Coaching the Host
Plan to spend some time with your Host soon after setting up a show date in order to review their guest list. Explain that the goal is between 10 and 20 guests. Give your Host an Open House Host Guide (Most Party Plans have these or make your own) and let them know how easy it can be to find guests among co-workers, friends, neighbors, relatives and many other places.
Help with the guest list and urge the Host to ask each guest to bring at least one friend.
The Guest List
1. A couple days before the party, have your Host send confirming invitations and be sure to enter the names of definite guests in the spaces provided.
2. Describe the Free Gift system to your Host by showing pictures of the gifts they can qualify for.
3. Review the order form, so your Host can help guests place orders.
4. Explain how deliveries are made.
5. Discuss plans for refreshments.
6. Remind the host that it's important to be upbeat and enthusiastic with the guests.
Arranging the Furniture
There are a few basic requirements that your Host needs to take into consideration:
1. Enough seating facing a central point in the room.
2. A table large enough to hold your display samples.
3. Good lighting.
Preparing Your Samples
Samples are perhaps best sales tools you've got. Be sure you have a large selection on hand to display. Also:
1. Have a sufficient supply of catalogs on hand.
2. Make sure each sample item is in excellent shape and is sparkling clean.
Before the Guests Arrive
Arrive at the Host's home an hour or so before the party and provide a last-minute briefing. Divide the necessary chores between the two of you and make a final review of the guest list. During this review, get your Host's opinion as to which guests might be the strongest prospects for future party bookings.
Greeting the Guests
As the guests arrive, have the Host introduce you and greet them warmly and cordially. Chat with them a minute while filling out a nametag to make them feel at home.
Begin your presentation simply and make the guests comfortable by welcoming them and chatting a bit.
1. This is a perfect time to present free gifts to each guest as a thank you for coming. This will help focus their attention on the items you have brought.
2. Present your first item by using descriptions you've worked on before the party. Notes and note cards are fine to use.
"Touch and Try" With Personal Attention
After the last item has been presented and while questions are being asked of the representative, the Host should prepare the refreshments. While the guests are browsing:
1. Ask basic questions about families and homes. Suggest items that would fit their lifestyle or decor.
2. Suggest that a guest can "earn" a gift she particularly wants for "free" by hosting a party.
3. Never high-pressure a guest into having a show.
4. If you don't have the answer to a guest's question, simply note the guest's name and phone number and call them at home with the answer. This gives you more time to talk to the guest and does not take valuable time away from other guests during the party.
Finishing Up Guest Orders
It should take about 10 minutes for all the guests' Order Forms to be completed. As soon as you have gathered all the orders and remittances, it's time to award the Host her free gift if your program is set up for it. In some cases you won't actually have the gift with you since some companies suppliythe incentives gift free of charge based on party performance. However, you can still make it a point to present her with a certificate.
Note: Make sure you do this before the gusts leave. It's a strong incentive to host a party.
Getting Paid: Be prepared to accept cash payments (have some change on hand) along with checks. Many guests will probably want to write a check, so be sure they make the check out to you or your company's name, whichever you prefer. Since most guests are well known to the party host, you don't need to worry too much about "bouncing" checks. If a problem comes up, it will be easy enough to contact that guest and let them know their check didn't clear.
Policy Tip: You might want to hold off on ordering merchandise until each check has cleared. Of course, if you have a merchant account you can accept credit card payments as well.
How To End The Show
After all the orders have been taken and you've signed up some future hosts, run through this checklist:
1. Each guest should have a copy of his or her completed order form.
2. Give all future hosts their Open House Host Guides.
3. Get names and addresses of guests who had solid reasons for not booking shows immediately. They are still good future prospects, and excellent names for your mailing list.
4. Be sure all display samples are back in boxes and all packed up.
Good Practice: Make it a point to visit or call the Host the following day to express your appreciation for their hospitality.
Darren Hendricks has been involved in marketing in one form or another since 1979. He has owned or co-owned 3 successful companies. He is currently owner of Far Horizons Home Based Business Program