June is also the beginning of a season of gatherings. There are so many occasions to see lots of people in festive environments. There are weddings, barbecues, anniversary parties, family reunions, standard summer holidays, showers, school reunions, and graduations. It's a great opportunity to reconnect with folks you don't see as often as you'd like. Take advantage of the social nature of summer!
Are you ready for this annual burst in networking opportunities? No? Well, then…get ready. Be ready for business!
I'm not talking about marching into the next baby shower you attend with your display case trailing behind you, or cornering Aunt Sally to make her finally listen to the benefits of the great business opportunity your company offers. You certainly don't want to be un-invited to the next family gathering!
Be ready for business is really just a call to preparatory action. Anticipate that you're going to get a lot of openings. Expect that you'll have chances – amazing chances – to share what you have to offer in appropriate ways. You want to gear up so that you can respond promptly, professionally, and with apparent ease!
Set a warm-weather schedule. Know yourself and plan accordingly. Are you someone who can't stand to miss a barbecue or pool party? Hold your parties on weeknights during the season of backyard cookouts. Do you love to sleep in during the summer? Do your weekend shows at night, or get in the habit of offering late afternoon slots to your hostesses instead of "day" shows. Do you want full weekends available for spontaneous outings with your family? Plan an every-other-weekend party schedule, or do parties the two weekends of each month and take the last two weekends off. Come up with a strategy for keeping the momentum going in your business, while still accommodating your desire to have some time off. If you ignore the normal ebb-and-flow of your energy from season to season, you may find yourself burning out, or slacking off and sabotaging yourself to garner more free time.
Ramp up your customer care calls. Especially if setting your warm-weather schedule results in holding fewer parties, it's essential that you make a point of keeping in touch with your existing customers. Fewer parties mean fewer opportunities to sell, so you want to maximize your current client relationships. Check in with them. Alert them to new specials. Offer seasonal items and gifts with purchase. Put the "care" back into customer care and just call to check in and offer to answer any questions. You'll be amazed at the number of customers you'll catch who will say, "It's so funny…I've been meaning to call you." The orders - and bookings – you develop by making contact with all your customers will help compensate up for any dip in party sales during this season.
Clean up and clear out. After tax season you're probably more aware than ever where you may have dropped the ball when it comes to organization. Now is a great time to reassess your systems, create hostess and recruit packets in bulk, and clean up and revise some of your old materials. As you're going through your customer files to do those customer care calls, consider whether your system is as efficient as it could be. Why not organize it as you make those calls? It's a big project that you could tackle over a period of time while you're sifting through and dialing.
30-second commercial ready. Does your 30-second commercial inspire people to respond, "Wow! How?" If not, now is the time to sit down and really think about what you have to offer. When your long-lost cousin pops up in the buffet line and asks what you've been up to, you don't want to be stumbling, searching for words to explain what you do. And, you surely don't want to answer with who you are or your title. What do you do? How is that beneficial? What excites you about it?
Be prepared. Quick. Right now…if Mrs. Throws-a-Great-Party ran into you and wanted to host a show, do you have everything you need to seize the moment? How prepared are you? Do you have recruiting packets, hostess packets, and even a "mini show on-the-go" with you? What if you were at your nephew's graduation party? Would you be prepared?
Know your next two open dates. So…you've packed some hostess packets in the trunk of your car, so they're with you at all times. That was easy. Make sure you know when you'd be able to do a party. Take the time to check your calendar as you walk out the door. Which dates are you going to try to fill today? Write them down. Focus on them. Believe that you will run into someone who would just love to host a party on one of your next two dates. When you do run into them, book it on the spot!
Carve out some follow-up time. If you know you're going to have a full weekend and be running from event to event non-stop, make a point of scheduling some time for immediate follow up. That way, when you do make contact with someone, you'll be able to say, "It has been so great to talk to you. Why don't I give you a call Tuesday afternoon to check back in with you on this?" If you've already set aside a couple of hours on Monday and/or Tuesday, you know that you will get a chance to call them, write that thank-you note, or check on that product question she had. If you're bold enough, you could even plan for a bigger block of time and ask that old friend to meet you for coffee!
This social season truly is a boon for our businesses if we just recognize that we'll be out and about and seeing more people than we have in months. Why not get yourself organized and ready for the boost? It certainly is the season for it!