What’s the Best Way to Invite People to a Direct Sales Party?

invitationI have recently had the opportunity to host a few direct sales parties. Now if you’ve been in this business for any length of time, you know the formula: the goal is to get 8-10 people to the party. In order to do so, your hostess needs to invite 30-40 people. And in this age of Facebook, that seems like a no-brainer, right? Just set up an event, invite your friends, and you’ll have a living room full of people, right? Wrong. Every host who thinks that a Facebook invite alone will get her friends to come to her party is usually disappointed.

And the reason goes back to the who concept I’ve discussed here before of communications styles. Different people are most comfortable communicating in different ways, and this holds true for your direct sales party invitations as well. Here’s what I did for my invitations:

  • I sent out an evite for my email-loving friends. I kept track of all the people who said they would come in the evite system, adding their “Yes” no matter how it came in, so I had a head count in one place.
  • I sent out a group Facebook message to a group of women I hang out with who have an ongoing group conversation going on there. It was set up months ago for a specific night out, and we’ve just continued the conversation there. (You should ONLY use this method with people who are personal, in-person friends…don’t spam the world with group messages.)
  • I set up a Facebook Event (but only 1 woman responded “maybe” and she didn’t wind up coming.)
  • I texted several friends privately.
  • I spoke personally to several women while I was out and about, and they added it to the calendar on their mobile devices while we were talking. If they didn’t have their calendar on their phone, I gave them a paper invitation.

I think, all told, I invited maybe 40 people, and wound up with 9 people at my party. Most of the people came from my group Facebook message, but we also had contact via text and personal contact leading up to the party. (You must still emphasize the importance of personal contact…that hasn’t changed, despite technology.)

Notice there wasn’t a single phone call in the invite process. Why? I just don’t use the phone to communicate with my friends all that often.

As you coach your hostess, it’s important to ask her how she and her friends communicate. She might need only a handful of paper invitations to keep in her bag while she’s out and about. An evite might work best for her. Or perhaps she needs you to give her some texting language to invite her friends. Once you know how they communicate, you can better assist her in the best possible language to ensure attendance.

Direct sales companies need to re-evaluate their host coaching training. If you’re still teaching your consultants to tell hostesses to call, you may be creating an uncomfortable situation that could negatively impact attendance. Instead, find out how the hostess prefers to communicate, and then equip her with tools to use those tools to her advantage.

How do you tell hostesses to invite their friends? Which invitation methods work best? Would love to read your experiences in the comments below.

10 Responses to What’s the Best Way to Invite People to a Direct Sales Party?
  1. kathy
    February 23, 2015 | 9:02 am

    As I coach my host, I do ask how she would like to be communicated with, for her friends, multiple ways of communicating work best, so we communicate multiple ways with her friends. Mailed invites appear to be more successful since so much information is coming via email, text and Facebook…..kinda refreshing!!!

  2. Nikki
    December 21, 2014 | 4:14 pm

    Hm! Great tips. That is a good point to make sure you keep your communication style consistent. If you start calling people all of a sudden whom you never typically call they will probably get all creeped out and feel like you’re pressuring them.



  3. Marian
    July 7, 2014 | 2:28 pm

    One thought to add to this is it seems more and more consultants are using Facebook Groups as “invitations” . What I am experiencing is a consultant or hostess creates a “group” with the people they are inviting and automatically adds the people to the group. I personally discovered this weekend I had been added to over 10 groups that were basically party invitations.

    There are two concerns with this…one is I didn’t know the party was going on because I never checked the groups and two is I find it very annoying and rude to add someone to a group without permission. This could be a turnoff to customers.

  4. Laura Hamby
    May 26, 2014 | 9:26 am

    Be sure and keep a notepad with you to write down who you invite while out and about and their cell number or home number so you can text or call if something comes up like an illness and you have to cancel or postpone. Hostess should do this as well.

  5. Deb Bixler
    May 23, 2014 | 11:52 am

    I am a firm believer of using all technology linked to a 3 contact system of reaching out to your host. The host that uses the invitations, calls AND uses the technologies listed will be assured of a great show!
    Deb Bixler recently posted..How To Work At Home When You Are Too Busy To Work

  6. debbixler
    May 17, 2014 | 9:21 am

    Yes, great points, using ALL resources to invite people to a party. It looks as though you did not use any hard copy invitations.

    As you said “Different people are most comfortable communicating in different ways” and yet a party, any party not just a direct sales party has the best attendance when ALL systems are utilized.

    My experience is that a three contact system of hostess coaching which is based in 3 calls as well as 3 post cards to the hostess from the consultant and then enhanced by all the other technology gets the best results.

    Encouraging the host to use the hard copy invitations along with all the above mentioned systems as well as a phone call with a personal invitation works best.

    Whether they do it or not is then up to them but I can pretty much guarantee that the hostesses who DO USE ALL technologies to reach out to their multi-personality friends will have 16-21 in attendance.

    I belong to a monthly group of pot luck friends and when it is my turn people always say ‘why are your parties always the biggest?’ – Reason: I use ALL technologies including calls and post cards.
    debbixler recently posted..Radio Show Broadcasting: Conquer Your Commission

  7. Emily Allison
    May 16, 2014 | 9:19 am

    I’m excited to share this post with my team. I think we have been ingrained with the “phone call” reminders that we forget to focus on the hostess and her wants & needs. I am definitely one that gets uncomfortable when having to use the phone to actually CALL someone. Most of my family members answer the phone with, “Whats wrong?!” if I call them instead of texting! I’m definitely going to work on re-vising my hostess coaching checklist to tailor it to my hostess!
    Emily Allison recently posted..sell origami owl

  8. Monica Ramos
    May 12, 2014 | 4:47 am

    This is great! And so refreshing! We always talk about WIIFT when discussing sales and sponsoring/recruiting, but I say apply this same philosophy to host coaching too. Get to know your hostess and encourage her to invite the way she feels most comfortable. Make it about her, her guests, and the way she does things. Thanks for writing this, Jennifer.
    Monica Ramos recently posted..We Are All Salespeople

  9. Pamela Mann
    May 8, 2014 | 5:58 pm

    I learned many many years ago to get a guest list and mail the invites for my hostess. This takes the most time consuming part of hosting and makes it the least. I usually give her a nice gift for getting that list back to me in 3 days. I have learned over the years to help her with creative ways of getting addresses, and how to make sure people RSVP and hang on to their invite so they remember to attend.

    Now? I work with her and we do a combo of email, mail, and FB. But she still has to create a guest list – otherwise she won’t have something to check off RSVP’s and use to give me a headcount when checking in.

    • Sharon Phillips
      May 9, 2014 | 5:46 pm

      Pamela, the guest list and mail invites for your hostess is a great idea! I still believe in the traditional home party, and am looking for new ideas.

      And, Jennifer your post in most encouraging, thanks! Sharon

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