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Pampered Chef: Poll-Laptop at show

  1. amyscookinggear

    amyscookinggear Member Gold Member

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    Informal poll.
    Who brings a laptop to your shows?

    I have been since November and am now rethinking it but I'll leave that discussion for a while.
     
  2. AlowayFamily

    AlowayFamily Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I take my laptop to every show and would not be able to do orders without it! I love having it with me.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #2
  3. Liquid Sky

    Liquid Sky Advanced Member

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    I did a few times but then stopped. For one, lugging it along w/ everything else was cumbersome to me. Plus, I want to make the biz look EASY. I think it kind of scared potential recruits away at the show when they saw me whip out my laptop to enter shows. I didn't want them thinking they couldn't do what I do b/c they don't have a laptop (or whatever).

    The more basic I make the biz look, the more types of people I attract to the biz. KWIM?
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #3
  4. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

    3,248
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    I got mine in Dec and started taking it in Jan..I LOVE it...I have also had several comments about how "professional" it looks and I do explain that I just got it and it's also my PERSONAL laptop but I like to take it so everyone can see their totals. I don't make it about "if you become a consultant this is what you need to do". I kind of made it an afterthought.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #4
  5. PampMomof3

    PampMomof3 Legend Member Gold Member

    5,662
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    I use mine and LOVE It!! I've had mine since I started and it's a business write off.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #5
  6. etteluap70PC

    etteluap70PC Legacy Member Gold Member

    3,667
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    I have been using my laptop at shows since I started 6 years ago. LOVE it!!!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #6
  7. Jewel

    Jewel Member Gold Member

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    I take mine too! It is so much easier for me to get the correct totals and add extra items that they didn't think of when filling out their order forms. I think I am calculator challenged, so my laptop makes my life easier. Also I can show the host exactly where she is before I leave.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #7
  8. pamperedpals

    pamperedpals Senior Member Gold Member

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    I have been taking mine with me since DH got it me one for X-Mas two years ago. I LOVE it! It is so much easier than with the forms.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #8
  9. amyscookinggear

    amyscookinggear Member Gold Member

    99
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    All of these reasons are the reason I bring my laptop. However, I had my first recruit approach me the other day. In check out she got kind of freaked out because I had a laptop. I explained that you don't have to have one at shows but she brought it up again in our interview.

    Secondly my director was told by a customer that her check out was too long. Now she wonders if that was because of the laptop or because of a chatty group.
     
  10. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

    10,901
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    I used to bring mine. Then one night I forgot it. I found checkout that night so much more natural, no computer screen between me and the guest. I was able to chat more freely and paid closer attention to what they ordered.

    Then when I got home and entered everything, I could take my time entering notes about that person.

    I much prefer using pen, paper, and calculator at shows so I can have face to face conversations with folks.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #10
  11. ChefBeckyD

    ChefBeckyD Legend Member Gold Member

    20,466
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    This is exactly what my experience has been! I didn't think I could do it w/o my laptop, but it turns out, I can!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #11
  12. jcsmilez

    jcsmilez Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I feel like my checkout takes much longer when I don't have my laptop. My keyboard broke and I haven't been taking it lately, but how do I miss it!! I miss it for all the reasons listed above. I know that it is a concern for some making the business look less doable, I just make it a point to emphasize the fact that my lap top is one of the blessings from my PC income and not a requirement (during my what PC has done for me talk). I've thought about making some sort of sticker to put on it that says something along those lines -- if I could only make it cute and catchy. lol
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #12
  13. pamperedlinda

    pamperedlinda Legend Member Gold Member

    10,328
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    my thoughts too!
     
  14. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

    22,238
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    I used to take mine, but stopped. For all the reasons that Deb mentioned. And it's another valuable thing that I have to keep an eye on, and make sure isn't damaged in the trip. Plus, unless I leave it in my bag and have to go through the bother of getting it set up as customers are waiting to place orders, I have to have it already set up in the checkout area - which is usually in another room. And I'm not leaving my computer unattended in another room where people could get to it.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #14
  15. mkcook

    mkcook Novice Member Gold Member

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    I take mine and won't leave home without it! When I first started husband told me no - then even beeing an accountant because I was in a hurry - I did the math wrong (butter fingers on a small calculator when I'm use to the big one.) We do the shows as a team - While he demos and cooks, I'm in the other room setting up. In the middle of the show, I collect the door prize slips which allows me to go ahead and enter their information. Then at check out all I do is enter the information and with me on the computer all day - that is much quicker than looking up all the prices and seeing if they put everything down correctly. It also lets me do a quick look up if they are close to the $60 for a free gift.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #15
  16. christinaspc

    christinaspc Veteran Member Silver Member

    1,261
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    I love taking mine to my show if I don't take it I feel like a part of me is missing and I get alot of comments on it about how professional it is.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #16
  17. luvmytees

    luvmytees Novice Member

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    I do but my main reason is b/c calculating on the spot scares me :p I hate math!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #17
  18. aalbert

    aalbert Novice Member

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    I take mine, and couldn't imagine not having it with me.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #18
  19. lauradahl

    lauradahl Member

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    I got mine almost a year ago and love taking it to shows.

    I've embraced the thought of showing potential recruits that we have such an EZ program when we order...no matter if it's a portable lap top or a desk top at home. This is the software you will be provided with your kit investment.

    I don't put the screen between me and my guests. I set it up so we are side by side and they actually get a kick outta watching everything go in....and can edit what I'm doing if need be.

    Of course my PC file has all the applicable flyers I can reference when booking future shows or current recruiting programs. I have all of these on my flip chart as well....but with the click of a button, I can reference anything I've downloaded.

    Obviously from all the opinions list above, it's gonna be a personal preference...I still love being able to be accurate...I had 'fat fingers' before and was always making little mistakes with my math....I too am NOT a numbers person so this has made ordering much more streamlined and professional for me.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #19
  20. Liquid Sky

    Liquid Sky Advanced Member

    770
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    I do agree that I loved taking my laptop and it made inputting everyone's orders so much easier. But, like I mentioned before, I want my biz to look duplicatable.

    Sometimes having a laptop present can be a "negative" that the would-be potential recruit would/could shy away from if they feel "technologically challenged" or don't have a laptop themselves to be able to take to shows....etc. For me, there are too many things that can go through our guests minds that we will never know of and I totally think the laptop idea at shows can hinder effective recruiting. I am not saying that you can't recruit while having a laptop at your shows, I just feel that the recruit leads will be much higher if we just use what PC gives to us and trains us in doing.

    Again, I would so love to take my laptop to every show but I recruit so much better w/o it AND it does help me to make a connection with the guest while they're checking out.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #20
  21. babywings76

    babywings76 Legend Member Gold Member

    7,306
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    Good point. But there's also the flip side of this. I am working with a potential recruit. When I went to her house to close her show, I brought my file folder with her guest receipts, and a piece of paper that I had written what her show total was. She handed me all her new outside orders and her wish list. I calculated all those orders to double check their math and found a couple errors, and then added it all up to get her show total. She just looked at me like I was a wizard with knowing what I was doing. She made the comment of "Oh man, I'm going to have to figure out how that order form works right and get used to calculating people's orders. I told her how the form works and then told her to rest assured that P3 does it all automatically and it's really easy to use and it'll help to double check her math. I told her that it just takes doing a couple times to get faster at doing it, but not to worry. The form makes it look harder than it really is.

    So if I had my laptop with me, she could've seen how PC gives us such a great free program to work with and how then you don't have to worry about making math errors. Yes, she still needs to understand the order form, but then she could've seen for herself how the program works and how it can help make things go smoothly.

    Just another take on it. :blushing:
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #21
  22. Liquid Sky

    Liquid Sky Advanced Member

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    I see how that can really help a lot of potential recruits. I also know how much nicer it is to figure out the payment discrepency if there's a mistake made on the order form, b/c the program does it all for us.

    Hmmm....this can go both ways. I never entertained the positives it can have to getting strong leads until now. :eek:
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #22
  23. baychef

    baychef Senior Member Silver Member

    2,906
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    Currently, I do not take my laptop but I do have some questions. Do any of you print out receipts on the spot? If so, how does this work? I am imagining that the answer is no.

    For those who are PC literate (sorry Mac users, nothing personal, just my preference) I have a few questions. My desktop has my program loaded on it and it is an XP. My laptop is Vista which I am not as familiar with. If I keep updating the two, would this be a problem with the two different versions? It seems as if I am becoming less computer literate!!!

    Thanks for your input!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #23
  24. AlowayFamily

    AlowayFamily Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I don't print receipts at the show, I just give them the duplicate order form copy and send receipts to the host for outside orders.

    Regarding the two programs, I have the same thing, XP and Vista. I haven't found a problem with the interfaces and P3 seems to work fine on both platforms. I actually use 3 different computers, and I just keep the current version of P3 on a thumb drive at all times.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #24
  25. lauradahl

    lauradahl Member

    290
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    Ann

    I have XP on my desktop and Visa on my laptop and have no issues.

    I did get a flashdrive to be able to transfer data...I had to download the P3 program on my laptop when I got it...then saved my P3 data to the flashdrive from my desktop. Then put the flashdrive into my USB on the laptop, and 'restored' info from the flashdrive onto my laptop.

    I was very scared to do it...Nancy Collins here gave me some great instructions and since then, I use my laptop for most all my work, then I update my info to my flashdrive.....plug it back into the USB on the desktop and 'restore' all my information there.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #25
  26. lauradahl

    lauradahl Member

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    I did the same for awhile, now I'm back to printing all of them and sending to the host. Can't figure out which I like most?
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #26
  27. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    The data is saved in a format that is not operating system dependant. So you can transfer data from XP to Vista to Mac and it'll still be OK.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #27
  28. baychef

    baychef Senior Member Silver Member

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    WOW!! Thanks everyone! I need to get to work then!!! I would like to try taking my laptop to my shows for a bit to see if it helps me in my business with time. Sounds like it might. I am forever forgetting to check the box when they pay in cash. I am more likely to enter it when I input their order. And, I can also avoid calculation mistakes (this weekend I will make those with packing 4 parties in on my weekend off from my full time job).

    I have a consultant that uses the OOF off the website then inputs the customers' orders. She then gives that OOF they have completed back to the customer as their receipt at the time of them ordering. I noticed they have the guarentee for the second page of the OOF. She does this to save money and time by not stamping. I guess I am too paper dependent to take this step. (The Paper Tiger and it's herd all live in my office, by the way...many generations of paper tigers live there!!!:eek::eek::rolleyes:)
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #28
  29. baychef

    baychef Senior Member Silver Member

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    Do you still have this to share??
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #29
  30. merego

    merego Senior Member

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    I take mine
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #30
  31. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Legend Member Gold Member

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    I started taking mine last summer when I got it! The pluses are that I don't have to worry about entering orders in when I get home, the totals are always correct, I have past information on guests right there (products they purchased, when their last show was), etc. The only negative is when I forget to bring my power cord!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #31
  32. WLMcCoy

    WLMcCoy Advanced Member

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    I always take mine! I've never went to a show w/out it.. IDK what I would have done when PC first started! haha
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #32
  33. Crystal Patton

    Crystal Patton Advanced Member

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    I take mine and have since I started. The first month I did this my Laptop was being shipped to me so I didn't have it and I got EVERY order total wrong. It wasn't much, but it added up and I didn't want to call every customer and tell them they owed me X number of cents, so I paid it.
    To speed up the checkout process I input all the guest info before the show. I have it all because I send out the invites for my Hosts and it's so nice to scroll down and pick out their name.
     
  34. chefshawna

    chefshawna Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I don't have one, but don't know if I would take it or not. I don't think that manual checkout is hard, as long as I have a calculator for the tax, I'm good. There are a lot of people who don't have laptops and many of my customers don't even have computers or internet service, so I think that showing them that it is definitely do-able without one is essential!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #34
  35. Jules711

    Jules711 Veteran Member Silver Member

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    I usually bring mine. I love it b/c I can give the host a very accurate total before I leave so she knows just what she is shooting for with remaining outside orders. Plus, people appreciate that their credit card isn't written down anywhere.

    I mention that this is my favorite write-off and that it was paid for with the commission from just a few shows (less than that actually since I sold my old one). You definitely don't have to have one, but it works for me.

    I don't feel that it disconnects me since they are typically sitting next to me looking at what I have in the check-out area. It also seems to make it more official because I have people come sit and wait for the few moments instead of just giving me their order forms. I do not typically set it up until I'm ready to check people out b/c I don't want to worry about the computer. I also love that I don't need a cord b/c it can last for 3 hours and I don't turn it on until the checkout.

    I have a consultant that is so thrilled at the concept of bringing the laptop. It's made her job easier and that's great when you first start. She bought a new laptop right away (old one happened to die after joining) so she also has a great write-off!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #35
  36. ~*Heather*~

    ~*Heather*~ Member

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    I take my laptop to my shows and I absolutely love it. I would be lost without it.
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #36
  37. maassl

    maassl Guest


    I am not sure how I would work my Pampered Chef business w/o a computer. When we didn't have internet for a while and I had to go to the library to do it it was a pain and I am not sure how you would get P3 on a library computer. Without a computer would they just do everything manually and mail the stuff into HO?
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #37
  38. chefshawna

    chefshawna Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Yes, I believe that is how they would have to do it without access to a computer. It can be done and I have heard of quite a few successful consultants who do just that! You have to remember all the years the world went on without computers and the businesses that were successful then. I know computers make things so much easier and I love having one and would be very lost for a while without one, but life would go on and so would business!
     
    Apr 21, 2009
    #38
  39. BlessedWifeMommy

    BlessedWifeMommy Veteran Member

    1,762
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    Nope, I do everything at home. Take my calculator to the show and just double check my work. I personally wouldn't want the wear and tear on my laptop, we have had enough trouble with them when they don't leave the house.
     
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