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For those who feel defeated...

May 14, 2012
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I am about to sign back on with Pampered Chef after a four year hiatus. The last time, I had very little success, but that was due to my own fears interfering and my reluctance to ask for help or support. I am determined to succeed this time, and elbow out the phone phobia/inviting people phobia from years past. I will do whatever it takes to overcome my hurdles, even if I feel ridiculous at times in the process. I know I will want to remember these experiences someday for when I’m coaching my own team of new consultants.

I read recently that to succeed, it really boils down to doing just one thing over and above daily. Just one thing! To me, that translates into taking that one risk I know I need to take, but have so far panicked and aborted when crunch time came. I have these great ideas for a career in Pampered Chef, but tend to choke when it comes down to actually inviting folks. Women don’t like to be sold to, and neither do I. They come because of the relationship, and that’s my end goal. More friends and enhancing their lives if I can equals less social anxiety and happier Christie.

I have horrific social anxiety. This goes back to the 6th grade. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say, some experiences have shaped me in a way that has made it very difficult for me to invite someone over or get together with other people. I even avoid the phone at all costs unless I see it’s my husband, mom, grandmother, or the school. BUT, just like a child who falls off a bike, the only way to overcome that fear is to immediately get back on and try again. Keeping that in mind, I know my anxiety is just a hiccup, and I can overcome. Behaviorists often recommend de-sensitization techniques, which is really a perfect prescription for new consultants as well. Sooooo……

I took a tentative first step yesterday when I was over at my new friend’s house for a short visit. I have only met her one time before, and that was when I was purchasing a wrought-iron bed frame from her through craigslist. We ended up talking for nearly 35 minutes, and it turns out our teenagers are friends at school. So this was the second time I’d seen her, and I was terrified of losing a new friend….because I was inviting her to my Pampered Chef show???? Why? After all, I was invited by my friend four years ago to a Pampered Chef show, and I loved it. Ah, the mind plays some torturously irrational games on one’s soul. I mentioned I was having a Pampered Chef show at my home, and would she like to come to it in a few weeks on Saturday….she paused briefly, and said she would, but then moved on to another topic of conversation and we kept talking easily. I really believe she’s going to be a good friend since we can’t seem to run out of things to talk about—she’s so fun! I recognized the slight discomfort I felt after asking her to come to my show, and tried to put it into perspective: she said yes, your new friendship is still intact, what did you expect? Glowing and enthusiastic support for your new business? That rarely happens with any friend, even lifelong ones (oh, they can be the worst when it comes to support sometimes….).

That brings me to this morning. I have an awesome Pampered Chef director named Lisa. Lisa is the bright bubble of explosive sunshine that I am in dire need of, and I certainly got that ray-blast in an email from her this morning. She is so helpful, very supportive, and very enthusiastic. She absolutely believes in me, and encourages me to do the same. It’s the extra dose I need to tip the scales in my own internal dialogue so that I am motivated to keep pushing through anxiety and just invite people. Just invite. I cannot control whether or not they accept. Some will. Others won’t. My job is to simply invite.

I have become acquainted with another mom who waits with her kids at our bus stop. This morning, I decided I was going to ask her to come to my party as well. I would love to meet some of my neighbors. So I asked her, “I’m having a Pampered Chef show on June 1. Wanna come? I’m inviting around 40 people. It’s at 6pm.” She got the deer-in-the-headlights look, said, “Ahhh…” while checking her phone for her calendar, “what day is the 1st on? Oh, no, we have my son’s carwash fundraiser that day.” I asked, “Would another day work better? I host these things every so often to meet new neighbors.” She said, “Well, do you sell it?” I said, “I’m going to…I worked for Pampered Chef in 2009, and loved it.” She said, “It’s just a really bad time of year for me.” A little awkward, but surprisingly….it was NOT A BIG DEAL. What was this?!? I am… okay? Yes! I am! In a twist of irony, that was exactly what I needed her to say. I had braved the worst of it, and now could begin inviting a lot of other people….I wanted to hug her, but I’m sure she would have dialed 911 on me.

People are busy, and I think they’re also overwhelmed and stressed out too. Initially, a Pampered Chef show may sound like “just one more thing” and some social anxiety may be going on for them as well. I was not upset, to my deep surprise. After all, I know that I am not trying to make money off my new acquaintances. This is not the same as working retail where I never see the person again after a sale is made. This is investment in relationships, and not everyone will be available or ready for that. And that’s okay! I will move on and keep inviting—because I cannot read people’s minds. I have no idea if they’d like to come or not. Eventually, someone will say yes, and that’s what I’m after.

Weird success story, but I’m about to email a bunch more of my acquaintances I’ve made in the last year. Onward!
By the way, it is now the end of the day, and I invited everyone I know. I am holding two shows back to back: one on Friday night, and the next on Saturday night. The way I put it: I wanted to do one on the last Friday in May because it's the last day to purchase Help Whipped Cancer products, and I needed a show in June because heck, I really like the Host special. My blonde solution? Hold TWO shows! I actually said this to people in my invitations. It worked. I have people letting me know they'd love to come, and that they've been looking for a Pampered Chef consultant....I was shocked. Positivity is contagious! Get past your fear! :)
 
Nov 28, 2012
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I do need to get past my fear -- I can talk a tree out of the mud, but selling -- that is another story. I know it is a personal hang up for me. I wish you the best in your relaunch - :) Fear is an evil thing, it traps us where we do not belong and saps the very energy from below us, paralyzing us in a state of complete disbelief in ourselves and everything around us.
 
Sep 30, 2011
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Good luck to both of you! It sounds like you're ready to take the business by the reins and run.
 

DebPC

Legacy Member
Staff member
Apr 14, 2004
3,006
399
When I started I held two shows back to back at my house. Saved a lot of time setting up once not twice. Plus I got to do my demo twice in a row and that really helped. Now many consultants bill their first shows as "Grand Openings". Good luck and tell us how everything goes.
 
Sep 24, 2011
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GOOD LUCK! I wish you the very best! You will have fun with it. One tip I'd like to share about sales. You don't have to "sell" anyone on anything. What I do in my PC business and my daytime sales job - tell people the facts and the benefits, let them decide for themselves what they're needs are, and let them know I am there to help them if there is anything they need. You've got it right that the relationships are what's important! Roll with that and you'll have a great business and a great time doing it!
 
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