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Pampered Chef: Bookings Thinking of hanging up the apron

  1. monica_sweetconsultant

    monica_sweetconsultant Advanced Member Silver Member

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    Since I found this site I thought my business was doing better. My sales was increasing though the bookings wasnt. I dont know what it is about me but I just cannot seem to get anything rolling around here. I will get a month with 3-4 shows and before the first week is out all of them have cancelled. I dont know what to do. I did the fair last month and was thinking of doing it again next weekend but dont know if i should now. it seems like i am putting more money into this business than earning and i just dont have that much extra money to throw around. i told myself that i would give myself 6 months before deciding what to do. well today is my 6 month anniversary and i had my second of three shows this month to cancel. happy anniversary to me!! I have nothing to look forward to this month but one show at the end of the month IF it holds through. I feel like i have done everything i possibly can but after 6 months of not reaching one goal i have had my heart broken enough. i didnt reach any of the super starter goals and none of the incentives. my career sales is like 1700 dollars . i dont want to quit but i dont see any other choice. sorry this is so long and sorry i am having a pity party. i just needed someone to talk to. thanks for listening.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005
  2. pamperedbecky

    pamperedbecky Legacy Member

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    Monica,
    I would really encourage you to hang in there!! ESPECIALLY through the holidays! This can be a really tough time of year for bookings, but it's not impossible. I've been doing this for 2 1/2 years and have rarely had cancellations. Well, just in the last week, I've had two. Try not to base the future of your business and your thoughts about whether or not to continue on this time of the year. At least wait until the new season where you'll have a better picture of what's to come. It sounds like you're doing what you can and it sounds like you've had some good successes. I know it's frustrating when you can't reach your goals. Everybody has different goals in this business and sometimes it's like a roller coaster when you don't know when the next success is going to come. Hang in there!!! Maybe do an online/email holiday party. Let everyone you know that you're going to do this and encourage last minute shoppers to place orders. Who knows, maybe you'll get enough to submit as a show.

    If you still aren't feeling motivated about your business, just wait a couple more months before making a final decision. Get through the rest of the year and reasses things in the new year. You can always reactivate if you go inactive by submitting $200 in sales. Don't hang up the apron quite yet! That's just my two cents. :eek: Good luck to you.
     
  3. Kristen

    Kristen Member

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    Monica, I'm sorry to hear that you're thinking about this! I'm fairly new as well and so far things have been going well for me (knock on wood), but I'm still very nervous about being able to keep my momentum. I get nervous that every show I have booked will end up canceling!

    One thing I am going to start doing is to try to send the invitations for my host. Yes, this might cost me a little extra (unless I ask to be reimbursed, which I probably wouldn't), but I think it would be worth it! If someone knows 40 invitations have already gone out for a party on a specific day, they are MUCH less likely to cancel. It's more trouble calling those 40 people than to just proceed with the show.

    You might want to try this when you get your next show on the books. Also look into the teleclasses - there is one on bookings. You might even be able to listen to this one as a prerecorded class.

    I'm also going to do a special "thank you" holiday gift for all of my customers. I'm planning to send out an email in early December and let everyone know that I will give them a 10% discount for their December order as a thank you for their business. You could do something similar, but maybe offer a booking incentive instead (or in addition).

    Are you sending a newsletter out, and are you making customer care calls?

    I hope you won't give up!
     
    Nov 8, 2005
    #3
  4. Sending out the invitations for your hosts is a wonderful idea. I ALWAYS do it and I've only ever had one cancellation and that was only because it was the end of the summer and most of the invited guests declined due to vacations and such so the host had no choice but to cancel. A host will be much less likely to cancel a show if the invites have gone out. Try this Monica and see if you see a decline in cancellations. At least give it until the next season - who knows maybe that one little thing is all you need to get your business rolling again.
     
  5. MSmith

    MSmith Member

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    Monica,

    You made two statements that really stood out to me:
    1) You don't want to quit
    2) You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

    In my humble opinion...hold on to that.

    I liken the PC business as an investment...there may (or may not be) immediate short term return, but if you stay in it for the long term there will be!

    A couple of other thoughts that I keep in mind (b/c there are times when I want to quit, too)....Work smarter, not harder. Attitude makes a difference. Expect more from my hosts. God will provide.

    Good luck and God bless!!!!!
     
    Nov 8, 2005
    #5
  6. Pampered Sofia

    Pampered Sofia Novice Member

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    Hang in there!

    Don't give up! You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthen's. Ain't that the truth? It may not feel like it right now but you can do this. Get on your knees and pray about it :p Do you know why your hosts have been canceling? Have you tried asking if they'd like to convert to a catalog show? Is it timing? Could they reschedule? Does it seem like too much work for them? Could you pick up the ingredients for them? Just some things that popped into my head when I read your message. You've got the desire and the power (Christ) so hang in there and keep your chin up! Good Luck.
     
  7. chefmary

    chefmary Member Gold Member

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    Monica:

    I have to agree with all of the previous posts...don't give up yet! If I had based a decision to stay or leave the business based on my first 6 months, I would've been long gone...and that was 5 years ago! Fortunately, I started the business with a promise to myself to stay in the game for at least a year and the second 6 months saw a definite improvement.

    One thing I probably don't need to point out to you is that your state took a huge hit this fall due to Hurricane Katrina. Even though your area may not have borne the brunt of the damage, the ripple effects are probably affecting your business. You may very well see a turn around after the first of the year, when people start "shaking off" 2005 and are looking for a fresh start.

    Hang in there for the end of the year...work your list of 100 and make customer care calls. Someone suggested an online/email sale...that usually works very well the day after Thanksgiving. You may still get some bookings for December, since people are loving the Bamboo Carving Board. After that, concentrate on January and February. If you are consistent and stay positive you are sure to see a change.

    Our prayers are with you!! Keep us posted.

    All the best,

    Mary
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2005
    Nov 9, 2005
    #7
  8. monica_sweetconsultant

    monica_sweetconsultant Advanced Member Silver Member

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    Hey everyone,

    just wanted to thank everyone for there replies. I was a mess last night. My heart was completely broken over the second cancellation in two days. I dont think it would of bothered me so bad but my oldest sons birthday party is this weekend and i was going to use my commission to help with the party and then there is christmas and i have another birthday in jan..... :eek: After reading my own post my first thought was oh my what a big baby. i am not a quitter by any means. when i do something i give it everything i have. but what caught my attention the most was the saying at the bottom of my post.....I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.....that really got me. I knew i couldnt give up on myself or God!! then my husband comes in and after calming me down talked to me and told me i couldnt quit because i havent taken him on a cruise yet!! lol but he wants me to keep going because i love this so much and i am good at it. Well we went to practice last night ( i sing in a gospel group) and one of my girls is a past host for me andshe said she has almost a 100 dollar order from her show that didnt get turned in time. she told me to use it any way i can to help out my business. You got to love friends!!! I think if it wouldnt have been for this site and and my friends i wouldve calleed it quits last night.....so once again thanks so much....i really appreciate each and every one of you!!
     
  9. janel kelly

    janel kelly Advanced Member

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    Monica,
    If you have a hard time getting bookings these next 2 months you could focus on getting January shows. That extra 50% in free products is very appealing. I've gotten 3 bookings in January just by showing them the host flyer for that month. Maybe you can call, e-mail, or send out January flyers to people on your list of 100. Wouldn't that be a great start to a new year! :D
     
    Nov 9, 2005
    #9
  10. pampered1224

    pampered1224 Legacy Member Silver Member

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    You know...

    The hardest part of all of this is remembering to believe in yourself. There are many reasons business dwindles or becomes non-existant. But if you believe strongly enough in yourself, and you stated you are not a quitter, then you have part of that licked. The other thing is the thing you can not change!
    Circumstances in your area have dealt all of you a major blow. I believe ripple effect was used. It's true. We feel here in Wisconsin. Some what? 2000 miles away? Gas prices are effecting our businesses up here. More in that tank means less in the pocket. You have a major hurdle to go up against. DO NOT GIVE INTO IT! I gotta tell you, I too have almost been ready to chuck it all at times. You beat yourself up for all the things you coulda, woulda, shoulda done but guess what? That's what you are supposed to do. Get it out of your sytem and move on. You know what to do. Just believe in yourself enough to get it done. You believed in yourself enough to get it going, right? Just go back to that time of high expectations and excitement and tone the expectations down. Baby steps. That's the key. Set a goal of getting two shows in January. Then move it up to three or four in February.
    2006 is a great place to start at. Let yourself off the hook for the next few months. Keep your business active but give yourself a break. Refresh your mind and your soul, then go get it!!! Make phone calls, do a catalog show or two if at all pssible. Call every host that cancelled and tell them about the absolutely, not to be missed, fantastic, ultra-phenominal January and February host bonuses. Use those words!! You will get some of them back I promise. Unless they have all the money they need in their pockets to put their lives in order themselves, they NEED the savings we can offer them.
    I gotta tell you something kinda dumb here but it worked for me. For a long time I constantly worried about getting those shows, getting that pay check, getting this, that or the other thing. Well, when I stopped thinking about all of that and took the pressure off myself, my business blossemed. Stress lines in your voice on the phone or on your face when talking about your business is a sure way to not get any. Think about it. Who would you rather book from? The stressed out, slightly or overly pushy and desperate consultant or the one who looks or sounds like they are fresh and renewed with new ideas, seems more fun and relaxed and got it all together? Second one hands down! Well you remember about Stella getting her groove back? Well girl, you need to get your PC groove back and be confident in it. When you come across as having it together, then people will want to do business with you.
    So here it is in a nut shell.
    1) Don't beat yourself up.
    2) Get a plan in place.
    3) Give yourself a rest. Get over all that has happened in the last year. Put it behind you. Business and personal.
    4) Then go to it! Implement that plan and KEEP IT SIMPLE!

    Best of luck and best wishes!
     
  11. chefjulie_sc

    chefjulie_sc Member

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    Go Sophia!

    Sophia is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!! I have been doing this on & off for 5 years (I had a down-time & took a break...went inactive & re-signed). I definitely needed the break, even though I had not anticipated or planned it. When I re-signed, I've been "gung-ho" ever since!

    If someone wants to cancel...try turning it into a catalog show or a re-schedule. (I've been practicing this a lot lately, myself...and you know what? It works!) I just had someone to cancel a show with me that I was supposed to be doing today, but I rescheduled her for January! (I guess God knew I needed a Saturday off work!)LOL!

    I know this is getting lengthy, but I have to tell you...the other girls & guys are sooooo right! I also offer to do the invites...this way you KNOW for a fact 40 invites were mailed out (I include a RSVP by date on them). I also offer to grocery shop for the host as well (excluding anything extra like snack foods & drinks). I also ask to be reimbursed since I am taking the time to do it for them. (They always do...& more & more host are starting to take me up on the offer...most of them work full-time & I stay at home with my kids, so I've got the whole day to hit the store!)

    Like you & others have stated on here the Man Upstairs is in Control! He will be your guide & help you through this...I have a hard time doing the following but it's starting to sink in the older I get...my Daddy always told me..."Why worry, When you can PRAY!" I've found that IT works, too! ;)
     
    Nov 12, 2005
    #11
  12. monica_sweetconsultant

    monica_sweetconsultant Advanced Member Silver Member

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    To Everyone who replied

    Thank you all so much for such encouraging words!! I think i just needed a pity session for myself to realize that i cant quit. I am getting some motivation back but it comes in spurts.

    To Pampered1224 I think you are very right. I am very hard on myself over EVERYTHING!! My husband tells me i set my goals way to high and then disappoint myself when i dont reach them. I live in a very back of the woods area in mississippi and i know the key is to break my chain of people and hit the bigger areas which i am trying to do. out of the 3 shows i had i still have one left that hasnt cancelled, but hers is still 3 weeks away!! I have decided to do like you said. If I can just stay active until january then i will start over fresh. right now i have so much stress on me its hard to keep my head up and get out of bed. the holidays are supposed to be such a great time but for me they really stink right now. i just lost my dad a year and a half ago and i dont do well with the holidays yet so its hard to be excited when i am just not. I have decided to do the craft show and it will be the one the day after thanksgiving so hopefully something will come out of that. I have some new products to display and this time i will have samples and maybe do the potato demo for those who stop and want to see how things work. I have spent alot of time with God the last few days seeking answeres to my questions and letting him lead me instead of me leading me myself. He will get me through this and in the end i know i will prosper....he has already promised that!!

    but once again if it wasnt for everyone on here i dont think i could keep going. you guys and gals are so amazing and i brag about all of you to everyone who listens....i tell htem about my online family!! thanks so much for the advice support and love....just know that its returned to each and every one of you!!
     
  13. pchefinski

    pchefinski Advanced Member

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    Monica,
    For your "Black Friday" craft show, make sure to overprepare yourself with show packs and recruit info packs.. I know this from experience. And maybe you could offer up a drawing for a $25 gift certificate or something.. [make sure to get EVERYONE's information on the drawing slips, so that you can have contacts to follow through with.] The gift certificate drawing is perfect for that show b/c everyone is out looking for Christmas gifts and if they can get a $25 gift for nothing, they'll jump on the chance! Plus--our products are guaranteed to be delivered in time for Christmas as long as you order by 12/14.. they don't have to wait in line, and they get guaranteed, warrantied product..
    Also, I'm not sure what kind of extra product you have on hand, but you could put together some gifts that people could buy at the show.. or combine things together as gifts and take orders for them.. offer them 10% off, (buy everything with your consultant discount), and then put them together (bow on them, add a SB, catalog, biz card, etc) at your home once the products been delivered.
     
    Nov 12, 2005
    #13
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