Direct Sales Success: Expectations Set the Tone

When I work with clients on their target marketing, one of the biggest areas of contention is the realization that ultimately, everyone is not their target market.

No, everyone that fogs up a mirror is not your prospect. Neither is everyone who showers (if you’re in skincare), everyone who eats (if you sell kitchen gadgets or food), or everyone with kids (if you sell toys or educational goodies).

You’ve got to be a little more specific.

For example, if you choose to service a local, offline, market, then people more than 100 miles from your home would not be part of your target market. This limits the number of people you can serve.

And that word, “limits”, seems to put a stranglehold on a consultant faster than a rope ‘n ride at the rodeo.

They want to serve everyone. Because if they don’t serve everyone, how will they get enough clients for their business.

Then I try to remind them of this episode of I Love Lucy:

You can’t possibly serve everyone and do a good job.
Really. You can’t.

So, why not change your expectations? establish a market that you CAN serve, and that you WANT to serve.

And expectations go both ways. Be sure to let your target market know what they can expect from you, how you expect to serve them, and how they can expect to hear from you. here are some suggestions to help set the tone with new clients in your target market:

1. Lay out the ground rules from the get-go.
Tell them your guest lists typically have 40-50 names on them, and that you usually get them back within 3 days. If they have problems with that, you’ll be more than happy to help them in person, or to direct them to another consultant that would be glad to work with them.

2. Express your excitement about helping your host have a successful show. Your best shows are going to have a certain number of guests (get this info from your statistics from last year). Let your hosts and guests know what they can expect if the evening is a success for everyone.

3. Decide in advance what kind of show you want to have. Leave nothing to chance. I have had success inviting my “go only” guests to other people’s parties. If a guest says “I only go to parties, I don’t host them” I put them on a list so that when I have a host that’s struggling to get RSVP’s, I can call them up and invite them to the party. The host thinks I’m her hero, and the guest appreciates being remembered and treated respectfully.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to make the most of your business, policies and procedures. your home office lays the foundation, but the framework is built by you. Your expectations set the tone for the outcome of your parties AND your business as a whole.

Expect more to get more.


  1. heatheramyprice

    LOVE the Lucy episode! 🙂

    Having "go only" gals is a GREAT IDEA. I recently went to a jewelry party for instance and know that I'll never host a jewelry party because I'm simply not interested enough— for my hosting efforts I'm much more interested in cooking stuff or scrapbooking— I'm not going to host more than 2-3 times a year. But I'd be willing to be invited to a handful more jewelry parties this year- I had a great time and bought something fun and I'd do it again.

  2. the coolest girl on the planet - HA!

    Then you should approach the consultant and let her know!

    If she was one of my clients, I'd be telling her to approach YOU about being a "go only girl", but I don't have a lot of jewelry consultants in Ohio as clients right now 🙂

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