By Alanna Bradley
I don’t honestly know why in-home sales parties bother me so much – I have always been an advocate for leveraging my network when I need something or to spread the word about an event, job candidate, etc. and am always more than happy to be leveraged when I can help someone I know.
Caveat, I understand the economy has been tough on many. Honestly, I am completely on board for people making a living however they can or know how.
While I appreciate the tenacity sales people possess, and I want them to succeed in their ventures, I feel that in-home sales parties dance this dangerous line between business and personal. It seems that some people get caught up in the sales tactics taught to them by the parent company, and they forget about the relationship rules.
I’ve dug deep and have come up with a short list of recommendations on how in-home sales party hosts should determine when it is appropriate to invite someone and how to approach potential guests in her network.
- Ask yourself, do you maintain contact with this person outside of inviting them to your Party Lite, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Cabi or other event? If you do not, you may want to strike them from the list. I’ll give you a pass on the first invite, but if the recipient declines without an explanation (unless that explanation is stop inviting me to these things) or does not respond – you should probably give the invitee her peace.
- As an avid marketer, I have to recommend that the host considers her target audience. If the potential guest doesn’t like cooking, don’t invite them to Pampered Chef, if they aren’t into jewelry you probably shouldn’t be sending them a Stella and Dot invite – you get the idea. And, if you don’t know if they would or would not like what you’re selling, it’s best to send a personalized note asking them if they would be interested or just not invite them at all.
- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT state that people should just come for the drinks and appetizers and not feel any pressure to buy. Of course they’re going to feel pressure to buy. Remember you are hosting a sales party not a backyard BBQ or dinner party – if you didn’t want your guests to buy something you would invite them to a party that doesn’t have product demos or credit card slips.
- John F Kennedy once said, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Replace the word country with friends and you’re onto something big. Dig deep and think about the benefit to your friends who you are now asking to become your consumers. It’s not polite to ask people to buy and buy from me now so I can win a trip to Cabo. That’s like a company giving you access to a flash sale in an effort to gain a higher score in the stock market. Leverage the benefits you see for your friends, they are your friends and you want what’s best for them, right?
Agree or disagree Girls on the Grid readers? I am totally open to hearing from the other side.