Direct Sales Success: Incentivizing Hosts

As I coach  my hosts, one of the things I often do is include incentives for the actions I want them to take.

Frankly, if my host and I are a partnership, it’s important to me that she keeps up her end of the partnership. My job is to help her have the most successful show possible: happy guests that spend lots of money so she gets tons of free and half priced products.

In my experience, there are a few things that help make a show successful right from the get-go:
1. plenty of guests
2. outside orders
3. bookings before the show

If those things are in place, the show is a success before I even arrive. Plus, it helps me to know I’m already making money on this show before I even head out to do the party.

The best way to encourage your hosts to demonstrate this kind of behavior is to incentivize their actions.
I use a special business card sized “cheat sheet” (that I share with my Direct Sales 101 clients) that outlines exactly how I will reward my host for helping me make the event successful.

But you don’t need to be a client to do the same thing. Here’s what I recommend:
1. decide what are the most important outcomes from your show (bookings, sales, recruits, etc)
2. decide what actions are required to get those results (calls to make, guests at the show, etc)
3. figure out how much of that burden should fall on your hostess (creating a guest list, making RSVP calls, etc)
4. decide what kind of incentives you can give your hostess for completing those actions.

It can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. My primary focus is always on the guest list. That’s my insurance policy for a successful party. The better the guest list the more successful the show, almost across the board. I would offer a small gift to my hostess when her guest list contained 40 or more different names and addresses.

Gifts don’t need to be big or fancy, but they should be commensurate with the reward you’re getting in return. For example, if I had a host that collected $500 in outisde orders, I might give her a $10-20 gift on top of her host bonus rewards. That’s $500 I didn’t really have to work for, and that’s my way of thanking her for making our partnership successful. On the other hand, if she collected $20 in outside orders, I might offer her a free sample product or an extra draw from my mystery gift grab bag. Think about your gifts as if you were the one receiving them. Would you feel special or truly appreciated? If not, it’s probably not a gift worth offering.

When you incentivize your hosts, you train them to perform their duties and “keep up their end” of the business relationship. Set the expectation for success. You are not a slave. You are a partner in a successful business endeavor. Train your hosts so that they know what it takes to have a successful show.

© 2010 Lisa Robbin Young.

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Lisa Robbin Young is a certified direct sales marketing coach, teaching direct sellers to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at