How Do I Keep My Home Parties From Canceling?

home party cancelingThe goal of almost every Party Plan consultant is to fill their calendars. After all, the best place to sell your products and book more parties is at a party. But getting those dates filled is only the first step. They only count if they hold. So, After all, the best place to sell your products and book more parties is at a party.

The best maxim for this situation is the best defense is a good offense. And in the case of Party Plan businesses, it’s all in the hostess coaching. Hostesses find all sorts of reasons to cancel. Some are, of course, legitimate. In those cases, she most likely will reschedule. But some just aren’t. I think the most unreasonable one I have ever received was the I have company coming in, and I have a doctor’s appointment (lucky her to get a doctor’s appointment on a Friday night!). It would be better to never hear the lame excuses, so how do we avoid them? Why do hostesses cancel? Let’s look at three different reasons hostesses cancel and what we can do about them.
1. She procrastinated sending out invitations.

Although she may never admit it, your hostess will usually cancel if she has not sent out invitations. It is easier to not have you show up then to only have one or two people there. This is actually one of the easier situations to avoid. Many companies train their consultants to send out invitations for their hostess. This is a great service for your hostess and a great marketing tool for you. If you don’t already, offer to send out invitations as a way to save your hostess time and money (the cost of stamps). You can accomplish several things just for the cost of stamps by doing this. First, you know the invitations were sent. Second, you can increase her party attendance. Get the hostess to make her last minute calls by telling her that you numbered five of the invitations. If she finds the people with the numbered invitations, she will receive a prize at the party. Third, you can follow up with all the people who didn’t attend and possibly increase your party sales or bookings. Usually only 25% to 50% of invited guests actually attend. If you don’t have the guest list, you have missed out on reaching half her guests.

2. She is no longer excited about the party.

Hostesses can loose their enthusiasm for your party for a couple of reasons. Aside from life just getting in the way, there are usually two main reasons for this. First, the party is just booked too far out. The more time in between her party and the one she attended, the more likely she is to forget why she booked it in the first place. It is usually a good rule of thumb to book your parties no more than three to six weeks out. Keep them close to keep them booked. The second reason she looses her interest is because you are not excited. One of the biggest complaints hostesses have about their party reps is that they were not contacted enough. Of course, when you are on the rep’s end of the phone, it can sometimes feel like you are pestering them. But in this case, less is not more. Keeping in contact with your hostess does not mean that you have to call them. Be creative about keeping in touch. Aim to contact her four times before her party date. Send her a thank you note for booking the party (with your business card on a magnet so she doesn’t loose your contact info). Email her to ask for the guest list. Call her to let her know the invitations were sent out. Send her a postcard reminding her of the date and time. Call her the week of her party to remind her to make her last minute phone calls. This scenario is especially important if you have to book the parties farther out. People appreciate good customer service. And the more contact you have with her, the better chance you will have of catching a scheduling problem early.

3. She doesn’t respect you as a business.

Although it is blunt, it is the truth. Unfortunately, many people view Party Plan businesses as a hobby. It isn’t a real job. You just do it to get free or discounted products. Because they think this way, they don’t see it as being any real problem to cancel on you. This issue can be difficult to tackle because it requires you to change your perspective on your business. First, make sure you treat your business as a business. Nobody can respect you, if you don’t respect yourself. Along the same lines, you must think highly of yourself and what you have to offer. And (hardest of all) you cannot always be available. Oh, I know. Easy for me to say. But consider the psychology behind the statement you always want what you can’t have. If you are always available, bending over backwards to meet the needs of your clients schedules, how can they possibly respect you. If she knows that she can cancel this weekends party and you’ll have another weekend available for her, what is her incentive to keep her party on the original date? You just cannot act desperate no matter how many dates you don’t have on the books. The crazy thing is, the more in demand you appear to be, the more in demand you will be. When a hostess is ready to book her party, offer her a choice of two or three of the next dates you want to fill. If she suggests or even demands something else, simply let her know that date is not available. You don’t have to explain why. Then, to show just how busy you are, you can offer to see if one of your co-workers has that date available. (Can you hear her gasping? Who ever heard of a consultant giving away parties?) Most hostesses will want to book with the rep they know, so they will pick one of your dates. If not, this is a great way to help new recruits fill their calendars. You still benefit from the party. But if you are so booked that you will offer to give away a party, you will be more attractive as a rep. Everyone will want you to do their shows. They will also see you as more successful and will be more interested in joining your team. And soon, you will be as busy as you claim to be.

Cancellations are somewhat inevitable in the direct sales business. These steps can help you to minimize your cancellations, so you can better build an income you can depend on. Please email me with your success stories!

 

How Do I Keep My Home Parties From Canceling? Follow the above steps and it should help.

 

About Britt Raposo

From behind her laptop in Calgary, Alberta, Britt Raposo helps moms across Canada make connections and build lasting friendships. She is mom to two wonderful girls, married to her best friend, and she has developed a home business that combines her two other passions: designing websites and helping moms. Proud owner of WAHMcanada.ca

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