Ever lose a host? You know what I mean. You’ve got the party set. You’re excited. Now she won’t return your phone calls or emails. When you finally do talk she tells you that she’s not going to hold her party. The excuses may vary, but the result is the same—a lost party.
There are a few different reasons this can happen. It could be that life happened, and the host really can’t hold her party because of a family emergency. It could be that one of her sister just scheduled a party and so none of her friends is interested in attending two right now. There are lots of legitimate reasons for someone to change their mind about hosting a party.
Here’s the thing—I think one of the most common reasons for someone to change their mind is that they didn’t really want to host in the first place. They felt cornered. They felt pressured. They said yes (or that they’d think about it), but they didn’t really mean it.
If you are experiencing a lot of dropped parties, think about how you’re getting those parties on your calendar. Are you asking in front of the current host? Most direct sales companies have incentives of some sort for the host when a party is scheduled, so the person might feel like they have to do this to help her friend. Do you play games in which one of the prizes is “Host a Party”? I know people who use something like this effectively, but I can tell you from personal experience that it can garner reluctant hosts. I was one of those reluctant hosts. I was essentially told that I had no choice; I had to schedule a party. I did, but I really didn’t work at making it successful. My heart wasn’t in it.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to ask everyone. It’s important to ask questions so that you know what the person you’re talking to really means. If someone says, “Not right now,” I say, “Just so I know what you mean, by ‘not right now’ do you mean not in the next few weeks or not for the next year or two?” But, I’ve been the guest who was badgered. I made the mistake at a recent party of asking about a product that, come to find out, was available only to hosts. I spent the next three minutes (yes, I timed it) telling the consultant that I was not interested in hosting a party. I really wasn’t interested. No, I wasn’t interested. I could definitely see how someone with less resistance might have finally said yes. If that had happened, though, how motivated do you think I would have been to have a successful party or even hold it at all?
I’m not suggesting that you stop inviting people to host. What I’m saying is that if your hosts are dropping left and right you might want to evaluate your technique.