10 Things I Learned My First Year in Direct Sales
After nearly 15 years of blogging, writing ebooks and internet marketing, my business journey took a dramatic shift. One year ago, I joined the ranks of proud direct sellers. Never in a million years would I have thought I would join a direct sales business, much less experience the success I have so quickly! But it happened.
Recently, I made a list of the things that led to my success. I’ve created a large team of distributors, earned the company car and make a full-time income. Here’s what I did to make that happen and what I recommend you do:
Commit to 1 Year in the Business and Set a Big Goal
Too many people join a direct sales or network marketing company and “try it out”. That wasn’t my attitude. I joined initially because my sponsor had earned her company car in 3 months (a goal I achieved in the same timeframe). My goal was big, and I wasn’t going to “try” anything. I was going to put my head down and do the work, not questioning my decision or results for a year.
I believe having a big goal – not so big it’s unachievable, but big enough to excite you – and committing to it, is crucial.
Focus on Activity Goals, Not Results Goals
“I want to lose 10 pounds” is a results goal. To some extent, it’s beyond your control. “I commit to walking 20 minutes a day” is an activity goal. It’s easier to control. And guess what? Activities lead to results. Network marketing trainer Ray Higdon says that we should not be “addicted to the outcome”. Being addicted turns people off. They can smell the desperation!
If I’m Not Having Fun, I’m Doing it Wrong
Ours is a people business. And people love to have fun. What works in the professional, corporate world (being serious and looking smart) just doesn’t work in network marketing! Loosen up and enjoy yourself!
When I’m having fun, I do more of the stuff that earns me money. I recruit more easily because people want to join the fun. (Ever been sitting at a restaurant where the folks at another table were having a great time, laughing uproariously? Did you wish you were in their party? Exactly.)
What’s Measured Gets Improved
When I started my business, things moved so quickly that I justified not keeping good records. This not only led to a headache come tax time, but it also bit me in the rear in another way. Whatever we track, we improve. Once I did my bookkeeping, I realized that I was capable of more. My best months had several times the retail profits of my slow months. If I had been tracking, I would have hustled more in the slow times. Bookkeeping also helps you keep an eye on profits. Track your prospecting numbers too so you know how many people you need to talk to every day to meet your sponsoring and sales goals.
Get Organized and Plan Ahead for Success
Similar to the above, getting organized right away and creating systems for follow-up are time and energy savers. It may not matter much if you only have a few customers and one downline, but as your organization grows and you have hundreds of customers and on your team, it absolutely will! Create a follow-up system that works for you (whether paper, digital, an app or a hybrid) and that you will work.
Create systems for on-boarding new distributors as well so you have more time for prospecting.
Provide Value First on Social Media
Ah, social media. It’s the best and worst thing that’s happened to network marketing! So many people do social media so wrong when they join a company. Here’s the painful truth: nobody cares about your product or company. They are tuned into WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). They want value and information that helps them. People come to social media to be entertained, educated or inspired. Every social media post you create should do one of those things. GIVE value first and it will come back to you in spades.
Enjoy the Journey
It’s easy to get so focused on our end goals with our business (a rank, an annual income) that we forget to enjoy the little things on the way. Getting a new customer who raves about the product. Your first company event. Meeting an out-of-state downline in person for the first time. These are all little things to celebrate.
I’m the second from the left. Above and below are pictures of me and some of the other amazing women on the team at our annual company event.
Events Aren’t Optional
They just aren’t. Nothing can replace the belief-building power of in-person company events. The energy, the camaraderie, the training. We can’t get everything from a webinar. Get yourself and your teammates to company events and watch your organization blossom.
You Do You, Boo
Try all the tips your upline organization suggests. Do everything to reach out to your community, at least once. Get out of your comfort zone. But do find your niche. We’re not all the same. We have different talents, skills and abilities. And our customers can sense when we’re not being true to ourselves. It’s ok to be yourself and do what works for you!
Understand Marketing Versus Prospecting – you need to do both!
Marketing is a more passive activity. It involves anything you do with the intention of having someone reach out to you (a Facebook live, an Instagram post, an ad). Prospecting, on the other hand, is active. It’s contacting a specific individual and asking them to take a look at your product or business. We need to master both activities to have the most success in our business.
So there you have it! I hope these tips are useful to you.
If you’d like to join me in this direct sales journey, leave a comment below and I’ll email you shortly.