Monday, December 30, 2013

Incentive for your best hostesses

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a ready supply of people you could call on any time to book a party with you – and wouldn’t it be even better if you knew that the chances of the party being a good one were very high?

Here’s an idea that worked spectacularly well for me, resulting in very good relationships with my hostesses, a massive boost in business and the removal of the cringe factor when on the phone trying to get bookings. And the added bonus was that is was heaps of fun!

Every year I made up a flier for an event called Classy Cocktails. This was invitation only, and only for my very best hostesses. The flier went in all the host packs and I told everyone about it at host coaching.

To be invited someone had to host either 2 parties with $600 sales and 2 bookings throughout the year or 3 parties with minimum $400 sales and 2 bookings. (If you decide to try this out, make the qualifying amount to suit yourself).

Classy Cocktails happened at the end of the year, after all the business was finished and we were getting into holiday mode. It was not an event about business and I refused to do any business on the night. If anyone wanted to order or book I let them know I would call them the next day.

This event was purely a thank you to the people who were there (that was important).

The first year Classy Cocktails was very small – from memory we only had 8-10 people there but it was very fun. I held it in my garden at home, got a local teenager to be the waitress and I made up a menu list of cocktails that we made for them and I made the food. We played silly games, I gave them Christmas presents and a little speech about how important they are to my business.

People found the lack of business conducted on the night a little baffling – I even overheard someone whispering in the kitchen, “I don’t think she’s actually expecting us to buy anything!”. That is what helped the relationship - this was about thanks, not business!

When people started leaving after that first event, I had people asking if I would do this the following year, and how could they get invited! They also started telling me they’d love their friends to come – so I said I’d love to have their friends there too and all they have to do is host the parties!

Suddenly they had no problem getting bookings and if their friend wanted to come to Classy Cocktails, there was 2 or 3 more parties right there!

Any time throughout the year, if I needed bookings for an incentive I was going for, or simply because my diary was looking lean, all I had to do was phone the people who I knew wanted to come to Classy Cocktails and ask if they were ready for their next party!

I got to know them so well that I could even say straight up that I was trying to reach an incentive and it would be really helpful if they were ready for their next party!

Because they knew they had to reach a certain sales and bookings target they often had outside bookings and sales before the party, and if they didn’t reach the target they always managed to in the days after the event.

My thought was that as consultants we love it when the company spoils us and thanks us for what we do – why not do the same for our customers? And I would almost bet I had the most loyal customers ever – who would go anywhere else?

The following year’s Classy Cocktails was much bigger, and some of my the consultants in my team joined in too with their hosts! Classy Cocktails became a bit of a talking point and one of the most effective and most fun bookings strategies I put into my business. 

--Shared by Anne Howie. (Annie helps people in the Party Plan industry build highly successful businesses, that enrich and support great lifestyles and relationships)  Visit her Facebook page: 

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