A Fish Doesn’t Jump into the Boat

The scene:

Modest home belonging to one of our Sales Managers in Brick, NJ,  ten rather animated women, all sitting around the kitchen table, exchanging sales tips and offering each other encouragement for their business.

The pain: I asked how their sales were this month, and one paused for a moment, then said:
“I did a fantastic party last week, sold over $1500. But I only have one other party booked, and that’s next month. I feel discouraged, and can’t seem to find new people to book one of my shows.”

“How many people were at the party, how many ordered?” I asked. She replied: “22! Great attendance, great people, but no one booked!”

She was right about the attendance and sales, that’s terrific!
But, I did not agree with her assessment that she could not find new people to book a show! She found new people…what she didn’t find were fish that jumped into her boat!

Sales, and especially home party sales, is all about building relationships. Having 22 people see and be with you for a couple hours during a sales presentation is an incredible way to build a foundation-your relationship building already started! One of the best to continue on the relationship building is to call and/or email once their orders were delivered to make sure they got it, to see if they got it, see it they were happy with it, etc. It’s the perfect opening then to educate them a little more on the product or service (“Did you know you could use that shaving cream also as a moisturizer??) and lay the groundwork for continued dialog. People won’t just see you as a peddler-you are an information giver and you care enough to give good service. Next, get them into your email list, and cultivate them as a customer, with a goal to ‘upgrade’ them to hostess, or even a prospective recruit.

Having a successful business depends on sales, successful sales is about building relationships.
And yes, it’s just like fishing! You know that they just don’t jump into your boat. But with patience and tenacity, pretty soon you will be reeling them in just as often as you can cast out another line.

Keep fishing…pretty soon,  you’re going to get a bite.



  1. This is so true and one of the biggest problems we all suffer from in this business is the feeling of being pushy or ‘calling too much.’ I learned an important lesson from my former manager, she told me that she keeps calling prospects and hostesses until they tell her not to. How perfect is that? If they keep answering the phone, keep asking us to call them back, they must want to hear from us otherwise they wouldn’t keep in contact or ask us to call. So, stop thinking for your customers and give them a call, after all they asked to be contacted…so contact them!

  2. Lyrick,

    Your manager is so right…how many times have I had a call back from one of my vendors or manufacturers after they send me samples. Most of the time, the timing isn’t right–I’m either too distracted to speak at the moment or not ready to contemplate new products. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested…the last one ‘in’ makes the sale.