Double Booking

Do you double book? I have to admit, I don’t, but I need to start. Tonight at meeting I asked my adopted director the “rules” on “dovetailing”. “Dovetailing” is when you and a fellow consultant double book and if two bookings (must be parties mind you) happen to hold on the same night and time, VIOLA! You call your partner and see if they can cover. I now have 3 of these partners, just in case because they do book their own parties and may have a booking themselves on the night in question.

We all know that in order to hold the 3 suggested appointments per week, we need to book 9. This is where double booking comes in! We can book all 9 on 3 or 4 evenings and still only hold 3 on average. Will you have weeks where all will hold? Not likely, but it could happen. This is where the dovetailing comes in.

The Rules on Dovetailing
Q: So if you get your partner to cover for you, how do you split up the profits and bookings?

A: The person who books the class gets 20% of the profits from that class. They also get to keep the hostess as their personal customer to book for an interview, etc.

The person who holds the class gets the rest of the profits, any additional bookings, and any faces that are not already your customers are now her customers. This is only fair since she is providing hostess credit and prizes at the booking, plus covering your butt!

A few tips:
–> Get a few people who can cover for you so if the one partner cannot do it, you can call another.

–> Pick people who are reliable to dovetail with. I picked a director and two consultants who are at meeting almost every week. This tells me that they can be counted upon and will be good people to send in my place.

–> Pick people who have a good MK image. You don’t want to send some person who wears flip flops in your place, or someone who has bad hygiene. Not to be rude, but for real. Who do you want your customers to associate with you? Probably someone like you. Your hostess likes you, so she will most likely identify with someone similar to you.

–> Try it before you knock it! My director says dovetailing is a great idea, but most of the time at least one or sometimes both parties end up rescheduling or cancelling. But it is nice to have that partner there to back you up. Plus, if your partner has trouble getting many bookings, she will most likely be very thankful that you are offering her some new customers, sales, and bookings.

So here goes nothing, double booking here I come! Do you dovetail or double book? How has it worked for you?



Filed under Booking, Consultant idea swap, Customer Service, Day to Day MK, Direct Sales, FAQ's, MK Lingo, Real life answers

27 responses to “Double Booking

  1. Well, to answer your questions, I have not double booked. In the past I’ve worked extremely part time and just didn’t really have more than a class or two booked each month. With my new power start goal, I have every intention of double booking as needed and dovetailing. My director dovetailed a class to me earlier this year, however, the class wound up rescheduling.

  2. colleen

    Unfortunately double-booking and dovetailing was something that was talked about 10 years ago and before a lot in the company. They need to bring it back and talk about it again.

  3. Judi Vice

    I have a question. I bought my starter kit a couple of years ago. Quit my job. I just knew I could make it in this business. But I had the HARDEST time just getting anyone to book, much less buy enough to make it worth my time. My director hasn’t been much help. Maybe I got a bad one. But if anyone has any REAL suggestions that really do work, please let me in on it. I went to unit meetings regularly for a year, even though they were 30 miles away, and really didn’t learn a thing. We sang and danced and praised someone for a large order, but not many had succeess in selling. At least not more than once in a blue moon. Not being “negative”, just would really like to know how this business works. I’ve done fishbowls, referrals, warm chattering, etc. I have tried it ALL. What works??

  4. Well, Judi, what works for one person may not work for another. Personally, I have not had the best results from fishbowls so I don’t do them very often. I also don’t enjoy approaching complete strangers. I talk to people I work with and tell them that I am a MK consultant. Most people give me a positive response. I’ve been a consultant for over 4 years now. I’ve worked it very part time until recently. Now I’m picking it up more. I’ve learned that I need to stay in contact with the people who do order from me to keep them loyal and that I always need to talk to new people to be prepared for when life happens.

    I have a goal right now to do a Power Start. I’ve never done one. So, whenever I see people I know, they ask if I’m still in Mary Kay (if I haven’t seen them in awhile) and I say yes. I tell everyone my goal. I say I need to do 30 faces by Thanksgiving. They really do want to help–and by hosting classes they get a discount in return. It’s win win.

    If you’ve tried it all and aren’t getting the results you want; you may need to ask yourself some questions such as:

    Where are my fishbowls being placed? Are they frequented by established women or college students and teens? *I include the statement: “Must Be At Least 18 To Enter.” on my signs.

    Who am I talking to? You may need to change who you’re approaching. I don’t typically approach strangers, but once in awhile, I might engage in conversation with, say, the bank teller. And she may notice my pin. I will tell he what I do and see what her reaction is when I mention MK. If she says she’s never tried it, I ask her if she would like to. It’s pretty straightforward. No games. I work in an office and many of the women here care about their skin and appearance.

    What am I saying to people? What you say and how you say it can have an impact on how people will respond. You may want to change your dialogue. Avoid questions like, “would you be interested in a makevoer?” or “do you still want to hold your appointment with me?”
    I used to sabotage myself like that. I now assume the appointment and assume the sale. When I talk to someone about my business and they are asking questions about skin care and the products, I say something like this, “You seem to have a lot of questions about the products. Why don’t we get together sometime so you can try some products for yourself?” Most people I’ve talked to like this idea and agree to it. If they don’t want to get together, they will tell me and I’ll ask if it’s bad timing or do they never want to get together. Usually, it’s a timing issue.

    I would start with those concepts for now. As for meetings. If you aren’t satisfied with your meeting, don’t drive 30 miles to it. I used to live about 25 miles from my director. I made the drive because I really benefitted from the meetings. If the meetings you’re going to aren’t doing it for you, go somewhere else. Ask your director to find another director closer to your area. You can find an adopted unit to meet with and you may enjoy it more. Also, if it’s closer to you, you will most likely be able to find guests who can attend with you–making it even more worthwhile.

    So, to recap, the results we see will vary from person to person. If you find you’re trying everything and nothing’s working, start by evaluating yourself and your activity. Think about things like dialogue, appearance, and who you are actually approaching. Usually, you will find there are things you can change to get the results you want. 😉

  5. Oh–just as an aside, I don’t know if the examples I’ve given are actually what you are doing, Judi, but I just wanted to illustrate that sometimes we just have to adjust our activity and see what works. Trial and error on many different levels.

  6. Judi: I work off referrals. If you get ONE party with a hostess and 3 guests, you can get up to 60-70 referrals to call. E-mail me and we can talk more about this….

  7. Judi Vice

    I have done referrals. I had 12 out of 76 people invited to my grand opening actually come. I got a bunch of referrals, but when it came down to only a few actually booked. And then very few people showed up to those bookings. It was a lot of work for very little money once I counted the cost. I did everything by the book. I called all of the people that would be there and profiled them. I made personal gifts for the hostesses hoping that the others would want to host also. But I just didn’t sell enough to warrant all the time I spent. It averaged out to less than minimun wage. I figured it was just me but when I questioned others I found it to be the same for them. No one except my director was making any real money. And she wouldn’t back up her statements with any real proof. All we had was her word that she was making a great income. I did see a love check for over $3000 but that was before taxes, charge backs, gas, all the costs of business. And that was for a month. I do not call that a great income. You can make that working 40 hours a week, during the day with nights off to be with you family. I would just like some real advice. I got tired of the hoopla and the encouragement. I want tried and true. I want to know exactly what these women did to make money at this business. I don’t want inspiration. I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror and tell my self how wonderful I am and how well I will do. I know all that already. I want to know how to work this business without recruiting. Just selling. Can it be done???

  8. YES! It can be done. So did you book 3 times the appts you wanted to hold? If you book 3 only one will hold, 6- 2 will hold, 9- 3 will hold, etc. Work the numbers. Doing more activity in a shorter time frame will up your averages.

    Can I ask you this….how did you do your classes/parties? Did you do the individual closes? Did you really romance the products or just tell about them? As Lisa Madson (NSD) says, you have to make them feel like skin care is so important their face will fall off if they don’t use a skin care line!

    I am not trying to be argumentative, I am really, truly curious. To be honest, there is no “sure fire” way to work. Try different things until you DO see the results you want. Some things that do help me book: Don’t use the words– facial, party, or class. I only say “Try a few things when we get together with at least 3 of your friends.” This has helped me tremendously.

    Don’t be afraid to meet new people. Whether you warm chatter, use fishbowls, referrals, booth events…meeting new people is the key to success. If you are not scared to do that, you can do just fine.

    I have one more question, and you don’t have to answer but think it over. Is your appearance such that people would want to buy from you? Do you dress professionally, nice hygiene, cute hair, use the MK color looks? All this will add to your sales and bookings. People love to be around attractive, friendly people. This does NOT mean you have to be a model, just look your personal best. Then people will want your advice on skin care and makeup, and you will feel more confident.

    Last thing, going to meeting does nothing but give you recognition and a place to bring guests, with occaisional sales ideas. I would use it as a place to book several ladies to facial at one time (if you do facials for guests at your meeting) or else just book and don’t go to meeting. Going to meeting is NOT going to make you instantly successful. The only things that will are selling, booking and recruiting. You may not want to recruit now because your experience has not been the best. But once you make a few changes and see some results, you may want to share this opportunity with others. But you are right, start with the basics: booking and selling. You can do it. 🙂

  9. Oh man, one MORE thing… did your director suggest you quit your job? The norm is to recommend staying at you job until your income from MK is equal to your job, then quit. Up until then, it is additional income.

  10. Judi Vice

    I have always been very successful at everything I have tried, except MK. I do dress well, hair cuts frequently. I am petite so appearance comes easy for me. And I absolutely ADORE skin care and cosmetics. I was very excited to do this full time. And I did find things that worked for me. It just seemed like soooo much time and effort for so little reward.

    If you use the numbers that MK tells us: book 3 and 1 will hold, etc. you put so much time and effort into it. And then only 1/3 of it pans out. And then there is no guarantee that you will make any money. And the money I did make did not make it worth my while, only when I recruited. I just thought maybe someone here would have some new ideas. I have been all over the web trying to find some tried and try ideas. I want this business to work. I just don’t see it working and paying for itself. My time is worth more than I’ve made so far in this business.

    I’ve done so much. I have tried so many different types of people, too. I really researched it. I have a background in psychology and it came in handy but I did feel a bit dishonest. Like I was preying on someone.

    I will continue to check back here for any further suggestions as well as other sites on the web. Thanks for all your time. I appreciate it.

  11. Judi Vice

    My director did not tell me to quit my job. I was going to quit anyway but had never been without a job so I wanted to do something. I thought this was it. I am married and have 2 children so my plan was always to quit working and be home with them. I like to work, though, and this type of job would allow me to be with my kids and work.

    My director nearly died when I told her I was going to quit my job. Then she got excited because she thought I would do well with it. I was told that MK sells itself. And it does. Once you get it in front of someone. It’s the getting it in front of someone that is the hard part.

  12. Judi: Ok, booking 3 instead of 1 only takes about 10 more phone calls, most of which will get no answer. How is this “so much more work”? Perhaps, dispite your love of skin care and color cosmetics, this may not be for you. Every class will NOT be good. It is on average. Did you really work 40+ hours a week and make less than minimum wage? I have never worked more than about 10-15 even with holding 3 classes. It takes 2 hours per class = 6 hours. Checking fishbowl = 30 min per week. Making calls= 4 hours a week at most. Meeting= 2 hours. This is still only 12.5 hours!

    If you are doing more, what is it that you are doing that takes up so much time? Perhaps the real issue is that you need to learn some closing techniques like the rollup bag table close that will help you sell more.

  13. If the booking is your only obstacle, I can tell you what I do with my referrals and fishbowl names to book. I have about 10 on my books right now, all hostess + 3 guests. And I still have more referrals to call and book.

  14. One more thing…the only way selling this is dishonest is if you do not like the product. Sometimes people do need a bit of a carrot dangled in front of them to help them decide to either pamper themselves, buy something for themselves, or get started with their business. All of these things can be a bit scary for the customer at times. I don’t think explaining how each one benefits them makes us dishonest though.

  15. Thanks so much, mkrules! I wasn’t even the one you were talking to, but I learned a lot from your postings! Or maybe was just reminded of a lot that I already knew. 😉 But either way, thank you so much!!!

  16. BeePink

    Hi, I always love reading this site, but dont always post. It seems like you are all sisters whom I am connected too and I always look forward to check in the evening to see whats new. Umm I was thinking although we all know what we need to be doing it seems like you are actually consistent with your business, and you do have fishbowls out and are booking from them, maybe you can give us all a refresher on your techniques in approaching clients, asking for the sale, actual things you are doing for your business. I know a lot of it are ideas and things we all know, but I know I would love to hear it again, also I know you have a zillion things going on but maybe you can do something like a lesson plan for us, on a weekly basis, or working the business parttime etc.
    I know its not real fair to ask you to do that because you have your stuff, but you seem to making your way in this business.

    Also I just wanted to add for whatever its worth,m that I get leads by warm chattering but getting them to hold can be a challenge. Also I really would love to get people to go to my site and order so even if they dont want to do classes they can still order, but what works to get people to go the website. I have handed out coupouns before before but they have never really worked.
    I have a real busy houselife, and right now i will be happy working this business one day a week, and I want to have 100 basic,solid customers.
    I am going to be working my first booth event, I hope that will get me some leads.

    Look forward to hearing your response. I can see you as a director already because you are already leading us all.

  17. Dara- 1 IPA

    I just want o pipe in here to mention something about the need to book at least three appts in order to hold 1.

    Judy, every reservation or appointment based business has a postponement/cancellation rate that is specific to their industry. It is the reason that Airlines overbook, Dr.’s offices oversechedule and even resturants overbook.

    I talked to a friend who is the scheduling receptionist for a Dentist and she says that about 20% of their appts reschedule or cancel on a given day. They know this and so they book appts accordingly. In our industry we are not dealing with a medical problem, so women view it was JUST MAKEUP and so feel freer to postpone, cancel or sometimes just not show up. This means that as professionals we know that we HAVE TO overbook and we HAVE TO Coach. To do less sets us up for frustration and disappointment

    Yes, it is more work but that is the reality of the Direct Sales/Home Party business and it’s not just specific to MK. As MKRules’s mentor Rena Tarbet says “These are the laws of the jungle”.

    One more thing, you mentioned that you have been searching the Web for ideas. That might be part of the problem. Information overload. We try an idea and never give it enough time to work the kinks out and make it own own , we try it a couiple of times, feel that it doesn’t work and then before you know it we are on to the next one.

    The rule of thumb that I’ve always heard is to try and idea 21- 25 times before you conclude that it’s not working and move on to something else.

  18. BeePink: I will do that…make us more challenges and focus on some basics of the business. I’m glad it was a good refresher for you!

    Judy, I know you can make this business work, but you will have to put in some effort especially if you are needing to get the bookings rolling again from scratch. But it can be done. One thing that helps is to know what your goal is for the business. With you, I believe it is to make money while staying home with your kids. Use this as motivation to make those extra calls to book. Again, YOU CAN DO IT!

  19. I love that Dara mentioned how airlines, doctors, and dentists overbook! I’ve heard several directors say that. It’s so true! It is also an example of follow up. When you go to the doctor or dentist and they schedule your check up appointment, there’s no question about it. You schedule it. Even then, it may reschedule or cancel, but if you approach the check up as a necessary follow up appointment, it will help you to book those second facials.

  20. Dara- 1 IPA

    SOP Great point! And let me tell you what I realized only this week (Duh! 🙂 ) My Dr and Dentist COACH their appts. as well !!!! How? I had an appt this past Weds, so I’ll use that as an example. I first made the appt a month ago at my Drs. office, 1.) They gave me a sheet of paper with the date of new appt., all my vital stats and what I would need for the new appt. 2.) Two weeks ago they mailed me a reminder with directions ( new office location 3.) They sent a computer generated message by email asking me in advance if I had any questions or concerns for my Dr. to address at my appt 4.) The receptionist made a reminder call on Tuesday ( the day before) 4 steps!

    My Dentist’s receptionist does almost the same thing, except she alternates steps 3 & 4.

    This is standard protocol for them, think about how your Dentist or Dr. “coaches” you, they may have a similar process.

    We too have have standard coaching protocol, shouldn’t we treat our businesses with the same care and respect. JAT

  21. Wow, I’m gone for a few days and look at what I miss!

    Judy, you have very interesting questions–and it’s awesome to see that you’re not giving up!

    I’m noticing a common underlying thesis to all of your posts: concerns regarding the sales business. When you mention you put in so much time for what seems like so little return–that’s the joy of working for commission! Ever spend a lot of time at a car dealership? I worked at Ford all through college. The salespeople there would spend DAYS coming to work and not have a sale to show. They’d peruse the lot, talking to people who drove in, they’d be on the phone calling past customers, etc. One guy would go through the car ads in the newspaper and call every single one of them: “I see you’re selling your car in the City News, are you in the market for a newer one?” They’d spend all week with NOTHING, then be busy as heck that Saturday–or not!

    They’d refer to “The Ghost”–and it seems you’re familiar with it! “The Ghost” starts whispering in your ear that you’re a failure and you’ll never make it in sales. It’s the middle of the month and you haven’t sold ONE thing! You’re not going to make your car quota this month (or you’re not going to get enough orders for $200 wholesale to stay A1).

    Commissioned sales is a tough thing. But it can be done. There are lots of ways to get bookings, and there are also ways to figure out where all your money is going!

  22. I’m going to post this here. The newsletter I made for my team this month is about money management, but I might as well share the love! It’s tailored more for my TP company, but y’all get the gist of it!
    Here’s an excerpt:
    Party Totals

    It helps to record your party totals. This also helps tell you what you actually made from your party, once all expenses are accounted for. It also helps give your accountant the “appearance” of being organized at the end of the year when it’s time to do your taxes. Make a separate sheet for each party, and staple all order forms from that party to the back of this sheet.

    First, write down the total amount you received at the party. Just add up all the “Subtotal” lines from everyone’s orders, including the hostess’ order form. This is Line 1.

    Next, add up all of the Shipping you collected. Write it down. This is Line 2.

    Then add up all of the sales tax you collected and write it down. This is Line 3.

    Now, to figure out your Gross Profit, take line 1 and multiply it by 0.50. This is Line 4.

    Now add up and write down your total for Hostess Credit and any other things your customers “won”—Love Loot, $20 referrals, etc). Then take that total times 0.5, because what is written on the order forms is retail value, your cost is ½ of that. This is Line 5.

    Now figure out what your party costs were: TOT packs, catalogs, order forms, pen toppers, etc. A TOT pack is $2.50. Catalogs come to be $0.52 apiece, as are order forms (take $12.50/24). Pen toppers are $0.20 apiece (take $2.40/12). Hostess gift (if you didn’t get a free one from the company) runs $13. Write this total down. This is Line 6.

    Subtract Lines 5 and 6 from Line 4. This is your net profit!

    Let’s look at it this way: You have a party with 10 people there, including the hostess. The party totals $600. Then hostess orders $178 worth of stuff—this is BEFORE any hostess credits are applied.
    Line 1: Total Party Subtotals (incl. Hostess): $778 (added up Subtotal Lines from everyone)
    Line 2: Shipping Collected: $59.50 ($5.95 X 10 guests)
    Line 3: Sales Tax Collected: $64.19 (added up Sales Tax Lines from everyone)
    Line 4: Subtotals times 0.50 (778 x 0.5): $389 (this is your Gross Profit)
    Line 5: Credits $57.50 ($32.50 + $25) (hostess credit $60 (10% of $600), and $5 gift certificate—totals $65) Half of $65 is $32.50. You also had one ½ price item for the hostess at a cost of $25 (regular price is $50). Since this is already ½ off, don’t take any ½ price items by 0.5!
    Line 6: Party Costs: $17.40
    Two TOT packs as game prizes ($5.00), Ten catalogs ($5.20), Ten order forms ($5.20), Ten Pen Toppers ($2.00) No charge for hostess gift, since your party’s order to the company is over $250. Total: $17.40
    Net Profit: $314.10 ($389 – $57.50-$17.40) Not bad for a few hour’s work on a Saturday night!

    If you would like, write down your actual shipping charges (from your Post Office receipt) to compare your actual charges to your collected shipping. This can help you decide if you need to modify what you charge for shipping.

  23. Dara- 1 IPA

    Ah Romance, I sure wish we could post charts on these blogs! You did such a beautiful job but I’m such a right brainer that I can’t figure it out. So I will go through it slowly this time so that I can benefit from your expertise.

  24. Dara- 3 IPA's

    Wowser! I keep forgetting to post my new IPA totals

  25. Three! Whoo Hoo Dara!

    Email me and I can send you the chart if you need help visualizing it!

  26. Dara- 3 IPA's

    Does MKrules have your email addy? If not, hers is She has mine and I’ll ask her to forward it to you. Thanks so much for your help, there’s hope for us right brainers yet 🙂

  27. She should have my addy…MK Rules, as moderator, you see the one I type in when I leave a reply, right?

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