Friday, October 28, 2011

Catalog Show Article!

Who Else Wants to Make Money With Catalog Parties?
By Tammy Stanley
Submitted by: DSWA
Imagine calling one of your top recruits one day and saying to her, "So Sally, you sure have been doing a great job of selling. Would you mind sharing with me how you are averaging 12 parties a month?" Then Sally says to you, "I do not know if I should tell you. You may not like what you hear." You of course assure Sally that as long as she is not doing anything illegal, you definitely want to hear what she is up to that is generating so many parties.

After a long pause, she admits to you that three out of every four shows have actually been catalog parties, and that her catalog parties average around $400. If she has been averaging 12 shows a month, and three out of every four have been catalog parties, and the average of those catalog parties are $400, Sally has been generating $3,600 a month from catalog shows.

Now tell me, are you seriously going to tell her to stop what she is doing? Only if you desire to earn LESS money! Sales generated are sales generated. It does not matter if you generate those sales from a home party or a catalog party.

It is not uncommon to hear that a "live" home party is superior to a catalog party, which is why your company may not promote catalog parties. I do not know for certain why your company may not promote catalog parties, but I can take a very educated guess.

At the last DSA (Direct Selling Association) meeting I learned that customer only buys 1.3 times a year. What that statistic clearly communicates is that the consultants in the direct selling industry do not follow up with their customers. Now, imagine yourself in a corporate position with your company for just a minute. Knowing that your consultants hardly follow up with the customers they actually meet in person at a show, what are you going to think the chances are of them following up with people they have never met from a catalog party?

AH! Hopefully now, you understand why your company probably does not promote the catalog party. However, if you think that anyone is opposed to you racking up sales and leads from catalog shows, think again.

The key right now is to jump-start that brain of yours by asking, "How could I set up successful catalog parties?" Now if you are thinking, "Oh, catalog parties do not work for my product," hold on there. The question to ask is not why they do not work, but HOW could you set up a successful catalog party even with your product?

While I was at the DSA meeting a couple of months ago, I read about some distributors for a particular candle company. Knowing that the thing customers wanted most was to smell the different scents, they asked their owner to have some very small samples made up. When he obliged them, they apparently ordered the samples in droves, and began putting together baskets that included all the different scents. They would then give a basket and a couple of catalogs to a "catalog hostess." One distributor found it so powerful that she found a way to have 17 shows going on at the same time!

Now that probably sounds simple because all the samples could be put into one basket. Okay, but remember the distributors had to think of this first. They had to ask themselves, "How could we set up successful catalog parties?"

Perhaps you have a much more diverse product line (immediately the home decor companies come to mind), so the idea of a small basket with samples seems far fetched. What you might want to do is look at the 3 -5 most commonly ordered products. Could you put those together and put them "on loan" for a catalog show.

Back when I sold clothing, there were always a couple of garments in the line that were real "winners." Whenever the company I represented had a sleeveless Turtleneck in the fall, almost everyone of my Arizona customers would order it, and a good number would order it in several colors. I realize now that just giving a hostess that top in several sizes with a few catalogs would have been a great way to encourage hosting a catalog party. If the hostess collected 8 orders for just that one top, the sales would have been over $300, and she would get hers for free.

Certainly $300 in sales is not earth shattering, but would you turn it down? What if you could have 4 such catalog shows a month? Suddenly we are talking about $1,200 in sales. Some direct sales consultants get recognition as being a star with $1,200 in monthly sales. I am sure that a good number of consultants would be happy campers if they had 12 people on their team, 8 of whom average $1,200 a month in sales.

If you have a sales unit, I highly encourage you to take time at your next meeting to brain storm with your unit "How could you set up successful catalog parties." If you developed a system that were simple and effective, you might find that you too could have 17 catalog shows going on at the same time.

Of course once you develop a way to have successful catalog shows, you have to remember that a truly successful show includes follow up. By following up with your customers, you discover how easy it is to get repeat sales and referrals.

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