Keeping a diary
A diary is the most important tool a party planner can have! Managing your time correctly will help you to manage you party plan business without it getting in the way of family life. Carrying it with you will allow you to take bookings at any time. "I'll check my diary when I get home" is a sure fire way of losing a potential party host!
The importance of blocking off
Blocking off is a technique I find really helpful when beginning the party planning journey. One of the benefits of being a party planner is that you are self-employed and able to work your business around your family.
It is important that you involve your family in this process, sit down with your other half and go through the diary blocking out any family engagements, birthdays, weddings, holidays etc. Consider your partners shift patterns, if they interfere with your party availability block that time out too. What about dance classes, swimming clubs for your children etc?
Once you have blocked out your commitments you should be left with a number of "free spaces" This is where you can put your party availability. Put a thick line around 2 -3 hour blocks where you are availability and label with "free for party", it is a good idea to use small sticky note page tabs to mark the available dates so that you can find them easily.
Involving your family goes a long way to making sure that they understand your work commitments.
Take your Diary EVERYWHERE!
Having a diary is brilliant, blocking off is even better, but it's not much use if you leave it at home. Taking it with you to work, on the school run, to the gym etc mean that if you get into a conversation about what you do and by some chance the person you are speaking too has a date in mind that they'd like to book you can take the booking right there and then. I'm not suggesting that this will happen every day, however, it won't happen at all if you are not prepared.
I would recommend always carrying a bag with your diary, a couple of brochures and a couple of samples with you. This way you are always prepared.
Who should you involve in your time management process?
- Your old college lecturer
- Your boss at work
- Your family
- Your dog
What makes a perfect party for you
Well, I don't think it's too difficult to work out what makes a perfect party for the rep! High sales and high earnings are the simplest answer. However, money isn't everything. You have to enjoy yourself too, because if you aren't enjoying yourself, not only will it feel like more of an effort, but it will come across to your potential clients and actually affect your sales negatively.
So really a perfect party for you is when you have a good time, your guests have a good time, the hostess had a good time and everyone spends loads.
The key to achieving the perfect party for you is to focus on creating the perfect party for your hostess and her guests.
What makes a perfect party for the guest
One of the most important, in fact, I'd go as far as to say vital, elements of a sales party for a guest is a relaxed atmosphere. It is a party after all, no one should feel under pressure to buy something just because "that's how it works". You want the guests to make a purchase because they fall in love with the product.
If you create an expectation that a purchase will be made you will simply find guests going through the brochure to find the cheapest item they can get away with and buying that, just so that they feel like they have performed to the expectation.
As part of your introduction, it is important to get across that you are there to introduce these guests to Darceys, to get the name out there and let them know what a fantastic product range is available. Using words like "If" you wish to make a purchase as opposed to "when" you want to make a purchase makes all the difference.
The truth is most people will make a purchase just because "that's how it works" it is like an unwritten rule, however, it is up to you to take that pressure away and make it fun.
Now that you have a relaxed atmosphere in mind, what else can we do to make it a fantastic party for the guests? So fantastic that they want to book a party of their own!
Party games are always a winner and there are plenty to choose from including Darceys Bingo, The left/Right game, a raffle, sweepstake and many more.
It's a good idea to have something available only for the night of the party, an extra special offer that you have put together just for them. It makes them feel special and also encourages them to place an order on the night to avoid missing out on the deal.
Another thing to consider is putting together a party bag for each guest which contains a brochure, a special offer leaflet, a sample and a leaflet with details about booking a party with you in future. Guests at a party don't stop being your customer when they leave.
What makes a perfect party for the host
Believe it or not, the Party host may just be the most important guest at the party!
She has kindly agreed not only to let you use her house to display your products, she's agreed to open up your offering to her friends and those close to her which, itself is a stellar recommendation from her. How she feels will absolutely reflect on how her guests feel so making her happy should be a priority.
Your pre-party prep is a big part of this, keeping in touch with your hostess to make sure that everything is in order and make sure she feels assured that you have everything planned. This has to be done without putting too much pressure on her, it needs to be clear that you are giving her an opportunity to increase her own reward by offering the pre-party pack and not just trying to line your own pockets.
Arrive at the party in plenty of time and have your display set up before the guests arrive, it looks a bit messy setting it all up in front of them. And always arrive with a bottle of wine or some chocolates, or both!
Ensure that you show your appreciation for the hostess to the guests too, when closing the party, thank the hostess and announce what a great job she has done and what she will receive as a thank you. This does two things for you, it shows how appreciative you are and it also lets the other guests know what they could potentially earn by hosting their own party.
When you arrive at the party, what should you always hand the hostess?
- An invoice for fuel
- A Pre-Party Pack
What Darceys offer as a Hostess Gift
At Darceys we like to show our appreciation to those who agree to host parties in their home. Although we expect the representative to offer an additional gift, we feel it is only right that we make an offering too.
Each month we have a different hostess gift available, usually a large candle or a reed diffuser which the hostess receives if their party sales exceed £150 (£112 reps prices). Occasionally we will have a party push month which sees us running extra incentives and a tiered Hostess gift package.
To claim the hostess gift for your party, just put a comment in the comment box when you are placing your order and include the name of the host and date of the party. If you host a party in your own home you are also eligible for the gift.
(Facebook parties also count but that is a whole other training module)
What you can offer as a Hostess Gift
The most common thing to offer a hostess gift is 10% of party sales to spend in the brochure. This is a great way to incentivise the host to get those extra sales in before the party because; the more she brings in, the more free stuff she gets. It also means you still earn commission from the items you are giving the hostess.
Some reps will have stock held that they can give as extra incentives, however, the 10% spends and the Hostess gift from us is quite sufficient to boost sales.
A bottle of wine or a box of chocolates is always a nice touch though.
An added bonus for future party bookings
The best way to get party bookings is at a party! If you pull off a great party, you will have guests who want to host their own and earn their own hostess gift.
To give you a help along, you can offer the host an extra incentive for anyone at her party who books their own on the night. This doesn't have to be much, a box of melts would do it.