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Picking the Right Party Plan Company - Ask All the Right Questions

Oct 11, 2007
A Direct Sales Party Plan business is a great way to find financial freedom but picking the right party plan company can make all the difference.

So before you become an independent representative here are the sort of questions you need to ask and be happy with the answers when choosing a party plan company:

1. What do you sell and what makes it unique in your local area?

2. Who's your target audience, type of customer, create a picture for yourself?

3. What is the cost to start? And what is included in that cost?

4. What is the average party spend across the company - not just the top sellers?

5. What percentage commission do you make from your sales (as a starting consultant)?

6. How often are commissions paid? How are commissions paid, can they be paid directly into savings accounts?

7. What is the company's minimum monthly quota?

8. What are the commission structures for the company? What is the profit margin?

9. Does your company offer online catalogs that can be ordered from? Is there a charge? How does commission work for online orders?

10. Does the company offer your own website space to market and sell through? Is there a charge? Is there internet marketing training provided, is there a fee?
11. Are email accounts provided for professional presentation? Is there a cost?

12. What incentives are offered; trips, cars, cash bonuses, conventions etc?

13. How are products delivered - directly or do you have to run around making deliveries with the extra costs involved?

14. What are the customer and consultant shipping charges for supplies and orders? This can greatly vary between companies and seriously influence customer buying decisions and your commission income.

15. Do you have to purchase all of your own marketing materials? How much is the average spend on marketing materials? Is there a supplier list?

16. How seasonal is the product? What is the realistic potential for year round income?

17. What is the unique selling point for the company - is it set up for the growing market demand for natural, fair trade, organic products? Is it a declining market or industry?

18. What is the education program like? What's included in the monthly programs and meetings; CD's, books, message boards, forums, newsletters?

19. What is the support community like, where do they meet online and offline? Use forums for specific party plan company recommendations.

20. Who pays for the hostess rewards? Are there products for instant gratification sales or promotional rewards such as for party bookings?

21. Are you required to pay for any part of the hostess gifts or administration fees with your commission or direct payments? What's the impact on your commission income?

22. What is the return policy for the company?

23. What are the sales tax requirements?

24. What is the company's buy-back policy and the time frames involved?

25. Does the company allow party plan consultants to sell product at local fairs, festivals, shows or events? Doing shows can increase direct sales and party bookings for you but some companies are not structured to allow for cash and carry sales.

26. Are you able to carry stock to satisfy customers' need for instant gratification, use for promotional rewards and sales and how much do you pay for them - what percentage?

27. How much do you pay for display and promotional products? If there is a discount, at what point do you need to pay any balance amounts? Do you need to provide your own display stands?

28. Does the company have a fundraising program facility?

29. What are the exit costs for leaving the company such as promotional goods, marketing materials and products?

30. What are the typical questions a consultant asks in the first three months - this can give you an idea about any quirky procedures.

31. How many other consultants are working in your area - is it at or will soon be at saturation levels?
About the Author
Belinda Stinson is the designer and owner of http://CreativelyBelle.com - a popular jewelry and earring holder store.

See Belinda's designs at www.CreativelyBelle.com/design and join the free newsletter for new designs and sales news.
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