Saturday, January 25, 2014

How To Get Your First Six Bookings

by Belinda Ellsworth

Your first objective in starting your new business is to date six shows in a 30-day period of time.

Some of you may say, "Well, I came into this business to do only one show a week," or "I came into this to do it part-time." That's fine. This is your own business, but I believe that to really establish yourself in the very beginning, it is very important that you hold six shows in a three- to four-week period of time. If that has to be extended over just a couple of days, that's okay, but the closer you can make that time frame, the better off you will be.

Here's why:

1. Practice, practice, practice.

The only way to get really good in this business is to practice, practice, practice. The more you do it, the better you get and the more comfortable you become. Usually, from these first six shows, you will have a couple that are going to be fantastic; a couple that are not going to work out so well; and a couple that will be average. So, after those first few weeks, you'll be able to look back and evaluate and feel very good about the entire experience.

This way, you will really get the hang of it and gain confidence, and with each show, you'll have something to compare to the last show -- what you liked, what you didn't, how you would do it differently. If you don't have another show scheduled for four weeks, and you go out and do a show that isn't the greatest, you're less likely to feel confident about getting on the phone to secure more bookings. So, get out there and get those six shows lined up in the beginning.

2. You will be able to recoup your investment, and have cash in your pocket.

That alone will make you feel good about yourself and the business. If, after doing those first shows, you decide it isn't for you, what have you lost? Absolutely nothing. You can walk away from the business, saying it was a very positive experience, it just wasn't for you.

3. You will get an influx of bookings to create your future business.

This gives you new business, and you can place those bookings wherever you want them in your calendar: one show a week, two shows a week or three shows a week.

Getting those first six bookings dated

Sit down and make a list. When you're new, you're also very excited. So it's human nature to want to jump on the phone and call everybody you know, trying to explain everything about the business to them. But since you're so brand new, you don't know everything about the company, so the best thing for you to do is to sit down and make a list of everyone you can think of and put them in your Booking Lead Notebook.

There are five different areas that you know people:

1. All the places you've ever lived, i.e., current neighbors, past neighbors, acquaintances, people in the communities, landlords, the realtor who sold you your home, or from whom you purchased a home, etc.

2. All the places you've ever worked, i.e., co-workers, associates, past bosses, past employees, employees of other firms with whom you did business, etc.

3. All the places you've ever gone to school, i.e., grade school, middle school, high school, college; friends from classes or seminars you've attended, i.e., swimming, yoga, scrapbooking, cake decorating, etc.; past teachers, past administrators, etc.

4. Friends and family. This is the category that is the easiest to think of but, ironically, these are the people who will come through for you the least. So, when your life-long best friend decides not to have a show for you, get over it and move on to the next one. We find that those who make the best hostesses are your second and third level of friends, i.e., the people you don't see often but are on your Christmas card list.

5. Organizations, committees and affiliations. This could be comprised of acquaintances or members of your church; recreational activities, such as bowling and/or softball leagues; the gym where you work out, i.e., Curves, fitness centers, YMCA; children's sports activities, i.e., soccer, Little League, dance, gymnastics, etc.; committees or groups you've belonged to, i.e., scouts, political affiliations, bunco or ladies' groups; organizations like the Jaycees, leads clubs or women's business groups.

When you've completed your list, your goal is to get a personal invitation to show the product in person, and from there secure a date in your one-month period of time.

For those first shows, it's important to open several chains of business through people from as many different of the above categories as possible. That way, you will be exposed to many different circles and areas, which makes for a healthy and diversified start to your new business.

Once you get your six bookings dated, you will continue to refer back to your original list in your booking lead notebook for ongoing bookings.

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