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How would you handle this? (long)

pampchefsarah

Senior Member
Gold Member
Mar 24, 2008
2,203
1
Several months ago I met a gentleman who was very interested in signing. He didn't have any money at that time, so decided to do a catalog show to see if he could get some leads, at least. While I believe he tried, nothing ever happened with the show. He couldn't do a cooking show, because he and his wife live with his father, who he didn't think would allow it.

Out of the blue, I received a phone call from him last night. He still doesn't have any money, and is in jeopardy of losing his truck - his only transportation - because he can't come up with the payments. The couple's only income right now is from the wife, and is not very much. Please forgive me, because this is going to sound very prejudicial, but if you were to look in the dictionary under 'hick' the picture would look just like this man and his wife - snaggle-toothed and all. I can't imagine anyone being willing to allow him in their home to do a cooking demonstration. They're a very nice couple, and certainly not stupid (though, I don't think they're very highly educated, but the one is not necessarily a by-product of the other), but their appearance and manners, I think, would turn people off.

I have been praying for God to lead me to people who need the opportunity or the products, rather than it being all about me and my success. Well, these people definitely need the opportunity, but can't even afford the mini-kit right now. He wants to help me get shows, and then the commission could help pay for the kit (he wants the full kit, not the mini, by the way). I spoke about this to our dear Jane last night, and she suggested having him get 6-8 shows lined up within 30 days, so we know he'll be off to a strong start. This is what I'm considering right now:

Keeping in mind this may be an answer to my prayer, I'm considering telling this person to have 6-8 shows booked between now and 8/30. I'll do the first couple, and, once the shows are shipped (so we know there's no problem with credit cards, etc), I'll consider the commission to belong to him, and will set it aside to purchase the kit. Once enough commission is made to order the kit, and the kit is received, the remainder of the shows will be his. This will give him training, and just trying to book that many starter shows will teach him the work involved in getting started. Yes, this means I'm losing commission, except, if he could afford the kit now, those shows would have been his, anyway. If there are any shows, they'll help my monthly total, plus I'll have one more recruit, so I don't really lose.

What do you all think? It's so unlikely he'll get any shows, and I won't work further with him unless he does, I feel there's very little risk involved. I guess I just need reassurance it's ethical and viable.

Sorry, it's so long. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
 

BlessedWifeMommy

Veteran Member
Oct 15, 2008
1,758
3
I'm not sure about the setup with commission and the kit, however, I think I would be asking the following type of questions.
What is his past job experience? Does he have sales experience? Do you think he is willing to work?
 

niclowther

Member
Gold Member
Jan 16, 2009
241
0
I can understand your dilema, I live in the country and not everyone can afford to get started. I think your plan makes sense, and you are doing a lot to get him started. At least he will be motivated to get those shows lined up, and if he doesnt, it doesnt hurt you any. And you are smart not to front the money for him and him pay you back, which could back fire. Good luck. And I hope he is successful dispite his outward appearance.
 
Mar 30, 2006
80
0
I would do it if you feel comfortable putting that much into it. Go with your gut feeling on this. Just whatever you do, Do Not Pay for the Kit! I have had people in the past try to tell me that if I pay for the kit they will pay me back later..... which I never did because that is the same as giving a stranger a loan.
 

pcchefjane

Senior Member
Gold Member
Jul 23, 2008
2,715
5
That sounds like a great plan! As I told you last night, if he makes the effort and not just tries to use your scheduled shows to gain "his" commission, it will show he is serious about doing this!
 

cindylpal

Member
Gold Member
Jun 9, 2006
284
2
I'm going to be doing a Fundraiser for Heffer International...sounds a lot like their thoughts. You don't just give, you teach others to help themselves....sounds like that's what you're doing! You never know how much what YOUR doing might change his life!!! You sound like an AWESOME Director to me...
 

susanr613

Senior Member
Gold Member
Oct 18, 2007
2,033
0
Great idea Sarah....not only are you helping him earn the kit, but you are also, right up front, seeing if he is capable of doing this business (by booking 6- 8 shows in a month). I hope it works out.
 

pampchefsarah

Senior Member
Gold Member
Mar 24, 2008
2,203
1
Thanks everyone. I'll call him later with the suggestion, and let you know how it goes.

By the way, the kudos really do go to Jane (pcchefjane), as she was the one who suggested booking the shows first! Love ya Mamaw!
 

Jolie_Paradoxe

Senior Member
Gold Member
Apr 15, 2009
2,869
16
I love this idea. You two are fabulous for finding a way for him to do so. You may have discovered a "diamond in the rough"....watch them become your rock star! Keep us posted....I'll have you in my prayers....I'd love to see him suceed!
 

pampchefsarah

Senior Member
Gold Member
Mar 24, 2008
2,203
1
I just got off the phone with him. I told him my idea - and when I got to the part about how at the first couple of shows I would be the Consultant, but the commission would go to pay for the kit, he asked if he would get anything free from the shows. Umm, no - but, when you qualify you'll earn two free pieces of stoneware and PC$. I then told him we're having a cluster meeting this coming Monday, and he's welcome to ride with me. Will there be door prizes? Umm, no - but, you'll get to see the new Fall products, taste the new recipes, and meet others on the team.

At first I was a little disturbed about the sole interest in free stuff - but, you know, that's what motivates Gail, and she's doing fabulous. I know alot of us here also work extra hard for the freebies. So, maybe it isn't a bad thing. Anway, he's going to talk to his wife and get back to me. I'll let you know what they decide. If he does want to go to the meeting, I'm definitely going to suggest dressing as he would for a show, which will hopefully be business casual.
 

esavvymom

Legend Member
Staff member
Sep 8, 2008
7,895
146
If Red flags start going off in your mind or your gut, listen to them. Your spirit will warn you if something doesn't seem right, even if your head or heart aren't aware. If he truly wants to make this work, it can.

Have you figured out how you'd handle the actual purchase of the kit- if he decides to do this? I'd be leery of just handing him $165 (w/tax) cash and saying- "Ok..now you can buy your kit". Who's to say he wouldn't just take the money and blow it on something else, and then he wants to "start over"? Especially if money is tight.

HOWEVER, if you manage to have 1-2 good shows that earns that commission and then he's still got 4 shows lined up, maybe he'll see the benefit if you tell him "that I earned that money in just 2 shows, and you've got 4 shows coming up!"

Anyway- I don't know what the methods for payment might be other than a credit card...so that's what made me think of that potential issue for you.

Good luck! I hope it works out.
 

NooraK

Legend Member
Gold Member
Feb 6, 2008
5,871
26
I'll do the first couple, and, once the shows are shipped (so we know there's no problem with credit cards, etc), I'll consider the commission to belong to him, and will set it aside to purchase the kit. Once enough commission is made to order the kit, and the kit is received, the remainder of the shows will be his.

I'm assuming, of course, that he'll be there for the shows with you? After the comments he made when you mentioned the idea, I'd make doubly sure he knows this. And what will you do with the commission from the show that is beyond the cost of the kit? Say for example you have three $300 shows to get there. Your commission (at base 20%) would be $180. Who gets the extra $25?
 

Sheila

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2008
5,375
75
His current financial position and all of his "free" inquiries sent up red flags with me. Make sure you explain the importance of customers getting their warranties. I get the feeling he'll be the one obtaining merchandise for free or 40%-60% off, then selling it for retail price to make a larger commission. But I hope that I'm wrong & that he's just wanting free/discounted products that he can use to stock his kitchen with items that he can then use for demo at his shows.

If he's good at marketing for shows & not at being a consultant, maybe you could pay him a finder's fee to help get some money in his pocket right now & pay his bills. I've seriously been thinking about paying $10 referral fees! If Jane Host calls me & says Susie Host told her to call me, then after Jane Host closes her show I'd give $10 to Susie Host (either in cash or a personal gift certificate that's only redeemable through me - haven't decided which yet). If Susie Host refers 5 good shows to me, that's $50 in her pocket. It might be motivation for Susie to refer another 5 shows the next month! (Of course, at that point I think Susie would need to just sign & become a Consultant! LOL)

But I totally understand your desire to help. I'll give anybody food that's hungry, but I have a hard time giving them money unless they work for it. I've found odd jobs before to help friends in need. I paid one guy $50 to pull some fencing in my back yard that I'd been wanting to do & hadn't found the time. It was worth it to me to get it done and he was grateful for the extra cash. It's my theory that if they really want to help their self out of a bad situation they WILL do what it takes to get ahead. If they "can't" do the things that you are suggesting, they are looking for a handout, not a helping hand. ;)
 
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