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Hostess Coaching

on March 15, 2012

The key ingredient to a successful direct sales business is hostess coaching. Unfortunately, not many people can define it or teach it. In reality, hostess coaching is very abstract because it is simply relationship building. The more connected you are to your hostess, the more willing she is to sell you and your product.

Hostess coaching can take many forms because we all see relationships differently. However, one thing is the same for all of us: We have to have contact in order to build the relationship. There are many ways to cultivate this relationship in today’s technological age. The form it takes for you is not as important as the fact that it happens.

You want to have at least five contact times with your hostess:

1. The first contact happens when you schedule the party. If you schedule the party in person, you should use this time to go through the hostess party planner with your hostess. If you schedule it over the phone or online, you can mail her a hostess party planner and schedule an appointment to call her to go through it over the phone.

There are several key items you should include in the hostess packet.

  • First, make sure she has a catalog. It will facilitate her in several ways including making her wish list and getting outside orders. Even if your website is very user friendly, make sure you give her a catalog.
  • The second item you should include is a minimum of five order forms. Be sure to tell your hostess that, if she gets five preorders, she has laid a good foundation to getting the most out of her hostess rewards.
  • You should also include a brochure about the opportunity with your company. Remember that your hostesses are your best prospects for recruiting.
  • Include any hostess and customer specials your company may have for that month.
  • Include a wish list for your hostess to fill out. Even if you will do most of your coaching through email or facebook, you want her to have a piece of paper where she can write down the items she likes as she peruses the catalog.
  • I also include a checklist that details what she needs to do and what I will be doing for her.
  • Last, but certainly not least, if you mail out invitations, you need to include a guest list for her to fill out. Again, you may want her to send you this information through email, but it will help her to have some idea of the information you need. Make sure there is enough space for her to list 30 names at a minimum.

I want to stop here to encourage you to mail out the invitations for your hostess. If you do your hostess coaching online, you may not have invitations to mail, but if you do, do not leave this step up to the hostess. Remember that this is your business; the more control you take, the more control you have over the outcome. If you mail out the invitations, there is less likelihood that the party will cancel or postpone. You will also have an idea how many people will show up to the party. Mailing out your hostesses invitations keeps you from “flying blind.” These should be mailed about 10 days prior to the party.

2. The second contact should be a confirmation of the booking. You could call her, send a facebook message, or mail her a handwritten thank you card. Make sure you let her know the date and time of the party. It is very important to make sure you keep this contact light and fun. Let her know how much you are looking forward to her party, and give her some tips to keep the party simple (you do not want her preparing a gourmet meal for her guests as this will discourage her guests from booking because it looks too hard to have a party). Make sure you bring the conversation back to her and what a fun party she will have.

3. The third contact should take place about one week to 10 days before her party and is simply to remind her that the party is coming up. It can simply be something like, “Hi Susie, I just wanted to make sure everything is in order for your party next week.” This will give her a chance to brag on herself if she has done a great job or a chance to get into gear if she hasn’t. Again, it should be a light and fun contact with the topic coming back to what a great hostess she is. If you choose to do a mailing rather than a phone call, you can include the time and date of the party, remind her to keep the snacks simple, and encourage her to get her outside orders on top of inviting everyone she knows to her party. You can also include a few more completed invitations for her to hand deliver to any last minute additions.

4. The fourth contact takes place two to three days before the party. In this contact you want to get a head count, see if she has any outside orders, and ask if there is anything you can do to take some pressure off of her. Reassure her that the party will be great even if it is just the two of you there. If nothing else, you will be able to further develop your relationship with her.

5. The fifth contact is the party itself. Try to get to the party in plenty of time to set up your display and still have some time to visit with the hostess for a bit. This is when she gets to see what you do behind the scenes. This is the best time to show her how fun and easy your job is, so keep it simple. Once the party is over and all the guests have placed their orders, see if you can sit down with the hostess and talk about her total at that point, discuss any further outside orders, and discuss the hostess rewards. You can also use this time to see if she can refer any other hostesses or recruits for you. After the party, you may also want to send her another personal message thanking her for opening her home to you. Be sure to compliment her on her home and to tell her what a great time you had.

Hostess coaching is the best way to make sure your party is a success and to increase your party average. You can have four parties a week on your calendar, but it won’t do you any good if none of them qualify for the minimum hostess rewards. As you increase your party average, you can schedule fewer parties to lighten up you calendar, or you can keep as many bookings as you like and just make more money. That is why we are in this business, after all!

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