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Pampered Chef: Bookings Canceled bookings

  1. Happy Mom

    Happy Mom Member

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    Well, I have just had two more cancelled shows for this month, and two more parties that were booked that said no. Another is iffy because the host had surgery. Another host, party on Fri., won't return my calls. The party I shadowed produced no bookings despite two calls to the host and her mother. Yes, I have been doing great host coaching, following up, calls of encouragement, and offering help.

    I went from 6-8 to maybe one. Ugh! This is not a good way to start.

    I have left catalogs, flyers and mailings everywhere, did follow-up emails and calls. I am thru my list of 100. People express interest, but when I call for orders or email them, I get no response. I really have been pushing the great products and advantages of the great free and discount products. The fundraiser projects were not interested. Cold calls produced nothing and hang up or are rude. Businesses basically closed the door in my face. Most prohibit outside soliticians. Doctors offices do not let you leave catalogs. My one potential recruit didn't even look at the director's website despite my many emails to her, and she approached me. Forget the family and friends since some of them booked and then cancelled. If I can't get out there, there is not any potential for future bookings. Vendor show got no results.

    Right now I am out several hundred dollars (which I can't afford because I am broke), with no prospects for shows. Even my Oct. maybes will not committ. I can't force people to do this. Now, I understand why there is only one other rep in this area because bookings are impossible to get.

    With the ever increasing gas prices ($1.00 increase in 5 days), I am not leaving the house unless I have to do errands.

    I think quitting and eating my losses would be better than continuing since there is no response in my area. I feel really sad because I have put in 40 hour weeks learning, taking classes, calling, emailing, driving around to leave catalogs, making up flyers, using the phone book, etc. I can't drive hours away beause of my foot problem.

    Thanks for letting me vent.
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #1
  2. Jennie4PC

    Jennie4PC Legacy Member

    3,410
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    happymom
    i hope to give you some words of encouragment in jyne i had one show and one catolog show then july i had 6 shows booked and all canceled on me i had 2 shows in aug and one canceled and i kept the other one thankgoodness and i got one booking off that in sept plus it was an over 600 dollar show i was really discouraged myself and i told myself i would give myself 6 months and hopefully i will start getting more bookings off the show in sept i know we all have our slumps but just put on a smile and say i can do this good luck with everything ;)
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #2
  3. bbauman07

    bbauman07 Veteran Member Gold Member

    1,479
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    Happy Mom,
    Have you tried your own party? I understand your frusrations. I started my business in April and had shows in April and the first week in May and got no bookings. I had several friends who said they would host shows and then fell through. In May I ended up in the hospital and restarted my business the end of July. I held a mystery host party invited everyone I know even my neighbors. Small turn out but I got 3 bookings off that show. My September calendar has 3 shows and 2 fair dates, I also have a 1 show booked for Oct and 1 for Nov now.

    Atlot of people say to me "PC is sooo expensive" I reply with over 80% of the catalog is under $20 and for those expensive items that you want have you thought about hosting a show to get it at half price or for free? I hope this helps you. Love to help you plan a mystery host party if you think it will work.

    I have also started including a letter in my host packet that says this is my source of income for my family and cancellations are discouraged and if they must cancel to do it ASAP so that I may fill their show date.
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #3
  4. MSmith

    MSmith Member

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    Totally been there!

    Someone once told me that the successful people in this business are the ones that stick with it for the long term. There have been 2-3 times that I have seriously considered quitting, but didn't...and then things turned around again. Find your mantra or something that motivates you, but definitely give at least 6 months before you re-visit the quitting thing.

    I think that it's really important to define your goals and what you are willing to do to accomplish them. It sounds like you are all over the place, trying to do everything at once....maybe you could focus on fewer things and doing that really well...go back to the fundamentals. Example: host your own show (and I've learned from this board, don't call it an "Open House") and practice on yourself what you preach with host coaching- focus on attendance, practice your presentation (pick key phrases for products that you are highlighting or to get bookings- practice, practice, practice until it flows from your mouth fluidly), personally contact each person you invite- encourage them to bring a friend- and when you talk to them, mention what PC is doing to help Katrina victims this month b/c every little bit is going to help- even to outside orders.

    email doesn't seem to work, too easy to ignore. personal contact is key....but first you have to make the connection. I always think: People can book a show with anyone, why do they want to book with me?

    Oh, and it took 1 1/2 years before any of my family members booked a show from me and then everyone had so much fun that now 2 other aunts plus my cousin want to book shows...go figure!

    good luck!!!!!!
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #4
  5. SBinkley

    SBinkley Novice Member

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    I understand!

    I think we've all been there a time or two! Look at it this way....it only takes one GREAT show to boost your business. I joined last year in the fall. I was sooo busy in the fall, then December hit and business died off. I had only a booking or two for January, Well, my January booking turned out to be a $1,000 show, and I got several bookings. In fact, I'm still getting bookings off of those bookings! I can't stress enough "it only takes one great show!" Keep your chin up!
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #5
  6. Happy Mom

    Happy Mom Member

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    I have hosted my own show, which was over $900. There were 3 bookings; my director took two becasue I joined after my party. The 3rd is the friend that has cancelled three times, and I rebooked, but she is not returning calls.

    My neighbor had a party last month so people here are inundated with PC.

    The people I worked with did not buy one product for any of the parties, even mine.

    So unless, I can find another way to impress people, and book a show. I do not know how I will gain any other bookings.
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #6
  7. chefbilyeu

    chefbilyeu Member

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    Have you tried Theme Shows? If you can call someone, and paint a picture for them of what the show will be like, then maybe they will see that YOUR show will be different, and so much fun!

    For example, a Hawaiian Luau Show:
    "In the month of September, I'm still holding on to summer, so I'm doing Hawaiian Luau shows! I have a great recipe for a Hawaiian Chicken Stir Fry that is fabulous, and we make homemade pineapple-lemonade--just like the lemon shake-ups at the fair! I ask each guest to wear a hawaiian shirt, and I'll give a prize for the ugliest or most outrageous Hawaiian shirt! I also play some fun Hawaiian themed games! How does this sound?"

    Who wouldn't want to go!? Who wouldn't want to be the talk of their friends?!

    How about a Death By Chocolate show:
    "This fall, The Pampered Chef has come out with 3 new Chocolate recipes that I'd love to share with your family and friends! One is a Sillky Chocolate Mousse in crispy crepe shells, and it is wonderful! Or, we could make a molten chocolate skillet brownie--perfect for a girls night out! I've got a fun chocolate trivia game we play, and if you want, we can turn it into a P.M.S. show--Pamper Me Silly, or a Kitchen Comfort show, and I'll ask the guests to wear their favorite fuzzy slippers! How does that sound?"

    People are scared to death to host a show, or even attend a show, with the thoughts that they are going to have to sit through an hour of someone standing in front of them, selling to them. If you can reassure them that it will be fun, they are more likely to book, and hold the date!

    Another way to keep people from cancelling is to mail the invites for them. Take the work out of the host's job! Plus, you can get phone numbers, and follow up with the guests for the host. That way, you can give the guests the excitement to come to the show. If they hear that you are going to be fun, and it's something new, your attendance will be great also!

    I've been in slumps...bad ones. At the verge of quitting, I was given this quote: "The wonderful thing about the game of life is that winning and losing are only temporary...unless you quit" --Fred Mills.
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #7
  8. Happy Mom

    Happy Mom Member

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    One is scheduled for the end of October at my house.
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #8
  9. kitchenqueen

    kitchenqueen Member

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    Try passing out fundraisng flyers to the local schools in your area. The high school organizations like cheerleading, drill team, band and choir do many findraisers. Maybe even one for the football team but have a themed one for "Moms of football players" - "How to whip up a good meal in no time" type demo. Encourage bookings and promote the benfits at those fundraisers because the organization get an additional $3 each booking! It's worth a try anyway...I agree with everyone else, give it atleast 6 more months.

    Announce the Round Up Fundraiser PC is doing for their local food pantries AND Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. I've had a few people place orders just so they can help donate. Every little bit counts and will add up to an amount we can all be proud of!

    I think we all go through a slow period. You sound like you know what you are doing in regards to host coaching, etc...just keep it up!! Good Luck! :)
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #9
  10. Happy Mom

    Happy Mom Member

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    I have done letters, flyers, and catalog packets for local school fundraisers.

    If I cannot obtain one one solid booking for a show, there is no way that this business is going to grow.

    I disagree that I am not focused; maybe I am just trying too hard.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2005
    Sep 2, 2005
    #10
  11. chefbilyeu

    chefbilyeu Member

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    I'm not sure what else we can tell you, Happy Mom. We've offered lots of suggestions, and freely given advice, yet you still seem sure that you've tried everything. I understand that there are peaks and valleys with this business, but keeping your chin up and staying positive are very important. If people feel your desperation in getting bookings, then they are less likely to book.

    Please let us know what type of advice you are looking for, and maybe we can be more specific in our help. Most of us have been through this experience, and we agree that giving it more time will produce a turn around. As a rule of thumb, what you do today in your business will effect it 3 months from now.
     
    Sep 2, 2005
    #11
  12. bbauman07

    bbauman07 Veteran Member Gold Member

    1,479
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    I have been just a discouraged as you before. Think about add the mystery host to your show in Oct. and push the free jar opener for your show. I would also push the round up for your show. Maybe make your own invitation for your show. I made a top ten reasons to attend invite for my open house I found the invite on this site I change reason #2 to the free mini chillzanne bowl (july's guest special) and reason #1 was because you could be the mystery host. Then at my show for every $25 that they sent I put their name in the drawing for the mystery host. I love Chefbilyeu's idea about the Hawaiian Lauau you could do both and play a couple of games at your show. I have posted a few in the files section. Make those ladies have so much fun they can't wait to have another show with you. Let me know if you need game ideas I have TONS!
    Also think about putting together a theme show binder before your show in Oct. my Table of contents and cover letter for my theme show binder are in the files section also. Good Luck with your show. You have a whole month to plan "a to die for " party.
    ;) Also don't forget fake it till you make it!!!!! ;) Don't let them know your calendars empty let them think you it's full!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2005
    Sep 2, 2005
    #12
  13. Happy Mom

    Happy Mom Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions. It has just been a really bad day all round. sorry if I sounded so negative.
     
    Sep 3, 2005
    #13
  14. cookerup

    cookerup Guest

    Why Not "Open House"?


    Just curious, why should you not call your own show an "Open House"? I just recently found this website, but the answer to that question might explain why mine was not a huge success. Though I did wind up with over $400 in sales.
     
    Sep 3, 2005
    #14
  15. MSmith

    MSmith Member

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    I guess b/c the title "OPen House" puts people in mind that it's a drop in/drop out kind of thing so it is harder to get a good attendance and/or sales. A "Mystery Host" or maybe even a Bingo Game would work better.
     
    Sep 3, 2005
    #15
  16. pamperedbecky

    pamperedbecky Legacy Member

    4,498
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    I agree and from personal experience, it seemed when I shifted my outlook on shows and tried to be more positive and as if if I were doing THEM a favor in offering them the opportunity to book a show, I think I came off as less desperate! Although we all know we can get into that rut if we're trying to earn an incentive or just keep our business alive. I think having a positive outlook, as well as the mindset that we're doing THEM a favor by offering them a great opportunity to earn all kinds of wonderful host benefits, really changed things around for me in MY business. I also found that after doing this for over two years that when I have more fun and am more relaxed at shows, the bookings happen. Not to say that those out there AREN'T relaxed and fun, but I'm just saying personally this is when I seemed to get more bookings. My husband even remarked a couple weeks ago, "Wow, you must be much better at doing shows because you're getting SO much more bookings." I can't put my finger on it, but he's right.

    My advice is to stick with it and maybe try things you've already tried again. Maybe you'll catch people at a better point in their year, life, whatever. I'm going to do a Stoneware Workshop this month as a my own show at my house. I'm stressing it's more of an EDUCATIONAL show to talk all about stoneware for those who love it, are afraid to buy any, have bought some in the past but don't know what to do with it, etc..... Basically anyone who is interested in stoneware or scared of it. I'm stressing that no purchases are necessary (although they never are) and it's more of a chance to learn more about stoneware or share ideas if my customers out there are veterans with it. I'm also going to do it as a Mystery Host show. I was going to do a "Product Preview" open house with the new products, but decided to do this instead and I'm VERY excited!!!

    Good luck to you! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2005
  17. chefbilyeu

    chefbilyeu Member

    287
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    Becky-
    That sounds so great! I'd love to hear more about how you are going to set that up. If you'd like, you can email me, or I'm sure if you post, everyone is curious :)

    You are right on about keeping focus on what your are giving THEM. It does make a huge difference. Also, I too have found that the more fun I'm having at my show, the more bookings I get. I think that Theme shows play a big part of this, because they see how different and fun a PC party can be. It's also fun because I get to get "out of character" for a night :)

    Good luck with your planning!
     
    Sep 3, 2005
    #17
  18. ChefNic

    ChefNic Veteran Member

    1,048
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    I'd love to know how it turns out!
    I had a "Window Shopping" event at my house the end of August.
    I passed out a ton of invitation flyers (didn't follow up) and told them on the flyer -"leave your wallet at home if you want! Just come browse and see the new products, and taste the new recipes"
    I was going to have New Product door prizes 15 minutes after the starting times... I had it at 10am and 7pm to fit anyone's and everyone's schedule...

    Two people came... one at each event. They were friends, who love the stuff and have bought from me before many times. They both sounded like they may pass a catalog around or have a show... but since they are friends, I would rather not push and call and remind... They know I'm hear... they are friends FIRST and potential hosts later...

    I was really hoping that when peoole realized I didn't expect them to buy, that they would come to see the new stuff! OH WELL>>..
    Ya live and learn...

    Following up is key!
     
    Sep 5, 2005
    #18
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