Preventing Party Cancelations and Reschedules

frustrated woman UGH, the dreaded cancelations. Especially when they have a prime spot in your calendar. You may have even turned a party away because you *thought* you were going to be doing a party that night. Annoying!! So, let’s talk cancelations, shall we? And I don’t mean whether it has one L or two Ls. Because I have been trying to figure that out for a while!

Let’s go over some ideas on how to prevent them from happening.

First off, we have the emergency cancelations. Like your hostess’s basement flooded or her babysitter backed out. These might be salvageable if you tell her “I’m so sorry to hear about your mishap, maybe the show could still go on. Do you know someone who would be willing to have the party at their house?” You never know, she just may have a close friend to whose house she can divert all the guests to. Now, a death in the family, is very sensitive and not something I would recommend “the show must go on” with. You’ll want to express your condolences, cut your losses and dial for dollars that night. Contact her again some months later when she could really use a Ladies Night.

Weather related cancelations aren’t so bad, because you can reschedule for a very date very close-in. Say, you have a party tomorrow and there’s a blizzard. You both realize the afternoon of your party that this isn’t going to happen. Reschedule for your next available date, if possible! You don’t want people losing the excitement for the party. And let her know this too.

Here is a big cause for MANY cancelations. LACK OF PLANNING. This could be your own fault. Too many consultants book parties, are ecstatic about it, send out their hostess packets and OOOOPS, they forgot all about their hostess. Then the week of the party you call to confirm and OOOPS, she has to reschedule. This is because she is not ready. You simply did not keep communication and let this party get through your fingers. It’s not her fault. If you’d have called earlier, then she may have expressed her concern to you or you could have asked her how’s it going and she would’ve told you, “People are not RSVPing”.You could then brainstorm to come up with a plan. Or at least you’ll have enough advanced notice to book another party on that date.

Cancelations or reschedules aren’t all that bad if you know about them ahead of time to replace that date/time with another party.

Some important things to do during hostess coaching to ensure a party holds:

  • Your hostess packet. Send it out on time! Not only that, but send her an email booking confirmation. This is a simple email that you should have saved as a template that has a place for her name, date, time and location. It should let her know that this is her BOOKING CONFIRMATION and that a packet will shortly follow. It should also include all your contact info. This official booking confirmation email basically tells her that you are a professional and that she is dealing with a business.
  • In your hostess packet, state that your biggest tip is to have AT LEAST 15 people in attendance. This will stress the importance of attendence to her and will make her aware that she needs to be strong with a guestlist. Now, the more people she invites (while telling people to bring friends, of course), the more that will RSVP a Yes! And the more that RSVP a Yes, the less likely she will cancel or reschedule.
  • Offer her an incentive VERBALLY for a guest count at your party. Be it, 15 people or 20 people, whatever you want. But I capitalize VERBALLY because when you are on the phone with her and offer her something great for that attendance, she is more likely to get off the phone and take action. Especially if you hint her on what to do! You can always offer something in your host packet, but she’ll tell herself that she’ll do it “later”. After you SPEAK with her, she’ll do it NOW! Yes, attendance is a big key to holding parties on their scheduled dates. :)
  • Communication. ASK your hostess what communication she prefers from the beginning. Is it email? phone? text? walkie talkie? (haha..joke) And use that method to communicate with her. All to make communication easier and more effective.
  • Rescheduling deposit. I’m not so sure about this concept. A rescheduling fee is if someone reschedules within a certain amount of time close to their party date, they must pay a deposit and get it back on their rescheduled date. This is something you can TRY and see if it works for you. It’s all in your attitude and how comfortable you are with it. If you ARE comfortable and it works for you, great! But if you are not comfortable with it, but do it anyway, it will most likely not work for you. However, I feel that a hostess can always pop online and find another rep that they don’t have to pay anything up front with. You could possibly miss out on a great party that may be double your average. In other words, like 2 parties worth of sales in 1…catch my drift?

So there you have it. Some tips to help parties hold on their scheduled dates. If you keep the communication effective and systematic, your cancelations will be greatly reduced. You ARE a business and you deserve great parties!

Article written by Pascale Le Bris of toypartyleads.com and loveloveparties.com.

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