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We all have at least one thing in our professional world that really gets us fired up and excited. Well, I have a lot of those in my world, but one of the things at the top of the list is chatting with y’all about host coaching. Host coaching was my jam when I was in the direct sales business. It’s what helped my team, and I reach unparalleled sales levels in our company at the time. Now, as a direct sales coach, it’s something I preach every single day to my clients and members of our Dog Gone Virtual community.
If you’re new to the direct sales world, I will always say that the best thing you can do after booking your first couple of parties is to educate yourself on host coaching. Host coaching, put simply, is taking the ultimate care of your hostesses, so they have the best party and the best possible experience with you and your business. It’s making sure they had the time of their lives and maxed out all their rewards. It’s making sure they’re the talk of their friend group for hosting the most fun and epic party of the year.
Like any skill, host coaching needs to be learned, practiced, tweaked and perfected. It’s also a skill that will evolve and grow as your business starts to explode (which it will if you’re host coaching effectively, I promise).
As I worked through my host coaching strategy, I came up with lots of tips and tricks. But mostly, I came up with the top three mistakes you do not want to make. I’m going to save you some trial and error and let you in on the mistakes I’ve experienced so you can level up your host coaching business from the starting gates.
COACHING VS. CHEERLEADING
Before we jump into the mistakes to avoid, I also want to touch on mindset.
When you think of a coach, what do you think of? You think of someone yelling from the sidelines, someone sketching plays to win the game, someone calling the shots, and giving you the direction that will lead to success… right?
What do you think of when you think of a cheerleader? Someone who is joyful and motivating but doesn’t necessarily have any idea what is going on in the game, right?
Now, this is important, ladies. There is a huge difference between a coach and a cheerleader!
While we always want to be cheering our hostesses on from the sidelines, we more so want to provide them with the feedback and the game plan that is going to help them reach their goals. We want to be a coach, not a cheerleader.
It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between the two. It’s simple to think you’re doing enough if you send a text of encouragement or call her after a party congratulating her on killing it. But did you help her reach that success along the way? That’s what you want to make sure you’re doing. Coaching her every step of the way, so her party is like the championship game, and there is no way she can lose.
Once you adopt that mindset (and avoid the next three mistakes), you’ll be ready to take home the host coaching title you’ve been working towards.
MISTAKE #1: YOU COMPLICATE THE PROCESS
The number one key to host coaching is to keep it simple, which leads us to our first mistake. Do NOT overcomplicate it, ladies! There’s a fine line between providing valuable information and overwhelming your hostess.
I’m going to share a little example with you.
Years into my direct sales business, I hosted a party, as I often did, for another direct seller affiliated with a different company. Y’all – her packet was 28 – yes, you read that correctly – twenty-eight pages long. The real kicker, though? There were no stinkin’ instructions, no letter, no welcome call – nothing. So, I had to fend for myself to figure out how to plan and execute this party with a super complicated guide but zero guidance.
You also do not want to send them messages as long as a book with instructions for the party. Break down your tips and instructions into small milestones throughout the planning process. As Mamas, wives, and business owners, we know all too well just how dang busy life can get! We don’t have time for all the fluff or too many projects at once. One foolproof way to keep it simple is to create a checklist for her that lays out all the to-dos on a timeline, so she knows what to do at what step of the party process. Narrow down your to-dos to quick 10 to 15-minute tasks that she can complete quickly after the kids head to bed. Don’t forget to make it fun! It’s not all serious business in direct sales, we have to remember to smile and not take ourselves too seriously, and you want to pass that on to your hostesses.
Bite-size, simple tasks throughout the planning process are key to success. If your hostess isn’t overwhelmed, she will have fun, she will host more parties, and as a bonus, she will usually refer her friends, too!
MISTAKE #2: INCOMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS
Now, on the other hand, you can also provide too little info.
In the packet scenario we addressed above, it was a unique situation where she provided way too much and way too little, all at the same time. Crazy, right? But it can happen! You want to make sure your instructions are always complete and leave no questions.
If she is hosting virtual parties, start a text on day one saying “welcome your friends today,” with a bit of a script to follow. The next day, tell her what to post and provide her with the curated image for that day.
If she doesn’t have all the tools to be successful, she won’t want to work with you again. The key to long-term business growth and success is happy hostesses, friends!
MISTAKE #3: YOU THINK IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU
This is one we need to let sink in for a moment, ladies. Host coaching is NOT about you. While it may seem that way, host coaching is all for the benefit of your hostess. It is about maximizing her reward and making sure she has a fantastic party. We got into this business to support our families, yes. But didn’t we also get into it to have a wonderful time and spread joy through our circle of women? Making others successful will help you succeed long term, but the focus should always be on your hostess and her experience.
Your number one question you ask yourself throughout the party planning process is, “Will this serve my hostess?”. If not, reconsider what you’re doing and revise your strategy accordingly.
Many people feel uncomfortable telling their hostesses that they should have a specific number of people at their party or feel awkward telling her to reach out directly to her invitees – but it’s not about comfort. It’s about value. You need to come alongside your hostess and provide her with all the goodies, stats, and tools to reach her goals, whether you feel comfortable or not. With time, you’ll gain confidence, and the comfort will come later.
Our hostesses are the literal lifeline of our businesses. Do you love on her, thanking her, appreciating her? Make sure these simple acts of kindness are incorporated into all that party and business talk. The direct sales business is based upon our hostess relationships, so she needs to be in the forefront and feel valued, feel guided towards success, and ultimately feel just as appreciative of you as you are of her.
READY TO ROCK IT?
To sum it up, let’s be good consultants. Let’s be host coachers, not host cheerleaders. I like to say that host coaching is where you make your money, and the party is where you pick it up. If you focus on serving your hostesses well, all the pieces will fall into place. When you invest in host coaching effectively, you’re investing in your business success – even though it may not immediately seem that way.
If you’ve been in the biz for a while and want to take your host coaching game to the next level, consider some coaching time with me. We can tweak your plan together for ultimate results!
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Mary Haynes is a highly successful direct seller turned direct sales strategist and coach! She loves helping direct sellers streamline and scale their businesses using simple, tried and true strategies. Her goal is to reduce the overwhelm so you know what to do and when to do it in your business. Mary is also a homeschooling mama that lives in sunny Florida with her husband, 4 kiddos, a dog, and various other backyard animals.
Hey, I'm Mary!
My passion is helping you simplify and streamline your direct sales business using tried and true systems that reduce overwhelm and help you reach your business goals even faster! Find out more about what we do here.