I’ve mastered my profession of network constructor mainly during home presentations. This magic moment when we live through a number of different emotions is very efficient in understanding of what we are, learning about the others and about construction of our network and success. The biggest direct sales world companies, such as Amway, Avon or Tupperware achieved their growth over the years and multiplied the number of their distributors thanks to the presentations of this kind.
2/ What is the purpose of making home presentations?
This type of presentations has numerous advantages :
- Networks that are being expanded in this way boast a much more important number of distributors who are taking responsibilities and becoming leaders compared to the companies that limit themselves to just large public presentations. Therefore, the companies of this first type have more leaders, they are fast growing and more solid.
- The new distributors, due to their little experience, often tend to «spoil » very quickly their name list, as they are often not closely guided by their sponsors. Those ones are too busy with people whom they invite to large audience presentations ( who, by the way, tend to be too « fluid »). On the contrary, a home presentation gives a much better chance to master the atmosphere, the guests and communication process.
- The speaker is going to master all the essential stages of the orator art. Fear to talk in front of his small audience will soon be replaced by a great pleasure of capturing the attention of his listeners. The feeling of being lost will soon give way to a profound knowledge of his own business and he will totally feel himself as administering HIS OWN affair.
- The host of the presentation will be a very active witness of this process and will naturally augment the number of distributors working in his organization. But most of all, he will quickly learn how to reproduce this kind of presentation all by himself.
It will be easier for him to invite his friends to his own place rather than to a presentation hall.
And finally, he will have a possibility to spend time with his sponsor.
- The guests will find themselves in a friendly atmosphere, they could receive a lot of immediate answers to their questions. They could also test the products right away. They will have a chance to sing-up immediately.
- Fixing a second meeting will go more naturally than in a presentation hall since the contact with an experienced person (the speaker) has already been established.
- In case of a No Show, the speaker and coach will anyway use this time to work with his distributor /evaluate/understand/transmit/analyze/ share…..in a word, he will spend time with the host. And this does not necessarily happen in a presentation hall.
3/ How to organize home presentations
There are some essential stages necessary for a successful home presentation.
- a/ Planning
- b/ Invitation
- c/ Preparation
- d/ Welcome
- e/ Main part
- f/ Conclusion
- g/ Some observations
You must decide with your sponsor, or coach, or your upline leader on the date and time of presentation. Generally, this kind of event is planned around one week in advance. It is preferable to plan this presentation for the evening so that you could invite those who work. However, you may also organize up to 2 - 3 presentations at your home every day. Personally, for 3 years, I was making them alsmost every evening.
This must be a double commitment – the one of the speaker and of the host. The host has one week to make preparations and invitations, and this is more than enough to be able to have 2 - 6 people for your presentation.
The host, together with the speaker, plans personal meetings within 24 to 48 hours following the presentation. Thus, the host chooses the time when the speaker is available.
Behind your invitation there is great news. Just listen to the leaders when they are describing this moment when they were invited. And you will understand to what point this has changed their further life quality. However, you may also hear to what point some of them were resisting a good invitation or had to suffer because they received a bad one.
I am being told, I’ve always been told and this is my personal experience that the success of the presentation depends by 80% on the quality of invitation. The speaker will notice very quickly in what manner the guests were invited. For a new speaker it is rather confusing to handle the audience that was not well invited. As to an experienced speaker, he will put the things in the right place. This being said, it is clear that the host, often inexperienced, will try to do his best in inviting people, but will often do it in a wrong way. The ideal situation is a host without experience and a speaker who has no experience either:). This often creates anecdotes that are later being told by this people who become leaders just because they lived through these unavoidable stages.
What is a bad invitation ?
In fact, if the guest is there, this already means that the invitation has given the right result. The rest is the job of the speaker. However, the impact of the latter will be still more powerful if the guest receives the information that corresponds to what he came looking for !!
I often happened to see, 5 - 10 minutes after the presentation started, that someone or all the guests in front of me were fidgety on their chairs as if they were sitting on a frying pan. This is a signal that the speaker must stop and ask these people clearly what they came for? And thus we discover that the reason is not a frying pan, but a badly made invitation:). The anecdotes on this subject are endless. I remember people with a totally impassible face who’d been listening to me for 45 minutes without asking any questions. And in the end, it turned out that they thought the presentation was made for someone else. They just came to be nice to the host who told them that otherwise he was afraid no one would show up at all:) ! Or else, people were coming for a free test of products! And in the end they were disappointed to learn that they were the ones who had to buy something:)! There would also be those to whom everything was already presented ( by phone) and they were coming to a presentation with their cousin who had already tried the products and was not happy about it:). So, they come with a tonne of objections before you even start. They are making their comments in front of the others who, hearing them, begin to look at the door:)! Etc.….etc.
So, how to make a proper invitation?
There is no miracle recipee, however, there are golden rules that always work and help you optimize the number of your guests and enhance their attention.
While making your invitation, yo may promote the speaker : « I have a friend who is successful in his business. He is coming to my place Thursday evening, he is going to talk to a circle of close friends and I am inviting you ‘cause I am sure you will be interested». Or if you are talking to a very close friend: « I must absolutely talk to you about something, come to my place Thursday at 8 p.m.» Or if you are talking to some relative : « I am organizing a business evening at my place, there will be some ambitious people, successful in their business. You are going to participate too, as I know that this business is for you». Or else : «I am holding a home presentation of my business. It is going to be a friendly atmosphere, still, I am very lucky to have my coach exceptionally helping me. He is a very nice person, come over, it will be interesting for you».
Sometimes, when we can, it is nice to create a link between your guest and the speaker. For example, if they exercise the same profession, or have the same Zodiac sign, or share a passion for golf or motorsport etc.… any subject will be good.
There is a number of variations possible for this phrase. And you should choose the one adapted to your relations with your guest, as well as to his social status and context of the invitation.
But whatever option you choose, your invitation should always have the following ingredients :
- Be insistent, the more you give him a choice, the more he will think that this moment is not important. Avoid phrases like if you want ; if you are free; I hope that you’ll be there ; will you be interested ? …. In a word, anything that is in subjunctive mood.
- Be smiling and visionnary, your smile is seen even on the phone. Do not forget that behind your invitation, as brief as it may be, there is great news to the one who is being invited. This, in any case, should be the vision that you must keep in mind. Imagine that this person in a few months would be sharing with you the intense moments of success on most beautiful beaches of the world. This will definitely be more efficient than if you were thinking that he wouldn’t give a favorable answer to your invitation.
- Be brief, whenever you ask for something, it is long, whenever you give something, it is short. And your invitation is a gift, a present, you must feel this way deep down in your heart. In a word, the more you have a begging attitude, the less will people answer to your invitations. See Giver or Beggar. The invitation must be made by phone or in person. Its purpose does not consist in explaining the whole business, but in inviting the person using enough arguments to arouse his curiosity. The speaker will present everything in the right way . So, this is not the host’s job to explain it. Quite the opposite, the more the host will tell, lesser chances there are that the guest will actually arrive.
- “ fixing” the invitation : "And the most important thing : prevent me if you have to cancel at the last minute, in this case, I will give someone else a chance to use this opportunity". This kind of phrase is quite useful, but you should also use it carefully so that the person won’t have an impression that you are "afraid" he’ll say no. This is rather said for him to understand the importance of this moment.
The number of people you invite is dependent on the space of your living room. I was making presentations with up to 12 people present (this was my first presentation:). But generally, 4 to 8 guests is quite good.
Make your living-room a clean, cosy, comfortable place. Eliminate all sources of noise as much as possible. Baby, TV, Radio,Dog, Mother in law:), cut your phone just before the speaker starts his presentation etc.…..
In brief, EVERYTHING that this way or the other may distract the speaker during the 45 minutes of his presentation.
- Prepare a tray with water, juice, tea (NO ALCOHOL). Don’t put it on the table right in front of everybody, put it in a hidden place and take it out as the guests are coming in. It makes a strange impression when 2 guests are sitting in front of a dozen of glasses:) .
- Put a regular blackboard or a paper board in front of your guests and provide some color markers.
- The products must be ready to be taken out, but don’t do it in front of the guests. The speaker will ask you for the mat the right moment.
- Extra chairs will be taken out as guests are arriving.
- The temperature must be rather low than high. The guests shouldn’t be too cold or hot. The best is to have the guests who are awake and a speaker who is not transpiring too much:)!
- No need to prepare a big meal as is often traditional when you have guests at home. We are making a business presentation. People did not come here to eat. They need to listen and stay concentrated on what is presented. So, some biscuits and nuts will do the job.
- Put out pens and some paper or a blocnote to write on.
- Your dress should correspond to the level of the coming event. If it is customary to take your shoes off when you come to somebody’s house in a particular country, then it’s ok. But if this is not the habit, a host in a costume and socks would seem bizarre to his guests.
This presentation must be easily « REPRODUCED»
Once everything is in its place, the « show » may start.
Your guests are invited for, let’s say, 8.15p.m. And as they arrive, you let them feel comfortable, offer something to drink (no alcohol). You mention to them that you are waiting for someone whom you are impatient to present to them. If they know each other, let them talk between themselves. You should avoid a too mysterious atmosphere as to what is about to happen, but you are not supposed to give them details on your business either. THE IMPORTANT PERSON will arrive and tell them all about it.
You cut your phone. The TV is also switched off, some light music is playing.
If someone is calling you for a last minute cancellation, make it so that the guests do not hear this conversation or, at least, do not realize that someone cancelled his meeting. In fact, those who are present should not even know that someone else was also supposed to come.
If you have 2 out of 8 guests, for example, you should not blame yourself that the other ones have not shown up.
The speaker will arrive after all the guests are already there, tell him: « Super, everybody is there:)».
Too often, I happened to arrive to one of my new distributor’s home presentations and he was so stressed about not having everyone he had invited that he was totally forgetting those who were already there! It was something like this : «Oh hello, I am sorry, there are just 2 of them, the other ones have not shown up....etc. » You imagine the face expression of those who were actually there:) !!
Once the speaker arrives, you make all the necessary presentations and very quickly you introduce THE SPEAKER.
E/ Main Part
The host presents the speaker : « Very well, we are going to start now, I am very happy to have with me my coach, Mr ou Ms ( the NAME) who is going to present to you the business I discovered some time ago. I invited you as I am certain this is going to interest you. Please give him all your attention and then he will answer your questions ». This must be brief and clear. And of course, adapted to the number of the guests present.
At this moment, the role of the host is to sit down, start taking notes, DO NOT TALK, let the speaker make his presentation in its whole and stay always available for him.
I happened to be VERY thirsty during my presentation and I was watching the guests drinking a nice and fresh orange juice while I was waiting for my host to serve me some too:). But he was so stressed about his guests that he was completely forgetting the speaker !! While the opposite situation would have been much more efficient – the guests watching the speaker drink his juice:).
The speaker must adjust his attitude, the tone of his voice according to the number of guests. Standing on your feet in front of an audience of 8 guests is natural. But if you have 1-2 persons, the atmosphere is more informal and the presentation is transformed into more of a personal meeting. However, the blackboard « obliges » you at some moment or another to stand up and write down your marketing plan.
The presentation should last around 45 minutes and it is important to tell your audience how long it is going to take before you start it. This presentation is going to be made according to the model provided by the company or that of large audience presentations.
In 45 minutes, the host serves his guests some drinks and at this time you may pass on to the questions which are not obligatory though.
The goal of this presentation apparently consists in signing-up the guest. With technologies available today, in a company like Colors of Life, your guest may immediately sign-up on the Internet. You could show him the site, sign him up and help him pass his order.
However, my experience shows that in most cases serious people need some time to digest the information and ask their questions before taking a decision. Or even to find a capital required for a sign-up. This is why the goal of this presentation is in fixing-up a further meeting with each guest within 24 to 48 hours to come.
The host who is seeing his guests off is the one to be fixing further meetings. The speaker, if he wishes to do so and if he is available, may of course fix some meetings himself.
The mecanism, or rather, the strategy of fixing meetings should be well established between the speaker and the host. And it is done in a following way. The speaker responds to the questions and eventual objections, his goal consists in preparing the guests for a personal meeting. This process takes around 30 -45 minutes, sometimes it may last much longer, but my experience shows that the longer we keep people, the lesser are chances of their sign-up. In fact, the guests should already be home by 10.30, 11.00p.m. at the latest. For a number of reasons which I am note going to explain right here.
The host must have his calendar open and choose the time that he had previsously planned with the speaker. In the meanwhile, he is not going to say anything or say very little unless the speaker asks him for some witness or other. But the most important thing is to let the speaker be in control even if he gets an impression that the latter is not mastering the situation.
The host must « limit » himself to keeping up with the speaker and fixing meetings. He is seeing his guests off to the door, wishing them a nice trip home. And mostly, he leaves them on the last words of the speaker. After a two our presentation of the concept, products, marketing plan and fixing several meetings, there is nothing worse than to see your host just talking to the guests for 5, 10, 15, 20 or more minutes. Cause this way he is certainly spoiling the effect of the presentation without even knowing it. The best way to spoil a quality presentation is to ask your guest : « So, are you interested? », or«so, how did you find this presentation ? », or any other question. And even if the host had done a great job so far, he is making a huge mistake ‘cause thus he is showing to this guest that he is more important than the speaker !
The most important person is the one who will be the last to leave. Your coach. This is the person who participates directly in your success, the one with whom you will discuss everything that happened during this 2-hour presentation. How many people were invited? How many of them actually showed up and how many meetings were fixed. In what way were invited those who didn’t come over? Did they call you to cancel? If not, let us call the RIGHT NOW!! It is good to call people at 11.30p.m. or later just to ask them if they were feeling well considering that they had a meeting with you and didn’t even bother to cancel! That way, next time they will either show up or call you if there is some problem!
You two are also going to make a conclusion on how this 2-hour presentation went on, what needs to be changed, improved etc.….. and finally, you will plan the next steps.
G/ Some observations
- There is no need to have a luxurious apartment to organize a home presentation. Four walls, a roof, a table and some chairs will do the job.
- If you have a big family, explain to them what you are about to do and move them all to another room for two hours. Or else, leave them at your neighbour’s, whom, by the way, you could also invite over:)
- If your apartment is really inappropriate for this kind of meetings, but you really want to achieve a great success, you should consider changing this apartment as your first goal.
- There are several types of presentations. Large audience halls, offices, personal meetings and home presentations. The most powerful and reproducible form in all countries are personal meetings and home presentations.
- The sooner you start making your own presentations, the sooner your people will reproduce them. And there is nothing more solid and long-term than a network composed of people who are making their own presentations of their business.