You have likely been invited to a neighborhood party where someone is selling the latest product. Maybe it’s Tupperware or designer clothing or a health supplement, and maybe it’s a little awkward for you.
Etiquette blogger, Janine Ottley shares some manners to remember whether you are throwing the party or going to it.
We have a unique market in Utah where many women choose to make some extra money or a full time income by working with direct sales companies. This gives them flexible hours, gets the word around quickly (word of mouth), and even helps other moms have some time away from their kids at night- but always remember that time away at night can be stressful on a family.
For the “party thrower”:
Be considerate- some companies that have been around a long time are tried and true- we’ve seen that the products work and most of us have them in our homes. Consider a catalog or internet party instead.
Why choose one company when the more, the merrier? Perhaps (if all parties agree) invite several vendors to your home in an open house type atmosphere where people may come and order at their leisure. We may have the latest cooking gadget, but may need the latest update on an essential oil or a new scent to get our home smelling like the tropics in the dead of winter.
Give your guests the flexibility to come to your home or order directly through the distributor, don’t make it so much about your reward. So many companies offer incentives for the host- there is often a deadline and a dollar amount that goes along with this (and high pressure). Think about your guests, your friends, your family, and helping them to have a pleasant experience; if you put the focus on them and not what free things you’ll be getting, you might be surprised at the good things that will come your way when the focus is off your reward.
For the “party goer”:
Don’t feel pressured to attend every party- or any at all. Personally, especially now that I have teenagers, my time at home during the evening is sacred and there are very few things that can grab me away from my family. If I’m interested in a product- I will ask the hostess for a catalog (or better yet- a website- and order through that medium. My time with my family is precious)
If you go to a party, don’t feel the pressure to keep up with the status quo and perhaps leave your checkbook at home if you can’t afford the products. If this is the party you’ve been waiting for, by all means- spend away. If you can’t afford it but don’t want to be made a fool of, leave your wallet at home and get the sales reps info- they “close” their parties a week or two after the actual event giving you time to think it over. For goodness sakes, even I’m an impulse buyer…no matter what your budget- think: do I really need this?
Make sure you let the hostess know in some way (text, email, phone call) that you will or will not be attending (or at least what your intentions are) so they can give the sales rep the information. It’s important that people can count on us. With family, work, and all of our other obligations and how busy life is- it’s difficult to always be at everything…we can’t do it all; but we can be responsible in letting others know whether or not we will attend their events.
For more etiquette advice, you can visit Janine’s blog, http://thepinkteapot.blogspot.com/