Avoiding Last Minute Cancellations in Your Direct Sales Biz

Don’t you hate those? Those last minute cancellations. I know I do! You’ve worked so hard with your hostess to get ready for her party. You’ve invested time, money and energy into helping her invite guests, get outside sales and plan her show. All of the sudden, just as your getting ready to head out the door, your hostess calls and says she wants to cancel. It’s not an emergency or anything like that, she just feels like no one is going to come, or doesn’t think her show is going to be a success.

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out a lot when you own a direct sales business. So, what can you do to avoid those last minute cancellations?

Encouragement
Obviously the first thing to do is encourage her to hold the show. Let her know you are on your way over and if no one shows up you can talk about what to do next once you arrive.

If she still insists on canceling, encourage her to book the show for the following week. Let her know you will help her invite friends and encourage sales. Ask her if she’s taken the catalogs to her friends, family and co-workers? If she has not, remind her that a lot of people will buy something, although they may not physically show up to her party. Outside sales are a great way to increase overall show sales. They are also a great way to find potential hostesses and customers.

Offer a Outside Sales Only Show
Another thing you can suggest is that your hostess holds what is known as a “book” party. If she is truly adamant and thinks no one will show up, encourage your hostess to get outside sales only. I’ve had many successful shows from “book” parties. Remind the hostess to get all the contact information from each person who purchases so you can follow up with them.

Plan Ahead & Keep in Contact
The best way to avoid those last minute cancellations is to do the work ahead of time. Keep in contact with your hostess from the time she booked the show up to the day before the show. Send out thank you notes, reminder cards and make phone calls to encourage her and help her to feel confident in her hosting abilities.

Supply the Tools for Success
Remember, most people who hold shows for you do not do this for a living. You’ll need to do a bit of detective work to find out what your hostess’ personality type. If you can figure out the type of person she is, you’ll be able to help her and her show be a huge success. Work with her and give her the tools necessary based on your findings.

For example, if your hostess is shy and reserved, help her by giving her “words” or scripts to use when calling her potential guests. Put the information in her hands to help keep her positive and thriving.

If your hostess is unorganized, but social (those two personality traits usually go hand in hand) help her get organized by giving her ‘save the date’ cards or magnets she can have in front of her at all times. Give her a plan or help her schedule time to make phone calls to friends and family. Give her plenty of brochures to hand out to co-workers and make sure she puts them in her briefcase or by her purse so they go with her to work the next day.

Sometimes in direct sales, we do have to assist some of our hostesses. You have to help them along, every step of the way. Not all hostesses are like this, but a lot more than you might realize are. For me personally, I would say at least half of my hostesses have needed a helping hand of some magnitude along the way. And that is what you are there for.

You can never go wrong by investing a little time and effort in someone to help her flourish. After all, your success depends on her success. In direct sales you won’t be in business long if you are not willing to invest time, energy and some money into the lives of others. You have to help others be a success if you’re going to be a success too!

1 thought on “Avoiding Last Minute Cancellations in Your Direct Sales Biz

  1. Very good points, Chris. Outside sales only show is a good alternative when you and your hostess have done everything right and no one shows up. At this point the hostess may be a little discouraged but since we own our own business we can make the decision to ‘sweeten the pot’ for our hostess and as you’ve experienced good sales and connections can result.

    Great post. Thanks.

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