You'll Get More Bookings When You Make Your Parties Fun!

by Karen Phelps

The Home Party Plan business is still booming! As new companies form each year consultants struggle to get their share of the bookings. Are you one of the consultants who struggle for bookings or do bookings fall into your lap? Getting bookings from your parties is easier than you think, however, it may require a change in your thinking.

When you began your Direct Selling business you probably began like most consultants by begging your friends and family to help you get started. Feeling insecure about yourself, you went and did the parties and may have gotten a few bookings but not enough to replace all of the parties you held.

You might have found yourself at a dead end and had to begin again by calling more prospects for new bookings only to repeat the cycle. Most consultants, even top sellers find themselves in an occasional dry spell, however, if you are continually calling to drum up new business you may want to analyze your presentation style. Cold calling for bookings should be used for increasing your percentage of parties, not as the main way to keep your business alive.

At every party you hold you have an average of five to ten guests in attendance. Are you booking at least one third of the guests in attendance or do all or most of the guests leave without booking a party? Do you really know how to hold a successful party?

I'm not sure how long ago they began calling our business "Party Plan", but whoever started with the description knew what he or she was talking about! I have done extensive research, both on my own and with the help of others and I have found one major ingredient lacking in a lot of home parties!

You are probably wondering what the missing ingredient is? FUN! Since I have began my research I have attended twelve home parties for eight different companies and with the exception of a few parties I have been bored to tears.

I have also talked to hundreds of guests that have attended parties over the past year and the major complaint was the presentation was too long and too boring. Even some of the consultants I interviewed felt their presentations were not enough fun.

Where did the misconception that our parties have to be sophisticated, educational and boring, come from?

When I began my business over twenty-three years ago I knew very little about the product, but I did know a lot about having fun. I proceeded to hold my parties and demonstrated the product while I was playing games and joking with the guests in attendance.

My mother used to tease me back then by saying, "If you don't dazzle them with your charm, you'll baffle them with your bull"! I had fun! I had always wanted to be an actress and I used my hidden talent at my shows!

I booked more parties than anyone else in my area and in my first year began to earn monthly recognition for being number one in sales. The funny thing was...I still didn't know everything about the product!

I played booking games with the guests and teased them about having a party. I actually would tell them all of the exciting things they would get for having their very own party and the last thing on my list was, "You get me for another two to three hours! Isn't that exciting?"

Guests would actually tell me they booked because "I was so much fun"! Are you leaving your "fun side" home? Do you believe you have to be serious to be professional? Are you ready to learn a few ideas to help you "Party On"? If you are ready to have fun, these tips will help you.

First understand the misconception about "educating vs. entertaining". If Holly hostess called to invite me to a class where I could learn all about XYZ product, I'd probably pass and stay at home with the family. However, if Holly hostess called me and said, "Come on over Thursday, I'm having an XYZ party, you'll learn about the product and we'll have a lot of fun", she can count me in!

Let's face it...we are all busy! We are all overloaded! Your guests don't want to have to sit and listen for one or two hours while someone teaches them about the product! They come to relax, enjoy, and have fun. And yes, they will buy, even if they don't know everything about the product! Forget about holding classes to educate and begin to hold parties to entertain.

Second, move outside your comfort zone when you are holding parties. I know not everyone is as wild and crazy as I was, but you can still have fun! I encourage you to use fun games that will produce results.

Third, learn people skills. This is a hard one! If you have never been in sales before you might not have had to develop your people skills in the past. Learn how to meet and greet the guests at your parties. Never underestimate the power of a smile and a handshake. Adopt the motto "guests that arrive as strangers will leave as friends." Interaction with your guests before, during and after the presentation is a must!

Fourth, educate about the products by telling stories about them instead of using long boring descriptions about them. I guarantee a long, boring, detailed description about a product won't stay in my overloaded head for long, but a funny or inspirational story about a product will. Use picture stories to describe a product instead of just the facts. Share stories of past successes that previous buyers have had and demonstrate how the product will make a difference.

I encourage you to take a look at yourself and your presentation and if you've been a "stuffed shirt" in the past it's time to lighten up and party on!

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