Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Why 'Party Plan' is the new black... and it is so definitely back!

I have just re-launched my handbag design business with a new direction... in your own home Party Plan. As soon as I mention the word 'Party Plan', I feel people around me cringe and suddenly switch off listening... images of stacks of Tupperware fill their heads and thoughts of being trapped in a room with someone giving them the 'hard sell' fills them with dread. I must admit I have been to parties just like that, waiting for a timely moment to slip out the door without being pinned to my chair and being lectured about joining the company as a demonstrator, with this incentive or that % of commission. BUT wait, things have certainly changed for this area of retailing especially in the last 2 years.

The Party Plan industry has been re-vamped. Showing that this type of direct sales opportunity is a growth market, with sales between $1bn - $2bn per year, in Australia alone. Proportionally these increases are rivalling those of retail and Internet sales. What has changed? Rather than buy from a faceless big company or a 2D screen, customers are now demanding more of a personal touch when buying their products. It is now being seen as a more convenient and better way of shopping.

Customers are feeling they want more for their money, better customer service and more personalised way of shopping. How more personalised can you get, if a company brings their products to your very own living room and surrounded by your friends you can touch, try out for size and shop in a very relaxed social way.

This is why I chose to go down the Party Plan direction with my business, because not only are the proportionate 'sales to time' ratio greater than I have ever achieved within my business, but it is also beneficial for my business to work at this personal level. I pride myself for actually listening to my customers hearing what features they desire in a handbag, what they like and don't like is very important to me. I don't want to be one of these companies that are so far removed from their clients that they leave them behind and become alienated from them. I like to work with the women who ultimately wear my bags. It keeps me real and down to earth and I design functional and desirable handbags because of it.

The reason why I believe my way of  the 'Party Plan' idea is working, is that I don't need to 'sell' my products at these parties. I display them and they sell themselves - they are such an individual product that the ladies are desperate to have a look at them once they arrive. I work around the party and alongside the hostess, answering any questions, explaining the features and benefits of each style and organising great fun games and prizes. Everyone leaves with something and even if I didn't get any sales I would be happy to have had the valuable customer contact to help me design new and even more desirable ranges. It's a win win situation.

So when someone invites you to a 'Party Plan' party make sure it's a H for Handbag party because we have brought it back with style! www.hforhandbag.com