Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tea: It's the hottest thing to hit the home party circuit!

You hear more news everyday about Tea and its health benefits. Everyone is drinking it! Gourmet Tea is an affordable item that feels like a luxury and that makes us feel good!

Now, put all that together with a party plan company and what do you get?

Set to a Tea! We are the hottest thing to hit the home party circuit and our Hostesses are raving! There's nothing like getting together with your friends and sharing life over a cup of tea!

The experience of the tea party is just too good to pass up, and the hostess knows that her friends and family won't ditch her this time! This offers a great opportunity to introduce the signature product line to guests and get them hooked on fabulous whole leaf tea!

Are you ready to be a trendsetter and join us on the ground floor? Who do you know that loves tea?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Five creative tips to get tea parties booked this summer!

I am pleased to feature a favorite trainer, she knows how to speak the langauge of the direct seller! Take a minute to read her article and then commit to taking action. You will be glad you did both!

What I notice most about summer is that it takes too long to get here and it’s over too soon. And because of that, it’s a busy time. People get out of their "normal" routines and spend more time traveling and in outdoor activities with their families. That can make it challenging to get bookings. Challenging, but not impossible. Do you hold the belief that July and August are "slow" months in our industry and that "no one does parties" during the summer? Did you know that there are people in your company who have more bookings than they know what to do with right now? It’s just a matter of getting creative and making the decision that you’re going to succeed.

Here are my top 5 tips for getting bookings during the summer months:

1. Make sure your "stinkin’ thinkin’" isn’t getting in your way. In other words, if you’ve convinced yourself that it’s hard to get bookings in the summer and no one will want to book a party with you, you’ll get exactly what you’re focused on. So change your belief and realize that there are folks in your company who are getting more bookings than they can do this summer, and you can too.

2. Come up with some fun summertime themes that will be irresistible for a prospective host. Consider printing out some fun, colorful summer themed invitations and putting them into a binder that’s readily available to show potential hosts at your parties.

3. Give more. Sometimes extra incentives are necessary to entice people to book parties. During the summer was always one of those times for me. Use booking gift items from your line or certificates for extra product credit or free shipping for hosting a party. (Note: If you’re giving an extra incentive gift, you deliver it when you show up to do the party, to ensure the party actually holds).

4. Think outside the box. If hosts are reluctant to host parties on their own or in their homes, how about an after work party in the lunchroom of their workplace or a
restaurant party. You can also encourage them to co-host a party with a fun friend. Co-hosted parties mean half the work and twice the fun.

5. Host a Party Fest. My Party Fest was a monthly event that was especially successful during the summer months when people are traveling and busy and don’t want to be "bothered" with planning a party. It’s a simple multiple-host event that allows you as the representative to do six to eight parties all in one night! (Wouldn’t you love that!?) Click here to read a previous post about setting up a multiple host event.

So, there you go. What are your best ideas for filling up your calendar this summer?

P.S. My "Tips of the Week" this month are all about summertime success in your direct sales business. Click here to join our mailing list so you won’t miss a single week!

Julie Anne Jones is a success language consultant, a direct sales coach and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, visit her at http://www.julieannejones.com/ or check out her blog at http://julieannejones.com/blog.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Looking for Bookings? Go where the Tea Lovers go!

You have a great business based on a theme! Tea Parties are much loved and sought after by women of all ages!
These ladies are what we call your target market or niche market. Where to find them? That's the fun part! Yes, you heard me right, it's fun to go out and find bookings to build your business!
I've heard this described as "Lifestyle Bookings". Go out and about, live your life-do your errands and meet the people.

As you do this, listen. As you listen offer the pleasure of having a tea party!
Now, the post office clerk may not be the right person but you never know until you listen and then offer.
So many direct sellers get this mixed up. They ask and then listen and then wonder why they feel a bit pushy.
So listen first, engage in conversation and relationship building. Then offer your services!
Now, get out and meet the tea lovers in your area!
Where you ask? Do some poking around and a bit of research. Check your local papers and ask your friends. Thumb thru the tea time magazines.
Where are the women in your area meeting this month?
A few places to look are:

  • House and Garden Tours- women love to admire beauty! Often the refreshments served are tea themed!
  • Book Signing Events- women love to read, chat and be the first in line!
  • Church Sponsored Teas- Have you checked with your own church? You may want to get involved with this one!
  • Estate Sales- women love to poke and find a great deal - the larger the sale the more people you will meet
  • Library Events- many libraries offer events focused on local speakers or entertainment- tea time falls right in line with this as well.

So, put on your prettiest tea party hat, place a few samples of tea in your purse and get out to meet the tea lovers in your area! Remember to have fun and always wear your smile! Don't forget your calendar to schedule all those tea parties and write down all the phone numbers!

The photo is from http://www.shedstyle.com/2008/05/06/shed-shindigs-party-time-in-texas/. Take a moment to visit this blog and see why the ladies are having so much fun!

Romancing your business this summer!

The fine art of balancing family and your business is put to the test during these lazy crazy days of summer! After all, the reason we joined the direct selling community is to be at home when the family needs us. But letting your business take the back burner during these weeks will often cause you to be scratching your head in the fall. The best way to keep the cash flowing this summer and build your business for the fall is to be consistent and spend time with it! I like to call it “Romancing my business”, after all it is a Tea Party business.
All it takes is focus. How much focus depends on you! One of my favorite trainers, Belinda Ellsworth, speaks on using the Power Hour to build your business. May I take this one step further?

Make yourself a cup of tea and focus on your business each day for 15 focused minutes! You'd be amazed at what you can get done in such a short amount of time when you focus on the tasks at hand-consistently. I would also suggest starting each week with a some pretty sticky notes stuck into your planner. Jot down each task on a sticky and place in the appropriate day, this will get your subconscious active on the task and then when it's time to sit and focus it will literally be a no- brainer to get it done. The mind is an amazing thing when you give it a job to do, and don't leave things to just "happen".
So, go ahead-Romance your business this summer! Spend time and grow it alongside your family!

June is National Iced Tea Month!

Did you know that iced tea is the most consumed beverage in America next to water?! What are you doing to promote your business this summer? Do you offer Iced Tea Garden Parties? How about Iced Tea Bingo Parties? Remember, offering events this summer will increase attendance thus increasing your customer and hostess base. Your customers are busy with family over the next several weeks but they also need an excuse to relax and have some “Me Time”. Making your Tea Parties a themed event with fun and social interaction will be just the excuse they need to schedule a tea party with you!

A Personal Thank you note is a Treasure!

In this day of tweets, facebook events and mass emails a handwritten note is more important than ever! Over the past 8 days, I have met wonderful women at tea parties and vendor events. It was a pleasure to chat, visit and build relationships. Now, the next step is to send a thank you card in the mail! Yes, it does take a few minutes and you’ll need to grab a few postage stamps. Treat yourself to a book of lovely floral stamps and make those envelopes inviting and special!

A tea party hostess is someone that you want to build a lasting relationship with. Send her a thank you immediately following the party. She took time out of her busy schedule to share her home, family and friends with you, that deserves a little something; show your gratitude!
I also like to send a little card to each guest that attended the tea party. I call this the “it was a pleasure to meet you” card. This establishes a relationship built on authenticity, not commercial needs. As I make calls to service these guests they are more likely to answer because I took this step. They feel a connection with me, built on trust and service.
The new hostesses who booked tea parties with me will also receive a thank you! It’s so important to start the relationship and communication early! I will always remember a comment made by Jane Dueber, the founder of the DSWA. She said that the most frequent complaint of home party plan hostesses was that the consultant did not spend enough time communicating with them! They wanted to hear from the consultant more than once before the home party! Here we are thinking that we are pushy or intruding on the hostess, and they want to hear from us! So, take the time to show your appreciation to this new hostess-to-be, she may turn into your favorite TEAm member!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

June Brides and tea parties!

When you think of June do bridal magazines come to mind?
It's time to invest in a few or even better, visit the Library! As you look thru the lovley ads and articles, think about how you can tap into this market for your tea pary business.

* What are the color trends right now and coming up for the fall?
* Are there any local bridal fairs coming up that you can visit? Before you consider becoming a
vendor, check out the attendence and the other vendors!
* Are there any bridal tea party ideas, table settings etc.?
* Which favor ideas can you use for your business? (Like this cupcake in a teacup!)

Brides also need a way to pay for the upcoming expenses! And if they love tea and adore all that goes with it, they may want to join your company to get free and discounted products. The best way to find out is to listen, ask more questions and listen again! Earn the bride's trust and then make that "opportunity" suggestion.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June and tea parties just go hand in hand!

As you know, June is National Iced Tea Month! Making the most of this occasion is just common sense and good business sense!
Did you also realize that June is known for; Weddings, Roses, Graduations, Fathers, and Teachers?
Let's talk about Iced tea month and Roses. What does that picture look like to you?
I see ladies in the garden having iced tea and laughing as you teach them the health benefits of making their own iced tea from loose leaf tea-without the artificial ingredients and sweeteners.
Offering them great tips and saving them money.
Use your company specials and send out emails and fliers painting a picture for your soon to be hostesses. Help them see what a wonderful afternoon this would be with their friends and why they shouldn't wait! Follow up with a phone call- just a friendly conversation between tea lovers.

What do you think of when we talk about iced tea and roses? How will you turn this into a tea party to grow your business?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Partner with a Professional

Are you joining networking groups and scratching your head after the meetings?

"How are these people going to help me?" is not the question you should be asking yourself.
"How can I be of service to these professionals?" is the right way to approach it!

Let's take a look at partnering with a Real Estate Agent. In this housing market, agents are scouring the earth for unique ways to get the house sold. Millions of dollars are being spent on "Staging" and making the home ready for the sale. But then what?

Who's coming to look at the home? What can you do for this agent to increase the traffic to the property and make it look and feel good?

A Tea Party, of course!

Offer your services to make that property stand out and get attention! This will get your business attention in the end!

Many styles of homes lend themselves to a tea party, imagine what a draw this can be!

So, what does this entail?
You can serve tea and cookies/scones at the Property's first open house. Most listings will be shown to local agents first. This is where you want to be, meeting and shaking hands with the local professionals.

Let's make a checklist:
Items you'll need
* Pretty tablecloth-white or ivory so you don't compete with all the work the stagers have done.

* Tiered server for finger size goodies- see if the open house is sponsored by another professional, like a Title Company. If so, they can pick up the tab for the cookies etc.

* Tea-enough for 30 0r so (plan for the weather-you may need iced tea rather than hot tea!/
confirm with the agent on the presence of a tea kettle or bring your own)

* Pretty paper napkins (check out the clearance section of the local party store or try the $1 store)

* Small/6-8 ounce paper cups/hot cups -plan for 30 or so

* Your business cards

* A bowl or basket to collect the visitor's business cards (The listing agent also collects these cards, she/he may offer these to you at the end of the day.)

Make the table feel like a tea party, but not too fussy. The focus needs to be on the home for sale.

Where should you be?

That's up to the agent. Talk to her/him. They may need to you "dress up" a plain dining room, or the dining room can be staged to the nines. In that case, the table in the kitchen or setting up on the front porch can work to your advantage.

What should you charge? This is about getting you branded and making connections. Not making a product sale or booking a show. (Although both usually occur!) My suggestion is to
cover your expenses for items purchased, and do not charge for your time. The exact amount charged will be dependent on the location of the tea party/travel time for you and the cost of
goods used. Be smart and make some calculations. Draft up a word document - an "Event planning guide" to help with the details and the appointments. This can also act as an agreement between you and the agent.

Your goal here is to meet people and let them know that you are the local tea expert. This will brand you and grow your business. Don't just stand by the table and pour tea. In fact, pour someone tea and deliver it-engage in conversation and if someone else has to pour their own tea, that's okay. You can shake hands and make those introductions later.
Talk to the attendees, find out how they know your real estate agent. Make connections.
The other agents are going to be very intrigued by this new tea party/open house approach.
Answer their questions. Listen to their needs. Offer your assistance to solve their problems.

A"Service first" approach is going to keep people talking about you long after the open house.

Don't go to all this effort and then show up in jeans! Remember, you are making a first impression on lots of professional people. Wear your best business attire. Your company apron is appropriate, and your name tag too!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tea Parties just make Cents!

You can begin building your tea business today from the comfort of your own home!
The beauty of the direct selling tea party is more than most realize.
First and foremost the intial cost to start your business is minimal. Starting a tearoom is an investment of hundreds of Thousands of dollars. A "Success Kit" or starter package is less than $200.
Income is immediate! Your starter package comes with all the tools you need to open your shop doors and make the sale.
Now imagine, gathering women who love tea together and sharing your love of tea and your signature product line with them! The ambiance of the tea party and the proven sales model of in-home parties will give you the tea business you've been dreaming of.
The tea industry is on the brink of booming. Experts predict it to be even more than the coffee industry has experienced. Tea and it's health benefits keep the media's attention and the consumers too.
Are you ready to steep the profits of a home based tea room?
Welcome to our new blog! My goal is to share tips and information to help us all create the kind of success we dream about!
The tea industry is booming and so is the direct selling industry. This is where you want to be. Stop listening to the TV/Media tell you how bad things are and take 100% responsibility to make it happen for you and your family!

This is not a one-woman show, so please share, comment and link to us!
Remember; "Service first, Selling follows, Success happens"