I’m going out on a limb today. I’m blogging about the most controversial topic about which I train. I can just about guarantee, today’s post is going to challenge the way you’ve “always done it.” All I ask is that you read all the way to the end before you make a decision about whether this will work for you.
Here’s the secret to increasing your sales average by $500.00 or more per party; close your party the night of the party. (Remember, change is good…keep breathing ). I’m going to share some selfish reasons why this is a great idea in a moment. First, I want you to ask yourself a question.
When you hold your party open, for whom are you holding it open? (Nope, not the host). You’re holding it open for the guests who didn’t bother to show up to support the host on the night of your party. That’s like saying to those guests who did show up (possibly making a sacrifice to do so), “You’re not as important to us as those people who didn’t bother to show up tonight, so you can just WAIT for your products!” Ouch! Let that sink in for a moment. Is that really the message you want to be sending your guests at the party?
When I attend a home party, nothing bothers me more than having to wait to get my products because the party was held open for a week (or longer). I don’t feel valued by the host or the consultant, and it puts a bad taste in my mouth about the parent company (even though it’s in no way their fault).
Enough said. In my opinion, that alone should be reason enough for you to change this policy and start closing your shows the night of your shows. Just in case you need a little more convincing, here are some great, selfish reasons you may want to consider this:
- Your orders will stop “walking out the door.” How often does a guest say “I need to check with my husband. I’ll take your catalog and call you with my order” and then never call you? If you tell the guests you’re closing the show that night, that guest is much more likely to order that night (and if she’s at all hesitant, you can share that she’s free to call you within 24 hours and cancel her order if she changes her mind – they never do, just for the record).
- Your host order will often times be your largest order of the night. I always told my hosts to go through the catalog at least once a day for the week prior to their parties and fill up as many wish lists as they could with items they liked (I told them not to worry about whether or not they thought they could earn it or afford it – if they liked it, they needed to write it down). That way, when you sit down with your host to take her order, she’s been drooling over your catalog for a week. Once she’s done getting her free and 1/2 priced items, she’ll often say “Can I just buy the rest?” My answer was always “Sure, I’ll let you do that!”
- If you let her wait even one day to close, you can kiss the above scenario goodbye. Why? She’s had some time to think about it, she’s sobered up (hey, parties are fun and we tend to “let our hair down”), her husband has said “No you’re not!” or she got the electric bill. You get the idea. Often she’ll be content to settle for just the free product and won’t even order the 1/2 price items. I’m telling you, if you’re waiting to close your parties (even for just 24 hours), you’re leaving money on the table!
- You stop spending time chasing down hard to find hosts to close their parties. How many times do you hold the party open only to have the host show up a week later with few (or no) extra orders. Honestly, I bet it’s more than 75% of the time. And the hassle factor just isn’t worth that.
One final thing you need to know about this. You have to set your host up to get outside orders ahead of time. Simply let her know that you’re closing the party the night of the party so you can honor her friends who show up to support her by getting their products back to them as quickly as possible (and that’s exactly what I said) and that she’ll need to ask everyone who can’t make it to get their order to her or go on your website and order prior to the night of her party. Generally, I’ve found that people do what they’re told, so the greatest perk from this is that she shows up for her party with anywhere from $150.00 to $300.00 in outside order. How sweet is that!
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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.