Lessons in Direct Sales: Not that "Creepy Sales Person"


photo credit: Owls Eye Photography

My biggest fear when I first joined a direct sales company was that people (namely my friends) would find me creepy. We've all met that person - the one you can't talk to without them bringing up something they think you should buy. Awkward. Let me say that again - AWKWARD. At first, this fear made it difficult for me to talk about what I do, but slowly and over the past year I have found a way to be more comfortable with telling people about my business in a way that I feel is authentic and non-pressuring. I know this is something a lot of other people struggle with, so I wanted to share my top tips for working in direct sales and not being that "creepy sales person".

1. Talk about what you do without trying to sell. If direct sales is big part of your life, you can share your life with your friends without always trying to sell them something. Talk about how you spend your days, the awesome people you are meeting, personal achievements you are realizing with your business, etc. just like you would any job you are proud of! You don't have to be fearful to share about what makes you happy and energized. This type of sharing helps strengthen your relationship with people in your life, rather than distance you. And if they ever decide they want something, they know what you do and how to find you! Trust me, they will call (or text).

2. Offer your products, but don't be upset if people don't want them. When I go shopping at the mall with my friends, its totally normal for us to show each other things. Something along the lines of "omg look at this sweater - you'd look so cute in it!". Sometimes they love what we showed them, and sometimes they are like "dude - you are crazy, that is hideous". And then we go "okay" and set it back down. No skin off our nose right? It's not like we have any vested interest in if they buy it. To be successful, you have to have this same mentality about your product you sell. Don't defend it, don't talk them into it. Your job is to help them find what they are looking for, not what you are selling. If those two align, great! If not, move on. You don't want people to feel pressured to buy from you. No one likes to make a living that way.

3. Ask people to join your team because it will help them, not you. Okay, let's just get this out there. People always call direct sales "pyramid schemes". Personally, I use to think this was true about them as well. And pyramid schemes have such a creepy connotation. But I am a pretty smart person (or so my masters degree says) and when you look at the way a direct sales "pyramid" is set, it's actually pretty close to any regular business. The pyramid is a typical business goes: the CEO, the managers, and the employees. The difference with direct sales is that you don't need to wait for someone above you to see you potential in order for you to promote; you automatically promote with direct sales based on how hard you work. Simple as that. And while I am on my soap box, I have to point out that the company I work for won't allow someone who is "higher on the pyramid" to receive any coaching commissions off another team member unless they are also selling themselves - no slacking allowed! So with that out of the way, the most crucial thing about growing your team in direct sales is you have to be focused on how doing this could help THE OTHER PERSON. Sure, when people on my team promote, it helps me out. But you know what, I'm not really motivated by that. The reason I get excited to help them grow is because how it impacts their life. You should feel this way about it when you offer someone the opportunity to join your team. Do they need an excuse to get out of the house and see their friends? Do they need extra money or financial freedom? Think about how you can help them. This kind of authenticity will show during your discussions with them.

4. Don't badger. As a direct sales consultant, I can hook. you. up. And I honestly, truly feel that way. If you want free jewelry, we can do a show for you! If you want a good deal, let me know and I'll watch your piece and send you an urgent text when it goes on a 48 hour sale. It's the same thing I'd want any friend to do for me! But if that's not something you are interested in, either because you don't want to host, or aren't interested in the products, that's cool too! I promise I won't bring it up every time we see each other. I understand what "no" means, and as your friend I respect your no. I may check back in three to six months to see if you changed your mind, but only because I don't want you to miss out. And if you say no again, then I'll drop it.

5. Love what you do. If you are in direct sales just to make money, and don't really care about your product, it will show. You will come off as slimy. If you love the product you sell, love working with people to help them find what they need, and truly just love what you do, that will shine through. That is the type of energy people like working with. And when you offer to help them with something, they will see and feel the genuineness behind your offer. And that, my friends, it the ultimate way to avoid being "that creepy sales person".

Do you work in direct sales? Or have you had a good or bad encounter with someone else who does? I would love to hear your tips as well! What has worked for you or what came across as icky?!

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