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Three Tips For Bookings That Hold

handshakeYear after year, the number one problem that direct sales consultants seem to have is getting bookings. The problem, however isn’t usually with getting the bookings, it’s with getting bookings that actually hold on their original scheduled date. Once a consultant masters this skill, the rest, as they say becomes easy. Why? Because the lessons learned in mastering your booking calendar apply across the board in any entrepreneurial endeavor.

Here are my three top tips for getting better bookings that consistently hold on the date they schedule.

Three Tips For Better Bookings In Your Direct Sales Business

1. Pre-Qualify. There’s a difference between pre-qualifying and pre-judging. Pre-judging means you’re assuming they are/aren’t a good fit. Pre-qualifying means they’ve giving you specific information that indicates their fit. You should always extend the offer to book a show to every guest at a party. They’re already in the room, so that makes sense. But once you’ve offered (or if you’re away from a party), don’t press. Instead, interview.

Ask questions that will give you insight as to whether or not the person would make a successful host. Questions like “Do you get together regularly with your friends?” or “Can you think of anyone that would really appreciate a night out with friends?” will help them think about a guest list (see tip #2), and help you see if they’re a good candidate for hosting a party. Like joining the business, hosting a party is something anyone can do, but not everyone will, and not everyone should. Pre-qualifying goes a long way in determining the quality of your host (and her party) before a date is ever on the calendar.

2. Give them what they need when they need it – and not a moment before. Some of the host packets I’ve seen could bludgeon a small mammal to death! Your host doesn’t need twenty eight pieces of paper, plus the catalogs, order forms and other stuff to keep track of – even if it is in a beautiful gift bag or handy-dandy envelope.  Don’t overwhelm a host with too much to handle at one time. Remember, a confused mind says no.

Keep the initial packet simple and attractive. Initially, your host’s primary focus needs to be a guest list, THEN a wish list. Everything else is secondary. I designed a simple follow-up system for my clients to use to “drip” information to hosts a little at a time (as they need it) leading up to their show. Be sure to keep in contact. The two biggest reasons a host cancels are because they haven’t invited anyone, and because they haven’t heard from you. Those are BOTH in your control.

3. Don’t make it too easy for them. Set expectations and communicate them. Be clear on what you’re willing to do to ensure a successful show and tell your host what they need to do in partnership with you. If a host doesn’t want to abide those expectations, don’t be surprised when your shows cancel – or worse, only one person attends. If you’re staying consistent with your follow up system, the only reason for a low turn out should be last minute emergencies, which should be a rarity.

Frequency and consistency are the key. It’s better to reach out more frequently with small contacts than to overwhelm your hosts with a laundry list of stuff. Plus, the easier you make it for your hosts, the more likely they are to consider joining your business. Keep it successfully simple and you’ll have higher show sales, better attendance, and shows that hold on their original booking date.

Essentially, this comes down to booking a better quality host in the first place – one that own’t flake out on you. When you fill your calendar with higher quality hosts, you’ll have better shows on the calendar, and probably won’t need to book as many shows in the first place. It takes relatively the same amount effort to host a $250 show as it does a $1000 show, so why not make quality, instead of quantity, your goal?

Your business, and your family, will thank you for it.