Hostess Coaching is one of those topics that may not seem like the *most* glamourous part of your direct sales business, BUT I do wholeheartedly think that it is a magic task that can determine the level of success you can achieve in your biz! It will boost your sales, bookings and recruiting if you do it the right way, and you'll no doubt notice fewer cancellations and no-show parties too!
We can start to become a little lackadaisical with it the further we get into our business, because it is essentially telling our hostess the same thing week after week, (things that we know by heart) so we might start to skip steps because we assume she knows too. DON'T DO THIS!! Don't skip any steps, because you are going to see your business soar to new heights if you can ace this part of your biz each & every time.
The most important things to remember when hostess coaching is to keep things SIMPLE & FUN. Repeat after me, simple and fun!!
SO! Let's talk about the steps you should be including in your hostess coaching process!
1. Say Thankyou!
Your new host has agreed to have a party, and that is nothing to be taken lightly! Without hosts, your business is going to come to a grinding halt. SO THANK HER PROPERLY!! I am a big fan of handwritten, actual mail, so my go-to for this is getting a thankyou note in the mail to her the very next day to tell her how excited I am about her party, and how we are going to work together to make her party the most successful it can be. If not real mail, at the very least, send a cute graphic via text with a personalized message.
Here is a side note: did you know that your hostess wants her party to be a raving success just as much as you do?! The last thing she wants is to have an awkward party with horrible turnout, in fact, many people won't book for fear of this reason alone!! It is your job as her consultant to put her mind at ease, right from the start, that you know all the tricks to having the best party possible.
2. Get a Hostess Packet in her Hands!
Whether you hand her this at the party when she books, or mail it to her, you need to help her keep the excitement that she had when she booked the party. Encourage her to get ready for her party by making two lists: one with her wishlist from the catalog, and one with her guest list of at least 30 people. (Use the acronym FRANK to help her think of people: Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbors, Kid Contacts)
When she has the hostess packet in her hands, take some time either in person or over the phone to make sure she really understands the host benefits - BOTH of you want her to get the max amount of free stuff possible, so make sure she knows exactly how to get them!
Here are some essentials you will want to include in the host packet:
Some Order Forms
A blank wish-list sheet
A FRANK guest list sheet
Something FUN! (HaPpY mAiL!)
What do I mean by something fun? Pop in a little something that will make her smile and feel like you really care about her & her party (because you do!) One of my go-to FUN items is a spiced chai tea bag, with a post it note attached that says "Brew this & put up your feet for a bit while you peruse the catalog and make your wish-list!"
Some other fun items I've sent are a pack of Forget-me-not flower seeds for parties in the springtime - a cute pun for not forgetting her party date, but if she actually sprinkles those seeds in her garden somewhere, she will think of you every year when they bloom! A pack of hot cocoa and a peppermint candy cane is fun for holiday season parties, and a cute pen (look for the ones in TJ Max that come in a pack of multiples and say something really cute on the side!) will be a fun host packet addition any time of year!
3. Teach Her How to Invite for a Good Turnout
Prompt her to send out a personal invite via text to those in her closest circles - best friends, close family members etc, at least 10 of them that she knows will more than likely come. If these guests say yes, she will then send them the link to the online party/party invitation, since this allows the party to already have several RSVP's when she invites the others. This really takes the pressure off anyone viewing the invite, thinking they will be the only ones there and will thus be pressured into buying something!! (Ew! Not the impression you or your host wants for her party!)
Next have her invite the other people on her list to the FB event/invite. Notice I said, ON HER LIST! I didn't say, everyone on her friend list!! Hitting "invite all" is spammy, and might also get your event flagged by facebook by people who just have no interest in being added to it in the first place. She can follow these hand-picked invites with a brief personal message telling those she invited why she's so excited about the party & why she thought they would love to come to. She could even post on her own timeline about the party and ask who would like to be added to the event just in case she missed someone on her list who would like to attend!
4. Show Her How to Collect Pre-Party Orders
Give her a goal to shoot for - two or three orders before the party can earn her extra perks with many companies. It's usually as easy as getting her best gals looking in the catalog with her. She could ask her besties to help her pick which items they think she should put on her wishlist. (They will no doubt see some thing they just have to have too!) Instruct her to ask those who can't make it if they would like to see a catalog or get an link to view it online. One way you can help her achieve these advanced orders is to hold an exclusive drawing during the party just for those who've ordered before the party starts - the prize does not have to be extravagant! You can always find CUTE things inexpensively at Target in the dollar spot, or at stores like TJ Max!
5. Treat Her Like a Friend, not a Party
Your lovely hostess has booked this party envisioning a fun night with her friends, and probably a way to get some product she's had her eye on at a discount. Yes, this is your business, and you should be professional, but above all, you need to make this party ABOUT YOUR HOST!! Take some time to find out what she wants to get out of the party. Get to know her better, because if you're doing direct sales the right way, then HOSTS BECOME DEAR FRIENDS!! I can honestly look at many dear friendships I have now, and see that we became friends through my direct sales business, and even though I have been out of "the active DS field" for a few years, they are still dear friends!
A wonderful thing happens when you SERVE in your business, instead of just trying to SELL. People will know you really care about THEM, and they will become friends instead of just hosts and customers. You will also probably find that many of these hosts will book a party with you year after year, because of this friendship.
Make sure to let your host know that she can be "one of her own bookings" (if your company allows this) for the host benefits that have to do with future bookings. I recommend letting her know BEFORE the party. Tell her she can pencil in a date around this time for next year, and be one booking closer to getting that particular bonus. When I was in direct sales, I called it my Hostess Gold Club - they would receive a coupon from me for 20% off an item to shop at one of their friends' parties, and they could call me the week of their birthday and order an item for 50% off too! Not many hostesses decided NOT to join my gold-club!
You can also nurture your friendship throughout the year by letting them know first when hot new products launch, and being intentional about interacting with them on social media as a friend, not a consultant all the time.
I am going to leave you with an analogy...
as I close this blog post! I like to think of hostess coaching like a duck on a pond. You & your hostess make up the team that is the duck - she is the top of the duck - floating gracefully along the surface, enjoying every part of her party, from booking to receiving her products. You are the duck feet, under the water, PADDLING, working hard to make sure it is all a success. She is floating, you are paddling. If you make it difficult for her to have a party (AKA make her paddle) she will not book again, because it felt like hard work!
While great, successful, hostess coaching IS work, my desire for you as a direct seller was to make that "paddling" as easy for you as I could. That's why I created my app This is Dot! It automates reminders for each and every step of your host coaching process. When you book a party, you simply enter it in your Dot planner, and then, magically, every task you have due for that party will appear on your Dot Dashboard To-Do list on the day it is due. What makes it so SO helpful, is that when you have 5 parties going on at once, you will always know where you're at for each one, never missing an important task that could make that "duck" stop sailing gracefully across the pond!!
If you haven't tried it yet, start your free 30 day trial today, and take your Hostess Coaching to a whole new professional, efficient and EASY level!
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