When I learned to play golf it was something I was thoroughly enjoying. It was fun to pack up clubs in my car and head to the clubhouse for lessons or just to practice. As I gained some confidence I started playing 9 then 18 hole games. I joined the women’s league and could eventually hold my own in most events. I wasn’t super great at it but I wasn’t the worse either.
Golf isn’t a cheap hobby. There are shoes, clothes and of course clubs,bags and accessories. It adds up really quickly. Then there are fees to play, cart rentals and of course memberships if you join a club. If you really love it though the cost will be figured out and you’ll have something you can enjoy the rest of your life. I still have my clubs but I haven’t used them in years.
The pleasure of playing golf gave me an outlet for exercise I enjoyed as well as to meet new people. It gave me a reason to travel and see some beautiful places. Golf courses are some of the most beautiful scenery you can find and it can be super serene. Golf also gave me a distraction. I could forego responsibiilties and other things going on in my life through a few hours on the golf course. Golf however is a hobby and hobbies cost money. They may give us immense pleasure but in the end they are not something that will earn us an income (unless we are really good to go pro or an avid gambler). Golf will not ever recoup the cost of what is poured into having the right equipment or the fees that are paid to play some of those beautiful courses.
Many small businesses, especially those of direct marketing, are in fact hobbies. We spend lots of money getting all the right materials and supplies, we spend money to stay active each month and participate in conventions, meetings and training. We pay out a lot of money to retain our business and if we’re not getting sales it can easily and sadly turn into a 1 -way street hobby.
Think about your business for a moment. Are you making a profit? Are you covering your expenses? Is there life at all? Please know that you can in fact have a deficit in your business and still have it be a business. You can have zero sales and still have a business but overall these won’t be businesses very long if those conditions don’t change. We have to be very pragmatic when it comes to our businesses and be sure we are making the right decisions that will result in returns for our time and money we are pouring into it. Many direct sales businesses fail because they don’t know how to execute those types of activities that will result in a return or what they’re doing isn’t giving them that needed return.
I had an online class scheduled with someone and her friends that I spent hours creating course material on the topic she wanted to cover. I created brand new slides, did countless research and created an incredible workbook all for this class. This was going to be a class unlike any other I had ever done and it was going to be great! I connected with the host to give her the registration form link to send out and I reminded her of our upcoming class date. She let me know she was going on vacation but would send out this link as soon as she got back. I, of course followed up post vacation but heard nothing back. I followed up again and got that lame excuse – you know the one about “forgetting.” I followed up again, mildly concerned and knowing I needed to get the details of this class firmed up soon. In response, it was complete radio silence from her. I slowly watchied all of this work for this beautiful course I spent hours and weeks creating tun into a wasted effort all for not!
I was heartbroken and defeated. I was frustrated and reflecting how people slept at night doing this type of thing time and again. It seriously is one of the rudest and most hurtful things that can happen in direct sales and it happens way more than any of us admits. When it happens we are often taught to reflect on our role in this scenario and own own up to our own shortcomings. We are also told that it is just one of the series of “nos” before you get to the yes person. Yet here I was pouring more into my business than I was getting out of it. I was doing everything I was taught to do and yet nothing was happening positively for my business. It was quickly feeling like a hobby more than a business and like my golf clubs this one was starting to look appealing collecting dust in the garage.
Is that how your business is feeling these days? Is this what has stopped you from starting a direct sales business?
It’s easy to let it start collecting a little dust when we see so little progress or continually are stood up, not responded to or not even getting any fresh contacts to work on. No one wants that and it doesn’t feel good at all. It can be so easy to just get distracted with something else that is giving us at least joy and a little return for what we put into it. I totally get that with each time I have been stood up.
Recharging Your Vision
It really may not be anything you are doing wrong. It could be you are doing everything wrong. No one starts a direct sales business with the thought it won’t work out and yet so many of them fail and become dusty memories of something we once did.
I decided that wasn’t what I wanted for my business after that host stopped responding. I had created this beautiful course that she was going to miss out on. It was definitely her loss because this is a wonderful course and so instead of putting that course on a shelf in hopes someone would ask for it one day I did something drastic for me. I turned it into a downloadable self-paced online course anyone could take – for a small fee. This “take that” action in response to her standing me up spurred an idea that has changed my business drastically. I realized that if I could turn this course into a downloadable course why couldn’t I do more just like it? Why couldn’t I offer a whole suite of products just like that for anyone at any time?
The failings of a stood up class became a masterpiece moment in my business. That hurt and disappointment of doing everything right and not having a positive result can be turned into something that propels your business forward in a fresh way. You don’t have to build your business the way your upline taught you. You don’t have to sell your products directly and get told no over and over again with people avoiding you every time they see you.
How Exactly You Do That
The way to change the tide is to get tactical and creative. I think doTERRA has wonderful products everyone should be using to support their health, cleean their homes and heal their families. These are literally the best in the world when it comes to natural health. They are so good it convinced me that they were worth my attention to share these with others in form of a business. Yet if I open with that information most people will tune out the moment I say they need these in their lives. Yes they do need them and I know it firmly but I haven’t let them figure that out on their own. People don’t like being told what to do or what they need. We like a high level of autonomy in our life and we believe all of our problems are unlike anyone else’s or ones that very few will understand.
Transforming your message and approach to get them saying they need it,want it and have to have it is the art of selling. It is the switch that will take people from not responding or showing up to them calling you asking for it.
So how do you do that?
Rule #1 – It’s Not Your Problem
You don’t need to mention your direct sales product at all in order to sell it. I know that sounds completely mad but it’s 100% true.
For me, it was transforming my classes that I know how to teach very well into something that I could offer to everyone. In my courses I speak on topics that people are intersted in with doTERRA products barely sprinkled throughout or mentioned at all. I changed my message to be on the topic of interest or concern rather than the wonderful doTERRA products. I give people a forum to say “hey I have that problem.”
It’s not your job to point out other people’s problems. Trust me they don’t want to hear it anyway. That is why they’re not showing up and they’re not buying from you. Once they acknowledge their own problem then you have an open door to work with in transferring that to a customer solution through your wonderful products. It’s your job to get them to acknowledge their own problem. Please stop being the problem police pointing out what is wrong with everyone.
Rule #2 – Stop talking
We love to talk about ourselves. It feels good to tell someone our story. Even if we are introverts we like to still talk in some form to another human on some level about us.
If you want to sell your products and excel at direct sales you need to get really good at listening and asking the question, “tell me more.” Even in an online space, you need to create the bond that someone feels they have with you that is comfortable enough for them to speak. You need to be welcoming, comforting, supportive, empathic and kind. You need to get them like no one else can by responding to what’s in their heart and mind. Help them figure out what their problems are and offer gentle guidance on how they can fix that while letting them know you are there for them.
It doesn’t matter that doTERRA works extremely well for my family and me. It doesn’t matter that my home is almost chemical free or we take these incredible supplements. It matters what this person needs to say to me about what is going on in their life.
Interested in more?
You can definitely change your direct sales business from a hobby to an actual thriving business. It starts with you believing in the product you offer and having the right message to help others find it.
If you’re ready to start your own direct sales business and actually be successful you need to start with one of my Choose Your Path business packs. I give you the tools, support and techniques to have a thriving modern day direct sales business that will prevent your business from being like a dusty set of golf clubs. Get started today by selecting the path that is right for you.
If you have questions or need help please contact me!