Marketing Through Home Parties Take the low-tech, high-touch route to network marketing with these tips for throwing successful home product parties.

By Rod Nichols

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Tupperware, Avon, Pampered Chef and Mary Kay have used home parties to build large, lucrative companies, but what about your business? Could you also market through home parties? Depending on your product, it just might be the best way to build your business.

Most network marketers are focused on getting new business online, but home parties will move you from high-tech to high-touch. It's an opportunity to see, touch and try the products, ask questions and receive immediate answers, and hear others' opinions.

So are home parties right for your network marketing business? First, you need to determine whether your business is suited for them. Do you have a product that can be sampled or demonstrated? Second, are you the type of person who likes to entertain? Third, do you have a home that'll comfortably seat a group of five to 20 people? If you answered yes to these questions, home parties could work for you.

Your first step in setting up a party is to set a date and start inviting your friends. To make sure you'll have a good turnout, follow these guidelines:

  • Invite 50 percent more people than you'd like to attend, since people will cancel or not show up.
  • Combine a written invitation with a follow-up phone call.
  • Tell those invited it's a private invitation and there are a limited number of spots.
  • Request that they give you at least 24 hours notice of cancellation, so you can place someone else in their spot.
  • Make the party sound fun.
  • Let them know there'll be free gifts, prizes and special pricing on products.

Besides good attendance, preparation is key for home party success. Start by determining which products you're going to show at the party and make sure you have plenty on hand to fill immediate orders. Create three product packages that escalate in value. Most people will pick the middle package. Make an order form that has those packages with discounted pricing only available at the home party.

Once you have your product lineup set, think up a couple of contests. One good idea is to ask your guests questions based on what you've taught them about your products, and the first person to get the right answer will receive a small prize. But don't be stingy with freebies--make sure everyone who attends walks away with a free sample, catalog and any other literature you want them to have. All handouts should have a label with your contact information, including name, phone number, e-mail and website.

When the day of your party finally arrives, keep these tips in mind for making it a success:

  • Start and end on time.
  • Have pleasant music playing in the background (preferably instrumental only).
  • Offer beverages--water, tea and coffee--and consider putting out some light snacks.
  • Keep things moving at all times.
  • Make it exciting and fun.
  • Explain your products without using jargon.
  • Let your guests know how the product will benefit them.
  • If possible, make sure everyone has hands-on time with your products.
  • Field questions as you go, but keep your answers brief.
  • Tell guests about the packages and the savings they'll get if they purchase at the party.
  • Make buying easy for your guests by offering multiple payment options.
  • Mention to guests that if they become distributors, they can save on their purchases and make money in the future.
  • Secure a host for the next home party and offer incentives for hosting.

If you focus not just on retailing products but also on finding distributors to join your team, your organization will build quickly as each new person brings their friends to their own home parties.

Rod Nichols has been involved in the network marketing industry since 1979 as a consultant, trainer and author. His articles, bi-monthly newsletter and books can be found at his website,

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