You know as well as I do that the direct sales/home party plan industry has a bit of a bad reputation. We’ve all had friends or family say, “I don’t do those home parties. I just hate them.” It’s an unfortunate fact and one you must address up front at your parties in order to begin to change the paradigm of your guests.
I call it the “next girlfriend” syndrome. You know about this syndrome if you’ve ever dated a man who’s had a bad relationship prior to meeting you. One where the woman he was with before was really not nice and treated him badly? You have to spend the first several months of your relationship convincing him that you’re “not that girl” and that things are going to be different with you. You really pay for her sins.
That’s exactly what happens when you stand in front of a room full of guests who’ve attended a “bad” direct sales home party in the past. One where they felt uncomfortable and leveraged to do something (book a party, sign up for the business, or buy a product) for the entire evening and escaped as quickly as possible by purchasing the cheapest thing in the catalog (or nothing at all).
Part of your job as a direct sales representative is to communicate right from the beginning of every party you do that this experience, here tonight with you, is going to be different. You have to give them permission to get involved and have fun without the worry that if they let down their guard even a little, you’re going to pounce on them and ask them to do something.
The best way I found to do that was to tell them, up front, that my number one goal that night (in fact, I called it a rule, I was so serious about it) was that they have fun. And I meant that. I wasn’t focused on whether or not they booked a party or placed an order or asked for an opportunity brochure. I was totally and completely committed to making sure I was doing everything in my power to ensure they relaxed and had a fun experience. I knew if I did that well, the sales, bookings, and sponsoring leads would follow.
So take some time this week and look (really look) at the experience you’re providing for your guests. What are you doing to overcome their previous experiences and current expectations to make sure they’re leaving that party saying, “That was the most fun I’ve ever had at one of these home parties!” If you’re stumped for ideas, check out my “Designing An Amazing Party Experience” audio program.
The program is packed with some great ideas to help you customize your party experience so your guests are having a blast. I can almost guarantee that if you do that, you’ll notice people booking more parties (who wouldn’t want to repeat that fun experience with their friends?), getting more interest in joining your company (because you’ll be having such fun as well), and placing larger orders (because when people are having fun, they’re interacting with you and paying closer attention to your presentation. Plus they feel valued by you and that makes it much easier for them to purchase from 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.