I Drove All That Way for One Person

18 Feb

I was talking with a consultant recently as she lamented that she drove 50 minutes to get to a home party. When she got there, only the hostess’ mother-in-law showed up; no other guests.  The mother-in-law placed an obligatory order totaling $12.

The consultant earned 25% off that $12 sale or a sum total of $3.00 commission. She drove 50 minutes each way and went through three quarters of a tank of gas for which she paid $3.52 per gallon.  She also turned down an opportunity to do a vendor event that night because this party was booked first.  And she had to pay a babysitter while she was at the party. It doesn’t take a math whiz to calculate that the consultant lost money traveling to do this party.

The hostess spent the day cleaning her house, making cookies and chopping fresh vegetables, and setting up folding chairs around her living room to accommodate all of her expected guests. Imagine how she felt when she went to all this trouble and only her mother-in-law showed up. Talk about awkward.

This is an unfortunate situation. This is also a common scenario that many direct sales consultants may fess up happened to them at one time or another. This is also a situation that could have been avoided.

What went wrong?  From the outcome, it appears a number of things went wrong.  Likely the hostess did not invite nearly enough people. She also very likely did not call those she invited to determine if they were coming to the party or if they wanted to place an outside order.

It also may be a safe assumption that the consultant did not properly coach the hostess. Some things are certain in this business:

  1. Many people will not RSVP, even though requested
  2. Some people will say they are coming to the party, but will not show up
  3. Only a small fraction of those invited will attend a home party

If the consultant had worked with the hostess, there would have been a much better turn out or the hostess would have told her that she didn’t have any confirmed guests other than her husband’s mom.  The consultant could have made an informed decision if she wanted to reschedule the party, turn the party into a catalog or basket party, or make the drive regardless of lack of confirmed guests.

Some consultants choose to make a personal policy that they won’t travel to a party for fewer than five confirmed guests. Others set a mileage limit for those parties where very few have confirmed attendance. You’re an independent consultant, free to set whatever policies you choose to implement for you business.

I hope you never have a party like the one described above. Or if you have, I hope you’ve made corrections to avoid it in the future.

xo

Debbie

Join Home Party Divas today for coaching, support, advertising and support for only $19.97 a month.

Debbie Shulman, Owner of Home Party Divas is a mom of 4 and a happy wife in a happy life. Lives in Florida. She loves direct sales and feels it is the best way to own a business without a large investment.

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