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Pampered Chef: Host Coaching Has She Invited Too Many?

  1. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Wow! So, I have a host later in the month that I haven't heard from at all....she hadn't responded to the host coaching letters, emails, or the phone call I made.

    Just now, she sent me an email - here is the body of it:

    Becky,
    Attached is my invitation list for the Pampered Chef party on Thursday, Jan. 28. What time is it going to be held? The list is extensive, but my past experience is, invite everybody & hope for about 10 people. I will be out of town from Thursday, Jan. 14 until Monday, Jan. 25.
    Gayle



    The list was an excel spread sheet, so I'm thinking when I open it up it will be 40-50 names, 60 tops.

    Nope, not 40-50. Not even 70. This lady has 101 names on her guest list! It's going to cost me $50 (plus minis and envelopes and labels) to mail these out! :eek:

    So - I'm thinking I either find a way to ask her to pare down her list (quickly as she is leaving for vacation!) or I just mail postcards. She won't be home until a couple days before the party, so I'm not sure how she's going to contact and make reminders....and I didn't get phone #'s, but she did give me emails for about 1/3 of them.

    What would you do?
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #1
  2. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    NO way would I ask her to pare it down - I would just mail postcards and be sure to add labels to them with the current guest special info.
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #2
  3. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

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    I agree, send post cards! If there are out-of-town addresses, maybe send minis to those. And ask her for phone numbers before she leaves and offer to help with reminder calls. It might be worth it to pay for a couple of calls through PhoneVite or something similar.
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #3
  4. babywings76

    babywings76 Legend Member Gold Member

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    Once I had a host invite over 50 people and she ended up with only 1 maybe coming and we cancelled the show. I was devastated because I mailed out mini's w/ a full page invite. You just don't know sometimes. Turned out she invited every woman from her church and hardly anyone outside of her church circle.

    I'd try to catch her before she leaves and go over the list w/ her, making sure she's inviting people from all circles in her life. If it's really that many people, I'd do postcards. You could also ask her if any of those are her neighbors or coworkers that she can just call to invite or something. Maybe she could mention some who would be better with just getting an e-invitation?

    Not sure...but good luck! At least it's a nice problem to have! :)
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #4
  5. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Legend Member Gold Member

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    Do it! You won't regret it!
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #5
  6. etteluap70PC

    etteluap70PC Legacy Member Gold Member

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    Last time I had this happen we had a 1200$ show. Do ask her if you can have some of these invites be via email. She knows who on her list is really good about email. And yes do Postcards to save a bit. Maybee put an incentive for them to check your website, and put #rd stickers on them and have them bring them to the show and do a prize drawing
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #6
  7. Becca_in_MD

    Becca_in_MD Veteran Member Gold Member

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    My vote is for doing your regular minis with full-size invite for all of them. Or do a half-sheet invite to save a wee bit on paper and ink. You have no idea how well she knows these people. Many may be very casual acquaintances or parents on the kids' class lists. But if they see the mini they may be more inclined to come rather than getting a postcard in the mail.

    Your biz has increased so much with you investing in mailing the invites. If this is a worst case scenario and you break even or lose money on this one, you have more than made up for it with your other shows. And for the sake of time, it's probably easier for you to do what you always do rather than go outside the box to do postcards. If you can highlight the online ordering more, that may be worth a little tinkering. Also, check through the addresses to see if there's more than one person at a location and address the envelope to both of them. If there are work people, can you send her a bunch of minis and invites to hand out at work before she heads out of town rather than sending them to their homes? Just the fact that you do the invites for her is getting this show to hold.
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #7
  8. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Thanks for all of the great ideas! That helps immensely!

    I'm feeling better about it already - I think I just swallowed my tongue a bit when I saw that list!

    I've never met this lady, she was an outside order for a Bridal Shower I did in November - but the family that was hosting the Bridal Shower are wonderful long-time customers of mine, and I know several people on the guest list, so I know that some will show up!
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #8
  9. chefjeanine

    chefjeanine Legacy Member Gold Member

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    I would mail something to everyone on the list. I create tri-fold invitations and mail these without envelopes. I do use a little tape to seal the long edge.

    View attachment invitation example.pdf
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #9
  10. ChefMary412

    ChefMary412 Advanced Member

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    haha. I was thinking similar thoughts today.. my host for the end of jan. invited 76 people!
    let's hope theses are some good shows!!
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #10
  11. cmdtrgd

    cmdtrgd Legacy Member Gold Member

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    This is exactly why I now do phone and email invites and reminders and give the host physical invites to hand out. I do coach the host to get an email and/or phone number when handing out the full-page invites so I can send a reminder. And, the hosts love it so much more because all they have to get me is names, phone numbers and emails!
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #11
  12. nikked

    nikked Senior Member Gold Member

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    I've toyed with the idea of doing "random" minis to some on the guest list, with a sticker saying something to event of "Congratulations! You are one of only [however many] guests to receive this special invitation. Bring your Special Invitation the night of the show to receive a special gift!" and then offer free shipping or something if they do come...But have to make it so that it's only valid if they actually attend the show...I don't know...still figuring out the details! Just a thought...,
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #12
  13. mountainmama74

    mountainmama74 Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I can't wait to see how this show turns out!
     
  14. nancycookspc

    nancycookspc Member Gold Member

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    I too have the same dilemma-
    my host gave me like 83 names
    she is pretty sure she will have a fair amount we are doing 2 showings this saturday 11am & 4pm

    as previously mentioned- its a good dilemma ...I think
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #14
  15. cookingwith_tara

    cookingwith_tara Advanced Member

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    One of my hosts invited right at 100 people and ended up having 26 guests and about 15 outside orders. But, only about 17 placed an order at the show but it was an $1800 show anyway .. :)
     
  16. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    ME TOO!!!:sing:
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #16
  17. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    That's what I'm hoping for too!

    Did you do the invites, Tara?
     
    Jan 12, 2010
    #17
  18. cookingwithdot

    cookingwithdot Advanced Member Gold Member

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    WOW - that's exciting!!! I wish I had that problem ...Good luck & let us know how it turns out. :)
     
  19. urbnk8

    urbnk8 Member

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    Good Luck!
     
    Jan 13, 2010
    #19
  20. heat123

    heat123 Legend Member Silver Member

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    Becky, you must tell us the outcome! Good luck! :D
     
    Jan 13, 2010
    #20
  21. cookingwith_tara

    cookingwith_tara Advanced Member

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    No, in fact she hand delivered all the invites with the exception of the ones sent from the website. I offered to send them out and gave her a guest list but she wanted to personally invite them thinking more would come if they saw her enthusiasm and she was right! About 1/4 were co-workers and the others were church friends and family. The outside orders mainly came from co-workers.
     
  22. BeckyC5830

    BeckyC5830 Member

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    I'd go with the postcards too with that many people. I've been sending mini's and full sheet invites out for all of my fall/winter parties and spend a lot of money on mini's, paper, envelopes and postage and have not seen a lot of difference in my sales. Maybe once every three shows someone will call me that won't be coming and place a nominal order.

    I really believe that if the host doesn't do their job by getting people to their show by staying in touch with their guests, it doesn't matter what you send for an invitation. My best shows are the ones where the host is excited about their shows. My latest $700 show was all done by e-vites -- no cost to anyone. But the host was excited and kept in touch with her guests. I can host coach until I'm blue in the face, but I think some hosts don't understand they need to keep their show fresh in their guests mind and share their enthusiasm.

    I've had two non-shows this past fall where I spent around $23 each show for postage, mini's, envelopes and paper. I am really beginning to rethink the mini's and going back to the postcards.

    The cost of postage for 2009 was over 15% of my total commissions... gotta come up with a better way, especially with the catalogs being thicker this spring.
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #22
  23. jcsmilez

    jcsmilez Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Ouch on the postage! I've heard of some doing postcalls.com or something of the sort and having great results there. But, hmm, Becky, thicker catalogs? Do you know something we don't know..... ??? :angel: More products maybe? I can't wait until Feb. 2nd!!
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #23
  24. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    This weeks e-news from Pampered Chef said that the catalogs were increasing in pages (and cost!).
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #24
  25. crystalscookingnow

    crystalscookingnow Senior Member Gold Member

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    From Tuesday's Newswire:

     
  26. BeckyC5830

    BeckyC5830 Member

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    Here is the blurb from this weeks PC NewsWire.

    "We've expanded the Spring Catalog from 56 to 64 pages to better showcase our products, and add more food photography and recipes. As a result, the price of the catalog will increase to $20 for a pack of 25 and $49 for a pack of 100. When you see it, we're sure you'll agree the catalog continues to be an excellent value and an even more effective tool to grow your business."
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #26
  27. BeckyC5830

    BeckyC5830 Member

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    Forgot to mention that I do reminder calls for all of my hosts as long as they supply me with their phone numbers which most hosts do. I'm really look for ways to cut costs. Maybe that should be another thread...
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #27
  28. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    I agree - I've been doing flyers & minis all season and have not seen all that big of a change in OOs...beginning to rethink and leaning back toward postcards again
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #28
  29. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Legend Member Gold Member

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    I've been thinking the same thing too. Last F/W season I did October/November/December with the holiday mini and didn't see much of a difference. I've been doing mini's again now since last March. I have not seen a big difference.
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #29
  30. cmdtrgd

    cmdtrgd Legacy Member Gold Member

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    I'm mainly using minis as hand outs to people I'm not sure will order as well as mailings for potential recruits. Especially since they put together the flyer on the half-price rebate that fits in the mini!!!
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #30
  31. jcsmilez

    jcsmilez Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Heh, I am usually on top of all the news, I guess I've been out of the loop this week. :eek: It all makes sense now.
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #31
  32. Becca_in_MD

    Becca_in_MD Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Hmm, glad I'm not the only one rethinking this. I started doing flyer with mini in Sept. I had not sent invites for my hosts prior to that. I have not seen an increase in outside orders or show average. I do feel that attendance has increased a little, that I'm getting more bookings, and that my cancellations have gone way down.

    Now I'm panicking because I can't reach the rest of my hosts and they haven't turned in invite lists. I already had one show this month cancel. She never gave me an invite list and I can't reach her to reschedule. Two others have postponed without picking a new date. Now this Sunday's host is telling me she only has 4 people coming. I go from feeling really positive to hitting slumps like this where my bookings dry up all of a sudden.

    I may switch to sending postcard invites, but I feel that postcards take a longer time than an envelope in the mail. I do encourage my hosts to do e-mails and phone calls in addition to the mail. Hmmm, more thinking to do about this...
     
    Jan 14, 2010
    #32
  33. beckyjsmith

    beckyjsmith Member

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    My last host that invited 100 people had a $1900.00 show. The investment in postage was waaaaaay worth it.
    I would, however, ask for phone numbers.
    Good luck!
     
    Jan 15, 2010
    #33
  34. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    Becky - I can't ask for phone #'s because she left for vacation the day after giving me her list. She will be returning on the 25th, and her party is the 28th!

    I did however, chat with her for a while about her list. about 8-10 are people who live out of town, and those we will be sending mini catalogs with instructions for ordering online. They are relatives and she is sure some of them will do an online order if they know she is having a party.

    The rest - well, half are from her church/neighborhood, and she doesn't want to invite some, and not others. The other half are from the Coast Guard Auxiliary she belongs to, and the same thing applies there for inviting people.

    I let her know that I really appreciated the extensive list, but I just wanted her to be aware that average attendance at my shows is about 1/3 -1/2 of those invited. She said that she's had many different types of home parties, and she's always lucky if she has 10 people there. However, she's never had a Pampered Chef party, and she did admit that she's never invited this many to a party before.

    She ended the conversation by saying that she forgot a couple of people :eek: on the list, but she will just invite them with a phone call and a postcard from her Host Packet.

    It was a very nice conversation, and she is really excited about her Party. Her attitude is that she doubts she'll have that many show up (I told her she's going to be pleasantly surprised!) but that she has a large house, and if she does have 40 people there, she'll just start telling them to bring their own chairs. :D


    (We're doing the Loaded Baked Potato Chowder, and Biscuit Bites....I may borrow a 2nd DCB to do the Peanut Butter Dump Cake too.)
     
    Jan 15, 2010
    #34
  35. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Legend Member Gold Member

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    I mailed the postcards before I started doing the mini catalogs. I do agree that it feels better knowing that the envelopes may not get as lost as the postcards. I also started doing reminder calls at the same time. I have not noticed my attendance or show average going up.
     
    Jan 15, 2010
    #35
  36. pampered1224

    pampered1224 Legacy Member Silver Member

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    I was using minis all last fall after NC and I too never saw a real difference so I stopped doing it and and using flier type invites customized and I can print so...
    And get this, I also saw no difference in attendance with me mailing them after deciding to do so after conference or the host mailing or handing them out from before NC. So I don't know if anything we do differently actually works! Weird!
    Anyway... who knows?
     
    Jan 15, 2010
    #36
  37. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

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    I don't mail them to increase attendance - I mail them to stop cancallations!

    The one thing I have begun doing that has most definitely increased attendance is that I've started telling my hosts to verbally, and through email and facebook, invite their guests, and then I mail out the invitations one week before the party. I've stopped stressing if I don't have address lists a month, or even two weeks before the party. Whenever I get the list, I mail the invites. Doing it this way, instead of mailing the invites two weeks out, has increased my attendance. I used to plan on about 1/4 of those invited coming...and now, it's always 1/3-1/2...and I've had several where it was 2/3 to 3/4 of the people invited who attend!
     
    Jan 16, 2010
    #37
  38. pampered1224

    pampered1224 Legacy Member Silver Member

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    You know what is odd here. I have only had two parties cancel on me in 8 years. I have had to cancel about 10 myself because of work and one that I could not get to because of weather and then one because I was so sick it wasn't funny. (My host still had her party with me standing by to answer questions and she did over $500 in sales and yes, I did try to recruit her!), but hey, that happens. Oh well. Keep us posted on the out come! I would love for you to hit it big!!
     
    Jan 18, 2010
    #38
  39. danahv

    danahv Novice Member

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    I would never ask a host to pair it down -
    Did you get names, addresses, phone numbers AND/OR emails?
    I would send e-vites - and check out the phone-vite too - I believe if you do 25 names at a time (even per day) you can get that service for FREE - have the calls go out around noon so it will leave a message on most answering machines. Then just do postcards - either PC ones - or design your own - you will need to get very cost effective on this one - but totally get ALL 101 invites out - only 1/4 will show up - and you will have a kick A$$ show - more than likely a $1,000 show :)
    Keep us posted on this one. :p
     
    Jan 20, 2010
    #39
  40. dannyzmom

    dannyzmom Legend Member Gold Member

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    Ok - I am a slow learner here...I can get PhoneVite service for free?
    Can someone please walk me thru this? :confused:
     
    Jan 21, 2010
    #40
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