Our business is in the direct sales industry, so this particular post applies mostly to direct sellers. However, the underlying philosophy is applicable in any business setting. You have to share what you offer. You have to share it widely in order to be successful. That is the essence behind any form of “marketing”. Marketing is really just an attempt to get your product or service seen, used and purchased by the people who are interested in it.
There is a mindset however relating to “sharing” that I believe is very important (especially in the direct sales business). In direct sales your income is based on two main factors: sales and recruiting. As anyone who is successful in the industry knows, recruiting is the most important single factor for long term financial success. We would have never been able to grow our direct sales business into a full time income unless we were very good at both recruiting, and teaching our team to duplicate our successes in recruiting. There is a very important mindset relating to being a successful recruiter in direct sales.
The mindset is based on an understanding of a critical balance: the balance between effort and acceptance:
You have to be willing to share the opportunity widely, without fear and without assumption, but also detach and accept that many people will not be interested in it, and that’s perfectly ok.
Let me break this mindset down into its specific parts:
“Willing to share the opportunity widely without fear”
Success in direct sales is very much a numbers game. The more people you talk to about the business, the more recruits you’ll get. This is simply the law of averages, nothing more. It is very clear that this philosophy applies in terms of results. Consultants who talk to the most people get the most recruits. Also, if you are able to use the internet to expand your exposure to a wide base of people, you are more likely to recruit.
This is why we talk over and over again to our team about getting out of their comfort zone and trying new things, expanding their business beyond their family and friends, and experimenting with new exposure methods (such as online marketing). We say this because we know that it is necessary to build a substantive business. There is no other way. You have to share the opportunity widely. Not everyone will be interested (more on that in a minute), but that isn’t the point. The point is that you HAVE to play the numbers game. It is likely farming. You plant many, many seeds. A whole bunch of them won’t take root. But many will. You can only control your actions. Sharing the opportunity widely is something you can control.
“and without assumption”
This is a very important nuance – a critical understanding that all successful recruiters get. You can’t assume that someone is or isn’t interested in this business. Look at me. Within a very short time after Meghann joined Scentsy I started to heavily engage to build the business. I saw long term potential and I also saw how simple and popular the product was. I fit the exact class of individuals who many would think “wouldn’t” be interested in the business (a lawyer who had worked in finance). That was an incorrect assumption. I have seen this many times in our business in terms of our recruits. There is no “model”. Tons of different people, from different backgrounds, educations and income levels, are interested in it for different reasons.
It isn’t up to us to judge who is interested in it. If we make this judgement we are likely to get it wrong anyway. Our job is not to assume. Our job is just to share. This is critical for you to understand if you are going to be successful long term in a direct sales setting. We like to use the term “share the blessing”, as the business has been a real blessing to our life. It allowed me to get out of a career that was depressing, and has now created a level of unmistakable freedom where I can pursue meaningful goals (like writing books) without putting my family in a precarious financial position.
“but also detach and accept that many people will not be interested in it, and that’s perfectly ok.”
Now here is where we tie it all together. We share widely, we don’t assume, but it is critical that we also detach. If you don’t detach you become one of those “annoying direct sellers”.
Let’s be real for a moment here. Because we have been at this business for quite a while we are used to hearing the negative connotations associated with direct sales. But why do people have negative associations with direct sellers? There is nothing wrong with the industry. There is nothing wrong with the products.
The reason that some people have negative associations with direct sales is that there has been some annoying, pushing person in the past who has tried, relentlessly, to recruit them. If this is your recruiting style, I have two very important words for you:
You are hurting everyone who is trying to build the business the right way. Don’t sell people. Don’t harass people. Share the opportunity and then detach. It is a better method. If people are interested they will come around. We have recruited quite a few people who took a long time (sometimes several years) to join. That is ok. If they aren’t interested, then get off it. If they aren’t interested you don’t want them on your team anyway. Get off the ego gratification of your team numbers going up. If they aren’t interested let it be.
Detaching is also a critical skill to learn if you are going to manage to avoid getting discouraged. The reason that this is important is that you will NEVER recruit every person you talk to. Remember, there are many people who aren’t interested in the opportunity, and that is ok. So if you are too attached to the results you are likely to be discouraged easily.
Embrace your inner zen. Detach from the results. You will be happier and oddly enough you will be more successful as well.