“Just be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde
This is one of my favorite quotes. It’s also the answer to one of the greatest obstacles you’ll face as a direct seller – coming across as pushy.
What I’ve found in my work with direct sellers as a coach and consultant is that they’re all passionate about their products and the experience they provide at their parties. But feeling the passion and translating that into action are two different things.
And because of the less than stellar reputation the party plan industry has with many people, actually opening up your mouth and sharing the opportunity to book a party can be a huge challenge.
That’s where being yourself comes in. I believe that the more authentic and honest you are, the more positive the response you get from others.
It’s when you start to “put on” the sort of canned, cliché direct sales persona and language that you turn others off. The best part is, being yourself is easy … you’ve been practicing your entire life! And when you realize that, you stop feeling uncomfortable and pushy and start proactively offering the booking opportunity to everyone you meet!
Here are some of my best tools for being authentic:
1. Lead with Your Unease
If you feel uncomfortable about something (talking to someone about booking a party, picking up the phone to call someone to book a party, doing a booking talk during your party), lead with that!
I’m not kidding. Open the conversation by saying,
“I’m stepping out of my comfort zone here. I picked up the phone at least three times last week to call you and couldn’t bring myself to dial because I didn’t want to bug you. But then I decided I was just going to make the call. So here I am.”
You’ll be amazed, not only at how this puts the other person at ease but also how much better you feel!
2. Name the Elephant in the Living Room
By that I mean, if you think most of the guests at your party have had a bad experience with another direct seller who’s tried to leverage them to book a party (and it’s safe to assume that most of them have), start your booking talk by saying that! “Now I know you all probably think I’m going to try to talk you into booking another one of those boring home parties with me, but I want you to know up front that’s not how I roll. My party will be a blast, and I’m sure you’ll all want to do one of your own by the end of the evening, but that’s totally up to you. I promise I won’t try to talk you into anything.” Again, this puts people at ease faster than anything else.
3. Change Your Language
Switch from asking potential hosts to do something (“Would you like to book a party with me?”) to offering them something (“I’d love to come spoil you and your friends with a fun night out, and I know you probably haven’t done anything for yourself in a long time.”)
This approach makes the offer all about them and takes the focus off of you needing them to “do” anything for you.
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Just changing your focus by using these three simple ideas should completely change your “energy” around how you feel about yourself as you offer the booking opportunity. Being authentic, naming your own fears by being brutally honest, and then doing your best to make the offer all about the potential host instead of yourself will give you an entirely different approach to booking parties and different results as well.
Oh, and it should also produce a full calendar of bookings. Not a bad by-product for doing something that comes so naturally anyhow!