Friday, May 30, 2008

Recruiting- The Recruiting Appointment

Yesterday, we reminded you that recruiting someone requires the same skills as booking a party. That said, you need to become as comfortable doing a recruiting appointment as you are doing a party presentation. As with anything, practice makes perfect. You will probably have to have some “wipe outs” before you get good at it, but your first couple of parties probably had some hiccups in them, right? Don't be afraid not to be perfect - just go for it!

One great format to use when doing a recruiting appointment comes from a great friend of TSF and longtime party salesperson, Barb Montgomery. Barb calls this the 7-step recruiting appointment. It is a great one to use because you can actually put a key word from each step on a 3x5 note card and carry it with you to the appointment to help to keep you on track. The whole appointment should be 30-45 minutes in length. Here is how it goes:

Step 1 - Build rapport. This is easy - take a few minutes as you arrive to warm up to your prospect (just as you would in any social situation). Compliment her on her home, ask about her family, what has she enjoyed about past job experiences - whatever. (Write the letter “R” or Rapport on your note card)

“Sub-step” before going on to Question #2 - Let her know you will be talking about the benefits of the business, how we make money, where to find business, support and kit options. Ask her if she has any additional “burning questions”**

** (This is important because if you don't give her this opportunity - she may have an unstated question that will weigh so heavily on her mind, she won't be listening to the rest of your presentation)

(Write the word “QUESTIONS” on your note - card or the letter “Q” or “?”.)
Step 2 - Talk about the benefits of the business and find out which of these are the most appealing to her. Some examples are: Flexible scheduling, Be Your Own Boss, Unlimited Earning potential, Great Products, Friends, Recognition, etc; Then ask her which of these benefits appeal to her most? (Try to get her to identify two benefits).

(Write the word “BENEFITS” or “B” on your note card. You may also want to list the benefits on the back for your reference)

Sample transition statement to Step 3 - We all love what we do and the great thing is that it isn't a volunteer job - we actually get paid to do what we love! Would you like to know how you make money in this business?

Step 3 - Explain how we make money, briefly and simply. Again, this will be unique to each company. Get help from your upline or recruiter if you feel unsure as to how to easily explain your company's career plan.

(Write the word “MONEY” or “$” on your note card.) Make any additional notes on the back if you need them.

Sample transition statement to Step 4 - Let's talk for a moment about where you will find business, OK?

Step 4 - Where to find business. Think about questions that you can ask her to help her discover for herself all the people she knows and the contacts she has. AGAIN - we are doing the SAME JOB - use your Hostess coaching skills here. Some sample questions might be - tell me about your life. Do you currently work outside the home? Do you have family in the area? Do you go to church or are your kids in activities? THEN please BE QUIET and wait for her to answer. By saying, see, you know lots of people - you will be reassuring her that she will not have problems building a business.

(Write-Where to find Business or WHERE on your note card)
Sample transition statement to Step 5 - The great thing about our company is all the training and support you will get, no matter where in the country you live!

Step 5 - Talk about the support she will receive from you and from your company. You might want to show her your company's web page (if accessing a computer is convenient), a sample newsletter or a piece of training information. Let her know that she is not alone out there - there is lots of help available.

(Write- HELP on your note card)
Sample transition statement to Step 6 - Show her the kit options that your company offers.
Step 6 - Kit options

Some companies have only one kit and some have several. If your company has several options, be prepared to suggest a good choice for her. If you only have one type of kit, just show her what she will get and then move right into

Step 7
(Write the word KIT on your note card)
Step 7 - CLOSE

This is the most important step of all. You can do it in a variety of ways
Discuss payment options (deposit vs. payment in full, check vs. charge)
Or simply say something like- So, what do you think? Or How does that sound?
(Write the word CLOSE or the letter C on your note card. DO NOT AVOID or DELETE this step. It is like doing a party and leaving without taking orders!)
FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK and help her begin listing names of potential customers, hostesses and recruits. Schedule her Grand Opening party!

Build rapport - get her questions
Talk about the benefits
Talk about how you make money
Talk about where to find business
Discuss support and training
Go over kit options
CLOSE and get her started!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The “R” word…

The “R” word - I think you know what I'm talking about - Recruiting (also called sponsoring, signing someone up, getting someone happily involved in the business, etc;)

However you describe it, we are talking about building a team and it is something that some consultants avoid when they first join the business themselves. In fact, some consultants never do begin to build a team. More often than not, those consultants do not last long in the business.
We sell three products in party plan. We sell our products - the items featured in our catalogs and on our company website, we sell hosting - the opportunity to get products for free or at a discount by having a party and finally we sell the business - the opportunity to earn money by selling the products as a consultant.

In our business we are unique in that we can give ourselves a raise anytime we want. We can sell more products either by increasing the average customer order or increasing the number of guests at parties. We can also find others who would also like to join us in the business - the R word - RECRUIT.

One of my uplines once said that we should all walk around with a penny in one pocket and a quarter in the other. The penny represents the money we make selling product and the quarter represents what we make when we build a team.

So, if ultimately more money, residual income, is to be made by team building, why is “Recruiting” a dirty word to some people in this business?

As always, a mini-series is in the works and this one is on the phenomenon of recruiting. Even if you are an ace recruiter yourself, we hope you will tune in as you may have team members who are not recruiting. We plan to help you understand why.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Please tell us you are old enough to remember the famous K-Mart “blue light specials”! You know the deal, the P.A. system announces… “Attention K-Mart shoppers, in just 30 seconds and for the next 5 minutes, there will be a blue light special featuring our special house dresses in aisle 3…” Suddenly, there is a stampede of women all running over one another with their shopping carts in an effort to get to the cart featuring those lovely flowered garments.
OK, where are we going with this…today's topic, to discount or not to discount…that is the question.

TSF recently received an email from a consultant in a party plan business (to remain nameless), offering 25% off her products. We receive one of these emails from this same consultant about every other week…always offering some kind of discount on her products.
Now, while we are all independent consultants and therefore running our own businesses; for the most part it is our decision whether or not to discount (although some party plan companies strictly forbid this practice). If you are considering discounting your products, you may want to consider the following:

1) Discounting regularly “cheapens” your product.

2) Discounting regularly makes it sound like you believe your products are too expensive.

3) Discounting regularly makes your customers believe your products are too expensive.

4) Discounting regularly makes your customers NEVER want to purchase at full price.

5) Discounting and emailing your customers too frequently can make you a pest vs. a service.

The key phrase here is “discounting regularly”. While we believe an occasional sale for preferred customers/hostesses is a wonderful “thank you”; we think the above thoughts are worth taking into account as well…would you agree?

Friday, May 23, 2008



Répondez S'il Vous Plaît - (RSVP) French for Please Respond. Please respond - not respond if you are coming or respond if you are not coming. BUT - PLEASE RESPOND! I was once told it stood for:

Respond so VERY promptly!

Depending on your season of life, this time of year you may find your mailbox filled with a daily assortment of invitations to graduation parties, baby showers and/or wedding invitations.As the mom of a soon-to-be high school graduate, I am getting a humbling dose of what our party plan hostesses experience.

Despite asking for an RSVP, at three days prior to my daughter's graduation party - I have only a slight idea of how many guests to plan for. Many friends and family have yet to be in touch and many more are “still deciding”. Not only is this maddening in terms of preparation, but it is disappointing. In an ideal world everyone comes to MY child's event, at the exclusion of all other conflicts. Yes, this is an unrealistic expectation I know - but a mom can dream, right?
The thing that I am finding is making a difference, however, in terms of attendance is the personal contact I have been making with people. It goes something like this -
“Hey, by the way, are you going to be joining us on Sunday?”

“I don't know - we still are trying to decide because (blah, blah, blah yah-dee, yah)…“OK, well it is going to be a blast - a great excuse just to sit around, eat and enjoy one another's company. We would SO love to see you.”

“Oh, I know - we are really going to try - I'll let you know for sure as soon as we know what's happening.”

(Can you see how a script similar to the one above might be good to share with your hostesses when they are inviting their friends to their product party?)

Now comes the part where I would love a `party consultant' to step in. The day before the party it would be SO nice if someone else did a quick follow-up phone call to all the `maybe's' and `haven't heard from yets' on my guest list and just said…

“Hi, I'm the consultant for the graduation party on Sunday. Our hostess is just making final preparations for food and seating and wanted to know if you'd made your decision about coming yet. She would REALLY like to see you!”

How much easier and less awkward THAT feels than talking to my friends and family once again!

Some of you have written in to ask HOW you get the invitation list from your hostesses in order to do day before reminder phone calls to her guests. The point in this graduation party anecdote is to help you make a mental paradigm shift. When YOU truly wrap your head around it, I promise that your attitude will change and your challenges in this area of your business will become a thing of the past.

1. Making reminder calls is as much a part of your job as bringing your samples in, setting up your display and selling your product. It is part of the service that you offer - period.

2. Once you truly `own' #1, you will have a different attitude when coaching your hostesses. Your attitude MUST and will be - “this is what I do, this is my service to you. The day before reminder calls must be made. If you do it, it will take all day. If I do it, it will take me 45 minutes!”

3. REPEAT AFTER ME - A phone call or personal contact TRUMPS an e-vite hands down. Even an answering machine message left is more effective than an e-vite. E-vites are too simple to decline. The importance of THIS FACT when coaching your hostesses again cannot be denied. An e-vite is OK as a supplemental invitation, but not the primary invitation.

Your job is to help your hostess have the most successful party she can. The only way that this can happen is if she works WITH YOU to help her guests feel like they would truly be missing out on something wonderful by not attending. The last thing any of us wants is a disappointed hostess. Time and time again our hostesses can go through tons of preparation for their party, only to have mediocre results. This is NOT what you want. Once you begin to experience success getting your invitation lists from your hostesses and doing those calls for her, you will find that it will become the `norm' for you and no longer a challenge

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When are you at your best?

One of the beauties of a home based business is the flexibility that it gives us. There is also a dangerous component of that flexibility and that is that we have the potential of “flexing ourselves right OUT of the business.”

In order to be successful, we must work our businesses consistently. That is a given. However, look at when you are most effective and schedule your work time accordingly.

When is your energy level the highest? Are you an “early bird” or a “late night owl”? When you sit down to make your plan for the week, look at what your goal for the week is. What activities do you need to do in order to accomplish that goal? Knowing who you are in terms of your natural body rhythms is important in working your business with the best results possible.

For example, if you are a late night person, when you come home from an evening party; work off that natural “ post-party adrenaline rush” by making some notes on the order forms of the guests you just met to jog your memory about them in the future. If the party closed that night, go ahead and submit your order to Home Office. Evenings after dinner probably will your best time to do customer calls. Communicating this to your spouse and scheduling specific nights that he/she will deal with the kids will help you to capitalize on your body's natural time clock.

For you early birds, the same can hold true but you will want to be working first thing in the morning. Do paperwork and make notes while the house is still quiet in the morning; and get creative getting daytime childcare help. Summer is a great time to hire a local Jr. High student as a mom's helper to play with the kids while you work one or two days a week. You can also considering trading time for time with a neighbor or friend who has children with similar ages.
Knowing when you are at your best will also help you to choose when you are at your best for training your team as well.

Now, we know that in a perfect world all this is possible. We will always have times that we must work when we are not necessarily at the top of our energy level. Nonetheless, being cognizant of who we are can help us in our quest for balance between business, personal and family life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Servant's Heart

In yesterday's mail, we got a flier and a business card from the realtor who sold us our house 14 years ago. She moved back to the area after living several years out of state and, due to the recent death of her husband, is re-establishing her real estate practice. It brought a smile to my face and the thought that she'd definitely get our contract if and when we sell our home.
In our town, as in most communities, there's no scarcity of realtors. This time of year, the For Sale signs on homes and empty lots are as prevalent and varied as the spring flowers. Rarely a week goes by without a mailing from some local realtor. Why, after all these years, would we remain loyal to Maureen? There were several factors, all related to our current topic of SERVICE.

~ She asked good questions related to our needs in a home and showed us homes that fit the criteria we provided.

~ She stayed in touch, followed up and returned our calls promptly

~ She was polite and professional, always arriving on time and always prepared for our appointments.

~ She always answered our questions and when unable to do so, got the answers we needed in a timely fashion

~ She was always happy to see us

~ She didn't give up, despite the fact that it took over 6 months to sell our old home and find a new home.

~ She took a personal interest in us, always asking after the kids by name as well as networking with our businesses. This behavior continued even AFTER our closing.

~ For the duration of time that she practiced in our area before moving away, she stayed in touch, even showing up at our door with a Christmas gift each year.

Wouldn't you agree, that most, if not all of the above practices could be transferred to our party plan businesses? The most basic guideline you can follow is to treat other's as you would most like to be treated and to remember that when you truly maintain a servant's heart towards your customers, hostesses and team members, you will be richly rewarded.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Goal setting can be a daunting task. How does one move from “I'm just going to see how it goes” to a concrete business plan based on concrete goals?

We hope that the following questionnaire will help you to solidify your thoughts:


Describe, in as much detail as you can, your “ideal” life.

What improvements, growth experiences, etc. do you want for your own personal growth?

Where do you want to be personally in:
1 year?
3 years?
5 years?


What changes are likely in your family life in:

1 year?
3 years?
5 years?

What are your personal priorities and time commitments? (Consider personal time, marriage, children, community, etc.)


What is important for you to achieve professionally?

Where do you want to be professionally in:
1 year?
3 years?
5 years?

How much time do you want to commit to your business?
Per week?
Per day?

WHAT ARE YOUR INCOME NEEDS (after real expenses)?

Think about things you want, ie.,mortgage, car payment, college,vacations, housekeeper, tuition expenses, etc.

What are your net income objectives in:
1 year?
3 years?
5 years?

Think about/look over your categories of business expense.

Which items are optional expenses?

What are your three largest expense items?

For what expense categories are you unsure if your investment is necessary or an appropriate amount?


What would the accomplishment of that goal mean to you?

What must you do to reach that goal? (sales, recruiting, Manager promotions, etc;)


What I want MINUS Time available = REALISTIC OBJECTIVE

Is there a conflict between your career/income objectives and your personal/family objectives?

What factors are causing the conflict?

What possible modifications can you make to reduce the conflict?

What would be the benefits of these modifications?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Do you dream or do you set goals?

The difference between a dream and a goal is simple. The definition of a dream is: to imagine as possible. The definition of a goal is: the result toward which effort is directed. ***EFFORT is the key word***

Look at your business. Are you dreaming or are you setting goals?

To set a goal, you need to do four simple things:

Make your goal specific

Have a time line.

Be accountable

Very important - Identify the barriers to achieving your goal

If you need help, call your upline or a business buddy and break it down into bite-sized pieces. If your goal is too big, you run the risk of becoming `paralyzed' and thereby unable to begin the work needed to achieve it.

It is nearly June - half the year is already over. Where do you want your business to be by December 31st?

It is OK to dream in order to formulate a goal - but remember that dreaming is imagining. Be concrete. Set the goal and challenge yourself to achieve it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the wonderful designers that are also Mothers, I hope you enjoy a special day and this great blog on commitment. Motherhood being the ultimate commitment of course!

Happy Mothers Day

Subject: Committing to the Commitment
By Dr. John C. Maxwell

At the age of 67, Thomas Edison watched as fire destroyed much of his work and equipment. Time to retire? To hang up the lab coat?
No way.

“All our mistakes are burned up,” the inventor said. “Now we can start anew.”
There is a time to quit, but Edison knew his time hadn't come. The fire that consumed his work didn't destroy the fire that burned within him to continue his work. Edison's commitment remained.

People tend to associate commitment with emotions. If they feel the right way, then they can follow through on their commitments. But true commitment doesn't work that way. Commitment is not an emotion; it's a character quality that enables us to reach our goals.
Emotions go up and down all the time, but commitment must remain rock solid. A solid team - whether it's in business, sports, marriage or a volunteer organization - must have team players who are solidly committed to the team.

Let's look at four things every team player needs to know about being committed:

Commitment is usually discovered in the midst of adversity.

Commitment does not depend on gifts and abilities.

Commitment results from choices, not conditions.

Commitment lasts when it is based on values.

Commit to your commitments and goals today!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Responsibility and its Organizational Implications

Victim Mindset

I view myself as separate and disconnected from situations as they occur. Circumstances and events happen to me. I belive there is nothing I can do to affect the situation.~Resist/Complain/Blame~Enroll others in negativty~False alignment/sabotage~Do Nothing

Responsible Mindset

I view myself as an integral factor in all situations. Every situation occurs and/or unfolds as it does in some measure as a direct outcome of my actions, non-actions and interpretations.I belive there is always something I can do to affect the situation. ~Cause a breakthrough~Inspire others to take a new action~Create a new outlook on the facts~Explore possibilities

The Trium Group

TSF loves The Trium Group's interpretation of the difference in having a victim mindset and a responsible mindset when building your business and your organization. Remember a leader with a positive outlook means you need to get OUT of the problem and INTO the solution!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

When life throws you a curve ball…

Life happens and sometimes, we get thrown a curve ball. A job layoff, an unplanned pregnancy, a divorce or separation, challenges with children, a serious - even life threatening illness, or even the unexpected death of someone close. This is life and life happens.

Suddenly this crisis, whatever it may be, moves into your life and begins monopolizing everything. Your time, which was already at a premium, becomes more precious than ever.
How do you continue to work and grow a home-based business when crisis happens?
As with most of our tips - we write from personal experience. So…what DO you do when `life happens'?

1) First and foremost allow yourself some time to process, grieve and regroup. The beauty of being self-employed is that you don't have to ask the boss for time off of work.

2) DO communicate what's going on with key people in your organization and your home office if need be. It's OK to ask for help.

3) DO allow others to help you. If they want to cook a meal for your family or take over some of your duties temporarily - let them!

4) DO let the non-essentials slide - this is a great time to let go of any tendencies towards perfectionism that you might have.

5) DO make use of a laptop and cell phone if possible. This way you can still do business from wherever you may need to be.

6) DO make lists and use pockets of time. You can be very productive with a 15 minute pocket if you have a list that you are working from.

7) DO cut yourself some slack. This may be a time of re-assessing your goals at least temporarily and that too is OK.

8) DO surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts.

Now more than ever this is SO important. The power of prayer is amazing - try it if you haven't and don't be afraid to ask others to pray for you.