Network Gals
Excitement - what it means to you & others

Perhaps one of the most successful careers in a Party Plan company was many years ago, but I had to mention it to illustrate how you can change your career, life and the people around you with nothing more than EXCITEMENT!

Having difficulty recruiting, I asked a seasoned rep how she was having so much success. She replied with the bolded word above - Excitement! Deciding to put this theory to the test I chose to go to my next show brimming with as much excitement I could muster. Now of course I also went filled with tons of knowledge on the recruiting package(s). To my amazing surprise I actually recruited 3 Ladies that night!!!

Hard to believe? Without a doubt this and more is possible but only if you are informed, honestly enthused and able to express your recruiting info in 3 consecutive ways.
- first, you need to create an easy to read and understand hand out.
- second, you need signage that can put a slightly different spin on the old recruiting talk ( eg: remind people this can be a part time biz or you can travel or sell in what area or if doing parties is too daunting then they can do catalogue shows, online shows, basket shows for short impromptu coffee shows, etc.)
- third, the best way to explain the recruiting program is a two part session where you visually display what they get in their kit and (using funny money) what they can earn. Then open up to any questions the guests may have.
- two alternate ideas you can use - Start the conversation by asking 3 questions. How many women know other women, is there anyone they know (and including their self) who could really use an easier way in life, do you have enough money for all the travel and nice things in life?
- use a referral program that either pays people nice credits to buy from you or actual money.

That week I experimented with excitement and it really paid off for me as I went on to recruit 12 Ladies that week. Now not all shows can get that many recruits nor all weeks be that successful but envision the possibilities you can attain with a little bit of excitement!

Your Niche market and how to find it

If you had read the Leader blog this week you would have seen our blog about finding contacts on a daily basis and how crucial it is to your business. We talked about how 3 new contacts a day are what it takes to keep your business moving forward. That 3 a day becomes 90 people a month and although the majority of these people you will meet at shows you still need to adapt ways to find more people. Then, besides that you also have to understand your products and your market in general. Let’s say the majority of your products are $50.00 and above plus the commonly purchased product is under $20.00 then you need to find more customers who have enough money to spend at a higher rate and less customers who will spend at the lower rate only. Now don’t go and get rid of customers just understand your business limitations. So let’s look at ways you can find those 90 people and the people right for your business:

- It starts by simply getting out there. Talk to people everywhere you go such as; photocopying, grocery shopping, hotel staff and customers while going to a conference, trade shows and craft fairs, do your mini demo at a cafe,etc.

- do 3 draw boxes at 3 different locations - go to cafe, gym, salon managers and talk about setting up a draw box. The key to doing a successful draw box is letting the staff know that you will be doing a small draw for just the staff for all their help in getting people to enter your draw. Also, it is a good idea to do a mock basket that would sit next to the draw. A mock basket is a draw basket filled with empty boxes/containers that look like products but will not cost you a lot if it walks away. Put out catalogues, business cards and a nice box with a flyer explaining the draw. Lots of draw slips and tie a pen with ribbon which you glue to the box or it will disappear. Go back and refill as needed through out the 7-10 days you leave it there. Once you have your leads then call/email all of them right away with a deal to book and a deal to buy. Keep your leads for future reference and don’t forget to mark on the back all your progress with the customer.

- Join groups/clubs - Join things you enjoy but also think about what type of people might be attending. IE: sports events - lots of people but almost impossible to chat with people, Support groups: might be ok but usually people who have spent the meeting talking about their issues do not want to see or talk to you afterwards. Craft groups and charity groups can be great places to meet people.

- Make sure you are using a referral program at your shows - check out Networking Gals “Referrals” for an example of how to use one.

- Always use Networking Gals “Squared Up” at every show because it can add more in sales but it may give you access to those who did not attend but wanted to take part.

- Go back to school - take some evening classes in a subject that appeals to you. You may want to take some business courses or try learning Calligraphy or scrapbooking, etc.

- Search outside your area - We tend to do parties mostly close to where we live but if you are selling a higher end product that may not work. So try putting up flyers in a different area or city. Drop tons of business cards around the area you think may be your niche market. Do your draw boxes in this area and search for trade shows in that area.Talk to the local paper of the area to see if they offer a welcome basket to new home owners or something and then see if you can put a baggie filled with a catalogue, biz card, a sample or gift.

- Do draws at every Trade show/craft fair - This is very important to do a separate draw for people stopping at your booth. Now the event organizer may want a gift for their promotions but still make sure you do one at your table. Also make sure you do up tons of business cards with a small gift attached and hand them out to everyone.These are great ways of finding more leads.

Sometimes it is as simple as a few draws or a couple of trade shows that can keep you working for several months. The key to this is always keep searching and keep putting those draw boxes out even if you feel you have enough business. The best way to recruit is by increasing the number of people you are seeing/talking to. I hope you find these tips work for you as they always worked for me. Remember…..

                             Life is too short………..so go out and Party!

They are coming - are you ready?

That’s right - they are coming. Warmer weather brings people out and about and for a Party Plan rep it can be a hungry time. This means that many many party plan Consultants will be out and about looking to find leads and book parties. How about you? Are you booked as full as you like or will you be out joining in the mad search for business? Actually, there is no reason why you should not be looking for business even if you are busy. However, I suggest you do it in style and here are some tips:

- Plan ahead - we have talked about his before. Plan ahead when your hubby takes you to the game with him. Don’t forget your Networking Gals “Business in a Box” and make sure there are ample supplies for the next few outings.

- Take it with you - Definitely bring your “Business in a Box” but also consider emptying out your purse and adding a couple of important business basics. Also you could carry a fanny pack with a few catalogues, business cards and draw slips with a pen.

- Get your Commercial ready - Practice your commercial ahead of time and do it in front of the mirror so you get use to smiling and making eye contact.

- Business is everywhere - I do not take a trip to the bathroom without business cards in hand. Now if it is a porta potty well you may want to pass on that. Hand out business cards everywhere you go and should someone talk to you then take that opportunity to speak to them in brief and perhaps get their info.

- Keep it brief - It is summer and no one wants to be caught in a lengthy conversation about business. Show your respect and your self control and keep it brief!

- Summer attire - we have talked about this before but I truly believe that it is necessary to maintain a bit of business while also looking cool and summery. Consider a dress or dressy Capri pants with a beautiful blouse.

- Basket show - You may also want to consider bringing your basket show basket. That’s a small basket filled with a few of your products. Keep it covered until you are ready to show it off. For more on Networking Gals “Basket show” go to our website.

Let’s get out to all of those craft fairs, sporting events, weddings and more but let’s also be prepared to find business where ever it may be. Enjoy the weather and your vacation time but it does not hurt to put a little biz into it. Have fun everyone and remember…..

                          Life is too short………..so go out and Party!

                                     www.networkinggals.com

Keeping your Bookings

Life seems to happen to all of us and your Hostesses are no different. So how do we keep a Hostess booked when small things happen along the way? Here are some strategies that I find work but you will have to find what works for you and your Hostesses. Until then try these:

- Hostess coaching and keeping the Hostess pumped and excited about his/her show has a lot to do with the relationship you establish with her/him. Follow the Networking Gals “3 Call system” of Hostess Coaching to be a bit more connected to your Hostess.

- I have always found that if your Hostesses are out getting outside sales before the show then usually Hostesses are a lot more committed to keeping the show once they have a few sales. Encourage them to do that.

- If you use the Networking Gals “Hostess Letter” then you should be offering your Hostess a small gift for keeping the original date. I remind my Hostesses about that at the very beginning so as to alleviate date changes.

- After the first phone call I highly recommend sending out a thank you note to your Hostess. I make sure it says that I have reserved or saved this date for him/her and that this is my business and every date is very important to me. Obviously you want to word it in a caring way. See Networking Gals “Notes to Hostess”. I usually include a little sample pack of bath salts and let my Hostess know I want him/her to relax because I am here to help.

- If you are excited about a Hostesses show then it helps to keep your Hostess excited too! Be enthusiastic and encouraging. Even if a Hostess has only 3 guests coming you want to let him/her know that he/she is doing a great job but you want to suggest that the Hostess keep up the good work. (Before I make Hostess Coaching calls I practice smiling in the mirror and usually do my first few calls in front of a mirror so that I can see I am genuinely excited and that real emotion can spread)

- Networking Gals uses a proven 3 Call method but I also encourage you to make a very quick call once or twice throughout the week(s) prior to the show in the day time. These “I’m thinking about you” calls are meant to be simply ” Heh I thought of you and wanted to see how your day is” this is just another step in forming that relationship with the Hostess. It is proven that Hostesses who really like and appreciate their Consultant rarely cancel their shows!! I frequently call up a Hostess if I happen to have a minute or two in my day and if I am in their neighborhood. I invite them for a quick cup of coffee at a local coffee shop. No strings, No selling, No Hostess Coaching just a simple break in the day.

- Finding more dedicated Hostesses does not stop after the show. I honor my Hostesses with a yearly Hostess Appreciation day filled with tons of rewards, prizes, fun and caring. It makes it clear to every Hostess how dedicated you are and that make a deep impression that keeps Hostesses coming back to you for orders or shows.

Unfortunately, life happens to all of us and there is no way of foreseeing or preventing the unforeseen. Hopefully these tips will help you weather through the seas of the unknown or at least where our shows are concerned. Try to be accepting of changes in bookings and do your best to understand and forgive the changes that do happen. Put your smile on and let your Hostesses know that you would be happy to do a show with them in the future.Remember….

                        Life’s too short…………..so go out and Party!

Common Mistakes

Be it a new Consultant, a Leader or a Manager - we all make mistakes in a variety of ways. Few companies teach you how to do proper Customer service in this area. When you are dealing with the general public there are no excuses or reasons in their mind to have a mistake or to not have an order come in when it should. Here are some guidelines in dealing with this area but of course your company may have other ideas:

- When you forgot or mistakenly ordered the wrong item - there is not a lot you can do with this one. You either have to own up to your mistake and be willing to pay heavily for it or you lie and say it is the company or out of stock. I believe in the high road on this but if you have a bit of a huffy customer then you may want to lie. I try to carry stock of the popular items to cover just this type of thing but also to cover any potential shortages. Even if you order 2 or 3 items per show you will never regret it!

- The company made a mistake - now of course they will have to fix it but most occasions they feel back orders or out of stock for example are perfectly acceptable problems irregardless of how long it takes to get the item in. Unfortunately Party Plan companies do not have millions of dollars in stock and these problems will always arise, sometimes they are willing to kick out a compensation gift but most times that will be up to you. Make sure you are in constant communication as your customer will feel like she is being cheated and you may want to let her know that there will be some compensation even if it has to come from you. Unfortunately most times something like this will cost you a customers.

- Someone’s mistake - Perhaps you piggy backed an order onto a friend Consultants show or gave it to someone putting an order in and something happens. It is their responsibility to correct and compensate for it but most times they will not. This means you will have to talk to your area Manager or head office to see a resolution in this matter.

- Weather related issues or Shipping company issues - You are at the mercy of the situation here. Sometimes the company (head office) will compensate your customers but most times it will fall on your shoulders. Shipping companies may not do anything for you at the moment but they do have channels that you can go through to get some compensation.

So how do you handle these issues and how do you make your customers happy again? It is not easy that’s for sure but here are some ideas:
- stay in good communication with your customers, your head office and your shipping company. Follow all company guidelines.

- The saying “…the squeaky wheel gets the grease…” is very true and if you have a seriously squeaky customer make sure you are doing everything in your power to satisfy her. If she is too unreasonable then let her know she can take her concerns to head office and give her the number. Head office will call you about it but once they understand the situation they usually take your side.

- ALWAYS tell your customers that orders take at least 3 weeks or more. Then they will not be biting their nails at the 2 week mark when you have not delivered to them yet. This hopefully will give you enough time to make the delivery.

- ALWAYS deliver ASAP!!!!! If weather or vehicle concerns are an issue then hire a courier. This is your job and it is the minimum you can do!!

- Always be prepared for times when you have to give a little extra gift. I make bath salts in a nice scent which I put in a mini zip bag then in a little box and I wrap it up with a gorgeous ribbon. My customers seem to really love that extra touch. Another thing you can do is by the sample sizes of items your company may have and be generous because it is the difference to keeping customers or not!

Well that touched on a touchy subject! This perhaps is one of the hardest areas in being a Party Plan Consultant. Thankfully you have resources in head office, your area manager and in Networking Gals. Remember…

                         Life is too short……….so go out and Party!

Over coming Objections - Bookings

One of the most challenging aspects to Party Plan sales is objections. Everyone has their instant “go-to” answer. Most people do not stop to consider the question they just say “no”! In actuality a lot more people do say “yes” when the following criteria are met:

           - They have taken the time to listen and understand the question and all that may be involved                                                                             

           - They feel that the time is right and that the outcome will suit their needs

           - They believe that the person doing the show fits in with their friends and is reliable and capable of making their show a success

Now that is a ton of stuff people think about when it comes to booking a party with you! If just one of those criteria are not met then you get the “no” answer. So it is our job to delve into the reasons people say “no” and how to get around them. I teach an entire class on this subject because it is so in depth and there are very good reasons why people choose not to book a party. Obviously the simplest reasons are clear but many reasons are not. For more on this subject consider scheduling a class with Networking Gals or purchase my eBook “Bookings and Rejections”. For now here are some standard objections and some ways around them:

- Make sure your commercial is conveying your message! We have spoken about this before in the blogs and it is crucial that you produce a great commercial for both bookings and recruiting.

- My place is not big enough - I suggest the person do a show with a friend at the friend’s house but another idea is that many condos/town homes offer common rooms. If they do not live in a condo then perhaps they have a friend who would help them to use their common room.

-I don’t have time to do a Party - Now through Networking Gals you can use the generic templates for a “Catalogue show” or a “30 minute Show” so anyone can do a show almost anywhere.

-I am new to the area or I don’t have enough friends - You can post signs in your building or on the local community boards or put a small ad in the paper but the one I suggest is have a show at a local cafe (arrange ahead with cafe management permission) it is a great way to meet new people and have fun. The other thing you can do is do a Networking Gals “Fun-raiser” where the cash goes to the charity and the raffle items to you for helping.

There are tons more objections out there and the best way to be prepared for them is to plan ahead. Try thinking of objections and how you might get around them. Also make sure that the objections are not making you feel it is personal. I try to tell myself that every objection or “No” is getting me that much closer to a “Yes”! The one rule of thumb is try not to “SELL” people on having a show but instead try connecting to them emotionally by envisioning their needs and imagining a solution. You can not fake a true emotion so the more real your emotions the more connected you can be and may turn a “no” into a “yes”! Let me know on Facebook how you did at over coming some objections! Remember…..

                             Life is too short………so go out and Party!

check out our Leader blog ———>   www.networkgals.blogspot.ca

Summer and your Business

As our great weather is trying hard to return I can not help thinking about backyard picnics, barbecues and sitting around the pool. Just because the great summer weather is approaching is no reason to stop your business. So many Consultants tell me how much they dislike the summer season because their business stops and I can not believe what they say. I have done more shows, more sales and more recruiting from the end of April to the end of September than any other time of the year! Here are some of my secrets to working the summer:

- Change your show style - we have talked about this in the blog before. You have to think outside of the box for this time of year. So go outside, to a park or a great gazebo and do your shows there.

- Forget the Business attire - go for more jazzy summer colors and styles. Keep your clothes clean and pressed but cool and breezy too!

- Forget the long winded shows - This is the key time of year to break into Networking Gals two new templates, “30 minute Shows” and “Catalogue Show workbook” and of course “Basket shows” these shows seem to work best at this time because people do not want to spend tons of time indoors or working on a show. Likewise this is also a great time for Networking Gals “Fun-raisers” and “Bachelorette shows” coming soon to the template library.

Surviving this time of year is all about planning ahead! We have talked before about the 3 month calendar system where it takes a full month in the first month and a half full in the second month to still be working in the third month. Catalogue shows in our format can be very contagious. It’s simply a matter of making sure your Hostess understands it all and has a great deal of excitement for it! Be prepared by making sure you have tons of Hostess envelopes ready for a catalogue show because you never know when the next waiting time in a doc office gets you a booking or a drive through window gets you a booking or a rushed grocery trip gets you a booking. Don’t forget to have fun out there and enjoy the great summer time too! Remember…..

                         Life is too short……………..so go out and Party!!

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Business and Fun - do they mix?

I see a lot of Party Plan Consultants who take their business seriously which can be good but if you are taking/making your shows too serious then you could be making a big mistake!

One of the great aspects to being a Party Plan Consultant is the ability to make the business your own and customize your shows. Now I highly recommend you follow Networking Gals “Show Guidelines” because I think it should be the basics of every show. That being said, I still think you can create your own content and work around that module. Here are a few suggestions but I am sure you have a ton of your own ideas for sure:

- Games - are a big part of every show because they get your customers loosened up and better able to participate, etc. Besides the ticket game there is ample room for another game or two. Check out Networking Gals “General Games” for some inspiration!

- I find Participation is a huge factor at creating a more spontaneous and fun shows. You could ask someone to come up and help you or you could give a ticket away for the first person to locate the item you are holding, in the catalogue. You could start your show then sit down and ask that anyone who has used any of the products come up and tell everyone about it.

- Sometimes changing the location of the party can really change the atmosphere of a show/party. Consider a party in a park or backyard shows, the Networking Gals “Basket Show” or change the overall theme. You could do an ice cream sundae party, naughty nightie party, a bridal shower or bachelorette or a fundraiser. Look for ideas that would be suitable for your products.(Makeup products=Evening gown and evening wear, Plastic containers=Backyard picnic, Cooking products=non cook anywhere ideas, Jewellery= No fuss fabulous, Candles= Feng Shui or a Candle for every mood)

- Make your clothing a little brighter and more interesting and then turn it into a game. You could suggest that everyone willing to prove they are wearing something with your color on it would then get an extra ticket or a gift or 10% off their order. Make sure you bring a scarf to wrap around the Hostess that matches the color you are wearing. Our Hostesses are important so we want to make sure they earn all the prizes!

- Challenge yourself and your guests by doing 30 minute parties. I suggest you plan this for the summer months because people want to be out enjoying life not at a show. Run a campaign for a month letting everyone know that you will be doing 30 minute parties and that every Hostess who books one will receive an extra gift and be put in the draw for a shopping spree. Check out networking Gals “30 minute Party” which is designed to go along with “Basket shows” for more information.

There are tons of ways you can shake things up a notch and not only make your shows more fun but perhaps find yourself smiling more! Plan ahead so you know the ins and outs before you start doing things different at a show. Use your imagination because if you create it the chances are people will love it that much more! Remember…

                          Life is too short…………..so go out and Party!

Finding Truth

                                                   When you join a Party Plan/Direct Sales/Networking Company there is so very much stuff to learn and so much hear say. Likewise, when you join a company designed to help you in your Party Plan business! There are so many companies out there trying to give you information or trying to get your business.

In no way do I like to talk against any one person or any one company as I do not believe that is needed. However, I do believe that you the consumer, the person who follows/listens/hires these companies has the right to know what their qualifications are. I swear that some of these so called “Party Plan Gurus” have gotten their knowledge base from a candy box!

I have been looking around in the Party Plan industry for many years and I have come to see that there is tons of reputable, knowledgeable and devoted people out there just offering a helping hand within this industry. However, with the good must also come the bad and with that in mind I have given you some tips and advice on choosing a company/speaker/trainer in this industry.

- When considering joining a company that helps Party Plan Consultants/Leaders try to find out what their level of knowledge is in this industry. Have they been in this industry for more than 10 years?

- If their training material and the things they talk about are a little out there the chances are they may not know their topic well enough. Thinking outside the box a little is fine but if they are teaching you to do stuff so completely opposite of other trainers out there then I would be suspect. The reason certain things are taught exactly the same (or close to it) across the board is because THAT is the way to do it!

- Has this person or network EVER owned and operated a Party Plan business?Now I don’t mean being a Consultant I mean owning the whole shooting match. Once you own one you learn so much more that you thought possible and the pitfalls become blatantly obvious.

- Have they (person/network) ever been a Consultant for a Party Plan Company? This is crucial to know but also…..Have they ever failed as a Party Plan Consultant? The reason this is important is because failure teaches you so much more than success ever will. You have to be a very devoted and driven person to climb back up on that horse and try again after a massive failure. If they have not experienced your side of the story then how can they possibly know what it takes???

- Have they ever taken any courses in selling or any other applicable topic for this industry? Now I am not talking about going to seminars to hear people talk about it either. What are their foundations?

- Age is a big giveaway. If you discover this person is under 38, then I do not believe that they could have learned enough within this field yet! The reason the top Managers of the Party Plan Companies are much older is because it takes time to get to a position like that and it takes tons of training too.

- I also recommend the companies that have a team or group of people working on your behalf because simply put, I believe two heads are better than one!

There is so much information available to us now a days and I think we should take advantage of all that we can find! Hopefully now you will be better prepared to understand what is good advice and what may be bad advice. I guarantee you can find so many talented people/companies out there who will be of great knowledge and support for you! I hope you will find what you need and are looking for out there and I hope some day it might be with Networking Gals!! Remember……

                           Life is too short…………..so go out and Party!

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Just thought you might appreciate hearing from me for a change. Give a listen!