Most direct sales consultants are rolling up their sleeves and heading “back to business” as their children head back to school.
In truth, the holiday sales season is already in full swing, as parents are quickly filling their fall calendar with events, to-do’s, and other commitments that don’t include your direct sales business. It’s even more important now that you’re filling your calendar early, and host coaching often, in order to have successful holiday shows that stick.
Here are 5 quick tips to help you make the most of the holiday selling season that’s on now:1. Book early with potential hosts. Holiday calendars fill up quickly, and if you want to be on the calendar in the first place, you need to be reaching out and scheduling those parties now. It also means you need to be more stringent in hostess coaching. Be sure to implement your follow-up system and stick to it for best results in holding shows you’ve booked.
2. Set expectations. Let your hostess in on your follow-up system and pre-show contact times so that she knows what to expect. It also holds you a bit more accountable to sticking to your follow up system. If she’s expecting you to call and you don’t, the show’s less likely to hold. On the other hand, if you tell her you’re going to email, and you do, she’ll be expecting it, so you don’t appear pushy.
3. Close the night of the show. If you don’t do this throughout the year (as I’ve suggested in the past), make SURE you do it during the holidays. simply put, products go on back order or out of stock so much faster during the holidays. An item that’s in stock in the morning can be sold out before your show that night – especially if it’s a limited edition item. in order to assure your guests will actually get the items they’re ordering before the holiday deadline, let everyone know you’ll close the show on the night of the party.
4. Bring limited edition products with you (cash & carry) to avoid issues with stop-sell and back-orders. I’m not one for carrying an inventory, but if you’re going to carry some extra items in your kit, the limited edition items are a good choice. It encourages impulse shopping for last-minute cash & carry gifts, and makes you look like the hero if the product they wanted goes out of stock before the show order ships. It feels good to say “this item is sold out, but I have two left that I brought with me tonight.” I’ve sold hundreds of dollars of products right off my table the night of a holiday show because people wanted to take them home with them. I also had a stash of gift bags they could purchase to “wrap” the gift before they left for the evening. If they purchased a certain amount of products, I’d give them the gift bag at no charge. You can easily add the total for the purchases to the show total for the host’s credits, making it a win-win for everyone.
Warning: do not carry a ton of holiday products if you don’t have the budget for it. There’s no sense going into debt on a “maybe” and then get stuck at the end of the season with products that didn’t sell. I was two years into my business before I started carrying extra limited edition sets to my shows for cash & carry. I used unused hostess credits and other “hidden money” to save up and purchase these products to have on hand. Don’t put yourself in the poorhouse to schlep a truck load of products to a party.
5. Use the Full-Service Checkout. It pays to spend quality time with every guest at a holiday party. Sometimes everyone’s in a hurry, but taking the time to do the Full Service Checkout we discuss in Direct Sales 101 gives you the time to review the order, present additional upsell options, as well as share the opportunity and booking options with each buying guest. Leaving money on the table at a show is almost always due to the fact that consultants feel too rushed to treat each customer individually. If you have a handful of people in a rush, have everyone take a number, and service them in that order. Most people don’t mind and appreciate the extra attention and gift-buying consideration of the full-service checkout.
Bonus tip: You have to make hosting and attending a show as easy as possible for a host during the holidays. With so many things vying for the attention of your hosts, the less they have to handle the better. You can easily have thousand-dollar shows (or more) when you make it effortless for your hosts and guests to spend their money with you. Each of these five tips is geared to doing exactly that.
Here’s to a very happy holiday season!
© 2010 Lisa Robbin Young.
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Lisa Robbin Young offers direct sales coaching and training to direct sales professionals looking to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at http://www.homepartysolution.com.