Have you ever wondered why some people in the business are wildly successful, while others involved in the same company drop out of the business within weeks or months of signing up?

After all, they both have access to the same product, and they have access to the same opportunity. What differentiates them is the final “P” in what I call the “POP Theory.” That final “P” stands for people—and this is where the biggest challenge in the business comes from.

Purpose and Passion

The key to success and longevity in party-plan marketing hinges on your ability to recruit and retain good people. Sounds simple enough, so why is it the biggest challenge? Because people are emotional beings; as with every aspect of life, people’s emotions play a big part in their businesses. They buy into the business on an emotional high…and they buy back out on the next emotional low! In fact, 90 percent of recruiting and retention is mental. That’s why managing the psychological aspects of the business is crucial to your success.

So, you ask, where do I begin?

First, take a few minutes to reflect on your own purpose in joining this business.

Was your purpose to help others by sharing the products and the opportunity? Was your purpose to enjoy the companionship of like-minded people? Was your purpose to grow as a person and support others in their personal growth? Was your purpose to earn extra income while working a flexible schedule? Whatever your purpose is, it’s yours and yours alone, so identify it and embrace it.

Next, make sure you are in a business you are passionate about.

Passion energizes you and enables you to surmount obstacles that would cause most people to quit. Passion fuels your purpose, and purpose gives meaning to your life. People who are living a life of purpose are passionate about what they do, and out of that passion, they become good at it.

Gratitude Recruiting

Where do passion and purpose fit into recruiting and retaining party plan partners?

Recruiting…for many, the mere mention of the word stirs up negative reactions, especially for those people new to the business. So first, let’s demystify recruiting. The truth is, recruiting is common to any organization that wants to grow. What do the U.S. Army, the Boy Scouts, all major universities and all Fortune 500 companies have in common? They all recruit.

Realizing that recruiting is a natural activity common to all sorts of entities, the next step is for you to reframe your thinking about your own recruiting.

First, identify your purpose in your business and focus on the benefits the business has given you. These benefits may include spending more time with your family, having extra spending money, helping others, enjoying a flexible work schedule, experiencing personal growth, or any of a host of other benefits that the networking profession affords.

Once you’ve identified the benefits your business gives you, start thinking of them as a gift you are giving others. I call it “Gratitude Recruiting.” In other words, when you introduce new people to your business, you’re offering them a gift that has done so much for you. You’re not “bothering” them or imposing upon them—you’re giving them a gift of great value!

It’s up to the recipients to decide whether or not to accept the gift. Remember that if they refuse the gift, they’re not refusing you. The refusal is about them, not about you, and simply because a prospect refuses your gift doesn’t mean you should stop giving.

Reality Retention

Once your recruiting improves, the question becomes, “How

do I keep my recruits from dropping out of the business?” Retention is the biggest

challenge you’ll face in your business. It’s the elephant in the living room that everyone tiptoes around and no one wants to talk about.

Most companies and leaders assume that the key to retention is good training, good products and good mentoring. Good, good, good…and they are so focused on keeping things positive that they never talk about the realities everyone in the business will face sooner or later. Things like disappointments, rejection, no-shows and cancellations.

But ignoring these aspects of the business is not good business—because all too often, it is when they first face exactly these sorts of challenges that new people quit. And in fact, by recognizing that such negative experiences are inevitable, changing how you respond to these experiences and teaching others how to respond as well, you can significantly reduce your dropout rate!

Successful people aren’t immune to negative feelings. They’ve just learned to manage their feelings, rather than let their feelings manage them. Party With a Purpose will help you identify the major emotional obstacles that derail people’s lives and businesses and will empower you and your organization to enjoy the biggest benefits of the business: having fun, making money, and making a difference in people’s lives!

As Katharine Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post, once said:

“To love what you do and feel that it matters—how could anything be more fun?”

PAT PEARSON, M.S.S.W. is an author, speaker, and has spent 25 years
as a clinical psychotherapist. This article is adapted from her fourth book,
Party With a Purpose: The Psychological Secrets to Recruiting
and Retaining Party Plan Partners.