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Pampered Chef: Host Coaching How to handle this host...and her show?

  1. MLinAZ

    MLinAZ Member Gold Member

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    Help! I have a show scheduled Sept 25th that was booked off a show in July. I called the host today to do customer care and to confirm her show. She confirmed her show but then this is what she says to me...

    "I did want to talk about one thing. My group of friends, we do these shows all the time and the way you did {past host's} show, that won't work for my friends. This structured, first we do this then we'll do this won't fly with us."

    So I say okay, I'll keep that in mind and after you receive your host packet we can talk more about how we'll do your show. I'll especially keep that in mind when choosing the recipe. To which she replies "Well yeah, we're doing drinks remember? We're going all alcohol." Um okay, yes, given a conversation we had when she booked I said I had some good drink recipes that we could do. And I'm okay with doing that. And now I'm thinking I'll definitely buy the martini glasses and then I'm going to focus on a couple of drinks and maybe some easy/quick appetizer or dessert involving stoneware (preferably the DCB if I can!).

    What I'm trying to figure out is how to "un"structure the show but still keep it successful OR how to host coach her into doing it my way. What she doesn't like is that we did intros then did the recipe then I did my hosting/recruiting bit and then finally they got their catalogs. I know she wants the catalogs early, which I can work with. And if these guests truly are familiar with PC then I can be more informal and focus on new products, etc.

    This host was an obnoxious guest, she tried to tell me I needed to replace a food chopper she'd had "for ages" (well over 5 years) that turned out to be another brand. She announced that she told the host she would ban everyone from buying if I didn't replace it. She went so far as to tell another guest that "They [PC] must have switched the boxes." Then she told me she owns everything PC sells. Then she talked to her friend off to the side during the whole time we did the recipe. But still she ordered and booked a show! So I guess I couldn't have been that terrible :p

    What would you do?
     
    Aug 14, 2009
    #1
  2. Liquid Sky

    Liquid Sky Advanced Member

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    Ugh....call me!
     
    Aug 15, 2009
    #2
  3. Jinkies

    Jinkies Member

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    Yikes! Good luck! I wish I could have ideas but I would probably end up doing what I usually do and just talk to everyone one on one saying, "can you believe I get paid to do this???!!!" or, "isn't this so much fun? if you host a cooking show, you can learn more drink recipes and get this martini shaker for free!" And keep stuff about myself to a minimum but definitely bring the booking slide!
     
    Aug 15, 2009
    #3
  4. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

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    Ouch! Sounds like no matter what YOU do, it's going to be a very stressful show. The host alone will take care of THAT. Hopefully, her friends are not like she is. If so, do your best, and leave. If she dictates the show that much, she's not going to have a great show or she's just looking for a caterer. Don't let her push you into doing more food than you are willing! I guarantee most probably won't even listen to the demo at all.

    I would certainly be sure folks got catalogs early on...because if they are looking at those, they won't be getting drunk on alcohol- which will only make things worse. I've only had a few shows to try this out on, but so far so good....I give out the catalogs early and work it in to my Ticket Game. As we talk about products during the demo, the first person to find it in the catalog gets a ticket for the drawing later. I still have a few kinks, but it keeps them paying attention. I had a show this week with 15+ guests, and the catalog/ticket game kept them listening. It didn't keep them ALL attentive and it was loud, but I just closed it at over $500. (course, my host wasn't a "w**ch". :D)

    I think I would probably try an "Express" show. Have the food as pre-made as possible so that you just have to finish it up...do your talk while it cooks and then let them eat and shop and drink. I would answer questions and such for those who really are interested...maybe have some products available you can quick demo with a potato or different cheap veggies. I've done this at a few large shows of "PC veterans", and it's been easier for ME and the show was still above $500.

    GOod luck!!
     
    Aug 15, 2009
    #4
  5. pampered.chris

    pampered.chris Veteran Member Gold Member

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    My first question is...Was your show a traditional home-show or an interactive one? This could make the difference. If it was a traditional one, I would try the interactive one with this group.

    My next question is...How do you unstructure a recipe? It isn't like you can frost a cake before you bake it. There are specific steps to follow and after all YOU are doing the demo or better yet, maybe you should recruit her so she can do things "her" way.
    Speaking of "her" way, ask her what she has in mind to "un-structure" the demo? Perhaps she actually has some good ideas but probably she wanted to complain and when you ask her what she has in mind she may totally balk b/c she really doesn't know what you should do different, but I would still approach it this way, "I am always looking for new ideas to consider to use while doing my demo, what were your suggestions for what you would like to see?" This way you are not telling her you will use them...you are only looking for ideas to consider...then when she tells you her ideas (if she really has any) I would then say "Wow, you have really thought about this! When would you like to sign up?"...

    I LOVE Bobbi's idea about the express show. Have everything ready to go and the products out for "trying" but that way it is totally unstructured and super short.
     
  6. Becca_in_MD

    Becca_in_MD Veteran Member Gold Member

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    I like Chris's suggestion for asking what she would do. Turn it around on her.

    In my kidding tone here - but yum, alcohol! I don't drink at my shows, but you may need to at this one. Assume that your host will be drinking. Do not plan on her remembering anything you say before you leave. My sober hosts have a hard enough time remembering the host benefits when I go over them at the end of the evening. During host coaching be sure to establish when you'll close the show. Touch base with her the day after the show, after the hangover has ended, to review where things are and what she needs to do to close the show. One of my best shows involved 15 bottles of wine and about 22 guests. When they drink, they buy.

    You definitely want food there. I love the jerk chicken nachos (past SB) on a stone. It's pretty quick and easy, has a few interactive tools (citrus press) for those who want to try something. Plus the citrus press is great for beverages. Offer to provide her with beverage recipes (recipe search) and bring the shaker and/or quick-stir if needed and if you have. Stick to how you normally do it in terms of how you supply ingredients, how many recipes you do.

    Have the catalogs out when the guests arrive. At the beginning you can ask if they're PC pros and want to hear about the new products and want to share what their current favorite is. If they don't want to pay attention to the recipe, say "this is a great chance to socialize. Let me have your attention for 5 minutes while I go through the specials." and after that "For those who want to learn the steps to the recipe, step over here." The rest can socialize and drink away from your demo so they don't distract you. You may need to keep things brief and do a full-service checkout.

    You're going to have a good show. You may not enjoy the host but I bet there are some guests there that you hit if off with.
     
    Aug 15, 2009
    #6
  7. esavvymom

    esavvymom Legend Member Staff Member

    7,919
    143

    That's not always true. My cluster-mate had a show where martini's were the focus for the host. She had a MENU even, plus a "chocolate fountain". I think there were 20+ people there, and the show didn't even have enough sales to qualify. partly because everyone was toasted, and partly because it was a case of the host just wanted a caterer and an excuse to have a martini-party.

    But I do like the idea of offering guests to split things up- 5 minute for the specials then you can go socialize, and the rest who WANT to listen to you, can come over where you are working! I could have used this idea at my show this week. Half were straining to hear me over the other half who were talking loudly and visiting with each other.


    Sounds like you've been given alot of great ideas! (Turning it on the host- very good :thumbup:) Make them your own.
     
    Aug 15, 2009
    #7
  8. cindylpal

    cindylpal Member Gold Member

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    I've found that at parties like this...there are still guests that ARE expecting a PC show, and they should get it!!! Ask what the hostess would like...and if it's alot different then what you would normally do I would explain that at the show...."thank you all for coming this evening, Suzy tells me that you all like to .......... Please know that I'm here to assist you in any way I can, tonight we'll be 1)....., 2).....and then finally 3)...... At least this way you've stated that this is what the hostess wanted and what the guests can expect from you! I find at events like this it's the getting the orders and getting out that's difficult!!!

    Good Luck
     
    Aug 15, 2009
    #8
  9. Chefgirl2

    Chefgirl2 Advanced Member Gold Member

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    When coaching, jokingly say "Now, alcohol is fine. But, don't drink until I get there!" then "Because I've found it can get crazy if they start at 5:00 and the show start at 7:00!"

    Sounds like she started at 4:00...
     
    Aug 15, 2009
    #9
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Legend Member Gold Member

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    I have the catalogs out for them to flip through when they arrive. When it's time to start, I let eveyone know that it's an interactive show and invite them to all come wash their hands so we can get started. I lay out the tools, ingredients & the printed recipe and am just there to answer questions. Think about doing one of the cakes in the microwave that contains alcohol! They will probably LOVE that!!! The drinks with the quick stir pitchers is a great idea too.

    Last night's show was about 20 guests ... I actually quit counting because they just kept coming after we had started the demo. We did three recipes & they broke off into groups how ever they wanted. I had a handful in the kitchen doing a cake and then 2 sets around the dining room table doing a taco ring & the Mexican Chicken Lasagna. They were all 3 using the one microwave, but it worked out REALLY well! The taco ring girls used it first to do the meat in the micro cooker. When they finished, the cake girls were ready to put the cake in the microwave. When the cake girls finished the Lasagna girls had the deep dish baker ready & took the microwave. By the time that the Lasagna girls were done, the cake girls had let the cake sit, then removed the fluted stone & were ready to heat the icing to drizzle over the cake. The group had a BLAST! During a down time for a group, they would ask questions about another recipe or go flip through the catalog. Everyone stayed occupied & they were all thanking me for the fun at the end of the night. Two of the guests stopped to give me a hug on their way out the door!!! A couple took the catalogs home to order, but when I left I had orders in hand for $706 (and some change). The host is not finished & has more outside orders from people who could not attend. We didn't play games or anything! I explained to the group while they were eating about the mailing restrictions in Japan (ship to host is not an option here) and quickly went over the upcoming host specials. This host had booked off a show a couple of weeks back. I used the past host (who was present) as an example of how the past host gets the cookware at 60% off like the current host. I had 5 people book off my 2 minute spiel. One is wanting to do a fundraiser. They whole show was VERY unstructured! ;)
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #10
  11. Grandmarita

    Grandmarita Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Sheila, congratulations. You must be flying high this morning, after such a successful party. No wonder you have had 37 parties in such a short time. Keep up the good work.
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #11
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