How many of you have ever asked the question, “Would you like to book a party with me?” Every one of you, I’m betting. You’ve probably even been taught to use that question by your company. You’re taught to "ask everyone." In my never to be humble opinion, that's a flawed practice. It makes you seem disingenuous (since you're asking everyone, I'm not really very special), and it's not personal at all.
Think about who that question is about. Your potential host? What's "in it" for her? Nope. It’s about you! Once you understand that, you can start getting out of yourselves and start making it about the other person.
So what if you stopped asking and started offering? Can you imagine the shift that could happen if you went from asking for something (which is about you) to offering something (which is all about them)? Having something offered to you makes you feel special. It makes you feel like the person offering cares about you. It’s impossible to convince someone you care about her with the question “Would you like to book a party with me?"
Here’s some language you might consider trying the next time you're tempted to ask for something:
“Sue, you were so much fun tonight! I cannot wait to come and spoil you and your friends with a party. I have no doubt you have to have fun friends! Should we look at February or March?”
“Renee, I want you as one of my February hosts! I cannot believe how much you added to the party tonight! You are fun! Let’s look at our schedules and see when we can get together.”
“Marilyn, I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation earlier tonight and how completely busy you said you’ve been. I think you need a break, and I’d be absolutely honored if you would let me be the one to set it up for you. Let’s figure out when we can find a time to get you and your friends together.”
- "Karen, look at your wish list! You love my products. I don't want you to have to pay for all of these. Tell you what, let’s set up a party so you can get a ton of these for free. Do you prefer a weeknight or a weekend?"
Let's break the above examples down:
- Notice that each example starts out with some sort of acknowledgment. That’s important, because we as women aren’t acknowledged very often.
- Next, in each example, I've looked for a way to support them or be of service to them based on something I knew about them (again, "what's in it for them?")
- Finally, three of the above examples end with an open ended question (one which requires more than a yes or no answer and encourages conversation).
So, consider shifting from asking to offering at your next party and see what happens. At the very least, you'll end up in a conversation (which could lead to lots of great things).
P.S. This technique works great with sponsoring and sales as well.
Want to add any of your own questions below? I'd love to hear your interpretation of this "formula."
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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.