When I was doing home parties, I kept my catalogs out of sight until the shopping portion at the end of the evening. It increased my sales and made it easier to hold the attention of my guests during my parties. When I train this concept now, often times I’ll get the protest that guests need the catalogs because they need to be able to see the items that the representative doesn’t have with them as a part of their display. That’s when I counter with this question:
“Have you ever read to a group of 1st graders?”
You know how, as you read the book, you keep it turned around and you periodically and slowly move it from right to left so every one of their sweet little faces can see the pictures? If so, you know how to use your catalog during your presentation. Not by handing them out and having your guest’s noses in them all night, but by talking about the items on the page and then showing them the pictures and having them write down the page number on their wish list for closer inspection later on when you do give them a catalog.
Why should it matter if they have a catalog during your presentation (besides the aforementioned lack of attention on you)? Well, consider this: if your guests have a catalog in their lap throughout your presentation, they feel confident that they’ll remember what they like when it’s time to order. Chances are, there are dozens of pages and hundreds of items in your catalog, so remembering what they specifically like at the end of your party isn’t as easy as it might seem.
Consider giving your guests a wish list instead of a catalog at the beginning of your parties. This idea might seem strange, but let me explain. A wish list is simply a place for them to write down anything they like. They’re not committed to buy anything they write down, they’re just keeping track. If all they have is a wish list, which is simply a list with spaces to write down the names, catalog page numbers, and prices of what they like, they’ll be keeping track as you go through your party of the items they like most (because without a catalog, they’re afraid they’ll forget what they like, so they are more likely to write it down).
See how that works?
More importantly, this tool is like having a window into their brains, because as you sit down to help them with placing their order, you can look and see exactly what they liked. Can you see how this might support you in getting not only bigger orders, but bookings as well? (“Wow, Brenda, you have ten items on your wish list. I don’t want you to have to pay for all these items! Let’s do a party so you can earn some of this for free!”)
There’s no way you can have this conversation if all they are using is a catalog. Get it? So wait until the end of your party (when you know they’re ready to shop) and then hand out the catalogs. And use your catalogs just like a copy of “Green Eggs and Ham” in front of a room of 1st graders.
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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.