Direct Sellers / Party Planners: How to have a successful January
In the Direct Sales industry Consultants can often worry that January and February are going to be very quiet months as no-one wants to party after the Christmas and New Year festivities and it is always assumed that no-one has any money either.
So, here’s a question…………… Are Marks & Spencer, Next, John Lewis or Selfridges empty in January? NO! Do you see people queuing to get into the shops and retail outlets in January or late December? YES! Amazingly some people even shop online for sale bargains on Christmas Day! Surely this is proof that a lot of people do have money and are willing to spend it!
January will be whatever you want it to be, you have to truly believe it will be a good month, however you do have to put some work in to achieve this – it won’t just happen on its own.
The Direct Sales company I am with always has a sale on one of their product lines in the New Year so this, combined with a good host bonus programme, helps me to get bookings. Obviously I don’t know details of other Direct Sales company’s bonus schemes, however this can be a great way of securing bookings. Sell the benefits of booking in the New Year and get the 2014 off to a flying start. I always think that there is such a build-up of excitement in the planning for Christmas and it is over so quickly that by mid-January people are desperate to go out and do something a bit different!
Why not kick-start your New Year with a ‘home show’ or ‘at-home party’? You can invite your past hosts, your most loyal customers, highest spending customers and friends and family to your own party. You can showcase your products from the comfort of your own home and offer incentives for booking their own party on certain dates that you want to fill.
Use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter effectively to promote yourself and your products. By posting regularly you can reach a huge number of your fans and their friends without even stepping out the door and with no financial outlay. It also reminds people who you are even if they’ve not seen you for a while. If you have your own website your guests and hosts can order your products online – who doesn’t love the simplicity of online shopping?
Host Coaching is probably the single most important aspect of making January a great month. Personally I don’t take bookings until about the 10th of January but from then on I am pretty much full for the whole month! Ensure your hosts are booked in, have had confirmations of the date they have booked and then keep in touch with them regularly. January can be a bad month for cancellations and postponements due to sickness, weather and lack of host coaching! If you ensure you keep in contact with your hosts they will be much less likely to cancel or postpone. If your host is concerned about their guests not having any money after Christmas, remind them about all the other big retailers and how busy they are. If it helps the host and guests and is not detrimental to you in any way, agree to submit party orders at the end of the month once people have been paid. Send a follow-up email in December detailing the offers that will be available at January parties so the host knows what will be on ‘special’. Why not incentivise your host to get pre-orders from guests that aren’t able to make the party or family members that live too far away to attend? When I started in Direct Sales my Team Leader suggested that I send a Happy New Year card to all my January hosts and include some ‘top-tips to a good party’. I do this every year and I’m sure it has reduced the number of cancellations and postponements that I get because I am building a relationship with the hosts and they can see that I care about them and am already planning their party! In the New Year I always follow-up with a phone call to the host to plan their party with them and re-iterate the top tips.
If you are able to follow these handy tips you will be able to relax during the festivities and switch-off from work. Have a great time during the festive season and I hope you get your New Year off to a flying start. Just remember to stay in regular touch with your hosts and make them your new best friend!