Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? I know, it seems like a long ways away, and I hate it when the stores roll out their Christmas merchandise the weekend after Halloween, but now really is the time for you to begin preparing for the holidays in your direct sales business. There is so much momentum right now in your business, and you need to make sure you're prepared for November and December now before it's literally too late.
Here's the thing…not only is it a very busy time of year in your direct sales business, but it's also a busy time of year in your personal and family life. That's why doing a little planning now could make for a much more jolly you in a couple of months.
Here are a few areas of focus you may want to consider:
Book Home Parties Now
Now (and I mean RIGHT NOW) is the time to get those holiday home parties booked, guest lists collected, and hosts coached. That way you're all set going into a time when everyone is super busy and over committed. If you get it handled now, you won't be chasing your hosts down between bazaars and school holiday programs. That means if a host takes a date in late November, you want to get her guest list and postage and do her initial host coaching appointment within the next week. This will also act as an insurance policy against a ton of last minute cancellations over the next few months (because once you've got the list, you can mail the invitations. And once you mail the invitations, the party will most likely hold).
Block Your Calendar
This is crucial to not only your business success, but also your sanity. It's important all year. It's imperative this time of year. The most stressful thing you can do is over book or double book yourself. Your commitments increase during the holidays, especially if you have school age kids. Just be aware of that and adjust your calendar accordingly. And remember, a party isn't just one night on your calendar. You need to factor in host coaching, pre-party prep, and post-party follow up when you're blocking time for your business in your calendar.
Build Your Team
Do you suppose there are people who are starting to wonder how they're going to pay for their holidays? I can guarantee you most of the people you know (either well or casually) fall into that category. Even the best planners generally need extra income for the holidays. Your direct sales business opportunity is the quickest and easiest way for someone to take on a part time job with great pay, and now is the best time to do that because of the holiday selling season and high demand for products.
The end of the year is the perfect time to express your appreciation for your hosts from the previous year. Consider planning an end-of-year holiday host appreciation event for the first or second week of December. I did these yearly and my hosts came to expect them. I had some amazing deals on discontinued items, lots of raffle and door prize drawings, great food and fun, and incentives to book parties in the new year. You can even include your downline and allow then to invite their previous hosts, increasing the attendance and supporting them at the same time.
Holiday Open Houses
Instead of offering hosts a traditional "home party" experience, consider setting up an open house for them, where their guests come and go in a casual setting and your goal is to connect, sell, and book parties into the new year. You can also hold your own holiday shopping open house for husbands and friends to help them with holiday shopping.
Finally, if it's not too late, consider participating in the myriad of holiday fairs and bazaars in your areas. These are great places to sell your products as well as book parties and share your opportunity. Make sure your booth is festive and that you ask lots of questions to engage passers by. The more you ask, the more you learn, and it's generally a refreshing change from the hard sell pitch coming from many of the booths around you.
Those are just a few thoughts. This is the prime time of year for direct sellers and you'll want to plan ahead in all areas of your business so you cash in on all of the opportunities available to you.
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Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, 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 her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.