Have you ever had one of those parties where your hostess is MIA? If you’ve done more than one party in your direct sales career, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Everyone has them and they totally suck, but there are some things you can do to get your party back on track even if your hostess never shows!
Imagine this – you’ve recruited a hostess, set everything up for the online party, you’re all cozied up ready to par-tay and 5 minutes before it starts you message her about how excited you are. No response. You think to yourself – don’t panic, maybe she’s going pee before the party starts, it’s going to be fine.
The party starts on time and your hostess is nowhere to be found. Her party begins and all you can hear is crickets. Maybe she’s late. Maybe she just isn’t going to show. Either way, you probably feel like you’re standing on stage in front of a giant audience without any pants on. Major panic mode sets in!
If this is happening to you, first it’s important to know you are not alone. We’ve all been there at some point. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. The good news is you are in charge, you can push through and you can still get those sales! This party doesn’t have to be a flop.
While it’s always better when a hostess is involved for a number of reasons, there are some things you can do to get your party hoppin’ without her.
When we have a party that is in SOS status, the main (and only) thing we want to focus on is engagement. Guests will typically be more hesitant to engage when their friend (the hostess) isn’t engaged, so with an absent hostess we have to work extra hard to encourage guest participation.
Play an Extra Game
While you might have planned your games for later in the party, this is an emergency. Your product posts are going to go unnoticed if you can’t get any interaction early on. Having an extra game on hand for situations like these is a good back up plan.
Choose an easy and fun game that will help to break the ice with your guests. Anything that requires GIFs and Emojis are a good place to start. Keep them generic instead of relating them to your business to further increase your chances of getting people to play.
Need an idea right now? Try GIF UNO – Guests have to post a GIF that has something in common with the one before it. You start!
Once people start to interact with your party, they’ll get more comfortable and be more likely to continue throughout the party, even if the hostess isn’t there.
Ask a Friend to Join In
Quite often people don’t want to be the first to comment on a post or play a game. That’s usually where the hostess comes in. Since she’s out of the equation, ask a friend or family member or someone from your team to be the hero and jump in.
Have them comment on your posts, play your games, and, if possible, start conversing with the party guests. Just like it would be the case at an in-home party, not everyone will know everyone else, so you don’t have to worry about it seeming like some random person is chatting with the guests. Chances are the guests will just think this person is an extra-friendly friend of the hostess.
Once someone has been the first person to engage, other people are likely to get on board and do the same!
Pro Tip – Have a person – someone who always attends your parties (and you attend theirs) so that they are ready to engage from the start of the party, whether the hostess is there or not. If the party is rockin’ without her help, she can take the night off. If the party is struggling, she can be your best shot at turning things around. Plus, it’s so much easier if you don’t have to find someone in the panic of a drowning party.
Minimize Your Risk
When you’re in a party that is flopping due to an absent hostess, you need quick action you can take to revive the party. That’s why we shared those ideas first.
But the best thing you can do is to be prepared ahead of time to minimize the damage a hostess can do. Here are some tips to help you avoid being in a shipwreck party on account of your hostess.
Hostess coaching is a big part of knowing ahead of time what you’re in for during the party. When you have a proper hostess coaching program, one of two things will happen. Either you’ll set the expectations so your hostess clearly understands her role and can do a great job for you at her party, OR you’ll have a heads up that she’s probably not going to make your Top 10 Hostesses list.
Either way, it’s good for you because you set yourself up to still make the most of her party. Setting up a hostess coaching program is fairly simple and once you do the initial work, the rest is a breeze.
Theme parties are very powerful in ensuring you don’t end up with a dud of a party should your hostess pull a no-show. They include pre-party content that is entirely focused on engagement so that people are already participating in your party before it even starts.
They are packed with low-risk engagement posts that make engagement the top priority all along. When people are engaged early on, you get the algorithm working with you instead of against you, and your guests will see your product posts.
Themes also help the party guests relate to you early on. Themes are about fun first, sales second, and by choosing a theme you automatically have something other than your products to discuss with the guests (most of whom you probably don’t know). Including content with no relation to your products or company helps you build a relationship with the guests, which is really important when it comes to making sales.
Here’s something else to consider. It can be unbelievably frustrating when a hostess is so far from the mostess, but she still earns the rewards of your amazing party. It can feel like she practically threw you to the wolves and then walked away with all the great stuff.
While it’s completely understandable to be frustrated, don’t let that hold you back from hyping up how amazing being a hostess is, and how many amazing freebies your hostess received.
The guests who attended the party don’t know what the situation looked like behind your computer screen. All they know is that they had tons of fun, you were amazing, and the hostess got lots of great freebies. Every one of those guests is a potential hostess. How good they’ll be, who knows, but now that you know what to do to make the most of every party, you’ve got nothing to worry about!
Whether you just came through a flop party and you’re trying to make sure it never happens again or you’re in the middle of one right now and trying to find a way to get the ship back on course, you’ve totally got this!
Don’t get discouraged. Focusing on engagement is the fastest road to recovery and next time you’ll know exactly what to do to make sure you crush it, even if your hostess leaves you hanging.
Have you ever had a flop party before – tell us about it in the comments, so others can see that they’re not alone!