Kat was pontificating, earlier this week, about the misery of being a direct sales hostess without attendees. Boy, have I been there. I've also been on the side of a consultant who shows up for no attendees, and that's no fun either.
Let me begin by saying that I have sold for 6 different direct sales companies over the last 11 years. I know, I'm nuts. I've been mildly successful in some endeavors and REALLY successful in one venture, but boy have I got some stories from each one. The good, the bad and the REALLY ugly.
Today's story will be about my venture into the world of cooking with Pampered Chef. PC was the 3rd company that I signed with. My reason for joining? I love Disney World. My upline told me about the fabulous vacation to Disney World that PC paid for, so like the sucker that I am whenever Disney is mentioned, I asked "where do I sign?" Forget the fact that I already owned pretty much EVERYTHING in the catalog. I didn't have the cookware and I didn't want to pay full price for it. Problem solved, right?
I suckered a good friend into hosting my very first show for me. We talked about which 2 recipes she wanted me to demonstrate and we decided on Skillet Chocolate Cake and Shrimp Wonton Cups. So, I gave her the shopping list and arrived at her house for the show a week later. She had all the ingredients laid out for me, which I set on my card table. Yes, I was wielding kitchen tools on a card table. I like to live dangerously.
Her guests sat down and I dazzled them with my witty kitchen banter. I explained what we would be cooking tonight and set out to make the Shrimp Wonton Cups first. And then I set out to work my culinary magic. That is until I realized that my hostess hadn't bothered to purchase the wonton wrappers I needed for the Shrimp WONTON cups. Completely mortified and panicking, I asked my hostess about this minor little detail. She turned beet red and confessed that she had forgotten and was going to get them right now. And she left. Yes, here I was standing in the middle of her living room with a bunch of people I didn't know, while she ran to the grocery store (for 40 minutes) to purchase wonton wrappers. In that time, I whipped up the chocolate cake, baked it and was serving it, when she returned.
The show took way longer that a normal show should, but the guests were thankfully sympathetic to the blathering idiot that I became once our hostess left. Sales were decent, but (not surprisingly) no one booked a show. After that performance, I wouldn't have invited me to my home either.
Upon telling my upline about my show woes, she told me a story that made me feel so much better. She once had a hostess who wanted to make a chicken dish of some sort. Instead of providing chicken breasts or tenders (or even canned chicken) for her consultant, she purchased a whole chicken. So, my upline had to completely dismember, debone, and boil a chicken while the guests watched. After that, she insisted on providing the ingredients herself. I can't blame her.
Join me next time for Tales from Direct Sales - The Candle Company edition.
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