There are some gross direct sales strategies that need to stop – yesterday. But there are some better things you can do instead!
This post was originally posted on September 25th, 2017. It was updated February 16th, 2019.
So you’ve started your own direct sales business and need some help with what direct sales strategies to stay away from.
I’ve got you covered, mama.
Direct sales can be an AMAZING business – but you need to approach it the right way. In this post, I’m going to go over what I believe to be the WORST direct sales strategies and what you should be doing instead.
Quick disclaimer: I cuss a lot when I’m passionate so there’s substantially more foul language in this post. If that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to skip this one.
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What is direct sales?
If you browse the internet for any amount of time, you’ll see lots of ideas around what direct sales really are. But before I explain what it is, I want to talk about what they are not.
- They are not a pyramid scheme (since they sell some pretty awesome products)
- They are not a scam (since the products are amazing and worth the price)
Direct sales are however, directly selling amazing products to others without the use of a retail store or location. This can be done with in home parties, online marketing, or by other means.
It gets a bad reputation due to some shitty individuals who clearly don’t know what the fuck they are doing. It’s not a pyramid scheme since that’s when you make money by literally doing nothing. There are amazing products that people truly love. And it’s not a scam because it is worth every damn penny!
Since we got that out of the way…
Why direct sales is awesome sauce
It’s pretty simple to run
The number of direct sales businesses that can be ran purely online is growing rapidly. Many of these businesses used to have a requirement to host parties and while that’s still the case for some, most of them it is optional.
What you do instead is post about your life, answer questions if friends approach you, form relationships with people, and show how much you love and use the products. Like honestly… how fucking simple is that?!
You still have to put in work so I wouldn’t say it’s easy nor is it for everyone – but it’s pretty simple. If you want to step up your game (which I do recommend), you should be creating content to provide value to your audience as well, but I’ll get more into that later in this post.
You can do it from anywhere
It’s based online, so you can literally conduct business wherever you are – from your phone. If you have a website, you’ll post content on your blog sometimes, too. But you can still do that from anywhere!
If you go to the beach, take the family on a hike, are sitting in the pickup line at your child’s school, or are off visiting your parents for Christmas … no matter where you’re at, you can still conduct business.
It works no matter how busy you are
With some killer time management, you can still get plenty done and see results. The goal is not to talk to 1,000 people every day. But to form some solid relationships where you can help people. Become an influence so they approach you is even more ideal! (This is also called attraction marketing.)
If you hustle, plan, prepare, schedule, make a game plan … it doesn’t matter how busy you are! YOU. CAN. DO. IT.
It can change your entire life
It isn’t a guarantee, however. It has the potential, but it’s not for everyone. You have to put in the work, do the stuff that works for you, and keep going long term as your results keep growing.
But when it does work? Ohhhh, all mighty. One mama went from welfare to buying her dream home and vehicle. I seen her post just today how her team sold $10,000 in only 15 minutes. I’ve seen others who were able to move out of their parents house. I’ve even seen some who are literally crying because they can afford groceries. Or the ones who can finally take their family of 4 to Disneyland when they never thought it would be possible.
But then there’s the other stuff too … like the best friends you find. The relationships you build. The experiences you have that you otherwise wouldn’t. The people that you get to help. The sense of purpose you find.
It can truly do some amazing things.
You get paid recommending products you already love
Like honestly, if everyone conducted business in a very awesome way, it would have the reputation it deserved. You talk about that crazy new starbucks drink, that adorable notebook you found at target, or those shoes you HAD to have. The companies likely benefited, but you didn’t get paid for it, now did you?
Unless you’re a mommy blogger who partnered with them … I bet the answer is no.
In direct sales, you get to use those amazing products you’ve fallen in love with, show them to your friends, and make an income from it. Post about it, show how it’s in your life, get someone else to fall in love with them too, and not only do your friends benefit from those products, you get paid to recommend them to her.
Now running the business is a tad more complicated than that and requires a bit more work… but the overall idea is the same.
Direct sales strategies that need to stop
PLEASE – for the love of god… STOP. DOING. THIS. I don’t care who tells you that it’s “about the numbers” – stop fucking doing it.
Serious question though … who thought of this tactic?! It’s gross and nobody likes it. I’ve been in direct sales and I don’t even like it. Not to mention if you message 200 people a day and MAYBE 2 bite and aren’t annoyed… that’s fucking exhausting.
The last thing I want is to get a message from someone I’ve never talked to a day in my life saying “Hey there! There’s a sale for my cool product that you probably don’t care about but please buy it from me.”
Get out of here with that. Everyone hates it and you’ll lose friends. Point blank. I myself will tell them it’s a bad tactic and see if they’re open to information on new strategies. If they keep doing it, I’ll even block them.
This tactic makes my fucking blood boil. Truly. Like how shitty of a human can you be that you target someone’s insecurities in order to make a goddamn sale and increase your income?!
WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK.
I’ve heard the stories from my friends … “I posted a picture of Miss S on instagram with the hashtag #newborn and my inbox flooded with people trying to sell to me.” or “I had someone approach me in the store pointing out my post partum belly.” or “I had a random stranger message me only days after I gave birth trying to sell it to me”
And you know what happens? A woman who just gave life is now feeling like absolute fucking shit because you pointed it out to her about how she needs to “get rid of it” or “fix that” or “get her old body back”.
DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LIKE SHIT FOR A FUCKING SALE.
I’ve seen this happen too many times … I did this for a few weeks, myself. People are wonderful individuals that show their life to their friends. They talk about anything and everything that interests them.
They talk about their kids, food they like, vacations they want to take, a funny encounter at the store they had, or some awesome article that they read that you just have to read yourself.
… and then they sign up with a direct sales company.
Suddenly, they have no idea how to be a human anymore. They turn into a damn sales kiosk. They post gross ads, follow/unfollow people, message them trying to be salesy, and so much more.
Here’s the kicker: it’s better to show your life and you using the products anyway. It comes across way better and gets far better results.
Randomly adding people
You know how I know people do this? Because I myself have done it. For like two seconds before I kicked myself in the head and realize it’s a bullshit nasty thing to do.
There is a reason that people will put “If you’re going to sell to me, don’t fucking add me” in their bio line instead of an actual bio. People randomly add others who they have literally nothing in common with just to try and talk to them and sell to them.
STOP FUCKING DOING THAT! Like, yesterday.
Form a relationship in a group first or something, then add them when you’re both cool with it. Or ONLY add people that seem cool that you’re actually going to try and be friends with.
Using scripts a thousand other people have used
Scripts can be amazing and useful, but only when you’re brand new and need a direction. In the start, it can be rough figuring out what to say and some people need a help to get started. But you should also be modifying that script to sound like you, and sound like an actual human being.
In other words, use it as a template that you change up to suit you.
Once you find your groove, just talk. Have a conversation. Be a goddamn human. Don’t use scripts. It makes people feel shitty. Like you’re a telemarketer, reading a script to them instead of being personable.
Providing false information or having no idea wtf you’re talking about
So this isn’t exactly a strategy … but it needs to be included. I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve seen online that give out the wrong information to people online. When you are brand new, you absolutely need to fact check every little thing!
When you just start, hit up your family and friends WITH INFORMATION SHEETS IN FRONT OF YOU – no exceptions. And for the first several weeks, you should be studying those for all the major products like it’s your damn college final. Not only does bad information potentially ruin the reputation of a company when you set up false expectations, it can cause issues with your customer.
And if you’re in the health and wellness industry …. always alway always recommend they consult with a doctor if they have a concern with a particular health condition! Take that shit serious, yo.
Providing shit customer service – or none at all
After you sign up a customer, you need to take care of them. Point blank. Do not treat them like a paycheck! Make sure you are taking care of them and going above and beyond to create an exceptional experience. You can do this by:
- Sending them a welcome email with vital information about using their products
- Creating a Facebook community for your customers with tutorials on using the products
- Follow up with them to see how things are going and if they have any questions
- Mailing them a thank you packet with personal recommendations
And that’s just a few things you can do! Make sure they are taken care of.
Suggested direct sales strategies
Build quality relationships
The fake spammy shit needs to stop, we know that. What you really need to do is work on building relationships. Join groups that align with your interests – Disney, pitbulls, knitting, whatever it is…. and provide value in the group. Don’t ever mention you’re with xyz company.
Form a connection and then after a while, add the person you formed a connection with.
Then start becoming friends with them on a deeper level. Talk to them, learn about their interests and just be human. Let the sales naturally follow.
Provide value to your audience
You know what people love? People who actually give a fuck about them. I’ve been praised for the way I interact with people and how I conduct myself. While it’s a nice compliment … it also shows how many yucky individuals are online. And it makes me pretty sad, to be honest.
A wonderful thing you can do is to provide value to your audience. Have genuine conversations online. Provide tips and tricks to help people improve their well being. Host Facebook live events helping them.
Become a personal of influence so people trust what you say and helping them will benefit you way more than anything.
Build a platform with intention
No matter what you use – build your platform with intention. A supporting website, a thriving Facebook group, etc. SOMETHING where you can provide TONS of value, free information, and more.
I do highly suggest a website with blog posts – but they can be repurposed from other posts. Doing this allows you to be found on google or Pinterest as well and can have an impact on the growth of your business.
Make people love you
Here’s the thing – there are a million other people online doing the same thing as you. Direct sales isn’t new and more than likely, the company you are with isn’t new either. What you’re trying to sell isn’t anything new.
The trick is to make people love YOU and how you run your business. Why should they buy from you over someone else? People buy from people. ATTRACT THEM to you.
If they fall in love with you, connect with you, and trust you, they will be more likely to buy.
Value first, sales will follow
DO NOT do this with sales in the forefront of your mind. Have sales goals, make plans to follow them, but ALSO – provide value.
Help others just for the sake of helping, pump out content, create AMAZING resources, and anything else you can do to provide value. Then watch the sales follow that. Because it will happen – I promise you.