Thursday, July 26, 2007

Don't be late - TSF

We all know how important coaching your hostesses is. We talk to her about all the ingredients necessary in order to make her party a success. How often, though, do we discuss the issue of “tardiness” with her? As consultants, (barring losing our way and unexpected traffic), we normally arrive ahead of the guests; giving us time to bring in our samples and get set up.

And then, we wait…

Typically, the phone begins to ring. Mary, will be a little late…Joan's dog fell and got a concussion and she can't make it. You know the drill. Other guests begin to drift in. It is the designated time for the party to start. We wait…a few more guests arrive. We (and they) wait… Sometimes up to 45 minutes. Finally the hostess decides (at your encouragement), to go ahead and get started anyway, despite the fact that other expected guests have yet to arrive. As you begin your presentation, guests continue to arrive, stopping the “flow” of what you are saying as each guest is greeted. Some arrive after you've finished, grab a catalog and may (or may not) order a “token” something.

The question becomes, why the tardiness?

We, as consultants LOVE what we sell. We could talk about it FOREVER! Unfortunately, some of us do. If a guest is expecting a 90+ minute presentation, why would coming on time be an issue? If she's late, she'll still hear part of it and not have to bored to death as some consultant rambles on and on. So…first things first…keep your presentations SHORT! 30 minutes TOPS!

Why should consultants work to change “guest tardiness”?

1) It is impolite to make other guests wait on people who arrive late.

2) It reduces sales and hostess benefits because late arriving guests don't hear your entire presentation and do not understand the value and mission of your company's products.

3) This will dramatically affect bookings. An evening that goes on and on is not particularly appealing to a future hostess.

What can we, do to help control this situation?

Here are some “proactive” ideas:

1) Offer an “on time” drawing.

2) Schedule your party at an “unusual time” - 7:15 is great, and less “forgettable”.

3) Remind the hostess that her free product value and booking credit will increase as more guests arrive on time.

4) Be playful. Offer your hostess a small gift for your 10/10 promotion. 10 guests, within 10 minutes of the start time, begin then and she gets a prize!

5) When you are making last minute guest reminder calls, be sure you are letting guests know that the party will start at 7:15 and there will be an on time drawing. The presentation will be fun and interactive and just 30 minutes long; they won't want to miss the great ideas you will be sharing.

6) JUST DO IT! Be sure you begin no later than 10 minutes late, keep the presentation, short, fun, interactive and informative. As you begin, hand your watch to a guest and ask her to tell you when 25 minutes are up so you have 5 minutes to wrap up; then listen for the audible sighs of relief from your audience!

Remember, it's all how you look at it. By creating the aura of “I don't want to miss this” vs. “I want to avoid this!” you can start to watch your bookings, sales and recruiting SOAR!

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