Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to increase Attendance at Your Direct Sales Parties

We're heading into the most busy and lucrative time of year in the direct selling industry. I always loved the fall because the products were fun and I was doing lots of home parties (which I also loved). The thing I loved most about doing home parties was how much fun it was to be a part of the group. I loved creating an experience for my host and her friends that brought everyone together. Part of that experience relies on the host having a party full of fun guests. That's always important, but during the fall it's essential, because so much of your income for the year comes from those parties. 
My Calendar - blank calendar for kids
So the million dollar question is, how do you support your host in filling up her living room with guests?
Here are five of my best ideas: 
  1. Make sure your hosts chooses a theme. I always ask participants at my live events, "Would you rather attend a bread and water party or a Mexican Fiesta?" Get it? A theme says "Come party with me" not "come to my house and spend money." 

  2. Create and send a fun, compelling invitation that features that theme. And no, your company's simple post card invitations really don't count. Honestly, think of your reaction the last time you received a post card invitation in the mail to another home party. How excited were you to attend? See what I mean.

  3. Create a relationship with your host prior to her party. Host coaching is the key to success in the party plan business. Period. Your host will work hard at promoting your party and making it a success if she feels a connection with you and likes you. And a nice added perk to host coaching is that, if you're offering your opportunity to your host as part of that experience, you'll generally sponsor 1 out of every five to seven hosts.

  4. Give your host clear instructions. This is so important. I say all the time people won't open their mouths if they don't know what to say. And I've found that people generally do what they're told. So give your host a goal to make follow up calls at least two days prior to her party and do a little role playing that shares some enthusiastic language about how much fun the theme is going to be so she knows what to say. Some consultants even take on this task for their hosts. Just make sure it's getting done.

  5. Follow-up often. Believe it or not, your party isn't as big a priority for your host as it is for you. And you want them to understand that you're there to support them. So, make a follow up call about a week prior to the party just to touch bases and share your excitement for her upcoming party. Then follow up at least two days prior to the party to remind her to make follow-up calls and the day before the party to make final plans.
The bottom line is, you hopefully have more parties booked from September through November than any other time of the year, and it's up to you to give your host the tools she needs to fill up those parties so you get the results you want, for her and yourself. The host is the catalyst, so take some time to think about how you support her and to implement some of the five tips above. And if you've got a great tip for filling up your parties with enthusiastic guests, I'd love to hear it.
Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, keynote speaker, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services and to read more blog posts, visit her at

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