It’s January and the time of year when everyone is kicking it up again. A new year and self-imposed resolutions often mean a new start to old goals. In a Direct Sales business, often your company will launch new product or have a conference to kick off the new calendar year and get everyone hyped up again for the next selling season. While January can be typically slow, many Direct Selling companies are now offering incentives or sales to entice customers to buy.
If you haven’t gotten to where you want to be in your business, the new year can be a great time to refresh goals, and create new habits. And usually everyone can pick up new skills or methods to refresh their business in any discipline. With the world changing, and social media becoming a big part of how we market and brand ourselves, we can all adapt new ways to solve old problems. Looking back at my own time in Direct Sales, I had some wonderful successes, but I now can see with a clearer view – a customer’s point of view – mistakes that I made and things that I could have done to propel my business even further.
I see others making some of these same mistakes!
Here are 5 mistakes that I see Direct Sellers making – and many of them I did myself.
- Reaching out to strangers via Social Media. I am no longer selling a direct sales product myself, so have had a number of people ‘blind’ approach me, especially since the new year – “I know we don’t know each other well, but I’m just throwing this out there because I respect you as a fellow girlboss.” *Sigh* While this is an earnest approach and I totally get that everyone in a Direct Sales business is doing whatever they can to kickstart their businesses, I am pretty certain that this almost never works. At least via email, or social media direct messages. Usually if you take this approach, it works better in person, or after you have had a number of interactions. Not a week after you have friended them. Or because you Liked their Instagram post. That is literally cold, cold, cold calling. And it’s kind of icky.
- Sitting behind your computer or mobile device everyday and yet, feeling like you aren’t doing enough. It’s a huge problem in Direct Sales from what I can see – and I am guilty of this myself, both currently and when I was in Direct Sales. There seems to be a sense of community when you sit with your Facebook app open – and in some ways it is a sense of community. But getting out into your actual community, whether it is volunteering at your kid’s school field trip, or spending time at the gym, even shopping can be a much better way to use your time. Connections in person, always trump online ones. Unless, you have forged a relationship online, and you talk or you are Facetiming, and have made a true friendship out of it. But truthfully, it’s super hard to make genuine connections just commenting on Facebook pages or groups. You’ve simply just got to get your butt out there.
- Literally make yourself new habits. I find that many people doing a new business or those that have been in it for awhile, expect to get different results by doing the things that they have already done. Maybe it worked in years past, but people change, the landscape changes and what worked before may not work now. Also if it didn’t work before, then you must try something new. Most businesses these days have to be agile – and that means reacting to new things by being innovative. That also goes for your personal business – you must mix up the things you did in order to find new things that work. Take time to read, learn more about business, or find out what has worked for others. You must also always be a student of your own discipline in order to react and recalibrate.
- Dropping links all over Facebook groups and as Instagram comments. This is just a creepy practice, but I have heard that some companies coach people to do this. And you may luck out here and there and get a new recruit or a possible sale. But all of the people you turn off by doing this, truly makes it not worth doing. Like ever. It’s just gross. Also weaving in comments about your business on something completely different online – also gross. I hate reading about someone asking for an eyeshadow colour recommendation and then a whole bunch of well-meaning direct sellers start pitching. Scare tactic techniques – like, ‘don’t use that product because it causes cancer, and mine doesn’t’ – also are simply too forceful and bossy.
- Not sending Thank-you messages. This seems obvious and it really should be, but often times, when direct sellers get online orders, they don’t reach out to the customer to say ‘Hey, thanks for ordering!’ I was also guilty of this, and I realize now, because I have been a customer of many direct seller’s products, that I really like hearing from them when I place an order. And if they don’t reach out to me, I sometimes wonder, ‘Was my order even received?’ Or I think that maybe I should have placed it with someone else that was more appreciative. And truthfully, the competition out there is stiff, and it takes 5 minutes to compose a quick Thank-you email or text. Don’t miss this step!