I have been in your shoes. For many of you, in fact, I can honestly say I am currently walking a very similar path! But, direct sales friends, here's the deal: we can do better!
I get it. Direct sales is HARD. It takes strength & courage we didn't even know we had & requires us to learn & grow. We set ourselves up for rejection & perceived failure every single day! I know how embarrassing that can be… & how anxious you can get trying to reach a goal or just prove to everyone around you that your decision to start your little business wasn't a huge mistake.
The problem is that so many of us are doing the same things, day in & day out, expecting (or hoping for) some major success story, but, really, our friends, particularly online, are fed up. They don't want to be sold to. People, conveniently, don't respond to your messages &, even if they just commented on a post about your cute daughter or your dinner from last night, they “happen” to not see your extremely promotional post about whatever special your company has going on that they just MUST see…
Can you blame them?
Would YOU want YOUR Facebook news feed to be taken over with sales pitches for products you don't even know & have NO interest in trying? I would wager to guess that the answer is no… Yet, here we are, having this uncomfortable conversation…
And, what about your Facebook “VIP” group? Did you go through & “invite” everyone you know to join it? Uh. No. You kinda didn't. Facebook groups aren't set up for “invites;” they are set up to dump your “invitee” into the group instead. Then, your posts just start showing up in their news feed & they get notifications for this group they didn't even opt-in for.
Basically, you kidnapped all of your friends. It is no different from someone walking along on the sidewalk somewhere in your neighborhood & you running out & GRABBING them & depositing them into your living room because whatever party you had going on didn't have enough guests.
Exactly. Yet, here we are, having this awkward conversation…
WHY? Why do we do this?
There is NO need! Just don't! I don't know where this started. Maybe, at one point in the past, it was socially acceptable. But the fact of the matter is YOU ARE RUDE. You are. I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but what you've been doing is plain out disrespectful.
I get it. I do. Maybe you had no idea what you have been doing is as obnoxious as it is. But, now you do. So…
What are you going to do about it?
Change is hard. It's can be a long process, but it can also start NOW with one small step: The commitment to doing things BETTER. Direct sales is about RELATIONSHIPS: finding them, making them, & growing them — between you & others AND between other people entirely. It is about getting to know people & finding out what their needs are & helping to fill them. Direct sales is about networking & making friends & SERVING people.
No. “Serving” people does not mean that you give & give & give until you are bled dry. However, it does mean you should be GIVING. Give of yourself; give value.
What about, instead of SELLING, we shifted our focus to SHARING?
What if we shared our lives, how we use/style/maintain products we love, what joy we get from doing what our business allows us to do, & what obstacles we have recently overcome — & WHY?
What if, instead of plastering sales all over the Internet, we shared our happiness & our triumphs — & even our set-backs & frustrations — with our family & friends? Isn't THAT more in line with what WE would want to see our loved ones sharing on social media?
There are ways to share our businesses with our friends & family in ways that aren't spammy & annoying.
… & when we do that, don't you think, since they ARE our loved ones & DO care about us, they will be more likely to want to support you & route for your success?
I am not saying NOT to share sales; I am just saying for every sales post you slap up, there should be FOUR other posts that are purely YOU or purely a tutorial or offering some other VALUE to others.
Don't take advantage of the people who want to see you succeed.
Just because they don't buy from you regularly — or AT ALL — doesn't mean your friends & family do not want to support you. Let them support you by liking or reacting to your posts where you SHARE your life. Their likes & comments help your posts be seen in other people's feeds. Don't alienate those who WANT to help you out just because how they choose to help & interact isn't by taking out their wallet. You never know who WILL want to know more about a special going on or how to learn more or purchase from you.
On that note, don't make it hard for people who DO want to buy from you to do so.
Do ALL of your social media profiles have a link to your replicated site or your Facebook community? Do you have a blog or mailing list that people might want to know about? Where do you want people to go — IF they are interested in going there? How are you making it easy for them to seek those places out? Are your profiles complete? Make it a cinch for people to go get the information they want when they feel inspired to do so.
If you're not used to working your business online in this way, even considering doing things differently can be mind-boggling. Direct sales & network marketing doesn't have to be so excruciating, though! There are SO MANY positive things that can come from being an entrepreneur in this way — but you have to be WILLING to change how you think about your business — & WILLING to shake things up!
It's all about mindset, direct sales friends.
Change how you think & how you are looking at what's in front of you. Seriously. It might not happen overnight. (I am still working on it & probably always will.) But, you can catch yourself about to do something old school & totally spammy — & decide to change it up & SHARE the emotion or the value behind the situation instead. It's all about how you make people feel & the thoughts you evoke in them.
So, what are YOU going to strive to do different with YOUR business now that you know better?