So, you've just moved to town and, along with all of your worldly belongings, you've brought your direct sales business with you. The problem is, the direct sales/party plan industry is a relationship industry and chances are good that those are in short supply for you right now. When you're new in town, the one guarantee is that you don't know many people. I can relate. I started my direct sales business three months after I moved to town and I knew virtually no one. We moved in the summer and school hadn't started yet and I had little kids I was home with so meeting new people was hard. Plus, my sponsor lived 4 hours away, where I'd attended a direct sales home party while visiting my sister, so he couldn't really help me either.
The key to solving the temporary problem of "I don't know anyone" can also help if you get stuck because your bookings have dried up or you've "tapped out" all of your current friends and aren't sure where to turn next. Here are a few ideas:
Think outside the box
Think about who you do know in town. You might not have a network of good friends yet, but I'll bet you have all of your service providers pretty much in place; dentist, doctors for you and your kids, hair stylist, manicurist, babysitter, even the lady at the express counter of the grocery store who knows you by name. Think about who you know casually or professionally who would love your direct sales products and approach them about booking a home party for you.
Appeal to other people's desire to help
People (especially women) will generally lend a hand when asked. It makes us feel all warm inside to support someone else. So ask for that support. When I got started and didn't know where to turn for my first direct sales party, I went to the woman who did my nails and asked her if she would host a party for me. I knew she must have known lots of women and that she loved jewelry (my product). She enthusiastically agreed and hosted my very first "kick off" party. It was a huge success and, more importantly, I got lots of bookings with people I didn't know, which launched my business.
Get into someone else's extended network
You may be new to town, but your neighbor or the other women in your church group aren't. Let them know you're just getting started and ask them who they know who would love to host a home party (they may step up and volunteer themselves). If you're married and your husband is working, see if there's a way to access his work network to offer the opportunity to attend a party you throw yourself.
Get out in public and generate interest
Finally, if the people won't come to you, go to them. This can be as simple as sitting in a Starbucks with your direct sales products in a basket and some catalogs. You'll be amazed at how curious people will be about what you're doing. Some might even walk up and ask you about it. You can also set up a booth at a local women's fair or school bazaar, making sure you're standing out in front of your booth and connecting with passer's by by asking them questions and engaging them. Be sure you have your party dates available on cards and some form of "instant booking gift" to give anyone who books on the spot and that you're gathering information of those who might be interested so you can follow up.
I know it may feel like you don't know anyone when you're new in town, but that's really not true. The key is to get creative and ask for help. And the best perk about all of this is that it's a great way to meet people, so you'll be building friendships in your new town as you build your business.
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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 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.