I like this article from Kimberly Bates. A lot of these booking methods are relationship marketing oriented- very one on one and personal. I’ve personally used #9 and #10. I like #1 a lot….. lately I’ve been adding a lot of fellow direct sellers to my list because of my new ezine which incorporates direct selling tips. (not yet subscribed? look to your right!)
Most of us have been there at some point in our direct sales life. For whatever reason, we’re staring at a month with nothing booked. Time to break out the old energy and put these tried and true techniques to work to get you back into the game.
1) Send a catalog to everyone you know who is in direct sales for another company. Sometimes we want to BE a hostess. Only agree to a swap deal – I’ll book you, you book – me if you genuinely want to host for that product. There’s nothing worse than trying to pull together a show for a product you couldn’t care less about receiving.
2) Call all your past hostesses and tell them you are scheduling for next season – would they like to reserve a date now before you fill up?
3) Offer a free class related to your product. Sell Chocolate? Offer a truffle making class. Sell scrapbooking? Offer a class on taking good photographs or photo organizing.
4) Wear a big old button with some type of “Ask Me About…” question. I swear, people will ask you about it. Make it something funny or intriguing. Sell skin care? How about “I USED to have Crow’s Feet.” Sell Weight Loss? The classic one is a former pic of you heavy. Gotta be brave, but the button says “Ask Me How I Got from this to what you see.” This is a clear case of you directing a behavior. “Ask Me…” People will ask.
5) Invite all your previous hostesses to a preview event for the next new catalog. Make it a gratitude event – do NOT allow them to purchase. It’s a thank you to them for hosting the previous season, and they get a sneak peak at the new line.
6) Follow through on every booking lead that has never booked, booked and cancelled, or you’ve just never contacted. C’mon…you know you’ve got some of those. I do. Exception, the multiple-canceller. If someone has booked with you and cancelled at the last minute more than once, let them go unless it’s a really good reason involving arterial bleeding or billowing smoke.
7) Don’t try to call every single lead in one night/day/phone session. You’ll wear yourself out. Make a commitment to call two potential hostesses a day. Exception, if you reach two and schedule them both, keep calling. You’re on a roll and that energy and confidence is exponential.
8) Take catalogs around to offices where women work – law, medical, dental, orthodontists. Leave a catalog in the waiting room, then ask the receptionist if you can leave one with her to pass around the office. Tell her you are willing to come in during lunch just like the Avon Lady used to do.
9) Call all the customers who have purchased from you in the last six months and do a “customer follow up” contact. How are they using product? Was it a gift? Would they like new catalog? Were there items they wanted but didn’t get? Ask if you can put them on your monthly customer special alert. If anyone seems particularly open, then ask if they’ve ever considered hosting their own show.
10) Hold a mystery hostess show. Invite previous guests, hostesses, neighbors, everyone you would invite to a show if you were the hostess. Give away all the hostess benefits. Break them up so there are lots of winners – say one drawing for each half price item, one drawing for each hostess “special,” one drawing for free product. Give them additional entries into the drawing if they schedule a show.
These aren’t necessarily new ideas – in fact, most of them have been tested and modified for various products. The point is to take the list, pick one and try it. If it doesn’t work for you, try another. Keep going until your calendar is full.