Whatever the motivation for your decision, booking more workshops is a great place to start taking your business to that next level. However, that is easier said than done. Workshops don't grown on trees! Especially at certain times of the year.
One idea that has been used successfully in the direct sales industry is that of a "booking blitz." This is a short space of time in which you direct all of your concentration and resources into booking shows. Successful booking blitzes have a few characteristics, such as:
1. they are short, urging the customer to act right away;
2. they offer a physical incentive to book now rather than another time;
3. they are completely followed up to the very last lead;
4. they are used sparingly enough that the effect does not wear off.
You can offer a booking blitz via phone or by email. I am not a phone person, so I usually do email. I do this twice a year--once with the new catalog to book fall shows, and once before Sale A Bration. I wouldn't do it more often or it will lose that sense of urgency which is required to spur people to action. Running the blitz for just 24 hours or 2-3 days will help it stay at the top of people's to-do lists.
Usually I look at what I have in stock to give away-- extra hostess, packs of paper, unopened embellishments, etc.-- or I offer what I am willing to order in exchange for a booking, such as an ink pad, a discount, or a gift certificate. Alternatively, have their names put in a drawing for a very big-ticket item, with the first three people to call to book getting more than one entry.
Then you issue the challenge. The first person to call me and book their SAB show gets x. The second person gets x. the third person gets x. Persons 4-10 get x. Keep it simple--not too many choices.
Ask for only one thing--bookings. Don't talk about upcoming events, ask for sales, mention you have an order going in, etc. Those things might come up in the course of conversation, but your primary goal is to book a show, and you don't want to make the customer feel pressured in multiple directions at once.
For Uplines: I have heard of a great concept that might work for your team, that came from both a Pampered Chef friend and a Partylite friend. Do a one-hour group booking blitz at your monthly meeting, with everyone on their cell phones, and have a contest to see who can get the most bookings. If you don't have a regular meeting, you can issue a 24-hour challenge to your team via email and follow up with a prize for the winner.
Ready to give it a shot? Before you dial that phone or hit "send" on that email:
1. Have your calendar ready with all of your own personal and family times marked, so you don't accidentally overbook yourself.
2. Phoning: Be animated and enthusiastic. Smile even though they can't see you.
3. Email: write enthusiastically. Use a few exclamation points. Throw in some superlatives (fantastic, awesome, fab).
4. Emphasize the fun aspect. Ask them if you can "party at their place." Promise to personalize the projects for the hostess and her friends.
5. This may seem obvious, but make a checklist of who you have and haven't called yet, whether or not you spoke to them or left a message, and what their response was. Organization is key.
Finally, extend your offer to every person on your list. Don't call a few and give up. Don't just contact past hostesses. Certainly don't just call people who have verbally expressed an interest in hosting. Contact EVERYONE.
So--my challenge to you this week, is to get together a booking blitz for Sale A Bration. You want your calendar as full as possible early in the season, to leave room for bookings off those workshops nearer the end of the period. Look at what you could offer for incentives and make it good. Compose your email or write down an outline of what you will say on the phone.
Be energetic and confident even if you feel lethargic and nervous! You can do it! Fill that calendar with fun shows with old friends and new, and watch your business grow as you get introduced to new social circles with new customers, hostesses and potential recruits.
Dream BIG, friend!
This article first appeared at www.stampinaddicts.com in November 2009.