Even though, we're just starting to see the April shows turn into May flowers, now is the time to start planning out your Summer business schedule.
If it seems this year as though I'm harping on planning, there's a method to my madness. We've just wrapped up the first quarter of the year. 1/3 of 2013 is GONE, and what do you have to show for it in your home party plan business?
Bookings beget bookings, and if your calendar is looking thin now, imagine how barren it will be come July!
The school year is coming to an end, and families are planning their vacations, getaways and summer activities now. As a business owner, you need to be on their radar, and plant the seed now that a Summer show is just the ticket to reconnect, relax, and enjoy good times with friends.
Contact the hosts from last Summer now, and give them first dibs on your calendar. Just like Christmas, you can have a full Summer schedule if you give people plenty of notice. In my business, I rarely booked a show closer than 3 weeks out because I need that time to get out invitations, and do effective hostess coaching. The exception to this was repeat hosts. They are usually already schooled on how I run my business, and are quick to get all my show requirements (like guest lists) back to me in plenty of time for the event.
Repeat hosts are your best testimonials, because they liked your work enough to invite you back! You owe it to yourself to reward them with the best spots in your calendar.
Words to say:
"Hi Sally, this is Lisa (with ABC company). I'm planning now for my summer schedule. It may be a little early yet, but I know that my most successful parties are the ones that are planned in advance. Since you're one of my repeat hosts, I want to say thank you by giving you first dibs on my Summer show calendar. You held a Chocolate Lover's party last June and it was such a blast. What theme would you like to try this year?"
Assume the booking. Your repeat hosts already know you do business, and know what to expect from you. If they're not interested, they'll tell you right away. Instead, assume they love you so much they want to repeat that amazing experience they had last year. Build up the excitement and re-establish the emotional high they had at their last party by mentioning positive memorable moments from the last party. It's a psychological trigger that puts them in a positive frame of mind to book their next show with you.
If you're new to Direct Sales, or re-starting your business like many teachers I know, it's even more imperative that you start now to secure shows for your Summer calendar. Consider asking one of the parents from your child's class to host a get-together during the Summer. Or better yet, host your own and double dip on host benefits as well as your consultant income. An early summer barbecue can have the guys hanging out at the grill, the kids playing in the back yard, and the women shopping from their seat in the comfort of your home. Worried that your house is too small? Host a series of parties to invite your child's best friends over a few at a time.
Summer events are also a great way to bring in new business. If you sell a product that you can demonstrate, consider teaching a course during the summer related to your product line. Renting a small hotel conference room or even a large dining room in a restaurant can bring in new customers interested in learning the how-to of your product, and lead to big sales at the end of the session. Just be sure that the focus of the class is not selling stuff, but teaching skills. Not only can you generate revenue from the sales of products, but also from registration fees from the class. Check with your local community education office for opportunities to share your expertise there as well. Many of the Summer session classes are being decided right now.
However you choose to grow your business this summer, now is the time to start planning. Look at your own family commitments and decide when you're available to work your direct sales business. Being in business for yourself gives you some flexibility, but if you let the entire Summer pass you by, you'll miss out on a great earnings potential as well as those highly-coveted fall bookings. For a great Fall, you need a great Summer, and Summer selling starts by booking shows now.