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Ive had several of these. One show, I just let them all talk and do their thing. They were talking pc stuff.. And most of them veteran party goers.. Ended up with a 400+ show.. so.. The other show.. PPL brought all their kids!! Then lady set the table up AWAY from everybody.. So finally.. after doing the recipe.. I literally went and stood smack dab in the middle of all of them and started to talk about the knives.. let everybody pass some things around.. ect.. This was last night.. Barely a 300 show.. but it worked!!
Usually, if people are talking about PC stuff, I don't mind, because they are usually suggesting what to buy to someone else. Sometimes I just concentrate on those who are listening. Depends on my mood to be honest.
And if it gets to me I just try saying a sentence and say the word FREE really loud to get their attention. Like and "With our host program you can get many items FREE." Once yo have their attention then ou can say, "Yes--well all like something for free, so for those of you who missed that, don't worry, I'll go over it again in a bit" or "I'll mention it again in a bit".
When guests are talking.....listen to what they are talking about! If they are talking about products let them but join into their conversation by saying, "Oh I thought the same thing, isn't it great" Then ask a question. I try to go with the flow of their conversations and those shows have been my high shows. (for example: $1077, $1162 and $873) Let them talk when they are talking PC!!
If they are talking about kids, then I joke and say "ladies, let's get back to business, let me show you how this works (using a product that I have not shown) and ask for someone to 'help' me.
These types of shows really used to urk me. Then my director pointed out that if they are talking products (selling them for you!) and having fun - let them! I notice sometimes it is one or two people in particular that keep interjecting with "I love that because..." or "You know what else I use that for?..." and start all the conversations. When closing out their orders, I always say something like, "Sally, I noticed that you had a lot of great things to say about PC. Have you ever thought about doing something like this??" Which leads into a recruiting conversation or lead.
When I have a talkative group I just keep on going, you never know who is listening. One time when a party did get totally out of control, I desparately looked at the host (who was the only one trying to listen) for help and she asked them to hold it down a little, it worked.
At an instructional meeting for my largest fundraiser to date. I was trying to explain to the group of 30+ where to get orders and how to proceed with an order, filling out the order form, utilitizing my website, what items are good try me pieces for PC virgins, etc. It was a non-profit org and the president and her officers started a conversation just as a started, a member behind me was trying to get the president's attention, to no avail, so I just stopped talking and stood there in the middle of the room until the president noticed that I had stopped talking. It worked and I was able to finish.
If guests are acting like children and not talking about PC treat them like children and just stop, it becomes very obvious very quickly that you are no longer speaking.
My sister was telling me about going to PC shows and how they just talked and talked, would look up and realize that there's somebody doing a demo!
I told her that I hadn't really experienced that before b/c I try to keep guests involved in the show...but, if it did happen to me I would probably cry all the way home b/c I still get nervous about being in front of people and to totally ignore someone giving a presentation is disrespectful and rude.
She said that the consultant must have been a good sport b/c she didn't do anything about it....and we got off the phone soon thereafter b/c it became too awkward. But, I was glad to say something about it b/c I thought it was important for her to at least get the perspective from the flip side.
I gave up on crowd control. Most of my shows have had over 15 guest and I gave up. I started using audience participation - the ones interested will get up and help and the others will chat about kids ect. Usually those are the ones that are there as a courtesy and will end up spending about $30 no matter what you talk about. The ones helping me cook are the ones that end up buying the product I used and booking a show. I have had more guest say they had fun at shows I have had and I usually end up with about 3 bookings per show - so it is working for me.
but it can get out of control sometimes. My worst experience of a tough group was one of only 3 people. I have no problem with speaking louder or doing other things to get there attention with a larger crowd but with a small crowd I find it harder to stop a conversation. At this show there were not just talking about products they were talking about a relative in the hospital so I did not feel I should stop them from talking. It was a bad show only $200.00 in ordre (including outside orders). There was going to be 10 - 12 people but some were sick and others could not come because of the relative in the hospital and I was not told this until I got to the show. Or I would have said lets to a catalog show. Live and learn is what I always say.
I discovered a really great way to reign in talking guests at my last show--pretty much by accident! At the last minute, I decided to use a Magic Word Game because I felt the games I had planned might be too long to use both. The Magic Word was Chocolate because we were making two chocolate recipes & I had brought all my chocolate tips with me. The guests passed the baker's roller around each time I said "Chocolate," & I found that even without trying, I had an easy way to get their attention back because each time I said chocolate, guests would get excited about passing the roller again--& if the guest holding it was talking, others were more than willing to nudge her & repeat "Chocolate, chocolate!" Like others have said, I don't mind when the guests are talking about the products & encouraging others to get the same ones, but my shows are long enough as it is, & I'd like to find ways to shorten them! I also tried the idea in our last KCN about having a Guest Special person whose job it is to stand up 3 times during the show & remind everyone about the Guest Special. I only ended up owing her $6 for her effort, but I think I'll be trying it again. (I don't know, is 6 guests out of 11 spending $50 a good average?) She used quiet times to remind everyone about the special, & I thought it was a good reminder. I guess that's not necessarily a way to keep the crowd under control, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I loved that idea & am looking forward to trying it again!
If the guests really know PC, let them talk--they know what they want. If they are really not listening, make a joke. Start looking around--around the room, under the table, etc. Someone will notice--say you have lost their attention and are looking for it. Or start doing funny movements until you get their attention. Or throw candy with the have it love it game. But remember they are there to enjoy themselves. They will order and want you in their home if they have a good experience with you.
Boy is this post timely... I had a show last Thursday night and some these people were incredibly ignorant. I drove home on the verge of tears. Thank God for my Director. The talking usually doesn't bother me. Most of them were ok, but there were a couple that were just down right beligerant and even making fun of me. "Why is your stuff better... Can I get the cookware at a discount, its so expensive..." Of course I had answers because I believe in the products, but when I mentioned to get a cookware discount, you could host a show, and really loudly she interrupts me and says "No". I had enough and said "You know, you might not be interested in hosting a show, but someone else might be." I just wanted to ask her, "Why did you come out tonight?" She was so miserable. A couple days later, some of the guests made a mention of her. So, I guess it wasn't me.