There are two simple things that you can do to take your Direct Sales business to the next level.
There are many different types of Direct Sales businesses out there. Many DSA’s (Direct Selling Businesses) can be compared to a small retail business; selling wares of some kind direct to the customer through some type of networking like a home party or vendor event. Others are more like an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) which actively works promoting, marketing and asking for business though various means like recruiting others, with a few products or a limit amount of products. While both are equally endearing for various reasons, you can really get stuck at Go, because both require you to continue to put gas in the engine. There are two very simple things that you can do, no matter which business type you are in, that will really help you to take your business further.
- Networking – I really hate the word networking because I personally associate it with sitting around in a bad blazer with other people in bad clothes handing out business cards and no one really caring about what you are doing. There is nothing worse than sitting in a circle and waiting for your turn to give a 2-5 minute commercial about yourself! I’ve been to many networking events, and I can tell you from experience…they are most often like that. Until, that is, you get to a place of really getting to know people. If you attend the same events time and time again and really genuinely strike up a relationship with others there, that is when they may find a common thread with you. And trust you. And perhaps will honestly care about what you are doing. People that go out to networking events and throw around business cards and leave and never come back….well, I feel the same about them too.
The same goes for Social Media Networking. Don’t you hate it when you get a Facebook message from someone you haven’t seen or talked to in years and it says ‘Hey girlfriend, just thinking about you and I wanted to share with you this new thing I am selling‘? Blah blah blah! How fake does that seem?! *ahem, VERY*. I have gotten at least 3 of these in the last week. These were from people that never interact with me online, never like my posts, comment on my Blog or are even often in my newsfeed (because we don’t connect or interact). It is the same as networking in person:
You must have some genuine authenticity behind your intentions.
Blindly contacting someone you haven’t seen in years (or ever) in person and then asking them to support your new venture seems a bit icky, doesn’t it? Imagine the person on the other end: maybe they are in line at the grocery store, or sitting in their car waiting for their next meeting, and they see your message. They look at it and think, Huh? It just seems tacky when you think of it that way, doesn’t it?! Because it isn’t authentic. You have to work to create REAL connections with people. So even though it may not seem like you are making progress by sitting for an hour (or more!) a day on Facebook or Instagram, liking posts, and making comments, you really are. This is networking. This is building your name and brand.
Just spraying and praying and hoping it sticks is one way of doing business, however you have to spray a lot less often if you do it genuinely. Most often, it is the people that you meet along the way that will propel your business forward. If you have been in your business for any amount of time already, you will know that marketing to your friends and family will help you START your Direct sales business, but all top producers will tell you, is that just ignites the flame: it is the people you meet along the way that will grow your business.
2. Follow YOUR true passions – If you spend every waking hour thinking about your business and talking about your business online or in person, you DO become that person sitting around the networking event in the bad blazer. You don’t care about others and why should they care about you!? You must take time to stay involved in other passions; maybe that is sports, or painting or even something simple like reality TV. Something that makes you different and interesting and someone that is fun to talk to. Often times this is when you actually make real connections with people that can help your business. Because you have that commonality of your common interest, and that is what endears you to them.
For example: a year ago, I was introduced to the brand Grace & Lace online by some stylish girls that I know. I loved the boot socks and was intrigued by their photos. Being a girl that loves cool marketing and is all about pretty things, this was right up my alley. Around that time, I was starting a Blog feature called Mompreneur Monday and Melissa from Grace & Lace kindly agreed to talk to me about her business. I was simply curious about how she grew from $0 in sales to nearly a million in less than 2 years, and I wanted to ask her! Fast forward to today: I have become an affiliate for their company (which is sort of like a brand ambassador). I have also gotten some of my jewelry into her hands as well. This would have never happened if I wasn’t genuinely interested in her product. And it was my love of writing, her pretty things that I loved, and a genuine interest in connecting that brought us together. I honestly don’t think the people at Grace & Lace would have ever found my Blog online and asked me to be an affiliate?
Many people refer to the word Branding when talking about big businesses, or any type of marketing efforts for major brands. But essentially, as a Direct Sales business owner, you are Branding Yourself everyday; by the things you do when you get up in the morning, your public persona (your online personality) and the way you connect with others. Perhaps you aren’t the person that wants to get out there and go to networking events? So make the most of all of your face time that you have with people: ask them about themselves, make genuine connections and support their businesses too!
When you live your life according to your values you attract those that do the same
It doesn’t get much clearer than that.
*See Blog Post, 5 Things I Wish I had Known When I started in Direct Sales. Sign-up for my NEWSLETTER to receive Free access to my Direct Sales Discovery Worksheet and PhotoPack of Stock Photos.