over a list of contacts is a great way to get them involved! Ask each guest at each of your parties for a list of at least five prospect names.

Offer a special product to the guest who provides you with the longest list of names. If you still find you can’t get prospect names, hand out your business card to everyone at the party and encourage them to pass your name and number on to friends and family. You can still offer discounted products or incentives to those who refer someone to you. Just have the referral mention the name of the one who sent her to you.

Another great way to generate leads for your direct sales business is to team up with a retailer who reaches a similar market but who is not a direct competitor. For instance, if you sell makeup, try finding a clothing retailer or a hair salon that will let you set up a display in a corner of her store.

Include sample products, catalogues, and information about you and your business. Offer a drawing for potential customers to enter and take a chance on winning a free gift. On each ballot have entrants write down their names and phone numbers. People understand you’ll need this information to notify them if they win the prize. And you’ll have a full list of new, potential customers.

The key to generating leads for your direct sales business is to think creatively. Contact everyone you know, offer incentives and products to people for referring possible leads, and get the word out about your business. you’ll soon discover leads all around you. At that point, it’s up to you to identify them and contact them with your product information.

Three Successful Direct Sales Training Techniques

November 13, 2009 · Filed Under Building your Downline, Direct Sales Marketing · Comments Off on Three Successful Direct Sales Training Techniques 

When you’re in direct sales leadership, training your team is everything. That’s what helps you and your team grow and build successful businesses. When you grow, you’ll each be able to take your businesses to the next level and that’s what it’s all about.

There are a number of ways you can offer training to your recruits. Maybe you’ve considered some of these, or maybe you haven’t. But all of them are easy to implement and some of these ideas can be accessed online by your recruits when they have the time.

With the ability to grow your business online and have recruits from all over the country, using different training methods is a must because of location and time differences. Here are a few of the many training tools you can implement.

1. YouTube

When you hold training locally, record it and then upload it as a video on YouTube. When you create your video, you’ll receive an embedding code unique to your video that you can use to add the video to your website. You can also send your recruits the direct link and they can watch the video right from the YouTube site.

Any type of training session can be recorded and uploaded via YouTube. The more you training offer, the better off you’ll be and the more you and your team will grow. In direct sales, one of the fastest ways to grow your business is by building a team of other successful consultants. The best way to do this is to show them the latest and greatest techniques they can use. It’s a win-win situation all around.

2. MP3

Typically, direct sales business owners work their businesses when they do because that’s the only time they have. Because of family obligations, outside jobs, children to raise and more, direct sales consultants often have to squeeze in moments to build their business.

When you do training sessions where your team has to attend at a set time, it can take away time that they can use to grow their businesses. But recording your training sessions and offering them as MP3 files, allows team members to download the files to their computers or iPods and listen when they can.

Providing this training method gives team members the ability to listen to the training while they wash dishes, vacuum the floor, or drive the kids to events. Providing this freedom will help your team members learn and grow on their own time. That’s a huge benefit for them.

3. PDF or PowerPoint Presentations

When you offer a PDF or PowerPoint option to your recruits, you’ll be giving them the ability to print the training documents and have them readily available to refer back to.

This option can come in especially handy at a home party or other event when a questions arises that your recruit may not know how to answer. Printing out the documents you provide and placing them in a three-ring notebook that she can take with her will be prove extremely beneficial to your team members.

The three techniques listed here are just a few of the many options you have when to offer training for your recruits. When you keep them informed and give them valuable information they can use, your team will grow and in turn, your business will grow. This is important for the entire team. A stagnant team that isn’t growing will start to die.

Consider all your training options and choose the ways you can best help your specific team. Offer them all the knowledge you can and ask for suggestions so you can offer them what they want individually. If someone makes a suggestion, more than likely, other team members would use that resource as well.

Helping others is the best way to grow your direct sales business. Not only will your team grow, but you will as well. That’s the purpose behind your business, so give your team everything they need to succeed and your own success will follow.

Getting Started in Direct Sales

November 6, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing · Comments Off on Getting Started in Direct Sales 

Been thinking about getting involved in this lucrative business of direct sales? Looking for a fun way to make some extra cash? This could be just the thing for you.

Starting your own direct sales business can open a door of opportunity that will allow you to surround yourself with something you love and make extra money doing it. Whether you want to start throwing purse parties at your home, start cooking demonstrations, or sell jewelry online through a website, direct sales could be the perfect business that you’ve been looking for.

Direct sales is simply selling products or services directly to the consumer, rather than to a business. It can be done through face-to-face contact or online, through catalogs only, or by holding home parties.

Anyone who loves dealing with people and has passion for helping them find the products they need at an affordable price can build a great business in direct sales. This is a business that women, in particular, find very appealing. That’s because it can be done from home and can be built around busy schedules filled with taking kids to school and extra-circular activities and just being a mom.

The amount of income earned in a direct sales business is completely dependent upon you. There’s no pressure to sell, so it makes a great part-time income for some, or just a nice way to earn nice bonuses and free products for simply throwing parties.

After becoming more comfortable with your business and seeing the potential for real income, many people turn this part-time business into full-time so they can earn all the bonuses and incentives the company offers.

You may wonder what you should sell when you decide that direct sales is for you. This is a big decision. There are hundreds of opportunities available, from holding candle to lingerie parties, or selling kitchenware through cooking parties. If there is a hobby or interest out there, there’s a direct sales opportunity associated with it. This doesn’t mean that you should enter into direct sales selling just anything.

In order to be successful at direct sales, you need to really be passionate about what you’re selling. You’ll make the most profit in direct sales if you enjoy people and feel comfortable talking to them.

Catalogues, parties, and sales supplies make it easy for direct sales consultants to share their products and services. But a shining attitude and a true enthusiasm for what you’re selling with take you a long way. After all, if you don’t believe in the product, why should anyone else? If you’re excited about the products you’re offering, that excitement is bound to rub off on customers and prospects. So make the decision about what company to join based on what you can really get excited about.

There are a huge volume of direct sales opportunities. Sadly, some direct sales companies are more concerned about profiting from new recruits than they are from actual customers.

Most direct sales companies are completely legitimate and can provide you with the means to earn a great income. But just like with anything else, there are some less reputable companies that take advantage of new consultants by requiring huge sums of money upfront. Not to say you shouldn’t invest anything! You probably should. Just be cautious of what you’re getting in return.

Reputable companies will can be found by asking around, reading the fine print on consultant agreements and calling the Better Business Bureau. Be sure a company has been in business awhile and that they don’t have a lot of customer complaints against them before you sign up.

Starting your own direct sales business can be fun and very profitable. Just think about what you’d like to do, take some time to check out a company before you sign up, and be prepared to give it your best effort. With a plan like that, you’re sure to be a success with direct sales!

Presentation Skills for Home Party Plan Consultants

October 1, 2009 · Filed Under Direct Sales Marketing, Successful Home Parties · Comments Off on Presentation Skills for Home Party Plan Consultants 

One thing that isn’t often mentioned by direct sales trainers or home party plan consultants is the need to give a decent presentation during a home party. You must inform and entertain your audience so they will believe what you say about your products and be enthused enough to buy them from you!

This is such an important aspect of a successful home party plan business that it’s surprising there’s not more discussion about it. In an effort to fill the void for presentation training information, here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for your next home party product demonstration.

According to Peter Urs Bender in “Secrets of Power Presentations,” there are five key components to delivering a successful presentation. They are:

1. The Speech: This is the actual presentation itself, the language and words you use. Your verbal expressions. How well you write and/or communicate your message.

TIP: Write out your script, or at least some notes, on 3″ x 5″ index cards so you can stay on track with what you want to say during the entire presentation. Include an introduction, a word of appreciation to your hostess, the story of how you came to be a consultant, games, product demonstration, business opportunity, questions and answers, order taking and anything else you need to say.

2. Body Language: This is how you stand, the gestures you make, whether or not you make eye contact with your audience, and even how you dress. This can include underlying fear, over-confidence, and other perceptions that come through whether consciously or subconsciously.

TIP: Look your best and you’ll be more confident. Wear something you like, in a flattering color that looks good on you. Navy is a good color for a more professional appearance, red will make your audience “stand up and take notice.”

Keep your make-up to a minimum, hair well-kempt but not overdone. Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be standing for awhile. And above all… SMILE! It does wonders for your face.

Also, don’t overdo hand gestures, don’t fidget, and don’t whisper. A well-modulated, well-controlled voice in a pleasant tone is ideal.

3. Equipment: This relates to the kind and type of audio visuals you use, overheads, microphones and even helpers, if applicable, and how well you use them.

TIP: If you use posters or placards, be sure they’re laid out in order before the demonstration starts. Jot down notes on the back of any visuals you use so you know what they are and can show them without having to “peek around” or turn them over to explain.

4. Environment: This involves the choice of location for your presentation, the lighting, room set-up, temperature, noise level and other aspects of the physical environment where you’ll make your presentation.

TIP: Arrive early to set up your display table and products. Be sure to take a table of your own, even if the hostess offers one to ensure you have enough space, and include a tablecloth for added appeal.

Ask your hostess to adjust the temperature if needed so that guests don’t get too warm and fall asleep, or too cold and want to rush out the door. Also ask her to hold refreshments until after the demonstration so guests can focus on you and the products.

5. Preparation: This, of course, if how well prepared you are. Whether or not you’ve studied your script, prepared handouts, rehearsed introductions, presentation speed, and anything else associated with advance preparation.

TIP: This is the portion of your demonstration that you have full and complete control over. Dedicated preparation will make a huge difference in the success of your presentation.

Practice everything you will say and do until it becomes second nature. Practice does make perfect. And while the first demonstration may feel stilted and uncomfortable, if you hang in there, the fifth or sixth will be much easier. By the tenth, you’ll feel like an “old pro.”

Presentation skills can be learned. This isn’t necessarily something you’re born with, though “natural talkers” will–by nature–be more at ease presenting in front of a group. But even those who are naturally shy can learn to put on a good demonstration and present their products in the most favorable light in order to increase their home party sales.

Keep these ideas in mind as you prepare your next home party product demonstration. Planning for each aspect will help ensure you come across as a knowledgeable professional and will give you the confidence you need to make your next–and each following–home party a tremendous success.

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