Anyone that has been in and around the web or associated with direct sales may have heard reference to the term Party Plan. The party plan is a separate level of selling that has evolved in the past 60 years. Let’s explore and define “Party Plan” so you understand this popular method of selling.
Those that are not associated with direct sales or that understands the concept of direct sales and the function of this type of selling, may not understand the difference in terminology between “Direct Sales” and “Party Plan”. Let’s first take a look at Direct Sales.
Direct Sales is the act of selling products away from a retail location. It basically is selling products one on one to people from your home. Direct Sales as a whole can be comprised of many different types of selling. For instance, someone can sell one on one. There is also internet based sales which can be accomplished in many different methods. Finally there are home parties where you sell to groups of people.
The Party Plan method of selling is an offshoot of the Direct Sales method. Where direct sales can be thought of as the industry as a whole, the party plan is a singular method of selling within the direct sales umbrella.
Basically the party plan is a way to market your goods directly to a group of individuals at a hostess’s home or at a generic location. It has become the main method of selling many different types of goods such as kitchenware, cosmetics, candles, home décor and jewelry. The party concept is a strong and viable method in the direct sales industry and it has seen a lot of growth in recent years. Many new companies have come on the market with goods such as purses, tools, food and lingerie. This is an ever expanding industry; so many more companies will be seen in the future.
There are many direct sales companies that allow other methods of sales, but use primarily the party plan method as their main focus. The term “Party Plan” refers to those companies that focus their reps into sales primarily at a party instead of the other methods available that we see today.
The party plan became an effective method of selling back in the 1950’s when Tupperware parties came into popularity. The sales rep would ask a friend to host a party at their home and invite their friends to view and purchase the goods in the privacy of the hostess’s home. The rep earns a commission of the product sales. It became a social event that became extremely popular.
The Hostess would receive a gift for hosting the party as well as a discount for her purchases based on what her guests bought. The ability for the hostess to receive free or heavily discounted goods appealed to multitudes of women and the sales growth of the company was impressive.
Also involved is the recruitment of other women at these parties. By adding new sales reps to the company and creating your own team of sales reps, the sponsoring rep also receives a portion of the team’s sales and revenue; an additional method to earn money.
The party plan also works at self-generating leads for future parties by the rep giving bonuses to book at an existing party or talking to other people she knows in order to schedule or “book” a party to sell more goods.
Today, there are many companies that do not allow sales of their goods on the internet because they understand that the strength in selling their goods is to get it into the hands of the customer. By seeing, touching and wearing the products, the sales are stronger and larger than by selling off of a picture or a website.
Many companies that have been allowing sales on the internet as well as other methods are encouraging their sales teams into going back to the party plan structure as their main method of sales. They are realizing the power in this method and while the internet is great for telling other about you and your product, sales come from direct personal contact.
Understanding the party plan method of selling can bring you more sales if you are involved in a direct sales business or sell product on your own. Incorporate it into your business for a powerful presentation of your products. The strength of the party plan method of selling is amazing and it is standing test of time.