I’ve gotten some variation of the following question dozens of time in the past few years:
“I have an issue with hosts not following through with what they say they are going to do. I set a booking date and then I call them and leave a message, 2 or 3 times and they never get back to me. It’s like people don’t respect your time anymore.”
This is one of the most common issues direct sellers face and I thought I’d give you my take on what causes this and what you can do to help eliminate it in your own business.
It’s All About Respect
The truth is, we teach people how to treat us. Your hosts will respect you at the level you respect yourself. So many times I see direct sellers doing anything to get the booking, including waiving requirements and making unnecessary compromises in order to “get that yes.” If you own your value and expect a level of respect in return, it gives you the freedom to walk away when a booking isn’t based on a solid commitment instead of wasting your time with a host who “just isn’t that into you.” It also allows you to communicate clearly with your new hosts at the beginning of your relationship with them so the whole process goes more smoothly.
Your Hosts Need to Know EXACTLY What You Expect From Them
Are you expecting your hosts to care more about your business than you do? You may not think so, but consider that question for a second. If you book the party and then expect your host to get to work on your behalf with little or no instructions or support from you, you’re likely to be continually disappointed by their performance. You can’t expect people to care about your success at the same level that you do. Most people honestly don’t know what to do to host a successful home party. A huge part of your job is to communicate to your hosts from the very beginning exactly what you require of them and exactly what you’ll be doing to support them. I’m a firm believer that people tend to do what they’re told, but not if you don’t tell them what to do.
It’s Okay to Ask For a Solid Commitment In the Form of a Guest List
I always told my home party hosts that their guest list secured their date on my calendar. Once I had that list, that date was theirs. I would schedule a host coaching appointment for no more than seven days out and assign the job of completing that list so they could either mail it to me ahead of time (in the self addressed, stamped envelope I provided), or bring it with them when we met in person for their coaching appointment. If I didn’t have that list from them within that seven day time period, that date went back on my booking calendar and I booked over them at the earliest possible date. I told them this would happen, so there was no confusion and I rarely made exceptions. The guest list is their commitment to you because without guests, you’re not having a party on the night they’ve booked. Don’t be afraid to ask them to step up and make that commitment. Plus (and purely as a side note), this tends to be the task the host dislikes the most, so once it’s done, the chances of them canceling the party go way down.
The Fortune is in the Follow Up
The key to any relationship is exposure. Think about how often you’re in touch with your best friend. I’m betting a few days don’t go by without you either seeing or talking to them. The same applies in your new relationship with your host. Out of sight equals out of mind for them, and on the reverse side, the more you follow up, the more valued they feel by you. A strong relationship means they like you and they don’t want to let you down. It was my goal to make sure every one of my hosts felt like the only host I had on my calendar. I wanted them to think they were very important to me (because they were!) So create a follow up formula to use with every single host in the form of calls to touch-bases, thank you notes, Facebook messages, and reminder calls prior to their host coaching appointment and party.
Here’s the final point. Nothing can completely eliminate cancellations. They are a part of life when you do home parties for a living. But they should be the exception, not the rule. Take a look at your systems around how you work with your hosts from the moment they say “yes” to you and make sure you’re doing everything in your power to cultivate a strong connection that will eliminate those cancellations. And if you don’t have a clue where to start, you might want to check out one of my most popular products, Coaching Your Host for Maximum Success audio program. It’s a start to finish, turn-key system for working with your hosts. You can buy the MP3 version at a discount, avoid shipping costs, get it delivered to your inbox immediately, and start implementing it with your very next host.
Need some help filling up your calendar as we head into the busy Fall selling season? Grab your complimentary copy of my “Book Yourself Solid In The Next 30 Days” roadmap. It’s yours for free when you subscribe to my mailing list. Already a member of the list? My system won’t add you twice, so go ahead and grab the roadmap anyhow. Click here to grab your roadmap now!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN PRINT OR ONLINE?
You may, as long as you do not alter it and include the following information (with active links as appropriate)
Julie Anne Jones is a 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 systems, 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.