Bookings – Do you “Push” or Do you “Pull”?

home party sales, Susie Nelson Training

Ready to Attract More Leads?

A few weeks ago I was in an “interesting” discussion about host programs, and how to design them effectively.

To explain this story well – I have to give you some background so you know where I’m coming from…

First of all, when I made the decision to join the home party business many years ago, I became a “sales training junkie.”

I attended Dale Carnegie sales training; I bought every book and every sales training course I could get my hands on.

Literally, my car became my “sales and business education on wheels” because I was constantly listening to courses (and in those days, I spent a lot of time on the road building my business, so that investment in my education really paid off).

Even today, I fail miserably when I’m a member of a book club because, if I have to choose between diving into the latest fiction best-seller, or picking up a book about business strategies, business systems, internet marketing, marketing, sales psychology, or effective selling – I choose the latter.

One look at the bookshelves that line my office and my spare bedroom and you’ll find a treasure trove of great information.

And while many subscribe to “People Magazine” or “Cosmopolitan” – I anxiously wait for my “Entrepreneur” and “Inc” and “Wired” issues to arrive at my doorstep.

Rumor has it that one of Donald Trump’s interview questions is to ask what three books the candidate is currently reading (and I must admit, I have a stack of about 10 on my night stand that I’m currently working on).


You see – I believe booking parties is “selling.”

Keep that in mind as I tell you more of the story…

Contrary to most host programs that I see today, in my former company, I was responsible to pay for my host credits.

That meant I was going to make darn sure that I was getting good value for my investment!

Here’s how it worked:

I received a 40% commission on my sales. But from that 40%, I had to absorb the cost of my host benefits.

The host program was really simple.

Earn 10% of the guest purchases towards your selections. If there was one booking for a future party, the host got an extra 5% (for a total of 15%); and if there were 2 or more bookings (yipppeeee!!) – she got another 5%, for a total of 20% of the guest purchases towards her selections.

When you really crunched the numbers – depending on how much the hostess purchased beyond her host credit, it meant I earned anywhere from 26-29% gross commissions.

Back to the “interesting discussion” about host credits…

(Stick with me here…because it’s an important business lesson…)

Most host programs offer a benefit for the host when others book parties – with the philosophy being that the host will encourage or “push” (my term) others to book so that she can personally benefit.

In my experience, a significant number of those bookings fell through because they didn’t book for their own reasons, they booked for somebody else’s reasons.

That’s where the “booking is selling” comes to play – and this is where you become a booking magnet – “pulling” instead of “pushing.”

When you master the benefits of your host program, and you weave the benefits of booking a party throughout your presentation – all of the key components that are crucial when you understand the “psychology of selling;” suddenly you’ll find you have people who are eager to grab a spot on your calendar.

Your number of postponements or cancellations will become minimal!

And, because their motivation is spot on…your hosts will do a better job as your business partner for the evening…

What do you think?


  1. Oh my gosh Susie, you described my reading and book habits in a nutshell! All except I have never read the magazines. Will have to check them out!
    My question is when you are at a party and are suddenly bombarded with your check out line, and someone books a party, we are drilled over and over to give her a packet and hostess coach, including helping her start on her guest list. I start feeling rushed, behind, and other guests become more antsy as they just want to pay and leave. What are your feelings on handing the packet, setting the date, and let her know you will be calling her at such and such a time to coach her on having an awsome and successful party.?

    • Hi Annette!! Great question!

      I think my first job at the party is to get outstanding customer service to the guests – so in my case, I’d book the date (because in my world a booking isn’t a booking until I have the date on my calendar), give the person a host packet, and schedule a time the next day to call and coach them.

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