Be a Party Plan Superstar: Build a $100,000-a-Year Direct Selling Business from Home

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The “party plan” model of direct selling—introducing products through home parties, social gatherings, and fund-raisers—has been the route to financial freedom for millions. This inspiring, hands-on manual, written by an author who has achieved unprecedented success herself, shows other women how they can generate more bookings, more sales, and more business leads at their parties, as well as build a team of independent party planners, and drive up their own commissions.


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The “party plan” model of direct selling—introducing products through home parties, social gatherings, and fund-raisers—has been the route to financial freedom for millions. This inspiring, hands-on manual, written by an author who has achieved unprecedented success herself, shows other women how they can generate more bookings, more sales, and more business leads at their parties, as well as build a team of independent party planners, and drive up their own commissions.

Exemplified by powerhouse brands like Tupperware, Pampered Chef, and Mary Kay, the party-planning method is an unparalleled opportunity for anyone to live the life they dream about and deserve. In Be a Party Plan Superstar, readers will discover, step-by-step, how they can transition from selling to friends and family to building a profitable business, develop a who’s-who customer base, create an environment of fun, be an engaging host, and close sales effortlessly. This is the one book that shows women how to become direct-selling superstars…simply by being the life of the party.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“…irresistible success guide for every woman who wants to earn an enviable income without sacrificing her family or her independence.” – Networking Marketing Business Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814416518
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 10/20/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 257,651
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY CHRISTENSEN has more than 25 years of experience in party plan direct selling, first on her own and later in leadership roles in two party plan corporations. She is the author of Be a Network Marketing Superstar (978-0-8144-7431-0) and Be a Recruiting Superstar (978-0-8144-0163-7).

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Read an Excerpt

Party plan selling is the perfect vehicle for personal and financial

growth. Whatever your current circumstances are financially or

otherwise, you don’t have to settle for less than you want when

you can have it all as a star of your own “show business.”

Party plan is a business model that anyone can follow. As an

independent business entrepreneur, you partner with a

corporation, which takes care of the back end of the business

(including the products, marketing, administration, and technical

support) so that you can focus on the front-line activities that will

drive your income.

No matter what you call them—parties, shows, classes,

presentations, group consultations, workshops, gatherings,

celebrations, experiences, or demonstrations—parties are the

perfect way to build a business.

Whether you currently work inside or outside the home, a

party plan business could be your route out of debt and into

financial freedom. You can work full-time, part-time, or in your

spare time and still hit the big time.

Why wait for customers to come to you when you can bring

your business into their living rooms? Most business owners

would swap their souls to stand in front of a captive audience in

the warm, friendly environment of their customers’ homes.

If you’re ready to start calling the shots on your life, this

book will teach you how to build a successful party plan business

from the ground up. If you’re already a party planner, you

will learn how to catapult your business to the highest levels of

your compensation plan.

You will create income for today with higher sales, income for

tomorrow with more bookings, and income forever by empowering

others to become successful party plan entrepreneurs.

The sooner you start, the sooner you can start enjoying all

the rewards that will come your way as a party plan superstar:

• Family first

• Financial security

• Friendships

• Flexibility

• Freedom

• Freebies

• Fun

If you are a direct seller or multilevel marketer and your

company doesn’t have a traditional party plan structure, you can

still incorporate party plan concepts into your business. My

strategies will help you communicate effectively with one, ten,

or one hundred business prospects. The strategies will add

pizzazz to your business presentations and fire up your meetings,

training seminars, and product launches.

Many direct selling, multilevel marketing, and network marketing

companies are embracing party plan concepts to reach a

wider audience. When companies stage opportunity nights or

business seminars, they’re employing party plan techniques. The

only difference is the product they’re promoting is the business.

If your product lends itself to demonstration, display, education,

or experience, it makes sense to market it to groups.

Why talk to one person when you could talk to ten?

If it’s new, unique, or innovative, the sooner you establish

market share, the harder you will make it for competitors to gain

a foothold.

If you’re confident that your product offers better quality or

better value than anything that’s available through stores,

telemarketers, or online retailers, party plan is an effective way to

spread the word.

I stumbled into party plan as a young mom. I was raising my

family and working as an elementary school teacher. Every

weekday I had to leave my baby son and two-year-old daughter

with a babysitter, while I was at school. When they were safely

tucked into bed at night, I prepared lessons for my class of nine-

year-olds. Weekends were a juggling act of household chores

and family time. I often dropped the ball.

My children deserved better, but not working wasn’t an

option. The bills had to be paid. When I saw an advertisement

that offered “Work from Home,” the lightbulb flashed and I

picked up the phone. Less than eight hours later a stylish

woman was sitting at my kitchen table. She interviewed me for

all of thirty minutes, and to my delight, I got the job.

Not exactly the job I had expected, but it sounded exciting

enough for me to leave my teaching career behind to sell skin

care and color products as an independent party plan

consultant. That meant swapping a teacher’s salary and

benefits for a compensation plan and a promise that the

harder I worked, the more I would earn. I seized on party

plan as a second chance to be the mom my children deserved.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: There's No Business Like Show Business 1

PART ONE Who Wants to Be a Superstar? 9

1 Light Your Fire 11

2 Believe It to Achieve It 15

PART TWO Building Your Business 19

3 Master the Art of Selling 21

4 Be Your Own Best Host 35

5 Create a Bookings Bonanza 42

6 Book Smart at Parties 58

7 Sponsor to Succeed 69

8 Coach the Most from Your Host 84

PART THREE Let's Get the Party Started! 107

9 Set the Stage 109

10 Make Your Parties Sparkle 120

11 Step into the Spotlight 125

12 The Grand Finale 140

13 Reap the Rewards 144

14 Reward and Recruit Your Host 150

15 It Pays to Play 156

PART FOUR When the Party's Over 179

16 Time for the Reviews 181

17 Follow Up 184

18 Share the Spotlight 193

Afterword: It's Your Time to Shine 208

Index 211

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First Chapter

Be a Party Plan SUPERSTAR

Build a $100,000-a-Year Direct Selling Business from Home
By Mary Christensen


Copyright © 2011 Mary Christensen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8144-1651-8

Chapter One

Light Your Fire

What I love most about party plan is that it empowers us to live by different rules. What we set our hearts on, we can have. We don't have to wonder, "Can I afford it?" as workers on fixed incomes do. With no limit on what we can earn, there's no limit on what we can have.

Your first step to firing up your party plan business is to find a goal worth working for. Small goals have all the firepower of a dead battery. Fully charged goals will keep you energized and excited even after you've just hung up from your fourth "no" in a row.

Set a goal that is so powerful it eclipses every disappointment, doubt, doomsayer, or distraction that you encounter along the way. If debt has you trapped behind the starting gate, make a goal to set yourself free. Imagine how you will feel when you pay off your credit cards, release your student loan, or live in a mortgage-free home.

If you are miserable at work, start planning your exit strategy. You deserve better than deadbeat coworkers or a boss who talks to you only when he wants something. If your job is draining the sap out of you, no matter how much money you earn, what's the point?

If you are spending the best years of your children's life at work, although your heart is telling you that no way, after they have left home, will you wish you had spent a single second less with them while they were growing up, set the wheels in motion to bring your work home.

With a party plan business you can have the best of both worlds—be the mom your kids deserve and be a successful business entrepreneur.

The easiest option you have in life is to stick with what you know, snug in your comfort zone. But the price of playing it safe is high. By following the same tired routine day after day, or clinging to a job that has passed its use-by date, you may be giving up your chance to live an amazing life.

Every party plan superstar I know is driven by a passion for improving her life. Some of their stories are certain to inspire you to find a goal that you can be passionate about.

Brittany's goal is a cow:

"I grew up on a farm. Every morning I woke up to see our two pet cows in the paddock outside my window. When we married, my husband and I moved closer to town. I love having my own home but when I open the blinds every morning, all I see is our neighbor's fence. My goal is to save enough for a deposit on land farther out of town, so that one day we can build our dream home on it. I want my kids to grow up in a home that has land around it. I want them to see cows grazing outside their window. I want them to have the same wonderful childhood my parents gave me."

Grace's goal is teeth:

"I am married to the most amazing man. We met at school and married as soon as we graduated. He is the best husband ever. We have three beautiful children and he works hard to make sure our family has everything we need. But he never smiles. He wasn't smiling when I met him and I thought he was just being mysterious. But he's not smiling in our prom photos, and he's not smiling in our wedding photos. And that's because he's ashamed of his teeth. He would have so much more confidence if he could have his teeth fixed, but everything he earns goes to our house and kids. There is never anything left when all the bills are paid. My goal is to earn enough money to be able to hand my husband a check and say, 'This is for your new teeth.' "

Ella's goal is a second honeymoon:

"When we got married, my parents' wedding gift to us was a honeymoon in Hawaii. It was the most wonderful week of my life. That was nine years ago and we have never been away together since. My goal is to buy two tickets to Hawaii so we can spend our tenth wedding anniversary reliving our honeymoon."

When you couple a meaningful goal with a realistic deadline you will move mountains to make it happen.

Long-term goals encourage procrastination. When you can't see the prize, there's less incentive to keep moving toward it when the going gets tough. What difference will it make to do nothing today if it's going to take ten years to reach your goal?

Short-term goals are powered by urgency. No matter what challenges you encounter, you'll find it easier to stay focused if you can see the finish line. With the payoff for your efforts in your sights, you will find the strength to forge ahead.

When you find a goal that makes your pulse race, paste pictures on your wall or screensaver to remind you every day why you're making calls, following up on leads, and driving ten miles across town. Let the picture of your new kitchen, dream car, RV, family vacation, or new teeth keep you energized and excited.

If you have to run your business from the corner of the kitchen table or after you've spent eight hours at your regular job, or when your toddler's taking a nap, don't let that stop you. If you don't have the best support in the world, don't let that be your excuse. You can't make excuses and progress at the same time.

To achieve true happiness, you have to be prepared to move beyond your comfort zone and pursue what you truly want in life. So think big. There is no reason to think small when you have all the resources of your corporate partner at your disposal. Nor is there any sense in playing it small when you have the ability to turn your goals into reality.

Chapter Two

Believe It to Achieve It

More than fifteen million Americans, an average of one person in every ten households, are direct sellers. Five million of them choose to operate their businesses by party plan, and the overwhelming majority of party planners are women (98 percent, according to the Direct Selling Association).

The reason is simple: Women are born with every skill needed to succeed as self-employed entrepreneurs. Women have a natural ability to:

* Share

* Network

* Nurture

* Organize

* Multitask

* SHARING IS IN OUR DNA. Women are constantly talking, recommending, and swapping stories about the things we love. When we see a wonderful movie, read an amazing book, or discover a new recipe we immediately think, "My sister Frances would love this" or, "This would be perfect for my friend Kate." We're comfortable seeking the advice of friends and we trust their ideas, suggestions, and recommendations.

Even the most inexperienced salesperson knows that selling is not about facts, figures, and statistics. Selling is about sharing credible stories and testimonials so that others can benefit from our knowledge and experiences. As soon as we learn when it's time to stop talking and start listening we shine in the communication department.

* WOMEN INSTINCTIVELY NETWORK. There's no training required when it comes to meeting others. We find it practically impossible to stand beside someone for a few minutes and not start talking. We can strike up conversations, even with strangers, in seconds. You will never hear a man saying to the person next in line, "I love your shoes!"

* MENTORING COMES NATURALLY. Women are nurturers by nature, and that's how a party plan business grows. We get what we want by helping others get what they want. Growing a party plan business is much like raising kids. Our prime responsibility as parents is to raise our children to become independent adults. It's the same role we play in our party plan business when we mentor our consultants to become independent business owners.

* WOMEN ARE BORN ORGANIZERS. You don't need a degree in business management to run a business. I graduated from college, founded successful businesses, headed two party plan corporations, and served as president of two national associations. I'm sharing this with you for one reason. And that's because I didn't learn management skills in any of those roles. I learned them from organizing my life, my home, and my family. If you can run a home, raise a family, and organize your life, you are fully equipped to run a multimillion-dollar business.

* MULTITASKING IS OUR GOD-GIVEN GIFT. We thrive on our superpowers. We can clean the house, plan a shopping trip, and care for our children all at the same time. We check our e-mail as we make calls, and plan the next day's schedule as we prepare a meal. We do it by setting priorities and tackling what needs to be done. Building a party plan business involves juggling many balls—booking, coaching, presenting, ordering, servicing, prospecting, sponsoring, and mentoring. Women can do it all because we were created that way.

Women and business make a perfect match. The evidence is in the statistics: According to government sources, women own more than ten million privately held businesses in America, representing sales of over $2.3 trillion annually (see

But the outlook for most small businesses is not entirely rosy. The failure rate is high, and lack of cash cripples most of them. The up-front capital needed to start a business is just the beginning of the expense. Businesses need ongoing cash flow to sustain them. Fixed overheads can topple a business when customer traffic is slow because of seasonal cycles or economic fluctuations. With the odds so heavily stacked against small businesses, all women should seriously consider how much risk they are prepared to take to own one.

That you won't have to invest cash in your party plan business makes it a standout business choice. Why risk your own capital when there is a long line of party plan corporations only too eager to be your backer?

Isolation is a challenge that many small-business owners encounter. Going it alone can be tough. Women thrive on support, and many small businesses are solo operations.

I recently visited a day spa and started chatting to the vibrant young woman who owned it. She had always dreamed of having a business and had done everything she could to make it happen. It turned out that the one challenge she hadn't factored in when she started her business was the loneliness. She had no business partners, no coworkers, and no support system. I couldn't help but feel sorry that during her small-business search she hadn't investigated party plan, where she would have had all the support she craved.

If neither cash nor support is an issue, what could possibly hold you back? If you're a woman, you are most likely overestimating the challenge and underestimating yourself. Think about how we look at ourselves in a mirror: We get as close as we can so that we can scrutinize every imperfection. You have to move on from self-doubt and uncertainty to realize your true potential in life.

There is no "Reserved" sign on success in party plan. Especially when it comes to gender. The path has been well traveled by millions of women who have transformed their lives through their party plan businesses. Every one of them has lit the path that will guide you on your journey.

If you want it, and you're prepared to work for it, you can have it.

Chapter Three

Master the Art of Selling

A party plan business is about sharing the products you love, but you are paid only when someone buys them, and in any language that spells selling.

So let's take the fear factor out of selling, especially the sticky parts, such as handling objections and closing the sale. Whether you're selling a product, booking a party host, or signing a new recruit, the principles stay the same. It's only their application that changes.

Selling is about connecting. You won't connect with everybody, but that's not your goal. You're looking for people who are perfect for your products, party, and business opportunity because your products, party, and business opportunity are perfect for them.

The more people you talk to, the more likely it is you'll find them. "No's" are part of the process, and I know party planners who count the no's so they know how close they are to hearing the magic word: yes!

Ask a thousand party plan superstars how they reached the top, and they will all say their success came from being consistent and persistent. Discipline is the essential ingredient in success. There are no shortcuts, magic tricks, or secret formulas. Talking to people is the only way to generate business.

You cannot control other people's decisions. You can only control how many people you reach out to and how well you represent your business. If you match honesty with enthusiasm and treat your prospective customers, hosts, and recruits with respect, you will prevail.

Many party planners say the hardest part of the business is learning to handle questions and objections. But don't be unsettled by questions and objections. They reveal what your prospects are thinking.

You have a bigger problem if they are not asking questions as you will have absolutely no idea what they're thinking. When you have confidence in your products and your business, you will see objections as an invitation to share more information.

Assume every question is a genuine attempt to find answers. Some questions are leading up to a no, but you have to sort through them to find the yes. If your prospects say yes with unresolved issues hanging in the air, they won't be happy. And guess whom they'll blame? If there isn't a fit between your prospects and your business, don't force it.

Handling Objections

The way not to handle objections is to argue. Let's say your prospect says, "I just don't see myself as a salesperson."

If you respond, "You'd be great," you are being insensitive by ignoring a genuine concern.

If your prospect says, "I couldn't do that ...," it may be a signal your prospect lacks confidence. Countering with "I'm sure you could!" dismisses her fear with no attempt to address it.

Saying, "It's not selling" is dishonest. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ...

A simple way to remember how to handle objections is to think of the vowels A, E, I, O, U.

"A" for Agree

Agreeing shows respect for your prospects and their concerns. It tells them you're listening! If your prospect says, "I don't see myself as a salesperson," say, "I agree. You don't come across that way at all. Do you want to know why I approached you?"

Now that you're talking about them, your prospects will be interested in your answer. The magic word in selling is "because." Try saying, "I approached you because you come across as genuine. The fact that you love the products will always be more credible than a sales pitch." Or you could say, "Because you're fun and this is a fun business."

If you give a genuine compliment and respond to their concerns, your prospects will feel flattered that you approached them and, even if they decline, will be happy to hear from you the next time you call.

"E" for Empathy

You can show empathy by saying, "I know how you feel."

If your prospect says, "I'm not sure I can sell," you could say, "I know how you feel. I'd never sold anything before and I wasn't sure I could do it. But once I saw how enthusiastic people were about the products, I got excited. What scares you the most? Is it demonstrating the products or asking for the order?" Your question shows genuine interest.

Or you can say, "We all feel nervous at first. But I promise that does wear off!"

Let's say your prospect says, "I'm too busy."


Excerpted from Be a Party Plan SUPERSTAR by Mary Christensen Copyright © 2011 by Mary Christensen. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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( 13 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2014


    Oliva wz [X]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Recommended for 1st time Party Planners!

    As a first time party planner I found this book very helpful. Although there are some things that don't apply, this book sparked many ideas. Hopefully these tips will start paying off in the months to come

    Got 4 starts because of the things that didn't apply. Would have been nice to have several examples for certain tips such as what someone in the ___ business might do/say: candle business, bath products, wrap, natural oils, make-up, jewelry, etc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013


    It is so is boring and if you acustly like it you must be a big bowl of rubish and yes i i am mad because i got riped off and i am going to say $~*t and non of you dumbasses will know what im saying and it is supost to be that way

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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