Home Party Potential
While hosting a home party may not be the highest priority of
your direct sales business, it should be noted that the home parties
industry of direct sales produces over 7 BILLION dollars in sales
every year. Be open to the possibility of home parties and look to
expand your business in a new, profitable way.
Direct Selling Tip:
Embrace the Possibilities of Parties
Each year, as the fall colors appear and the
air takes on a bit of a chill, certain direct sellers begin their
day with a fresh sense of anticipation and excitement for the
opportunities that await them. What’s their secret?
While many are pleased with the dazzling new products their
companies debuted at summer convention, that’s not the only cause of
their renewed enthusiasm. And although you can sense a collective
sigh of relief as millions of direct selling moms get their children
settled back into school and prepare for a productive day – it’s not
that either. What is creating the renewed excitement is the
knowledge that in addition to “Back to School” and cooler weather…
“Tis the Season To Hold Parties!”
No matter what you call them; in-home shows, product demonstrations,
workshops or parties, the truth of the matter is, the weeks between
September 15th and December 15th represent a plethora of
opportunities for direct sellers to sell more products and
accumulate more personal and group volume points than any other time
of year. What makes this season even more exciting is that as
consumers move into the season of full-throttle spending, millions
are also looking for additional streams of income to fund their
traditional holiday spending.
As a direct seller you have the opportunity to provide them with the
answer to their financial woes by showing them how to generate
immediate income from a home-based business. And while their
intention may be to generate “holiday cash” and then head for the
hills, the odds are in your favor that a good percentage of your new
recruits will catch the spirit of the business and remain with your
company long after the holiday decorations are packed away.
With that said, it is important to note that not all segments of the
direct selling industry have traditionally embraced the “party
approach” to selling products. In fact, some network marketers have
been known to look down on this “old fashioned” method of moving
goods and services, opting to stick to their tried and true,
one-on-one method of selling and sponsoring.
Yes, one of the benefits of being a home-based entrepreneur is that
you decide how to build your business. In fact, it is true that many
network marketers have never even attended an in-home party, let
alone received any guidance from their upline on how to conduct one.
So it only makes sense that you stick to the way you’ve been
building your business – right? You are selling all the products you
want and signing all the new recruits you can handle and don’t have
time to explore something new. What’s that? You wouldn’t mind making
some additional sales? You say you might be open to stepping outside
your comfort zone and trying an additional approach? That’s the
Being open to new ways of improving your business is the mark of a
true leader. So lets put aside those preconceived notions and turn
off the judgment and look at “the party” from a new perspective.
Let’s begin with some statistics that will further your resolve to
explore the possibility of offering your products through parties or
In 2002, the party plan segment of the direct selling industry
reported $7.2 billion in sales. This represents an 8% increase in
its representation of the total direct selling market over 1996. We
are also seeing a resurgence of interest in the party plan concept,
both in and outside our profession with perhaps the most notable
stamp of approval coming from financial guru, Warren Buffet, who
made a bold move when he acquired Pampered Chef. Even future trend
expert, Faith Popcorn, reports numerous social and economic trends
that support the promise of a bright future for direct selling and
specifically, party plan. Finally, party plan selling results in
something that every distributor is looking for… “immediate income.”
A well-planned party that results in $500 in retail sales puts
anywhere from $100 to $250 in the distributor’s pocket (less related
expenses). This keeps distributors motivated and happy – something
every leader and company executive wants.
Now do we have your attention? Great! Let’s look at what needs to be
in place “to party.” One important element that needs to be in place
is the person we refer to as a hostess or host. This is someone who
is motivated to gather a group of their friends to see a brief
demonstration of your products.
The hostess is often driven by one of two motivations:
1) to earn free products in exchange for introducing you to her
friends and endorsing your products, or
2) to help support you and your efforts to build your business.
Understanding “WHY” she is holding the party is crucial to your
success, as it influences how you motivate her toward a successful
event. Secondly, you’ll need a location. While successful parties
can be held in some of the most unlikely places like a park, a
clubhouse or the grandstands of a child’s sports event, most parties
are held in the hostess’s home or office. It is worth noting that
Lunch Hour shows and After Work parties are on the rise as direct
sellers go to where the consumers are – at work! With that said, our
research shows that the majority of parties are still being held in
the homes of hostesses. Whether their motivation is to earn free
product or support your business, it is wise to offer some sort of
hostess incentive as a way to thank them for their time and effort.
Since some network marketing and person-to-person companies don’t
offer incentives, the DSWA provides some simple guidelines for
designing one of your own. The simplest of incentives offers only a
percentage of sales in the form of free products. While this is the
easiest to explain and calculate, it misses the opportunity to
motivate your hostess toward results other than sales. For example a
good hostess incentive rewards hostesses for having a minimum number
of guests in attendance, a minimum number of orders (to entice
outside orders) and encouraging guests to schedule a party of their
own (called bookings). Last but not least, your hostess incentive
should offer a reward for helping you find your next team member.
In conclusion, with a room full of happy, engaged customers, it
makes sense to offer incentives to help you maximize your results.
While there is truly an art to holding a successful home party,
adventurous novices who have never ventured down this lucrative path
can explore the possibilities with just a little time and effort. By
combining the three elements above with frequent communication with
your hostess prior to the party and a presentation that is both
informative and fun, you just might discover a new way of selling
and sponsoring that you truly enjoy. After all, the men and women
that hold a place in the direct selling Hall of Fame achieved their
success not because they just did the “right thing,” but because
they did the things outside their comfort zone that pushed them
toward greater results.
Jane Deuber is a Co-Founder of
www.DSWA.org (the only association dedicated to the needs of the
independent party plan and network marketing professionals).