Three habits that are hurting your direct sales business (and mine).
Ok, I know that this post might hurt some feelings and that some of you will clearly disagree but please read it with an open mind. Feel free to comment with your thoughts as well.
What makes me so smart.
Who do I think I am? Why am I so smart? Well I don’t mean to post this in arrogance or act like some kind of know it all but I have been doing well at direct sales since 2012. I know that many have been doing it longer. I joined Scentsy in 2012 and have earned incentive trips every year since. However, that is not why I do the business. My husband and I thought hard about this and he has been part of the business every step. I don’t like to say that he has been supportive because he is more of a partner. He has worked hard as well. He participates in every aspect of the business except for parties. It was our plan to build the business big enough so that he could quit his job that didn’t fulfill him. Well in 2017, he did and we are loving it.
Sorry, I got sidetracked. Why am I so smart? Well in my experience running my business, I have tried a LOT of strategies and observed others as well. I will concede that some things may work for one person and not for another. However, I’m not making a list of ALL of the things that don’t work for me. This is just a short list of 3 things that I feel will hurt any business. BTW, these are all things that I have observed many times.
Here we go.
Number 1. Bombarding people.
Ok, this is probably the most likely to offend. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend but let me explain. This is almost exclusively on social media. I see some consultants in many direct sales businesses, including Scentsy, constantly trying to sell on social media. I mean constantly. They are always posting about their products.
In my experience this does not help and it alienates you. You might get a few sales but I doubt that you will get many long term customers. I think it hurts your business because people start to ignore you on social media and avoid contact with you. I think it hurts my business because people tend to lump us all together and feel bombarded by any post they see about a direct sales product. Even if I post something once a month, I think people are irritated or just ignore it.
Number 2. Misrepresent.
I don’t see this as much but I do see it. It is usually the same offenders that do it a lot. I’m referring to 2 types of misrepresenting. The product and the opportunity. Mostly the opportunity. Sometimes they do make claims about the product that would be hard to quantify. Usually they are talking about health or weight loss products. I’m not as bothered by this as I am about misrepresenting the opportunity. I know that product claims can vary and are highly based on opinion and that is ok. I really don’t like when people misrepresent the business opportunity.
I’ve seen some ridiculous statements that are quite humerus if you think about it.
“We just had to spend $1200 on car repairs but that’s ok because I have my —– business”, or posts sitting by the pool talking about “my office” and giving the impression that this is so easy and it’s hardly work. You get the idea.
I can tell you that I love my business and the flexibility that it gives me but I definitely have to work, a lot.
I also don’t want to trick people into joining my team by promising they will make a lot of money with little effort or give them false expectations. I invest a lot of time in my down line and I don’t want to waste their time or mine.
Number 3. Quitting.
Ok, this one hurts your business a lot more than it hurts mine. I see a lot of folks start one direct sales business and quit in less than a year. I see it constantly. I think it may have something to do with my second point (above).
I truly believe that most of the well known direct sales businesses provide a legitimate opportunity (of course Scentsy is the best). Check out this post for why Scentsy is so great.
However, you can’t build a good, viable business over night. It takes years. But remember, you don’t have to have a commercial lease or employees. Most opportunities have a very low cost of entry. You don’t have to take on debt to start your business. However, you have to work and invest time.
I see a lot of folks quit one and start another, and another, and another. Guess what, the problem is not with the business opportunity most of the time.
Believe it or not I think this one does hurt my business a little because the general public gets a negative image of direct sales when it sees people quitting and starting all the time.
Actually, this also helps my business when Scentsy consultants quit. I’m not encouraging you to quit but I’ll gladly take care of your customers if you do. I frequently get new customers because their consultant is no longer selling Scentsy. Thank you for that.
So what do we do now?
Well, instead of bombarding people, I have created a Facebook VIP group for my customers. I post about all the good Scentsy deals, promos, products etc. in the VIP group. I almost never post on my personal page. It has been very successful for me. I always ask people if they want to be in the group and they can leave it at any time.
As far as misrepresenting goes. I don’t do it, and never have. My products smell good, they don’t make any other promises and neither do I. I do give my opinion but I’m always clear that everyone has their own opinion. We have over 80 fragrances I don’t like them all and neither will you.
Regarding quitting. Don’t do it. If you do, I’ll gladly take good care of your customers. I think you can really grow your business simply by sticking around and being reliable. Wait for everyone else to quit and you can service the customers. You can also simply be available. There are many active consultants who don’t work their business and their customers become frustrated. It’s easy to stand out if you simply are responsive and reliable.
I know that parts of this post are blunt but I don’t mean any offense and I know that there are lots of ways to be successful in your business but I truly believe that these 3 things are not good for business. Please leave comments with your thoughts.