Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Open House (or any open house)

I just had my 2 day Holiday Open House, wow, I just love this business and I love my clients. I saw over 60 clients and sales exceeded $4000 retail (not counting tax). Being able to visit and catch up on what is going on in each others' lives, wishing each other "happy holidays", munching on snacks, and looking at pictures of kids, pets, etc.. Seeing their appreciation for having cute gifts for their shopping ease, but most of all was seeing their happiness when they pulled into the parking lot to see the pink cts sitting there.
The "congratulations" were plenty but hearing them tell me that they were proud of me and that I deserved it and that they knew it was my dedication and the way I treated people like they are special was what made the difference, just made me realize how incredibly blessed my life is, I don't have clients, I have alot of friends that like Mary Kay and they way they came into my life was because of the MK conneciton . I have so many people that do care about me and realize that I am not just interested in their money.

Now, each quarter I do a two day open house in the city I use to reside until 5 years ago. I send out invitations just a week ahead of the date (too early and people forget about the event, too late, they already have plans) - the day before I send a short reminder email. I do not make reminder phone calls.
I put on the invitation if they can't make it, if they call or email me their order, they will still receive a 10% discount.

Also on the invitation I put information for an event that I will do at the end of the first night (Friday) and ask for an rsvp. For example this time on Friday, the open house was from 11:00- 7:30 and then at 7:30 we were going to do facials with Holiday Color Looks. Then Saturday 9:00 am was muffins and makeovers, and the open house was from 9:00 - 4:00. (Please note, I do no recruiting at these open houses unless someone asks me.) Our focus is totally sales and satisfied clients.

I always have some snacks and drinks - but I keep it simple. Many will run over on their lunch break on Friday's so there is enough so that they don't have to take time to go else where for lunch ( ham salad sandwiches have won the vote)..

I do have select specials that are only available if one attends the open house for example at this past weekend the "SPECIAL" was with any purchase you could select your choice of a Satin hands pampering set or a brush set at 50% off. ( If you like this idea, you may want to put a disclaimer, such as, if your purchase is $50 or more you may select an item at 50% off), I switch it up to keep it fun, but there is always something that will be fun and exciting. - this gives them a reason to want to attend the open houses and not just call in an order.

Another note on the invitiation is if they bring a guest (non mker), there will be another surprise) - I switch it up all the time, 10% additional off your order, a gift certificate for $10, etc....

A donation to the Mary Kay Ash Charitable foundation gets them a small gift. I forgot to put it on my invite this year but last year and next year, it also gives them an extra 10% off their purchase if they bring a canned good or a small toy.
We collect these for a shelter and for the Toys for tots program. And then we make one big donation, often we set a date and many of us go and donate and then we go out for out cider or something.

I always have my phone and my email on the invite so they have the info right at their fingerstips for orders, my cellphone if they need directions to get to the open house, my name and my MK Websie address.

I have a door prize drawing and the front table always as the registration box for their ticket and all the prizes I am giving away from the drawing are displayed on the table. (IE: this time it was: The Oh So Soft bathrobe in a great pampering set (cooling eye mask (from dept store), bath sponges, bath glove) , a beautiful jewelry set I had purchased at a fund raiser, a travel rool up bag, and an electric makeup mirror and the Glistening Winterberry collection.

I added a new little twist to my invites this time and everyone including myself liked it.... I put a "lucky number" on the invitation. They were to bring the invite to see if their lucky number was truly a lucky number. ( I was hoping this would insure that everyone would not misplace their invitations and not miss the open house.) When my guests walked in the door at the registration table there was a picture frame and in the picture frame, there were the lucky numbers and the prize associated with that number, so they could pick up their prize right away. I was so surprised and I will be doing it for every open house, 48 of the invites came with its owner. They held onto the invite to check the number, I think this did help the turnout I had.

At the end of the open house we also draw a prize from the slips of paper that I have the guests fill out (when they arrive)that has on it, their name, address, email, or phone number - so even if they didn 't have a lucky number, they all know, there is still one more shot at winning something. (I also use these slips to double check my client's information to make sure it is all up to date.
Often an email address will change and they have not thought to mention it to you or they have decided they don't need a landline anymore so they are going to only use cellphones, just an easy was to keep information up to date.

Now, I would do this for my clients no matter what, but since I have everything all set up and supplied, I always invite my unit members to invite their clients to the open house. They do not need to stay the whole time, if they only want to do one day for four hours, that is all they put on their invite. This has worked well for my unit members. First, many of them don't have enough to set up a disply like wowsa but I already did it so I want them to work smart not hard. Their client walks in and then places the order with her consultant.
(Now, can being a consultant get much easier? Send an invite to your customer and smile!) I will have everything all set up and she will come in and look and then give the order to her consultant. ) I wish my director would have been willing to do stuff like this for me when I was young.

This year I wanted to do something special so I had CD's of holiday music made with my info and they were in the Christmas cards that I passed out to the clients that attended the open house. It was great seeing their appreciation. Many said, aww, I am going to go pop it right in the cd player on the way home as soon as they got back to their car. (Many said, wow, how nice, this is sooo cool!)
(By handing them out it also helped me to make sure I kept my expense down, of course, I will be mailing alot of them but when there is a way to save money, - save money)

I do haul all my products with me because I want to be able to service them then a there and maximize time. Not one person left without every single item they wanted.

Warning: Your first open house, second, and even possible your third may want to make you never want to have one again,but don't quit, I can tell you I am happy I never gave up. It is import to that the ones that have attended because they understand how fun it is, but make sure you are selling the open house at your classes, parties, facials, etc.....(every year my open houses just get better and better and I would like to continue that trend.

I also started working on the new year. Everyone that booked a show in January will receive and extra hostess gift. I also book several "Get a New Look for a New Year Look" because they fit a description in the portfolio book and wanted to get in it. And several asked me to give them a call in January.

Each open house just seems to get better and better for me, but this was by far the best.

One client was so cute, she said she thought the lucky number was the order eveyone got to go for a ride in the car because they were ready to line up - and then one of my fav's started laughing and said, oh dog gone it, I thought the CTS was going to be the prize for the door prize drawing! ( We did have a great laugh on that one.)

(Oh, I am also only 5 clients ($100 purchases) away from the customer count challenge too, how are you doing on the Customers Count Challenge?? My goal was to have the 36 and prove I could do it legitamatelly. (Can't expect my unit to do it if I don't do it myself)

Well it has been a long weekend and I am starting to get tired, I am going to try and do a first open house in the city that is about 15 miles from me on just Sunday next weekend because I just got invited to display at a winter exravaganzza on Saturday. (I am sure I will be picking up a few new leads, but my big focus at that event is going to be to book events like Holiday Coffees & Shopping, etc..

I am pumped, this is such a wonderful time of year.

Don't miss these opportunites to really let your clients see all your products.

(and I guess there are still a few people who want to buy Mary Kay!!)

I can't wait to see what my total sales are for December, I had sales before the opne house ( dynamite open house sales) and the rest of the month to keep selling!

Make sure you start thinking about your next open house. If you can't do it with your director or she doesn't do them, you may want to get a couple of consutants to join you and work together.

Make sure you report back on any open house you do and let us know how you made out!!


  1. WOW!!! This is fantastic MK4Me! Great info and results ;) Makes me want to find a venue I can use next year!

  2. Hey, this is Miranda. Blogger forgot who I was. :/

    Do you have good luck with bath and body stuff this time of year? When I was in MK they had some really good smelling lotion, body wash, and scrub. I ordered a lot because I thought it would go fast. I was mistaken, don't know why, and ended up using it myself all year long. I was like "here you guys, smell this, it rocks" and everyone thought it smelled good and then no one bought it. I'm still scratching my head over that.

  3. I sold ALOT of the Glistening Winterberry and the Creamy Frosted Vanilla. First, the scent is really lite, second one gets, a body butter, shower gel and body mist, and at 3.0 ounces, that makes them airline friendly. I took them out of their mesh bag, folded the bag and stuck it under the products because I had found the cutest basket that had a snowman, santa, reindeer, or penguin on the basket. (Perfect fit) and put them in a clear cello bag. With 10% discount they had a 3 piece gift for less than $25.

    I also had several sets of the lotus and bamboo and red tea and fig that I had packaged in different memory boxes with a bath sponge.

    The other thing that I couldn't keep on the table was the "gas gloves" - just those stretchy little gloves you can get at Walmart. I set one on top of the other and then slide a hand cream in the top glove. I put a cello Christmas gift bag under the bottom glove and then I pull a scrunge of the packaged to keep it all together with a little tag explaining what "gas gloves" are. A gift for under $10! and on the back side of the tag, I stick the gift labels with the to: / from: tag. I need to be more gloves before next weekend.

    I found the gloves for $.70 each.

    My coffee or cocoas with cream, sold well to but the gas gloves were a bigger hit, maybe because they were new this year, many of my clients have been with me for lots of years.

    I am usually pretty good about ordering and knowing what will and won't sell, but I sure as heck wish the Company would bring back Pure Bliss, I loved that scent and I sold a ton of it, and boom it was gone and we kept the Stress free, revitalizing, sea level, etc... uggg... I still love that scent!!

    And the phone is still ringing with call that say,"oh, I am so sorry I missed your open house, I really wanted to attend, is it too late to place an order, and my answer is, no of course not,so I expect the totals to continue to rise in the next couple of days and my January is getting pretty booked up already.

    (Small note - at the open house we are already talking about next years open house, and how in the world am I going to get it any better? - my clients already know - it will be the first weekend in December, I have used this weekend for years, for me I find any earlier, many aren't yet in the "gift giving" shopping mood yet, and any later, many have already finished. So it goes with out saying - I could not send out invitations and I still think I would have a good turn out. And I use the same place every year. So thinks stay very comfortable and familiar to everyone.

    Now my other three during the year may vary in which weekend I do, but I always do one in March, one in June, one in September, and one in December. This schedule goes along with launching the new products and also (if I haven't held back quite enough for my quarterly taxes, I have a little extra to play with to get that paid. It truly helps me make sure I provide great customer service to all my clients because this give me the ability to see alot of people in a short concentrated period of time instead of trying to run around to 50 or so individual appointments or deliveries. It also reduces the amount of money that must be spent in postage or gas for deliveries.
    This also gives me more free time to continue to build my customer base and still provide great service to everyone.

    Last chuckle, over the last few open houses when a client is picking up some of her goodies, her hands can get too full and she starts juggling, I have often given them a MK bag and said, here it will make things easier, we will just unpack it and repack it when you step out, and of course we started joking about the idea that I should have those little baskets like you can get at Walmart if you don't quite need a cart. We have joked about this alot, well the other day when I was at the Dollar store didn't they have these baskets, just like the one you would see in a department store (just a little smaller and PINK), hahaha, for $1. I grabbed for of them a placed them on the registration table. The laughs I got from having them was the best.. until the four were in use and I was told you better hope the Dollar store has some more so you can have more of these at your next open house.

    Keeping things fun, is truly the key. (Oh one last fun thing, I do have a "special" table that is at 30% off, it is anything I want gone, limited edition left overs, discontinued products that is always availabe if they purchase any regular product) but when I had too many people at one time and I was freaking because I hate to make people wait, we have a blue light special!! (Remember Kmart use to do them... and announce that for the next 30 minutes the bargain table will be 50% of instead of 30%... it gives everyone something fun and exciting to do until I can get everyone on their way in a timely manner. (Now I don't suggest making a habit of selling at 50% but this is stuff that if I move, I have the cash flow that I can them turn around an buy an item that then I can sell at full price.) And please tell me any woman that doesn't love a great bargain! - I don't know about others but these type of items don't take away from my skincare, color sales, they are in addition to it.

    Most of my clients walk in with a list and say, ok, this is what I NEED, now I am going to go get what I want! :)

    Love, love, love open houses, but don't ever give up after just your first or second one. I also always talk about them, at every facial, every class, and any other chance I get.

  4. same here! I wish they would bring back the revitalizing scent. The lotion smelled so good!

  5. I'm a new consultant and so excited to get my business up and running! Thanks for all the excellent tips. The gas gloves idea is awesome.

  6. I love the gas gloves idea also... however where I live, it hasn't sold well ;) I guess you have to live in a colder climate. Even though it is cold to me~~~no one seems to want to wear gloves around here ;)

  7. I never thought of it but yup, I guess I could see where the gas gloves wouldn't be quite as popular in warmer parts but you could put a spin on it and maybe do gardening gloves with the handcream and maybe a pack of seeds of something like that. :)

    Also I get cute mugs and put in a hand cream with a flavored coffee or cocoa and put a little gift tag on on it saying take a few minutes for yourself and have a coffee on me! (Coffee and Cream) (hand cream)

    Still great gifts for under $10!

    ADRIAN C!!

  8. The garden gloves do go over a bit better around here~~ I just wanted to try something different at the homeschool boutique I participate in (don't do an open house for a lot of reasons). The coffee and creams for some reason didn't sell this year~~maybe because everyone has tons of mugs ;) I found the foot cream in snuggle socks went better than most things this time:)

  9. Was Pure Bliss the pink one? I can't remember any more. There was a pink one that smelled like candy and an orange one that smelled like citrus. And maybe there was a purple one too or maybe my mind is going. I can't remember! This was pre 9-11 and the bottles were um...I wanna say like 14 oz? Maybe if it had also come in smaller (hence less expensive) sizes. I bought like 10 of these things and thought they would go fast. They all ended up on me...good thing I liked the scent.

    I used to buy clear shrink wrap at Michael's. You blast it with a hair dryer, it shrinks around the stuff inside, then you tie the top with a ribbon.

  10. Good memory Miranda

    Green = stress free
    Orange = revitalizing
    Blue = Sea level
    Purple = relaxing
    (more like a vanilla undertone than candy but that was the one)

  11. Last note, everyone please forgive my awful typing, guess I really should proof more and not be talking on the phone and typing at the same time!!

    Update 5 orders called in and 2 email from clients that were out of town over the weekend!!

    Yippee, I will tell you what, I don't care how long I have been in this business, I can still get excited when the sales are huge! And it has just been so much fun.


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