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I was at dinner with some friends a few nights ago, and an interesting topic came up. One friend asked what advice or tip would we give our younger selves if we could. Well, that got my wheels turning as I was laying in bed that night. I don’t sleep well, like ever. My brain has a hard time shutting off, so I replayed that conversation in my head. What would I tell myself? And then that stream of inner-dialogue went to my business. What would I do if I could start over? What tips do I wish I knew before I signed up? Wow. That’s a totally loaded question. That engine in my head just went from a Geo Tracker to a freaking Ferrari! I grabbed my phone and started jotting down ideas. Holy crap! The ideas were FLYING! Once I finally got the brain to calm down, I called it a night. But I woke up with the same excitement! I spent my morning reaching out to other friends in direct sales to ask them what they wish they knew before they started their business. Well, here it is! Here is my list of 6 direct sales tips I wish I knew before starting my business.
Not all of your friends will support you.
Of all of my 6 direct sales tips, this was the first one that popped into my head. And when I was new with my company, this one took me the longest to wrap my head around. Not all of your friends will support your business. In fact, some will not support your decision to join this business. And that’s ok. As long as your friends still support you as a person, then you have some winners for friends. And I honestly mean that.
I have friends who love me as a person, but they aren’t a fan of my product. It took me quite a while to realize that not everyone will jump aboard the Love Train for my company. But just because they don’t love my product doesn’t mean that they don’t love me. I am not my product. I might be a product of my product, but the company I sell does not define me. These friends support me regardless. The hardest part of this relationship is that these friends might not be excited to talk about your business 24/7. So, don’t forget to keep the business talk limited when you’re hanging out with them. They will thank you.
You might lose some friends.
And unfortunately, there probably will be a few friends that you lose contact with after starting your business. If they can’t support you in this decision, were they ever truly your friends? But, for every one friend that you lose, I bet you gain 2 more friends because you’ll be meeting great people because of your business. I have met some of the most amazing people because of my business.
This will be a roller coaster of a ride!
Oh man, this is one crazy ride, friends! There are days that go better than you could ever imagine! You crushed a huge sales goal. You had your biggest party ever. You made someone’s day. Your first downline signed up. Oh, the highs are great! In fact, I just received my End of Year Report for 2017 while writing this post. WOW!! It’s crazy what we can accomplish when we set our minds to it. Ride that high for as long as you can! And smile because you did it, girl!
There will be lows.
But, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, friends. That party you were banking on cancelled. You didn’t sell a thing. A new product launched and you didn’t get it. Your company received some pretty nasty PR. You found out a friend booked a party with another consultant (read the tip above). Damn. Those all suck. But, is it going to break your business? My bet is that no, it won’t. I’m a big fan of giving out the keys to the BMW. Wait, what’s the BMW? It’s a vehicle where you can bitch, moan, and whine about whatever is going wrong. But, you don’t get those keys indefinitely. Take 5 minutes, get that shit off your chest, and then develop a plan to move forward. Take these lows and think about it. Is this going to change everything for me? Be realistic because it’s easy to get sucked into the negative when you’re feeling down. If it’s not going to matter in 5 years, then move on. You’re stronger than this, I promise.
This business takes time to do it right.
Everything good takes time, right? Well, your business is no different. You could do things the quick and easy way, but trust me, that’s going to look spammy. You will make lots of quick sales, but this business model is 1. annoying to the majority of the population and 2. not sustainable. So, I strongly recommend building this business from the start in a way that is more about building a relationship with your customers so they keep coming back. Yes, it’s a lot of work and it will take time, but it’s amazing to look back on my group and know that everyone in there WANTS to be there.
Avoid the spammy tactics.
If you’re using Facebook to run a business, I strongly urge you to avoid doing anything that may feel “icky” to the recipient. Yes, it’s easy to loop to grow your business. But will those people purchase from you? Probably not. Should you do a giveaway for adding 100 of your besties? Nope. That’s like grabbing strangers off the street and pulling them into your house. I’ve written a few other articles to help people grow their business in the right way. Click HERE to read about growing your group and HERE to read about using Facebook in your business without being spammy.
You can ALWAYS learn more!
I have been on Facebook since the beginning of all time. Or it feels like that. I mean, you had to have a .edu e-mail in order to sign up. Just saying… I use Pinterest like a champ to search for recipes I’ll never make, bedrooms I’ll never design, and vacations I’ll never take. But you know what? There is SO much to both of these platforms that I didn’t understand until I took some classes on them. Did you know that you can use Pinterest as a funnel to drive people back to your business? Neither did I! I took a course on Pinterest and had my mind blown. (Want more info on Pinterest? Check out my girl, NICOLE SAUNDERS. Go ahead. Click on that link.) I truly feel like you need to constantly be learning in order to stay fresh and current. I just attended an online training in different fabrics and was instantly able to implement some of the info I learned!
Usually your company has an annual meeting or convention. I understand that it takes money to get to these conventions, but trust me, it’s well worth it. If nothing else, you will feel a renewed energy towards your business. In fact, I wrote about this HERE! If you can’t make it to your national convention, get your butt into as many local trainings as you can. Actually, go to the local trainings even if you head to your national convention! You might hear the same thing over and over again, but it might take 4 times before something completely sinks in and clicks for you. Friend, just do it and get there!
Your success WILL be different than others.
Oh friend, I can’t say this enough. Comparison is the thief of all happiness. Just think about that. Have you ever been proud and happy of how far you’ve gotten with something, but then you looked at what someone else has accomplished, and then you no long are so happy? Stop! You’re robbing yourself of your own joy!
Everyone’s success will be different than others. And that’s ok! You really can only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. It’s not fair, or realistic, to compare yourself to someone else. Each person’s situation is different! Yes they might have earned that bonus, incentive trip, or crushed a goal, but they’ve also been doing this business for years, for example. Or maybe they’re in a place in their life where they can work this business full-time. It’s only fair to yourself to compare yourself to the person you were yesterday. Think about that. Yes, you can be motivated by that other consultant, and maybe you pull some inspiration from something that they’ve implemented, but your business will be different than theirs. And that’s ok.
And let’s spend a minute talking about that company trip or bonus that corporate gives out. Omg it sounds amazing, right?! They do this on purpose! They are working on creating a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) so you strive to achieve those criteria they set out. Look at those criteria that they set out, though. If you need to sell a huge number of items, recruit X number of people, or do a happy dance in your underwear in front of the White House in order to qualify, think about your why. You joined this business to join a new community of friends. Or maybe you don’t want to feel guilty for buying that pair of shoes. It’s ok to have goals way smaller than the ones that corporate set out. Earning that shiny object might not serve your why. And that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up for not earning it IF it isn’t aligned with why you decided to start your business.
Celebrate YOUR wins, whatever they are! You, and only you, earned those! (This is my favorite of the 6 direct sales tips listed here. I have to remind myself of this constantly.)
Don’t be scared to ask for help.
Friends, this one is HUGE! Help, and support, can come from the most surprising places. While I might be able to look at a woman and roughly guess what size she wears, I cannot for the love of everything good in this world figure out techie things. So, I have friends that help with that. If it wasn’t for them, this blog probably never would have gotten off of the ground. I’ve never been scared to ask for help, so this tip comes easily to me. While we think we might be able to muddle through everything, sometimes it truly is best to ask for help. And no, the Google does not always know the answers. This tip can apply to both professionals and your friends. I might have taken quite a few accounting classes in college, but I have to ask an accountant for help to make sure I’m not setting up my business for failure. But, this doesn’t have to be just professionals. Just this week, I ran a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Oh my word, was it successful. It was so incredibly successful that I needed help. I had a friend come over to help me pull orders so just I didn’t lose my mind. I offered to pay her, but she was happy to help me for a good cause. Remember that first tip? Your tribe will help, if you ask. So, do it. It’s not a sign of weakness to say that you need help.
While this is not the whole list that was created, these are the 6 direct sales tips that I truly wish I would have known prior to starting my business. If you have a tip that you think I should add to my list, please feel free to send it to me HERE. I really hope that these 6 direct sales tips help you with your business. I’d love to share in your wins, so please feel free to share them with me.