Direct selling (or any selling for that matter!) is a numbers game. The more “sales events” you attend, the more people you talk to, the more customers you will have, the more hostesses you will find and hopefully the more successful you will be! However, the more events you attend, the more likely you also are to attend a few that are slow or not as successful for a variety of reasons.
Traffic can be a prime factor in sales volume. However, total sales volume is not the only measure by which to judge the success of an event. I always find it interesting to compare event attendance to the number of people who make purchases. It’s encouraging when although an event is slow, you can still make sales. Makes you think what it can be like if more people were there! Here are a few thoughts on how to make the most of the events at which you do your selling – regardless of the turnout.
Multi-vendor events are an opportunity to get your merchandise in front of a large audience in a relatively short period of time. These types of events are usually promoted heavily by the hosting organization (often that organization will charge a table fee and/or a percentage for doing so) and are a way to very quickly expand your customer base. That said, event traffic can be unpredictable. At the slower multi-vendor events, I usually take the opportunity to chat with the other sellers to see what other shows/selling events they know of or are doing. It’s a great way to find out about new opportunities and connect with others in a similar industry!
However, keep in mind that if you speak to another vendor who sells an item or product that usually has lots of competition (like jewelry, make-up or handbags) and they haven’t done well at a particular event, it’s not necessarily an indication of your potential success. Regardless, I think in the beginning it’s important to do as many events as you can and judge for yourself which ones are worthwhile returning to. Multi-vendor events are also an opportunity to plan a future party with another vendor from a different town, discuss hosting parties for each other in your own respective towns or even better, find people that are interested in hosting their own house party just for you.
The smaller home party, on the other hand, with approximately 8-15 guests provides the perfect venue to shop more intimately with customers in an environment in which they are comfortable and don’t feel rushed. Customers tend to make better informed decisions which translates into fewer returns. The relaxed, friendly atmosphere of home parties usually enhances the shopping experience and leaves guests with a good feeling which helps to reinforce customer loyalty.
To try to ensure a successful home party turnout, I suggest utilizing online invitation sites (or those provided by your company) so that you can keep track of exactly who and how many guests will attend. Or you can send/email your own invitation. For home parties you should work with your hostess to personally invite people to attend. Sure, in this day and age, an email is easy, but a personal invitation is so much more… personal. But remember to not be deterred if only a few people can make it to your event. Sure it is a numbers game, but all it takes is for one customer to make several purchases or agree to host a future party to make your event a success!
Every sales event can offer opportunities to generate more business – even if there isn’t a great deal of traffic. I suggest participating in different kinds of selling events to see where you have the most success. You won’t know until you give it a go. As the saying goes, you have to be in it…