by Deb Bixler
If you are involved in conducting home party plan shows, there is a good chance that you have been in plenty of circumstances where your party ended up being canceled. In some cases, a cancellation simply cannot be avoided. Don’t let this fact get to you. In these cases, it is almost always possible to reschedule the party.
There are other cancellations that can be prevented, however. Generally speaking, these types of cancellations can be avoided long before they actually happen. Often, parties are cancelled because not enough guests are invited, or not enough have shown up. Here are some suggestions to help you understand what you can do to reduce cancellations in your direct sales business.
Send Home Party Invitations
One of the most effective steps that you can take is to send out the invitations on your own. Of course, a host may be concerned about giving away the names and addresses of her or his guests. Let your hosts know that you will not hold onto the information, and that you won’t contact the guests unless they ask to be contacted.
Offer to call the guests for the hostess. Let her know that if you do this, you can offer a free gift to every guest who brings a friend. Put yourself in charge of all the RSVPs to the extent that this is possible without offending anybody. You will have a great deal more success as a result.
Consider Dual Party Hosts
If you find yourself with a host who does not know a lot of people, find out if she or he would like to work with another host. There is nothing wrong with having two hosts for a party. In many cases, this will bring in enough people that both of the hosts will be able to win their own free products. Always encourage every host to have a friend be a co-host to increase guest attendance.
Have A Follow-Up Timeline
One of the most important things that you can do is stick to a timeline. Make sure that the invitations are sent out well in advance, but not too far in advance. Ideally a phone call first, then the invitations could go out about 3 weeks before the show. Too soon and people will forget about the party before it happens. Too late and everybody’s schedules will be full. It will take some time in direct sales before you find the right balance. The timing is different for each market. Make sure that all of the guests get follow up phone calls to remind them of the party.
Partner With Your Hostess
Ask the hostess to get in touch with anybody that didn’t make it to the party for follow-up orders. The same goes for anybody who made it but couldn’t buy any products for one reason or another. If the party was friend-oriented, ask her to see about getting sales from her family. If it was family-oriented, see if she can get orders from her friends.
Have the hostess ask for pre-orders from any of their friends who will not be able to make it to the party. It is highly desirable to already have some sales before the party takes place.
About the author: Deb Bixler is a direct sales coach and trainer, offering more party plan tips and show techniques at http://bit.ly/debbixler
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