Reposting one of my favorite posts for two reasons: 1)Recent social media drama has reminded me why IRL relationships are so important; and 2)Rereading this reminded me of how I used to be dang funny. I need to get back to being funny.
Originally published 9/7/2016
It’s the Pure Romance semi-annual Booking Blitz. This is sort of like the Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale in the sense that as a consultant, you may find yourself digging frantically through a bin of possibilities hoping to find a thing that fits (and feeling a little bit like a panty scavenger). A lot of great booking game ideas are tried out during this time, but I wanted to take a moment and focus on methods of booking parties that that do NOT depend on Facebook or other social media. Don’t get me wrong, social media can be very handy for getting the attention of your unruly herd of former guests and hostesses, but if you have not yet cultivated such a following, you just wind up posting desperate requests into the virtual nethersphere, wondering why no one responds and subsequently, wonder if this is a sign that you are unloved.
Good news. You are not unloved. Facebook just simply isn’t the best method of generating new leads.
Heating up old ones? It’s passable. Creating new ones? Not so much.
So, here we go. Agent Romance’s best advice on how to
8 Ways to Generate New Leads and Book Parties without Facebook
Wear your business on your sleeve as much as possible
This is an easy one. Put visual indicators of your business where they can be seen. Wear the branded shirts. Carry the bags. Put stickers on your car. My favorite: I carry my moneybag into restaurants like a purse and leave it on the table. I booked my first complete stranger party with this method. Waitresses are GREAT hostesses. Lots of cash.
Join new social groups
You wanna find brand new leads? Meet brand new people. This means going outside of your current social circle and making new friends. This is actually a really fun method because it gives you an excuse to investigate other interests. If you have a secret love of writing, hiking, knitting, nerd TV, whatever – there are groups out there for it. Www.meetup.com is one place to start, but you can also ask around. You can even form your own and meet at a local park or library. Wherever you meet, wear your business t-shirt.
Donate and Volunteer
If you feel like you are not a hobby-type of person, you can also donate baskets of your products to local raffles and volunteer at community events. I once booked a party just because I volunteered to help with a bridal show and wore a Pure Romance t-shirt. One of the other volunteers asked me about it and then booked a party! I didn’t go into the event with that expectation, but I certainly wouldn’t have made the contact without it. Glad I wore my business t-shirt.
Get to know your neighbors
You know more people than you think you do. You just don’t know them well. I’m talking people from your neighborhood, coworkers, spouse’s coworkers and partners, your kid’s friend’s parents, those moms that sit on the bleachers near you during soccer practice and intimidate you a lot. You are going to have to make friends. Not creepy, stalker, leading with a party request friends. Real friends. You already have things in common because you are within social orbit of one another, so talk about those things. And wear your business t-shirt.
Ask your supporters to refer you
So, back to those real friends whom you’ve been circling like a starving vulture. They’ve given you 1 billion excuses about why they can’t have a party or pick a date right now and like the great Internet abyss, you are starting to wonder if they really do love you. Remember: your friends aren’t the only ones who can have parties. They also KNOW people who can have parties. Ask for referrals. “Do you know anyone who might be interested?” If they say no, simply ask them to keep you in mind if they ever do run into someone who is. Offer them free products for their referrals. Give them some business cards. If they are really supportive, buy them a t-shirt! Then continue to be a good friend. They are not going to refer you if you suddenly turn into a mindless direct sales robot that forgets how to maintain friendships.
Participate in vendor shows
I’ve written about this ad nauseum, but sufficient to say, putting yourself in a situation where people are shopping for you rather than you shopping for them is a great way to find new leads. Just make sure to do all the MUST DOs of a vendor show.
Network with other direct sales people
You might be able to use Facebook for this one, but the best way to make friends with other direct sales people is to be friendly and chatting at vendor shows and to go to the other DS parties you are invited to and BUY STUFF. In other words, support these people and they will support you. Party swaps are great. Find a consultant that is interested in your product who sells something you are interested in and trade parties. Brand-new leads. Booyah.
Say thank you with a business card
Like the ubiquitous t-shirt I keep harping on, business cards are a visual reminder of your business. Give them out. Give them out generously. Give them out with goody bags. Give them out to anyone you meet who does something nice for you. This means your waitress, your hairstylist, the salesgirl that helps you find the right size pants, the receptionist at the doctor’s office who knows you are there for a yeast infection. Give them out with a sincere thank you. Most of all: Give them out and GET INFORMATION BACK. “Thank you so much for your help today! You are totally fun and I would love to have a party with you. Do you mind giving me your mobile number because I want to send you a coupon?”
Parties get booked from relationships
Again, we are in a relationship business. Facebook is not going to work for you to generate new leads and book parties if you don’t have enough relationships to grow on. Your first order of business is to cultivate new relationships. And to wear the t-shirt.