By David M Taylor, Co-Founder of LaunchSmart
We all remember the great childhood story about the little engine of the train that said: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can . . . . “ Well, in the wonderful model of direct selling we call party plan – there is an amazing little engine that drives that business, and therefore drives the long-term, sustainable growth of a party plan company. Understanding that engine, and all the personal motivations involved, is critical to success using the party plan model.
The little engine gets started right after a new party plan consultant (independent field sales representative) enrolls. As soon as possible after enrollment, she needs to do her “grand opening party” – usually with the support and supervision of her sponsor (the person who enrolled her). The grand opening party fills the little party plan engine with its first tank of gas!
A new consultant’s grand opening party will usually be held at her home, and she will invite all of her close friends and relatives to come and support her as she kicks off her brand new home based business. Usually she will get a good turnout at this party, because her close friends and family want to support her. But what is vital is that she has to get as many bookings for additional parties as she possibly can before those guests leave her grand opening party. Why? Because, here are the key elements that drive the little party plan engine:
- A full calendar means a full bank account for the party plan consultant. An empty calendar means she’s out of business.
- The goal is to get at least two bookings from every party. That’s what keeps the calendar full!
- The goal is to get at least one follow-up phone interview per party with an attendee who is interested in starting her own party plan business. That’s what builds her team and exponentially increases her income!
Now, to get the guests at the grand opening to book their own parties, there are three essential ingredients. Of course, attendees have to fall in love with the product. Second, there has to be an enticing hostess reward program in place that is communicated to all attendees. And third, the new consultant has to be taught how to invite attendees to book their own parties.
Next, let’s fast forward a couple of weeks. The new consultant is now doing the parties she booked at her grand opening. Again, what’s her goal? Simple – two bookings and one prospective new consultant from each party. To make that happen, again there are several key ingredients.
Of course, attendees have to fall in love with the product. Second, there has to be an enticing hostess reward program in place and the consultant must make it very public to all guests how the hostess will benefit that night from the guests’ purchases. Understanding the hostess reward program helps them feel a motivation to purchase because they know the hostess and want to help her get some great rewards that night. In addition, understanding the hostess reward program makes them want to have their own party. It’s great if the hostess reward program has a booking incentive – something that rewards both the hostess and the guest who books at her party with small rewards. The consultant will need to learn to effectively use “booking seeds” – comments she drops here and there to inform, educate, and invite guests to book their own parties. If she books two parties from her grand opening, and two parties from each of those parties, and two parties from each of those parties, and so forth – she will soon have too many parties. Great! Now she’ll be even more motivated to invite a new consultant to enroll under her, help that new consultant with her grand opening party, and give that new consultant a couple of her own bookings to help her get started. Of course, where is the best place to identify and invite new consultants to come on board? At her parties! And the hostesses are some of the very best prospects. Again, she will need to learn to effectively use “recruiting seeds” – comments she drops here and there to inform, educate, and invite guests to visit with her about starting their own party plan home based business.
So, there it is – the amazing little engine that drives this business model we call party plan. Get some gas in its tank, get all party plan consultants following the formula and teaching those they recruit to follow the formula – and this little engine will build a great big company!