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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Setting the deadline

Many WAHMs are using a Party Plan. One of the challenges is when to close a party and other deadlines. So often you are either told or tempted to keep a party open for a certain amount of time. Most times this turns into more of a hassle than it is beneficial to you and your hostess.

Here are a few tips in creating that deadline:

Be clear about your expectations of her party. Make sure she understands her party will close the night of the party. Holding it open in most cases does not allow for more orders. It just lengthens the time her guests can receive their items.

Be sure to include plenty of order forms and catalogs in your hostess packet. Your hostess is most excited and motivated prior to the party. Providing her with these gives her an opportunity to start off your party.

Offer an incentive to have orders prior to her party. Offer double hostess credits for any outside orders or offer a specific product if she has a certain amount in outside orders prior to the party. I like to use a hostess tic tac toe. It makes it fun and gives a few options for the hostess to earn extra goodies.

Coach your hostess. During the first meeting be excited. Provide her with everything she needs to start her party right. Give her a deadline to getting that guest list to you. If you send out the invites you are making it easy for her to enjoy her time and less chance of forgetting that party. Meet or call your hostess weekly leading up to the party. By staying in contact you can be sure she has all she needs and address her questions. You also keep the party on track and all deadlines on target.

During the party be clear the party will close that night. Some are afraid to say they have no money or not interested in buying and often ask if they can place an order in a couple days. Explain that for their friend to receive credit they will need to place their order that evening but offer a party date to them which will benefit their friend.

When booking other parties to benefit the hostess, place a deadline on when these need to take place. I personally like to use a 60 day window. Many times I use this because you will be inviting some of the same people and do not want to overload them on the products. I don't know how many times I have been invited to the same party every 2 weeks until the cycle was broken. When you overwhelm guests the bookings stop and so do the sales. If you are on constant contact, receive their guest list in a timely manner, and begin to take outside orders, the success of the party is greater.

When you have a hostess who is insisting on holding a party open beyond the party date kindly explain you are penalizing the guests who did attend and could cause them to not receive their order as promised. Offer a secondary catalog party if your hostess is adamant about holding that party open. This allows you to process orders for guests getting them their orders in a timely manner, pleasing your hostess in her hopes of getting more orders, and allows you the chance to increase sales.

Catalog parties need deadlines and be strict. Open a window of no more than 14 days for a catalog party to be open. I personally use a 7 day window. This is plenty of time for your hostess to share the catalogs and pick up orders. Beyond that it is easy to lose orders, lose checks, or those wanting to order brush it off ending in no orders.

Deadlines are not just for your hostess. They are for you as well. Create and stick to deadlines when meeting with a hostess for her hostess packet or to collect outside orders. Sticking to your own rules sets the tone for the entire process. Stick to the rules with family and friends. It is so easy to be relaxed with the rules for family and friends because you want to give them extra just because of who they are. Don't fall for the relaxed attitude. This is still a business and personal business should not be compromised. Give everyone the same deals across the board and you will never have an issue.

Do you have tips that work for you? We want to hear about them.

Olivia Vidal
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