Let’s face it, direct sales and network marketing get a bad rap. Every other day there seems to be some new Facebook post, video or news article making fun of how we prey on our friends or spam innocent people. Frankly, I’m tired of it. We’re not bad people. We’re just trying to bring in a little money for our families, and hopefully, have some fun while doing it. But did you ever wonder WHY we are a constant target for jokes? Did you ever think some of it is true? Buckle up because I’m about to drop some truth-bombs about what you might be doing to cause this reaction, and some tips on how to stay classy.
The long lost friend
So you’ve started your business and your SUPER excited! The first thing you do is message all 500 of your facebook friends, including your 2nd grade bus-mate who you’ve barely spoken to in 20 years, right? WRONG. If you don’t interact with friends (on facebook or real life) regularly, don’t call them out of the blue to try your new hair and teeth whitening gel. If you want your friends to care about your life (and business), you need to care about theirs. Talk with them, interact. WITHOUT SELLING SOMETHING. If you have genuine interaction and a real relationship, they will be more open to talking with you about your business. They won’t feel like you only contacted them to sell them something. This isn’t about you.
The Referral Tag
Oh, happy day! One of your friends/neighbors/customers tagged you in a group when someone was asking about your product. This is awesome! It means you are doing a good enough job that people are referring you! You roll up on the post and notice that 3 other local reps have offered their services before you got there. Now, pop quiz: Do you
a) COMMENT IN ALL CAPS WHY YOU ARE THE BEST REP AROUND!!
b) Bypass the comments and directly message the original poster telling her why you are the best and she should shop from you.
c) Comment with a thank you to your tagger, and gracefully state that several other people have already been tagged, but you’re available if she needs assistance.
Do you need me to answer this?? When you try to talk down or talk over others, you look desperate. No one wants to shop with a desperate person. People are less likely to believe someone they perceive as desperate. They worry that you will do anything to make a sale, including being dishonest, and other unclassy things. Repeat after me: THERE ARE ENOUGH CUSTOMERS FOR EVERYONE.
The Opinion Post
Someone online or in real life asks for opinions on a product. This might be similar to something you sell, but they asked about that specific brand. Do you:
a) Tell them the other brand is garbage, and list all the reasons why, or
b) Shut your mouth until someone asks you a question specifically?
c) Tell them you can’t really compare Brand Yellow to your brand. But you do know all the benefits of your brand if they are interested.
This is a trick question because you can be classy with B or C. Criticizing another brand makes you look desperate. If you can’t remember what I said about looking desperate, it’s directly above this. You will never make yourself look better by trying to tear others down and in the end, we’re all in the DS family. We need to elevate each other. Even if you lose one customer to another brand by being classy, I guarantee you that you will have made a good enough impression to get 3 more.
The Fear Campaign
You’ve just started selling the next great thing, reusable silicone ear swabs! They’re amazing and good for the environment! How are you going to market this miracle product? You could:
a) Contact everyone you know en masse and let them know that they are killing our planet with their traditional ear swabs. Don’t they want a future for their kids? WILL SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN????? or
b) sell your products based on their awesome merits. Did you know that one swab will last you 10 years? Think of the money you’ll save! Oh, and by the way, our Sili-Swabs (patent pending by LipGlossSlinger) take up zero room in landfills! Isn’t that amazing?
The fear campaign is closely tied with criticizing another brand. Don’t sell me on why one brand is bad, sell me on why yours is good. Trash talking is super unclassy.
Some quick tips on how to always stay classy in your DS/NM biz:
- Make friends with other business people and refer them! Studies have shown that people, especially millennials value personal referrals over slick marketing any day of the week.
- No trash talking. Remember what Thumper’s mom said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nuthin at all.”
- Celebrate your friends wins, even if they are your direct competition. They were your friends before selling ear swabs, and you want to stay friends after.
- Have an abundance mentality. Some days it might seem like your market is over-saturated, but there are literally millions of people around. Some have not even heard of your brand. You just need to expand your market and mindset to find them.
- Remember the golden rule always. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Want more direct sales tips and tricks? I have a whole board FULL of them! I also wrote a super classy post about hanging out in facebook groups, and one about the do’s and don’ts of social media. All of these resources are yours for the low, low cost of NOTHING! They’re free because I love my DS family and want to see them be successful!
Stay classy fam!