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The Real Truth About the Direct Selling Party Plan Method of Marketing

Aug 3, 2008
In a society of information overload and overcrowded daily schedules, direct sellers are faced with many challenges. These challenges vary but are often tied to a lack of time to get their job done.

Despite the challenge of a lack of time to effectively make sales, there are a few strategies that a direct seller can use to leverage their time and effort effectively. Even if you are working part-time in this industry, you can leverage your time and effort profitably through the party plan method of marketing. In fact, according to the Direct Selling Association's Growth & Outlook Survey Report, nearly 30% of all sales in the Direct Selling Industry are made through a party plan method.

In this article, we will discuss the real truth about the direct selling party plan method. We will share how you can get the most out of using this method within your own direct selling business. You will learn the real power of using the party plan method and how to tap that power so you achieve greater cash flow, growth, and profits.

A sad truth in this industry is the fact that those who consider themselves network marketers or multi-level marketers overlook the simplicity and extreme value in selling through party plans. While there are many of these people who use a group environment for recruiting purposes as an opportunity meeting, all too often they fail to recognize the power of group selling and often shrug off the party plan method because they misunderstand the true benefits such a method can bring to their business.

Most of these people fail to recognize the fact that customers are the life-blood of their business and that they are paid solely for the acquisition and retention of customers. Regardless of whether you focus strictly on your own sales or expand your business through building your network marketing downline team, you only make money when a product or service is sold.

Direct selling is one of the most lucrative business models of free enterprise. Not only can you benefit from the sales you make to your customers, but you can expand your earning potential and literally develop an exponential growing residual income through a network of other direct sellers.

One of the most important decisions you can make as a direct seller is to become a leader who leads by example and with action. Do not worry about whether or not you can sell or even if you can recruit others to sell. The fact is you can develop the necessary skills to get your job done. While it will take effort over time, when you lead with action and show your team that it is no big deal to go out and get customers, your team will duplicate that effort.

Now I realize that there are many people who believe in the philosophy of "recruit, recruit, recruit", but our jobs require us to get customers in order to earn money. All too often, direct sellers make the mistake of focusing strictly on recruiting because they feel they can't sell. However, what most upline leaders will not tell their team is the fact that statistics prove recruiting is the hardest form of selling in this industry.

If you truly want to improve your cash flow, experiencing exponential growth in your income and overall business profits, you need to develop a customer base of loyal customers. This does not happen through focusing on recruiting as your primary means of building your direct sales business.

Party plan selling (aka group selling) is a powerful method of marketing because it puts you in front of more prospects and customers at one given time. Whether you have a half dozen people in attendance or a room of fifty people, using a party plan method to showcase your products and services can be a simple method for increasing your personal sales and immediate income.

TIP - Never underestimate the power of a loyal base of customers.

Something every direct seller needs to know is that they can't survive long term in this industry if they have no customers. They also need to know that they must develop their selling skills and master the fundamentals of direct selling if they ever want to become effective in recruiting and building a strong happy, productive, and duplicating profitable downline team.

The good news is these skills are simple to learn and easy to implement. In fact, you can even learn the basic required universal fundamentals that guarantee success all within one day through a course that covers the direct selling fundamentals. In such a course, you can even learn the fundamentals of the party plan method of marketing, so you can quickly develop a solid base of repeat customer orders.

While the party plan method is one of the most powerful methods for acquiring customer sales in a short period of time, most direct sellers misunderstand this method of marketing. They make the mistake of focusing on the wrong things.

The one thing that most direct sellers overlook is the fact that the party plan model is not about you, your product, or your company. The truth is the party plan model is about your host and their guests. Think about this for a few minutes.

Why would anyone attend your event? Why would anyone be the host? Why would they buy your products or services? The answer is simple - for their reasons and their reasons alone. These people do not care about you, your product, or even your company. What they do care about are their own wants and needs.

Understand that your job is to acquire customers and help retain those customers so they order month after month after month - from you! To accomplish this task, you must connect with your prospect in a way that they feel you understand their wants and needs. If you make your party plan or group selling environment all about yourself and your company, you will never unleash the full potential that this method of marketing can bring you.

Another mistake many direct sellers make with the party plan method is they focus on the show (your party) as the end event. It is important to understand that the party is the beginning event. While you want sales generated from your event, it is not the event itself that brings the fortune; rather the fortune is made in the follow-up.

One of the worst mistakes direct sellers make is to focus only on the show (their event) and the people present. Making this mistake will cause you to automatically lose a ton of cash and profits. When you begin to understand that the show is the beginning and that your fortune is made in the follow-up, you will begin to have greater cash flowing through your direct selling business.

Never overlook the fact you have prospects who were invited that did not make it to the show, you have those who did show but did not buy. You also have those people that showed up and bought product. All of these people are your prospective customers and customers. If you follow-up through effective one-on-one techniques, you can nurture and grow the relationships into a powerfully lucrative customer base.

TIP - The biggest waste of money is to do a show and then never follow-up.

Keep in mind that the true power behind the party plan method is in your ability to generate additional sales (and long-term residual profits). This comes from the people who order at the show and those who do not. Make sure you follow-up and follow-through with all your prospects and customers.

Now the secret to a successful show (your party plan method), especially if you want to do a show that produces initial show sales of over $1000, is in how well you connect and coach your hostess (or host). The host is the key to getting people to the show.

It is not how many people they can get to the show, but rather the overall portfolio of people, including those who show up and those that don't. Your show success will be directly tied to the potential attendees, regardless of whether they show up to the event or not. Encourage your host to look beyond the show itself and the possibilities from a combined show and catalog order portfolio to earn their rewards.

TIP - use a show as a way to build your prospect list. Then cultivate that list through effective follow-up and follow-through.

While the host can often work very hard, many times harder than you, it is critical that you make their job as easy and fun as possible. In case you don't realize it, your host will often have a poor turn out for the same reasons your downline has a poor turn out. It all relates to action or lack thereof.

Make certain you are prepared by working from a plan of action. Reward your host and properly coach your host so they can get their part of the job done. However, don't rely totally on your host doing all the work. This is your business and you need to be proactive in the action before, during, and after the show. The party plan method is powerful and will lead you to many more sales from your prospects and customers in the future. Remember, the fortune of the party plan method is in the follow-up.

Now that you know the real truth to the direct selling party plan method of marketing, make sure you implement this method consistently within your business. Use the party plan method as a way to grow your prospect list and your database of customers. Never forget that the way you make your money in direct sales is through customer acquisition and customer retention - and the fortune is in the follow-up, not the show itself!
About the Author
Jeff Zalewski is a Certified Training Consultant & CEO of Direct Selling Academy, Inc., your training & performance improvement resource. Jeff intertwines his knowledge & in-the-field experience throughout his training and performance improvement resources. Subscribe FREE to his Direct Selling Pro eNewsletter at http://www.directsellingacademy.com
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