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Stop Postponements in the Home Party Business -Part 1

Apr 12, 2008
Postponements are surly one of the most irritating things in the direct sales business. Recently I realized that one main reason for postponements is that direct sales consultants don't understand how to help their hostesses to be successful. Too many direct sales consultants assume that any one that books a home party product show knows how these things work, namely, the amount of free product the hostess gets at her home show depends on the guests' sales. Therefore, the hostess won't get any free product, if the hostess doesn't invite people that buy.

It would appear that everyone understands that, so it seems silly or at least redundant to teach a hostess the obvious. That's why most direct sales consultants focus on booking the home party, and then drop the ball once they've sent out a hostess package; they think their job is done until the night of the show.

My goal right now is to prove to you just how false that assumption is, that assumption that hostesses know what to do. They don't. I'll share a personal story to show you what I mean.

One day I received a call from someone I had known for many years. Both of us had a long career in direct sales. As it turned out, she was starting up with a new direct sales company and of course wanted me to book a show for her. Once she had a date in her calendar, she got my address, and told me she'd send me an email and a hostess packet in the mail.

The day after I booked the show, she sent me an email with an email invitation to use. Two days later I found a hostess packet in the mail. I have to give her some gold stars for being quick about getting those things to me. But here's the problem, that's all the help I received.

Certainly I could have taken an hour or more to address the postcards she sent me in my hostess packet. But let me ask you this. Do you run to your calendar when someone sends you a postcard to go to a home party? If you do, let me break the news here, most people don't. In fact, most people throw that postcard into the trash.

Yes, I know this is going to hurt, but most people consider home party invitations to be junk mail, which is why they go right to the trash. Considering that I know that, how useful were those invitations and all the time I would spend addressing them and filling out the information? Well, not very.
All right, on to the next bit of "help" I received from this consultant, the email invitation. I only had email addresses for 2 of the 13 people I had on my list. So how many people would have committed to coming to that show if I had sent two email invitations? Gee, even with a 100% response, I would have only had two guests. But how likely is it to get a 100% response when you send out an email even for a party WITHOUT products? Right, not likely at all.

Do you see one of the problems I just presented? The tools that this consultant gave me didn't help me to have a successful home show. In fact, I can assure you that if I hadn't put myself through the hostess coaching system I used for my own hostesses, I would definitely have postponed that show. I would have told her that I only had one guest coming and therefore, I wasn't willing to host a show and make her come all the way out for practically nothing. I would have canceled because I wasn't going to have a successful show.

That is a key understanding for you to get right here, right now. Anyone that books a show with you wants to have a successful show, and if she senses that her show is not going to be successful, if she doesn't have guests coming, she will postpone or cancel.

When a potential hostess feels like a failure, you are actually asking a lot of her to call you and admit to and deal with the failure and embarrassment she feels. Most people just won't do that. That, my friend, is called basic human behavior. So stop expecting your potential hostesses to do what is different than what is normal for most humans, and help them to feel like they can be successful by providing some truly useful hostess coaching.
About the Author
Tammy Stanley directs The Sales Refinery and assists direct sales consultants generate more business through powerful marketing strategies. Learn how to 'Stop Postponements in the Home Party Business' at http://www.tammystanley.com/direct_sales_products/ebook.html
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