What to do when your diary is empty, and you have zero bookings? The first thing is not to panic. The second thing is not to give up because this situation is temporary!
How you deal with a zero bookings situation depends on how long you’ve been in your direct sales business. I’ve got two options, and if you do the first option, nothing stops you from moving on to the second option to boost your business even further!
The Re-Launch Option
The re-launch works well if you’ve been in business for a while. The first thing to do is to get excited because it’s a fresh start!
Now, in your diary, set two party dates within three days of each other—for example, a Friday night and a Sunday afternoon in the same week. Next, grab a FRANK worksheet and think of anybody and everybody you can call.
When you call the people on your list, ask them to host a party for you. If they can’t do that or are uncomfortable doing that, only invite them to attend one of your parties. (“That’s okay, I have a party at my place. Which is better for you, Friday night or Sunday afternoon next week?”). If they can’t host a party and they can’t attend your party, ask if you can send them a catalog. Always start with the biggest ask (hosting a party), not with the catalog option!
Ensure all your party dates are close to getting momentum and your business going again. Also, don’t invite people hosting a party for you to your party because they will stop the booking momentum. When one or two people say, “I’ve already booked a party with you…” other guests are less likely to book with you thinking you’ve already got a full diary.
Also, you don’t want to drive your friends and family crazy with your business 🙂
Find New Networks
Perhaps you’ve only recently hosted your party. Or maybe you’re new in your party plan business and launched not long ago. If the Re-Launch Option doesn’t work, you must find new networks with new people!
The trick with branching out into new networks is to cast your net wide and try many different things. Don’t pre-judge the ideas. Start trying them out.
Use surveys to get fresh leads for bookings or recruits. Create a survey related to your type of direct sales business (e.g., health, fashion, home decor). Ask a couple of questions and collect details to follow people up. Anybody who fills out a survey goes in the draw for a prize.
You can leave your surveys at businesses in your town.
Read this article for more details on using surveys to get new leads, and grab the two survey examples to get started.
Create a special promotion for party bookings and staple a bright flyer to your catalog. When planning your letterbox, drop it’s better to target the same house three times than to deliver as many catalogs as you can in your town. People need to see something more than once before they take action (that’s why TV ads get repeated so often). For example, if you can afford 60 catalogs or flyers, deliver them to the same 20 houses over ten days rather than to 60 houses. My results from letterbox drops have been mixed. Sometimes it worked well, and I had no phone calls other times. But it’s about casting that wide net!
In most neighborhoods, you can find a noticeboard to put up a poster to advertise your business. I use posters with tear-off tabs with my contact details. Put at least five posters in different locations such as your local library, university, cafe, laundromat, supermarket, lunch rooms at large offices, community notice boards, etc. Don’t forget to check back and replace posters if needed. This is a tremendously low-effort method.
Do you know a consultant in a different party plan business? Arrange a party swap: you’ll be hosting a party for her, and she’ll be hosting a party for you. It’s a fun way to get a booking as you’ll have an evening of fun with your friends and you’ll have a chance to watch another consultant at work and see if you can pick up some ideas from them.
If you have spare products or testers gathering dust at home, put them together in a nice box or basket and drop them at a local business. Ensure to include some catalogs, order forms, and the host offers for parties. It’s a good idea to have a special gift or incentive to bribe someone to be ‘in charge’ of the box at the business (e.g., the receptionist). Leave the box at the company for a few days, and then retrieve your box or basket and any orders.
Market or Fete
Are there any markets or events coming up in your local area? Booking a site at a local event is a great way to spread the word about what you offer and pick up new bookings. Also, consider creating a special booking incentive to entice people to book a party with you.
Read this article to learn more about these ideas.
Maximizing Bookings Once you Have a Party
Once you’ve cast that wide net, you’ll get at least a few bookings.
Now you need to make the most of those parties to get more bookings and get your business rolling again.
Here are some ideas to do just that:
- Use referral vouchers. This is an easy and low-effort method, so add it to your repertoire! Please read this article on how to do it well and grab the free printables.
- Check this article to learn about booking boxes, party bags, star dates, and wish lists.
- And for three more booking enticements check this article too.
Want to learn all my secrets to growing a direct sales team? This book has everything I have learned from the industry in the last 20 years. I’ve tried and tested many methods to arrive at my winning formula!