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Pampered Chef: Bookings Struggling with Bookings - HELP!

  1. Brandie

    Brandie Member

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    Hi! I've been a consultant for over a year now, and my bookings are on a serious downhill slope. When I first started, I had a lot of friends and family members who hosted shows for me, and I did as well as I had hoped to for several months. I have consistently had difficulty with bookings, though, and I now am at the end of my rope--I have only one show on my calendar for January, and I didn't do any in December (despite a lot of calling and offering a free show). Every show, I ask for feedback, and every show, the guests (even the ones who aren't my friends and family) write that they had a ton of fun and would love to ATTEND another one of my shows, but rarely does anyone volunteer to HOST a show :confused: . I love being a consultant, but I feel like I'm sinking! My director wants to observe me at one of my shows, but they are so few and far between at this point that I haven't been able to schedule that with her yet.

    I should mention, too, that I am six months pregnant, so I know I won't be doing too many kitchen shows in March or April, but I'd still like to have catalog shows. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

    Brandie
     
    Dec 19, 2005
    #1
  2. Jennie4PC

    Jennie4PC Legacy Member

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    Brandie
    Try sitting down with the customer when you are going over thier show and ask them if they had fun and if they would be interested in hosting a kitchen show That is something i have tried in the last few shows i did and even though they marked maybe or no I got a few bookings. Good luck with everything and your pregnancy.
     
    Dec 19, 2005
    #2
  3. beepampered

    beepampered Veteran Member

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    Comments

    I can't give you any great suggestions cause I'm still in my SS period and see how hard bookings are and don't have it down yet.

    I will say that the ONLY way you'll get honest feedback is to ask. So when people say they have tons of fun, ask them how you could do better. I've done something like this....
    Me: How'd you like the show?
    Guest: It was great - so much fun.
    Me: That's really nice. I'm glad you had fun. Since I'm trying to get better, could you suggest one thing I could be better? Maybe, how I could make you feel more comfortable, give you more cooking tips or just have things organized differently. What could I improve? Honestly....
    Guest: You did great.
    Me: I appreciate the compliment but would find it more helpful to have your comments - no matter how they make me feel. What could I improve?
    Guest: Well I really think you did great but I didn't like getting started late (or whatever).

    You won't get a lot of real honest comments but you'll get a few tips that can make things better. I would particuarly focus on the hostess at the end of the show after the guests have left. This is an excellent time to let her know how you appreciate her opening her home to you and wonder what prompted her to do it or what guests who came might be a good host. She might give some insigt.

    Good luck and congratulations on your baby-to-be....BEE
     
    Dec 19, 2005
    #3
  4. Look outside the box

    I so understand waht your going through. One of the things that I find is helping me is the book Parterning with your Hostess. This showed me what I was not doing to secure the booking in my show. I realized after reading the book that I still need alot of improvement in regards to securing booking and what to do about cancelations. Also, if you can afford it, have a contest with you past customers, put their name in a drawing and pick one winner.
    Call the winner & say "Hey great news! You just won a FREE kitchen show!"
    Tell them that you will provided the ingredients just have them provide the 15 friends. You can have this contest once a month or twice a year.
    Who would want a FREE kitchen show! Hang in there and hopefully your booking will get better.

    Best of luck with your pregnancy!!
     
  5. cknapp

    cknapp

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    Jr. Member

    Hi Brandie. I've been a consultant for a little over a month now and am still in my SS Period. What has worked for me has been printing the upcoming months specials and paperclipping them to the pages in my calendar. When I'm sitting with a guest taking orders, I talk with them about if they enjoyed the show. At the same time, I'm opening my calendar to the pages with the specials. (i.e. January with the January specials clipped) They are already looking at the time I'm talking. Sales of any kind seem to appealing. This has helped me get several bookings. Everyone seems to want to know what's in it for them and their guests. It's pretty easy. I always have these in my calendar where ever I go, not just to shows. I hope this helps you. Best wishes with the baby. Merry Christmas. :)
     
    Dec 19, 2005
    #5
  6. janel kelly

    janel kelly Advanced Member

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    Hi Brandi!
    I'm also coming up on my year as a consultant in February. I'm also due to have my second son on March 21st! So we must be due around the same time. Anyway it has seemed like some months I get several bookings and then I'll have hardly any bookings for a couple of months. One thing I always do is ask everyone at the show if they would like to book a show. I tell them if I don't ask them then they will get to choose something out of my door prize bag.

    I always pass around the next couple of months host special flyers during the show and mention all the great host benefits to hosting a show.

    I push the booking benefit at the shows. I tell them the host will get the host special the month they hold their show.

    I have even had booking drawings at my show where I enter all the bookings from a show and draw one of the names for a free gift like a stone. Sometimes some of these things work and sometimes they don't. I have found that the more people who are at the shows the more likely I am to get bookings so I really try to get my hosts to have a good turnout at their shows. Just keep being consistent and ask for those bookings. I have had one show this month. Next month I have 7 , possibly 8 shows. I'm hoping that I will eventually grow my business and have a consistent amount of shows every month. It does get frustrating sometimes but if you keep trying all your hard work will pay off.
     
    Dec 19, 2005
    #6
  7. pchefinski

    pchefinski Advanced Member

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    Brandie,
    Have you tried to hold an open house? If all these people say they'd love to attend another show of yours, you could have one in your own home (no lugging all your stuff everywhere!) and all those people could come to your party. You could do a Mystery Host show and give people tickets for RSVPing, bringing a guest, buying $X.00 of product, booking, referring a booking, bringing in outside orders, etc. Then toss the tickets in your classic batter bowl, and pull out the winners! I know that open houses are kind of scary because they can be hit and miss, but it's worth a try. If you don't want to do a full recipe demo at the show, you can always have the food prepared and out for the guests to eat and then showcase the products or even do the potato demo real quick. Maybe make the party focus on how easy it is to eat healthy and spend less time in the kitchen making dinner, without sacrificing great taste. Probably half of the people I know make losing weight their resolution for the new year, and the other half are wanting to slow down and enjoy life more, instead of rushing through everything.. PC can help them with both resolutions!
    Also, when talking about bookings, mention that with the baby coming soon, you'd like to just stick with catalog shows. This might take the pressure off people who might not want to open their homes for a show, but wouldn't mind taking a few catalogs to their friends and co-workers. And remember to keep an open mind when it comes to catalog shows.. I just closed 2 of them that were almost $600 each! If you pamper your host and partner with them, to the host, the catalog show is better than the kitchen show!
    Good luck with your PC biz and best of luck with your pregnancy!
     
    Dec 19, 2005
    #7
  8. Brandie

    Brandie Member

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    Thanks so much!

    Thank you so much to everyone who has replied already! There are several ideas here that I have not yet used. I have done an open house and I do ask everyone who places an order, but some of these ideas will come in really handy! Anyone have some suggestions for scripts to use when calling people to host shows? I have already tapped out my usual list of friends and family (obviously), and I can't really say that I need people's help to get my business started (nor do I want to say that I am struggling--I don't want to look desperate). I really appreciate the help here! You're all awesome!

    Brandie

    P.S. Thanks for all the well-wishes with the baby--it's my second daughter, and she's due March 15!
     
    Dec 19, 2005
    #8
  9. janel kelly

    janel kelly Advanced Member

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    I received these from my recruiter today and thought of this thread. I will defintely be using these ideas in my Januray shows. Brandi, the idea Amanda had for having your own open house to jump start your business is a great idea. The only thing I would change is don't call it an open house. Make sure people know it is a SHOW! They are more likely to come knowing it is a show. Give out regular kitchen show invites or make up your own and host coach yourself like you would another hostess.
     

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    Dec 19, 2005
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  10. pamperedbecky

    pamperedbecky Legacy Member

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    These are all such great suggestions. I think what's really important is customer care calls. Even if you're just calling to see how they are liking their products or to offer a recipe, it at least keeps your name in front of their face. I think another huge thing with me was stepping out of my comfort zone. Obviously that's different for everybody, but even talking to EACH individual guest about becoming a host was difficult for me at first. Now I make myself do it. What turned my attitude around is that I really feel we are doing THEM a favor by advertising how wonderful our host program is!!! SOOOO many of my hosts had NO idea how generous our host benefits were until they host. THey almost always say "Wow, if I would have know this, I would have hosted years ago." I keep that in mind because I really feel people just don't understand that piece of it. Granted, some people aren't motivated by the free and 1/2 price products, but then I highlight the social aspect of it and how fun it is to get friends together and think up some fun theme.

    Good luck to you!! :)
     
  11. Leave of Absence

    Hi Brandie!
    There are a lot great suggestions here on getting bookings....but with your baby coming soon, if you can't get any bookings, I would suggest you take a leave of absence......It's good for 3 months and that way you won't go inactive if you don't have any shows lined up for your "maternity leave". You will have to read your Recipe for SUccess for the exact details. It does help. I took one this summer when my second child was born.

    Good Luck!!
    Laura ;)
     
    Dec 20, 2005
    #11
  12. Brandie

    Brandie Member

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    I hadn't even thought of that! I may check that out, and then I could get a jump start on bookings before getting back into full swing. Thanks!
     
    Dec 20, 2005
    #12
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