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Pampered Chef: Bookings Social networking strategies and meetup.com

  1. KellyCooks

    KellyCooks Novice Member Gold Member

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    On Sunday, I was on an incredible call with Belinda Ellsworth. She interviewed Jennifer Fong, an expert in social networking for direct sellers. I took five pages of notes. If you can get on the call, it's worth it! Last I checked, all calls were full, but she may be adding more. Check her schedule at Step into Success - Belinda Ellsworth.

    Jennifer said that social media is so powerful... It's the future of direct sales. (Maybe PC will eventually realize this...). She said that social media:
    * will help find prospects
    * will help us provide better customer service and will help with follow-up
    * can position us as an expert who people want to refer their friends to
    * helps support growing team members
    * allows professional growth and gives you access to people you've never had access to

    Her big caution: Social media does NOT replace core activities of booking, selling and recruiting. Social media enhances these.

    As a result of the call, I've started a blog and linked it to my Facebook profile. Her #1 recommendation of where to begin is to "Build brand YOU." I'm trying to plan my social media strategy.

    I'm a member of a stay-at-home parents meetup group at meetup.com, and I noticed that a Creative Memories consultant has her own meetup group with more than 50 members. Mona Vie also has one that looks like a mix of consultants and prospects. Has anyone created some kind of PC-related meetup group? Any ideas? I was trying to think about what I could offer that isn't pushing PC, but gets them wanting to host a party or join the business. Maybe a group of people who wants to exchange recipes, try new recipes, learn new techniques. I thought I could start with a couple of power cooking lessons.

    I'm definitely not going to let this interfere with my core business activities and making calls, but it could be a fun way to enhance my business.

    Ideas, anyone?

    Thanks!

    Kelly
     
    Jun 16, 2009
    #1
  2. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

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    The P&P makes this kind of advertising really hard. I can't think of how you would market your meetup group with not being able to advertise yourself as a consultant online. You could call it a cooking club or something, but I think people would be taken aback if they arrived to find it's a PC thing. But you also wouldn't be reaching the people who would be looking for PC, because they can't search for that.

    I think it certainly is a great avenue to reach out to people, and I'd love to see your notes if you can type them up. And maybe a bit more about the strategy you're planning?
     
    Jun 16, 2009
    #2
  3. smstrks

    smstrks Member

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    I recently went to a meetup group here in the Phoenix area. My sister in law, who sells Mary Kay, went with me and because the "founder" of this group is a MK rep, my SIL went representing her Park Lane Jewelry biz. So, we get there and it's a fun night of pampering with MK products. No biggie..thought hey, cool! Maybe they spotlight a different biz each month. Well, once you join and attend a meeting, you find out it's alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll about MK, every single month. All it is, really, is a huge MK party. When you think about it, fabulous idea! There were probably 8-10 MK reps there, all in the same "line" I guess. However, I was taken back because I felt that they lure you in under false pretenses!! I did, though, get a couple of great leads for parties so it's not so bad in that sense but I won't be going back.

    Stephanie
     
    Jun 25, 2009
    #3
  4. etteluap70PC

    etteluap70PC Legacy Member Gold Member

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    Not to sound negative but FYI, MK reps are notoriously bad PC hosts. They have a totally different Party mentality. Just be careful, and coach like crazy!!!
     
    Jun 25, 2009
    #4
  5. smstrks

    smstrks Member

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    Well both of my leads for the parties don't sell MK. They sell something else so hopefully it'll work out ok! The one emailed ME and said I want to host a party! I love those kinds of emails!!!

    Stephanie
     
    Jun 25, 2009
    #5
  6. etteluap70PC

    etteluap70PC Legacy Member Gold Member

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    WooHoo!!! Good for you!
     
    Jun 25, 2009
    #6
  7. gingertannery

    gingertannery Advanced Member Gold Member

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    I was also lured to a "Networking Meeting" to find out it was many different DS people gathered under false pretense to see Melaluca products. We were promised a list of all attendees to contact (never delivered) I even asked for the name of the MK lady to contact for products. and I was told never mind about her.. -The melaluca make-up was fabulous.. that I didn't want MK!! ????? What?? I was mad. And I bet the MK lady would be upset to hear that comment.
     
    Jun 28, 2009
    #7
  8. pcchefjane

    pcchefjane Senior Member Gold Member

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    I did a Healthy Heart Sunday thing the end of February. The organizer told me she definitely wanted to host a PC Show. After many phone calls, she finally told me in April she would only do it if I hosted a show for her. I can't remember the name of the make-up but she was going on and on about it being so much better than anything on the market. I told her that I had recently switched to Arbonne and loved what it did for my skin so would not be interested. She emailed back, bashing Arbonne and insisting I needed to do her Show. I told her that I had many friends in DS companies and my policy was to do none of them so as to not hurt feelings. She said it was a trade on shows or nothing. I thanked her politely and told her if she ever changed her mind, to contact me. I thought it was rather tacky of her considering she took a Host packet and everything from me, knowing she would never do it!
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #8
  9. diradt

    diradt Member

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    Funny to hear that about MK. I have a current hostess who signed up on the spot (set a date and all) at an Expo we were both working at ....and then I couldn't get a hold of her to confirm everything. Finally I had to "threaten" with a voicemail saying that I was excited to see her next Sat at 5pm and I would talk to her then. She called the very next morning cancelling her show and changing it to a catalog show. NOW I have dropped off a packet and still can't get a hold of her----to make this worse, I am only $300 away from my goal for the month. Grrr....

    What is with this "if you host mine, I'll host yours"? I have the same policy that someone mentioned earlier....I dont host any parties for anyone. The only exception was a friend that was starting out her jewelry business and was 1 show short of her quota.

    As far as the meetup goes, I use this site as well (for a mommies group) and I would feel bombarded if I got somewhere and it was a sales pitch for a company. I love the idea of a cooking/recipe meetup---and then you can post recipes using PC products or contact everyone individually once you get to know them with ideas of how you can help them. Just a thought!
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #9
  10. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    If you invite me to a networking event (or anything else) and it turns out to be simply a pitch for your line, you've lied to me. I don't deal well with people who lie. As a matter of fact, I choose not to deal with them at all.
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #10
  11. you can advertise it with power cooking classes featuring you with a specialized cooking product line. I would definitely love to join a meetup like that. I know they are selling something but at the same time, I'm going to learn something. So, when I arrived I would not be put off and I wouldn't feel manipulated at all as I was expecting a cooking line to be featured. If it's free, or a small fee to cover food costs, I wouldn't feel lied to at all as I would be going with the understanding that a specific line is being featured. Good luck, it's a great idea.
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #11
  12. jcsmilez

    jcsmilez Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Couldn't you advertise it as a cooking club, emphasize the power cooking and in the confirmation email that you send out to everyone that is planning to attend, say that you will be preparing the food using the great line of Pampered chef products that make cooking quick, easy, and fun! (or something like that). You can then briefly mention that due to company policy Pampered Chef is not stated on the main page but that you are excited to provide great recipes and cooking tips for all those that attend while showing an array of products that will enhance that experience.
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #12
  13. legacypc46

    legacypc46 Senior Member Gold Member

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    I would be up front in the initial announcement that the cooking will be done exclusively with a specific product line. I think some folks would feel slightly scammed if they got excited at the cooking club idea and then found out it was part of DS company.

    If you go to meetup.com and randomly search for cooking clubs in various parts of the country, you'll see several that seem to be exactly what this thread talks about. I know of a gal who did something like this with her neighbors. She charged a fee to offset the cost of the groceries, but she waived it if they ordered $60 or more. The focus of the get-togethers though was on the cooking, not selling. (Sharing in the hope it helps)
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #13
  14. smstrks

    smstrks Member

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    That's what irked me so much about this Mary Kay cult networking group. They totally lie to get you to come yet after you come, then you get the email stating why the group was formed. Well, MK was 1 and 2 on their list with 3 being for other business women to share their businesses and meet other women. All it really is is a huge MK party once a month. When you think about it...awesome idea really as they usually get at least 20 people there each month, but come on, be honest from the get go!

    Stephanie
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #14
  15. smstrks

    smstrks Member

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    As previously mentioned my sister in law sells both MK and Park Lane jewelry. When I started selling PC I told her that I had supported her by purchasing MK products to get her biz up and running, the least she could do was hold a show for me. Well, when she then added the Park Lane she tried hitting me up for a jewelry party. At that point I was just starting out in PC, tried having my own open house and only 2 people came. I told her that if I couldn't get my own friends to come to my PC party, they weren't coming to a jewelry party!! She's had a little trouble getting the Park Lane up and off the ground. I just don't think this is the right economy for jewelry!

    Stephanie
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #15
  16. niclowther

    niclowther Member Gold Member

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    My mom and I hosted a vendor event last year, and since then have formed a women networking group w/ the ladies. We meet each month to discuss ideas on building our business. We try to have only 1 rep from each company there, and no one tries to get others to book or buy. We just try to help each other out, and we also tell each other of upcoming events. I'm all over the state going to events and getting leads b/c of events they hear of- and vice versa. And for the ladies that we can rely on (meanig they participate), we give each other referals.

    There are larger networking groups out there, that I'm sure you guys could get involved w/ if you wanted to. I'm fine w/ our little group. Just ask around- realtors, small business owners, etc would be good people to ask to find a group in your area.
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #16
  17. legacypc46

    legacypc46 Senior Member Gold Member

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    That's the way it should be! Thanks for sharing that it can be done right.:)
     
    Jun 29, 2009
    #17
  18. beepampered

    beepampered Veteran Member

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    Can I get a link to your blog? I too heard that call and thought it was great. Honestly, I'm having a hard time coming up with "brand me." I don't really like to cook so can't sell my fabulous cooking ideas. I started a blog but decided 'I' wouldn't read it so why would anyone else. Thanks for helping me with the whole branding yourself....
     
    Jul 1, 2009
    #18
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