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 or check out her blog at

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 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!