Booking parties is remarkably easy, once you learn the why as well as the how. I’ve never seen anyone who couldn’t keep her calendar full, once she learned the psychology of successful booking.

When I was in the sales force, I averaged three to four parties per week. I worked approximately 47 or 48 weeks of the year and kept this up continually for over 22 years. Why? Because when you love what you do, you’ll never “work” another day in your life!

Some people grasp the psychology of successful booking right away; some never learn it. I’ve seen consultants quit after a few years because they were tired of their constant battle to get bookings. These unfortunate folks just never got it.

I’ve observed consultants begin their direct selling business by asking people to have parties to help them get started…but never explain to the other people what’s in it for them. I’ve listened to consultants say they “feel as if they’re begging people” when they ask someone to book a party. Wow! If I’d had to spend my time “begging” people, I would never have lasted for 22 years. I’m not sure I would have lasted for two months!

There is a simple secret that helps consultants progress from being mediocre to being great at booking parties: The secret is, It’s not about you.

Consultants often make an assumption that leads to their asking for bookings in a way that doesn’t work well. Have you ever assumed that when someone booked a party for you, they were “helping you out and doing you a favor”? I know I have! Especially when there was a contest or trip I was really close to earning. I let everyone know about what I was working on and I asked them to “help me out.”

The problem with this was I was focused more on myself than on the person who was booking. That’s not what booking parties is all about!

This attitude, that others are “doing me a favor,” can begin unconsciously right at the start of your direct selling career, when leaders or trainers unintentionally plant the seed that you need to “call in your favors” and ask people to help you get started. To some extent, this is true, but we too often overlook the fact that hosting a party can actually benefit the hostess.

It’s all about them and how you can help them earn free and discounted products by inviting you and a few of their friends over for a fun-filled evening.

When I finally really understood that booking parties was a win-win situation, my business exploded. Sure, I was a winner, because I was going to earn money and the sales would help me win contests and trips—but my hostesses were winners too!

I had to change my thinking: instead of thinking, “I hope she’ll have a party to help me win this trip,” I began to think, “Wow, she loves everything, I need to show her how much she can save by hosting a party.” When I took “me” out of the equation and made booking parties about doing them a favor, it became a far easier process.

Say the following three invitation options out loud, and listen to which one sounds and feels the best to you.

1) Susie, my company is in the middle of a contest and I can earn a trip to (wherever). Would you please host a party to help me out?

2) Susie, I’m so excited that you loved almost everything I showed tonight. II would really like to help you get as many items as you can for as little cost as possible. The best way to do this is to purchase some of your favorite items tonight and then book a party as soon as possible so you can earn the rest. I have a few bonus nights available and you will receive a free gift. They are Tuesday the fourth or Thursday the sixth. Which one is best for you to earn your free and discounted products by inviting me and a few friends over?

3) Susie, you saw a lot of things that you like. Would you like to have a party for me?

Often when I hear consultants ask for bookings, I notice they end with the words, “for me.” You will notice that option #2 doesn’t mention “me” at all. I have completely focused on Susie and the favor I want to do for her. When you get excited about helping your hostesses, you will book more parties than you ever dreamed possible.

The psychology of successful booking means you truly believe that you are providing a service to your hostesses and a means for them to earn products at special prices. If you really don’t believe, your true colors will show through. If you are struggling with this, here is the therapy I recommend: call someone from another party plan and book a party yourself. Learn first-hand the benefits of being a hostess. And once you’ve got that firmly in mind, remember that feeling: that’s the focus that works!

KAREN PHELPS is on the faculty of Networking University, is a
member of the National Speakers Association and has been involved in
direct sales for 22 years.