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Pampered Chef: Bookings Empty Calendar

  1. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

    When you are booking a customer's cooking show, how do you do manage your actual calendar? What I mean is, if they say "I want XX month", but you don't remember all the dates you have open in the month (I'm not that a walking calendar!)- since you know that you have nearly EVERY date open....so you have to refer to your actual physical calendar. The person invariably looks over your shoulder and then sees "Hey, they've got nothing, so I know I can probably easily reschedule later." This happened at a booth this weekend...she hasn't rescheduled YET, but now I can't get ahold of her to confirm. :grumpy:

    I've heard several training seminars basically talk about this- not letting people know you have an open calendar, you should know your next 2 available dates. But I have a hard time remember what I've got the next DAY on my agenda, let alone keeping up with my next available dates- plus, my next dates are very close or not in the month the customer can do it, etc.

    Am I making any sense?? How do you keep that calendar a 'mystery'?
    May 12, 2009
  2. pcsharon1

    pcsharon1 Veteran Member Gold Member

    I put stickies on the dates I want to schedule and simply go from there. I don't keep all my personal stuff on my PC calendar - I don't want people looking at that. So I simply put sticky's on the days I have open that I want to do shows on and tell people those are the dates available. And if I have a host that I think is "iffy" and likely to reschedule and I know that from the start I actually write her on the sticky rather than taking it out and writing her on the date - that way if she does reschedule I can just move her.
    May 12, 2009
  3. jenniferm

    jenniferm Member Gold Member

    The sticky note thing is the way to go. If you want to have 8 show and have a totally open calendar, put stickys on 4 of them. IF those 4 dates do not work and they pick a date that you know you have open but not a sticky you can always pretend to recheck the date and think and then say..."you know, it is not one of my open dates but I am sure we can do it that night" Or something like that.
    May 12, 2009
  4. Jules711

    Jules711 Veteran Member Silver Member

    I have my calendar that I fill in with everything including family stuff. However, that's not what I show people. I have a small calendar with just numbers (no spaces) that I have marked off dates that I can NOT do a show. They don't know WHY it's marked off!!

    I plan to do shows on Thur, Fri & Sat (vs ANY day), but if someone needs another time and it WORKS for me, I tell them that I'll open the date for them.

    How I START the conversation is what month, weeknight/weekend, then I tell a couple of my open dates. It helps to narrow it down for them.
    May 12, 2009
  5. PamperedK

    PamperedK Veteran Member Silver Member

    I just write my open dates on a large sticky note and cross them off as I book them. That way I always have my open dates available and customers don't need to see my personal stuff and/or open calendar.
    May 12, 2009
  6. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

    I use the sticky tabs on my calendar and I put an X through all dates I don't do shows. When I get my calendar, I immediately cross out all Sun, Wed, & Fri. dates. At the show, (which is where I book 90% of my shows) when I am discussing a booking date, I always narrow it down to 2 dates, and then give those dates to the potential host, so that she can choose her date. :)D....notice, I've really chosen it.)

    For my show this Saturday, the conversation would go something like this:

    Mary, you're interested in hosting your own party? Great! I am booking June and July right now, which month were you thinking?

    June! Awesome...don't you just love the host bonus for June? It's such a great time to host...make sure you invite all those people who have summer weddings to attend - I'll have some great wedding gift ideas for them!

    I have open dates for Mondays, Tuesdays, and one Saturday brunch date open for June (my Thurs. are completely booked for June and July!)...which one of those works best for you? Tuesdays work well? Okay, would you like the 16th or the 9th? The 9th? That works out great for me! Lets pencil that date in.....

    So - if she needed to see my calendar, she would be focusing on choosing between the 2 dates I've told her are available....it works!
    May 12, 2009
  7. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

    I do what Becky does. This is how I was trained and it helps me be in control of my calendar. :D
    May 12, 2009
  8. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

    thanks for the great ideas!
    May 12, 2009
  9. Nanisu

    Nanisu Veteran Member Gold Member

    I use clear sticky tabs from post its, and write on them. I put them on the dates I am available to work. If they reschedule I move the sticky.
    May 12, 2009
  10. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

    My business calendar that the customers might see just has dates marked as unavailable or the name & time for a show. That's it. I don't have all of the personal stuff on it.

    My conversation with the potential host is very similar to Becky's. I ask a lot of either/or questions. It helps people to make decisions quickly.

    And, yes, you want to make sure that your calendar doesn't look too empty.
    May 12, 2009
  11. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Legend Member Gold Member

    I use my PC calendar for everything, then again I have no life so there isn't much else on it. I have been using the sticky note method for over 1 1/2 years now and love it. What I do is mark my open dates the first two weeks of the next couple months. I use the bright colored ones so their eye is drawn to them. As the first two weeks book up or the month moves on, then I move the stickies as needed. Also helps with any reschedules, you just pull their sticky note. Also if they haven't rescheduled, I leave their sticky note at the bottom of the current month, helps me to know who I can call to reschedule.

    When it comes to putting dates on the calendar, I open to the current month I'm booking and ask them what day of the week works best for them. I don't give them an option of the open dates or just any dates. If they say a Tuesday then I point to my next open Tuesday. Helps to get them to book in close.
    May 12, 2009
  12. melindagilbert

    melindagilbert Member

  13. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

    I used the post-it-notes on my calendar this weekend at a booth I did. My calendar already had some of my personal commitments (to show that I'm busy also- something I learned from a training seminar), and I put light-pencil X's on days that I could NOT, and then post-it notes on the days I could. Some notes had someone's name, most didn't. Now, I didn't put a note on EVERY day I could do a show, just a few...so maybe 3 or 4 were blank, not 8 or 10! :D And one guy commented that it didn't look like I had much open! So obviously, it was working. But I wasn't afraid to open my calendar to pick their date. They saw me write their name and time on that note, but they also knew I could switch it if we needed to when I called to confirm - so hopefully that makes it stick more in their mind.

    So thank you for the ideas! I booked 4 shows yesterday, and have 4 who really want to have a show, but didn't put a date down yet. WOOHOO!
    May 17, 2009
  14. I use the sticky notes also. I like for everyone to see my calendar FULL, cause I want the thought in their head to be "she seems busy she must be good at what she does if she has all these shows". Plus if they are thinking about making extra money this way, they may think it must be easy to book show. Afterall my calendar is full. But let me tell you my trick, I have never had a FULL calendar so for every birthday, company picnic, concert, trip to zoo ect. ect. I just put that event as a show. Ex. my husband and I went to a Nickleback/Daughtry concert last summer we were camping for 4 days, so on the post its for those 4 days I simply wrote band members names, like "Chads show 2pm", Chris's show 3pm". Nobody ever knows what I'm doing as far as personal stuff, they just think its all shows for PC. I of course put my personal stuff on my calendar at home so I don't mix anything up or lose track.
    May 29, 2009
  15. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

    That's a great idea!!
    May 29, 2009
  16. Liquid Sky

    Liquid Sky Advanced Member

    BRILLIANT! I will be adopting your technique :thumbup:
    May 29, 2009
  17. PamperedK

    PamperedK Veteran Member Silver Member

    I love doing that as well. I use an open date list rather than a calendar for trade shows and for larger shows. I will put down 12-15 dates and then mark in other events with just the person's name. So for Cluster Meetings, I put my director's name and my team member's names. It works well and makes me feel better!
    May 29, 2009
  18. shelly.nurse

    shelly.nurse Member

    I have one of those daily/monthly calendars. I put an x on the days on the monthly calendar page for that month, that tells me that I have something already going on that day. That way, I know what dates I have available, and it looks like I have a lot of shows, but only I know what the x's are for. Then I write in the daily slot what it is that is going on that day. I do like the list idea. That way, even if I don't have anything scheduled, I can give them the list instead of a look at how sparse my bookings are so far. We are getting ready to move, so I am afraid to book too far out. I have one person that I will have to give to my recruiter, because she wants a Sept show, and I will be overseas by then.
    May 29, 2009
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