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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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to improve your home party presentation skills

The presentation is the most important aspect of selling products in the home party plan business. It’s what will show your prospects you really know the products you are selling and is what will motivate them to make purchases. It can also encourage possible recruits to become a part of the business as well. Knowing how to present the products in a way that is aesthetically appealing and pleasing to the ear really makes the difference between potential customers who are still in the “thinking about it” phase and those who have decided to buy onsite.

1. Create an experience for your home party attendees and prospects. You know what they say, if you have a good experience you will tell at least 3 people. However when a bad experience is had, you will tell at least 10 people!    check out  Presentation Skills 201: How to Take it to the Next Level as a Confident, Engaging Presenter
2. Plan: Plan the whole presentation, plan your invites, plan your arrangement, plan the role that you want your hostess to take, plan the drinks, the eats and the games...remember we are looking to create an experience, at the risk of beating a dead horse, When You fail to plan, you are planning to fail!
3. Demonstrate Don't Lecture: Be Interactive, Ask Questions.  No Verbal Diarrhea please do so. I know a lot of folks love to hear the sound of their own voices. However when the crowds eyes are glazed over, practically willing you to put a lid on it, I am here to tell you that YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK, GOOD-BYE! Nothing kills a sale than verbal diarrhea.
4. You know what they say, "If Mohamed cannot come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammed!" Take the home party presentation the homes of people. Don't expect people to go out of their way to accommodate you.
5. Be customer centric : Follow Up and Follow through. What good is it to do a great home party demo and then not deliver products that have been ordered?  Remember a happy customer is one who will continue buy from you and boost your home party sales!  Use 
check out more tips at 10 Deadly Home Party Plan Business Mistakes provides you with 10 factors, which if avoided will sky-rocket home party sales and direct sales profits!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

How to book more home parties & increase your earnings

One of the questions I get asked the most by the ladies in the party plan business  is "how do I get more party bookings?" I've put together a few ideas based upon my own experience. Simply work on these suggestions and you can also be a successful party planner - whatever you choose to sell.
Having parties should be like skipping over stepping stones. One should always lead to another. Yes, there may be a gap here and there to leap across but the trick is to keep getting regular bookings and making one thing lead onto the next.

1. Open House

A particularly easy way to add a booking to your diary is to host a party yourself! Have an open house in your own home to start with or when business is quiet or a special event or sale is coming up (at Easter or Christmas). Display your product range and invite all your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues, basically everyone you know.
Make sure it is at a time to suit most of them and make it clear that it is an informal drop-in. By all means give out invitations, but suggest they simply drop by for a coffee and catch up. People are busy and they don't want to commit to sitting in your home for three hours! Make it easy for them to say yes. Always remind them a couple of days before too!

2. Networking

If you are serious about your business, then you should breathe your business, which means being a super-fly networker! Always have a leaflet or business card on you and don't miss an opportunity to mention your successful enterprise next time you are at the hairdressers, the dentist or even on holiday! Be confident and proud of what you do and you will get extra bookings this way - keep trying and it will work!

3. Party Swaps

A great way to get more party bookings is by having "party swaps". You simply get in touch with the local reps in your area who work for other direct sales companies. You have a party or coffee morning for them at your place with your friends then set a date to go to their home with your products and meet a whole new group of people - with the clear intention that one or two of their friends book future parties with you!! 

4. Incentives

You should offer your party host some kind of gift, whether it be an item on special offer or discount based on your sales. You might also like to try increasing your actual bookings by offering all the people attending a party a gift for actually booking with you there and then. You may be cutting into your profits by giving things away but if this brings in more bookings then consider it an essential part of your marketing budget.

5. Local Events, Fundraisers and Local Businesses

The more events you attend, the more people you will come into contact with which means more potential party hosts. Not only will you be able to sell your goods directly to customers and collect orders at an event like a  church or school craft and vendor  fair, wedding expos  or a Christmas fundraiser, you could also collect names and contact details by running a free prize draw or competition. 
Ask to display the products in a local school staff room for a day or at your doctor's surgery or supermarket. Have 'parties' or arrange 'fairs' with other direct sellers at playgroups or nurseries, children's soft play centres, leisure centres, parks or village halls!

6. Contacts

It pays to be organised and keep a list of all customers, enquiries, party hosts, potential party hosts. Include their contact details and a note about the last contact you had with them. You may be able to remember clearly your first dozen contacts but what about 50 or 100 names! The information you have becomes worthless if you can't remember why you scribbled down someone's name last Christmas - did they want to have a party this Christmas?
Use these precious contacts to book more parties by perhaps sending a newsletter out every few weeks  (check out .Constant Contact makes it easy and affordable to build strong relationships with your customers. Try our FREE 60-Day Trial.) You could perhaps offer a prize to the first three people to book parties! Don't forget to personally follow up all the contacts (preferably with a phone call) as people are often too busy to contact you but may be very interested in your products and having a party.

7. Online Parties

If you are looking for new avenues to increase your direct sales then this is the latest trend. An online party is hosted in a chat room which means the world is literally your oyster as far as who you invite! Preparation includes searching for sites which offer free online party chat rooms, sending email invitations and possibly posting messages on a few of your favourite chat rooms inviting more people.
You could offer a small gift to everyone who attends or give a prize to one of the guests. As with all parties, give incentives or free postage if they order during the party. Include games, and let them know about you and the benefits of your products. Give it a try!

8. Reputation, professionalism and 'word of mouth'

Don't underestimate the power of 'word of mouth' and how you conduct yourself - especially in the party plan business! Your style and persona will have a direct effect on whether you get more bookings. Remember to be professional and courteous at all times as your actions say a lot about you. This doesn't mean you can't be friendly and fun as your reputation for giving great parties (or dull ones) will spread quickly through circles of friends.
Always aim to improve upon things, perhaps giving out a questionnaire once in a while or asking friends for tips and feedback. Whatever you may be 'selling', do remember that you are hosting 'parties' so make them fun, informative and entertaining.

9. Re-bookings

Another simple way to increase bookings is to ask your host to re-book. It could be added to your bookings diary months in advance, perhaps before a special even like the host's birthday for example. Offer an extra incentive or discount if they re-book there and then, perhaps explaining that you will pencil it in and can confirm a fixed date nearer the time.

10. Marketing

Think of this as speculating to accumulate. Unless you have an excellent reputation, have been trading for decades and rely solely on word of mouth then you will have to devise a marketing plan for promoting your business. However, this need not cost the earth and will only lead to more bookings if it is targeted at the correct people! Set yourself a marketing budget and review every type of promotional activity you do. The results should help you plan your next move.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

5 Tips For New Party Plan Consultants

Home party plan businesses have been a hit with women of all ages and backgrounds since they first started back in the days of Tupperware, Avon and Mary Kay. Today home party plans are as varied as the women who love them because of that home party plans are gaining in popularity for "work at home moms" and baby boomers who are looking for a supplemental income for their retirement years.  
As with any new business there's lot to learn and even more mistakes to make. If you're just getting started with home party plans or new to direct marketing sales, you'll appreciate these important tips. I wish someone had shared them with me early on, it would have saved me hundreds of dollars and I would have been successful earlier in my life.
Follow these 5 tips and I promise you'll be ahead of the pack and be headed for 90 day home party plan sales success.

Home Party Plan Success Tip #1: Write Your Story

Most sales people will say sales is about "benefits". What they mean is the perceived benefits your client expects to get from buying your product.
Wrong. Dead wrong.
I say it's about your "Story". It's about how it makes your client feel and the mind pictures, even fantasies, that are associated with them. Let's say for example, "lipstick". Most representatives would talk about the richness of the color, how it has SPF 24 and how it will last all day and doesn't need reapplying for 6 hours.
That won't sell.
What sells that tube of lipstick is the story of a wife who is busy all day taking care of others, too busy to to take care of her self, but nevertheless wants to look her radiant best when she catches a glance of herself in the mirror or in her husband's adoring eyes. That's what's in the tube of all day lipstick.
You can share your story with your client like this
Christy,   this is my favorite lipstick. I can put this on in the morning and forget about it. Really. When I get to running around I never remember to put lipstick on. But with this, I don't have to. And when my husband walks through the door I know I'm still looking great. This color would look great on you. Here, try it".
Write your story down, or just write down those descriptive word pictures.
Even before you even get your product kit or brochures, sit down and write out what sold you.
What did you feel when you first saw these products?
How did you feel?
What stories did you see in your mind's eye.
Write it all down. It's okay if you don't think you're a great writer, just write down what jogs your memory and triggers those feelings that motivated you to buy the products.
Then take it a step further.
Why did you decide to go with a home party plan as a business?
Why this business? Why did you sign up under this manager?
Why this product?
Write it all down.
This writing will not only be a great reminder to you when you're lost in a sea of brochures and pamphlets and training materials. It is also the way you will introduce your self and your products to new clients. It may also be the way you introduce your self at networking functions. It's your story and it's your unique marketing approach. Apply liberally, and repeat.

Home Party Plan Success Tip #2: Circles of Influence

What's a 'Circle of Influence? It's those people who answer you back when you say "Hey, I had this idea."
Start with birthday lists and work your way out to co-workers and associates. Write down anyone and everyone that even "might" have a need for this product.
Please don't filter your lists. Don't decide for your friends what they need or want. Your job is to offer it to them, just like you would a cup of coffee. If they say "no" , it's not a big deal they're just not into coffee, at least not at the moment. But it's not your decision, it's theirs. So write their name down.

Home Party Plan Success Tip #3: Get involved in your community.

Make new friends. Extend your "Cicle of Influence" . Go to business and networking events, get involved in your community. Networking used to be about collecting business cards. Today it's about connecting and exchanging value and ideas. You might not even need business cards, just write down your email and phone number on a napkin. It's that real.
Our communities are going back to handshakes and community building. Keywords for these kind of relationships are reciprocity and authenticity which of course will add up to trust.

Home Party Plan Success Tip #4: Get to Know Other Consultants

Go to as many meetings and events with your home party plan company as possible and learn from other consultants. You can even extend your network by meeting other home party consultants from other companies. They have as much to offer in terms of experience and success and you'll learn tips and secrets that might different than your group uses.
You can eventually learn how to co-host events. One way to do this is to bring home party consultants together who offer different, but related products together to co-host a party. Here's an example; crystal dinnerware, candles and lingerie for a Valentines Day theme. Each home party sales consultant invites clients and the entire event is shared. Building completely cooperative relationships. This can be a lot of fun for everyone.

Home Party Plan Success Tip #5: Get to Know People's Stories

Just a reminder it's the story that sells. By now you should have heard lots of stories; about why other people got involved with your product, what kinds of success - and failures - they've had. Write it all down.
Start a blog full of testimonials, stories about the people you've met, how you met them and what you've learned from them, their stories and adventures. Practice sharing meaningful stories, getting to know people better and even extending a hand now and then.
This is where the "helping" others comes in. You help your clients by giving them what they need.
Your clients don't really need another tube of lipstick, what they need is to know they are appreciated and beautiful. What they need is to connect with other women and share their stories, laugh a little and have fun. You give them that opportunity by connecting with you, by connecting them with your product and others, by connecting them with their own stories.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Home business advertising ideas

Are you struggling to get enough leads for your work at home mom party or mlm  business? If so, then you need  home business  advertising ideas that REALLY work, not just some rehashed garbage that every "wannabe" marketer says will work.

You can  generate 500+ leads every month, and here are 3 advertising ideas that can help you do  just that

Classified Ads with Images

Classified ad websites such as Craigslist can still work, but you have to be creative in order to get your ad noticed. What you need to do is include a clickable image in your ad, which will help your ad stand out. Don't even bother trying to generate leads with classified ads with a generic won't work!

High-Profile Article Syndication

Article syndication is a terrific way to help you get the word out about your network marketing opportunity. Article syndication is an advertising strategy that works, and is used by thousands of successful internet marketers each  &  every day. One of the easiest ways to get your article syndicated to a variety of sources is to write & submit a press release. With the right release, you can have your article syndicated to hundreds of credible websites.

Solo Ads

If you have a little money to invest, then solo ads can be a great way to advertise your home business  opportunity. Depending on the size of the mailing list and/or how many guaranteed clicks you purchase, you can pay anywhere from $20 to $500+ for a quality solo ad.