Sponsoring. It’s necessary to build a successful business, but it’s a part of the business with which many struggle. I used to as well. Recently, however, I made some changes to how I approach my parties and my prospects, and I was able to sponsor 17 people in 3 months.
Some of my changes include:
Change your focus.
Instead of going to a party wondering how much you’ll sell, shift your focus to wondering who in that room is interested in your business opportunity. When that’s your focus, that’s what you will be looking for, and that’s what you’ll find.
Become One of Them.
Arrive early enough that you have time to set up before the guests arrive. Once they arrive, mingle and talk to them and get to know them. Make friends. Don’t be the consultant who is busy setting up, or standing in the front of the room waiting for everyone to settle down so you can get started. Often, before I even start my presentation, I know who in the room may already have an interest in my business based on our casual conversations beforehand.
Keep it Short & Sweet.
During your presentation, instead of giving a long spiel about your business opportunity, insert little snippets throughout. Guests don’t have a chance to tune you out, because as soon as you give a 10-second “commercial,” you are already moving on to the next thing. Insert a few of them.
I encourage guests to ask questions about the business while at parties, and I reward them with tickets that will go into a drawing. Listen to what they’re asking and really hone in on those who ask questions that may indicate an interest in the business (i.e., “Is there a minimum requirement like xyz company?” or “Are you required to keep stock of products?”)
What about the Hostess?
Your hostess is a great prospect. They already enjoy your product enough to have a party. Consider giving the guests drawing slips, where they fill out their contact information and indicate their interest in having a party or joining the business – but ask one final question on the slip: “If your hostess were to join the business, would you be willing to help them by hosting one of their first parties?” Often, guests who may not be interested in having a party with me will offer to have one to help the hostess, their friend. Then, let your hostess know how many parties she’d already have if she joined the business!
We’ve all heard it before, ask everyone! And it’s true. However, don’t have a blanket statement for each person, which puts the focus on you, not on them. As you total their purchases, find a way to connect personally to them. (“Sally, you really loved our martini mix and I think you sold more of them tonight than I did with your enthusiasm! You are a natural at this” or “Melissa, you’re a teacher too! What grade? You know, this is an ideal business to work around your teaching schedule.”)
Listen, Listen, Listen.
When someone declines your offer to join the business, LISTEN to their reason. Too often, we are already forming a rebuttal in our heads to their objection, or are shying away as soon as we hear “no.” When you listen and acknowledge what they’re saying, you are not only making a connection with that person and making them feel heard, but you have a better chance at overcoming their objections once they feel valued. (Overcoming their objections is a whole other blog!)
And remember, very few people arrive at a party already having made the decision to sign with your company. It’s reasonable and acceptable that they would need time to think about it, talk to their spouse, and do some research. I encourage that. However, before you leave the party, set a day and time that you can call to follow up or, better yet, a time and location to meet to discuss it further. Try to schedule this follow-up to occur within 48 hours.
Make it a goal to leave each party with at least 2 people with whom you will follow up!
Meet guest blogger Helene Supraner!
Helene lives in Orlando, Florida and joined Dove Chocolate Discoveries in October of 2010, with the hopes of earning a few hundred dollars per month to supplement her teacher’s salary. In 20 months, she was able to quit her teaching job and work her direct sales business full-time. You can learn more about Helene on her Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/chocolatierhelene