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 is a temporary situation!
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, there’s nothing stopping 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. 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 if they’re not comfortable doing that, only then invite them to attend one of your parties. (“That’s okay, I have a party coming up 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 own party, ask if you can send them a catalog. Always start with the biggest ask (hosting a party) not with the catalog option!
Make sure all your party dates are fairly close together to get some momentum and get your business going again. Also, don’t invite people who are hosting a party for you to your own party because they will stop the booking momentum. When you have one or two people saying “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 own party. Or maybe you’re new in your party plan business and you launched not long ago. If the Re-Launch Option won’t work for you, you’ll need to find new networks with new people!
The trick with branching out into new networks is to cast your net wide and try lots of different things. Don’t pre-judge the ideas, just 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 (eg. health, fashion, home decor). Ask a couple of questions and collect details so you can 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 how to use surveys to get new leads and grab the 2 survey examples to get you started.
Create a special promotion for party bookings and staple a bright flyer to your catalog. When you’re 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 a ten day period rather than to 60 houses. My results from letterbox drops have been mixed. Sometimes it’s worked well and other times I had no phone calls at all. But it’s about casting that wide net!
In most neighborhoods you can find some 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 5 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 great 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 some spare products or testers that are just gathering dust at home, put them together in a nice box or basket and drop it at a local business. Make sure to include some catalogs, order forms, and 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 (eg. the receptionist). Leave the box at the business 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 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. 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, I’m sure 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 definitely add it to your repertoire! 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 3 more booking enticements check this article too.
I’m curious to hear from direct sellers who’ve experienced a period of zero bookings and how you got your business going again. Please leave a comment below!