One of my favorites from Convention was Mary Christensen's workshop on Booking. Mary Christensen was absolutely fabulous, and her workshop was full of powerful info on how to get bookings and keep a full calendar of shows. I came away from it thinking, "Maybe I can do this after all!"
Here are my notes from the booking workshop:
* NO BOOKINGS = NO BUSINESS
* Bookings = sales, new hostesses, and new recruits
* BOOKINGS ARE THE HEART OF YOUR BUSINESS
1. Know what you want to accomplish.
Decide exactly what you want from your business, and go from there.
There's a systematic way to do this:
* First, you need to know how much you want to make.
* Then, you need to know an approximate average amount you earn per show.
* Divide the amount you want to make by how much you average per show, and that tells you how many shows you need to do.
For example, if you want to earn $400/month and you average $100/show, you need to do 4 shows per month.
2. Decide when you want to work.
Get an inexpensive calendar that shows a month at a time. (update 8/19: Scentsy Success actually has a calendar that would be perfect, it's $4 - go to www.scentsysuccess, click on "Binders - New" and scroll down til you see the "Binder Plan Calendar" product. - Sorry, blogger wouldn't let me paste the exact link in here.)
Use this calendar for your business bookings ONLY. Decide when you want to work, and highlight those dates on the calendar.
For example, if you want to work once a week on Thursday nights, highlight all the Thursdays on your calendar.
3. Plan to get bookings at each and every show you do.
She said that it's much easier and better to get bookings at shows than to try to get bookings by cold calling (she said an industry average for beginners is that you get 1 booking for every 10 cold calls, and that as you improve, you might get 3 bookings for every 10 cold calls). She therefore recommended trying to get 2 bookings from every show.
How to do this:
* If you want bookings, you must talk about booking as much as you talk about sales.
* It has to be all about the customer, not about you or about Scentsy.
* Therefore, you have to talk about bookings in a way that appeals to the customers' self-interest.
* Here is an approximate script for the beginning of a show, and using your calendar (she acted this out, I took approximate notes on what she said):
"Hello everyone, I want to thank you all for coming out. Thanks to our wonderful host, Susan. I want to give her a special gift for having this show (give host a small gift). We're going to have so much fun tonight. Scentsy products are wonderful, and I know that you'll want to book your own show after you see them all tonight so you can earn your own Scentsy shopping spree.
"Here's my calendar. Have a look through - the dates highlighted in yellow are the dates I have available for my next Scentsy shows. I have a special gift for everyone who books a show tonight, don't miss out!" (hand the calendar out)
4. Using "booking bags" to help get bookings.
She had these set up on the table. They were just pretty gift bags with tissue paper sticking the top, and they had big tags on them that said things like "$50 shopping spree." Her comment was, people are busy and maybe tired, and you need to catch their attention right at the start by displaying products and also something to catch their curiousity - which a potential free gift will do.
You fill the bags with little incidental gifts like Scentsy lip gloss, Scentsy water bottles, key rings, etc. You also put in gift certificates.
You use these gift bags to help you get bookings, because you give a gift bag to each person when they book a show. Some of the bags had dates on them. (These are your next 3 available booking dates from your calendar.) Some had "Scentsy shopping Spree" amounts on the tag, to be redeemed at their party (don't do it at their hostesses' party, because then they lose motivation to hold thier own party).
Again, she acted out using the gift bags, saying something like this:
"Who's wondering what's in these bags? Well, I'll tell you. They're full of special gifts for anyone who books a show tonight! (take out some of the gifts, take out the gift certificates, show them and explain)
"Who would like to take one of these home with them tonight? Well, you all can! I'm giving a bag to everyone who books a Scentsy show tonight. When you host a show, you'll earn at least a $37 Scentsy shopping spree. And you can earn much more! Plus there are lots of fun prizes in these bags, so be sure to look at my calendar as it goes around and pick the date you want for YOUR show!"
5. Prep your hostess to get bookings BEFORE the party.
When you're coaching your hostess, explain the rewards for getting bookings (a half-price item for every booking made at her show.) As her who is coming to her show, and who is most likely to book. Ask her who has hosted parties in the past, and who likes to go to parties. Try to have some booking ideas in your mind before you even have the show.
6. To help identify potential hostesses, play a short game at the very beginning of the party.
It goes something like this:
After you welcome the guests and thank the hostess, hand out small sheets of paper. Explain that you're going to play a game for just a few minutes, and that the winner will get a free gift. Have them give themselves points for the following questions:
Question #1. Give yourself 1 point for every party (Scentsy, Tupperware, lia sophia, Mary Kay, etc) you've ever attended.
Question #2. Double the points for every party you've attended in the last 6 months.
Question #3: Give yourself 5 points for every party you've ever hosted.
Question #4: Double the points for every party you've hosted in the last 6 months.
Question #5: Give yourself 2 points if you love candles.
The one with the most points wins, but is also a prime prospect for booking a show.
7. When your guests first come in the door, give them two different colored pens, perhaps red and black. Then, when you welcome everyone, explain that the black pen is for them to write down the things they HAVE to have and want to get that night. The red pen is for them to write down things they want. When you take their order, look at what they want, and explain that they can earn everything on their wish list by hosting a show and earning free/discounted products. Keep the order sheets so you can do follow-up calls and emails and mention the items you know they want, in the future. (For example, if a warmer they want is being discontinued at the catalog change, you can call them, let them know the product is going away, and see if they want to host/order.)
8. If you must cold call, here's an effective strategy. Put 10 bangles on your left wrist. Everytime you make a call, transfer a bangle to your right wrist. Promise yourself you'll transfer all the bangles during the course of the day. This makes your goal concrete and helps keep you on track. (You can choose the number of calls you're going to make in any given day, she recommended 10 cold calls per day if you're serious about building a business.)
Miscellaneous tidbits from her presentation:
* You need to transition from family/friends to others if you want to keep a beginning business alive. The way to do this is BOOKINGS.
* Everyone is self-obsessed. Always talk about them, not yourself or Scentsy, because they'll always listen when you talk about THEM. Present everything to appeal to customers/potential hostesses, from the standpoint of what's in it for them. For example: "Your party was so fun," "You're one of my favorite hostesses," "You were so organized," "You can earn free gifts," etc.
* If you're earning $20K, you have the skills to earn $100K.
* All you need is courage and discipline.
* "Hope is not a good business plan."
Note: Mary Christensen had a number of books and audio tapes available at convention. One of the audio tapes was on booking. I did not purchase any of the audio tapes (have to earn some money first), but based on her workshop, I'm guessing that they're pretty good. You can get them on her web site, www.marychristensen.com.