5 Mistakes to avoid when starting a direct sales business
Recently I got the chance to speak to several distributors from across the direct sales industry and we got onto the subject of the mistakes we made in the beginning of our Network marketing career. I wanted to share some of those findings with you, hopefully the information will help you not to make the same mistakes we did and to encourage you and your teams too, and we all make mistakes!
- Listening to Outsiders Too Much
When you start your new business you are likely to want to tell all of your friends and family what you are doing and having people outside the business around you is great. It gives you a chance to find those that are interested either in the business or your products and It helps you gain knowledge and see things from different points of view. But it can also have you wondering why you started if you’re not careful.
Nobody knows the business better than those that have gone before you and are mentoring you so it is important to be around these people so they can motivate you and share their stories with you when you’re feeling down. Unfortunately direct sales/network marketing is still the unknown to a lot of people. You might find some friends and family become quite negative about your new business and you can’t work out why. Well mostly it’s because they want to protect you! In their eyes you’re doing something different, taking a risk and they don’t want to see you get hurt.Four years into my business and my dad still asks me when I’m going to get a ‘proper job’ It used to hurt, I remember getting upset and asking my husband why he wouldn’t take me seriously but now I’ve learnt not to listen, in fact I joke “Why would I want a proper job like you when all you do is moan about it!”
Another reason you might come across negativity is that they might have had a bad experience with another distributor, similar company or they’ve ‘heard about this sort of thing’ I would ask them what they’ve heard, listen to them and understand them but then explain how you’re different or how you would like to help them, some people will listen others won’t be interested but that’s their choice. Make sure you take everything with a pinch of salt.
- Not Letting Go
Most entrepreneurs struggle at some point with letting go. Most are used to doing everything themselves. They can be perfectionists and very detailed, or focused on the results they want. When I talk about letting go in the direct sales industry I’m talking about letting go of the outcome. Which follows on fantastically from my first point.
I’ve seen so many distributors get so worried people are going to say no to them that they stop asking the questions. They stop asking people to look at their business or stop inviting them to the opportunity meeting. People often focus on the results instead of the activity and end up giving up because they cannot let go of the outcome.
Successful people do the activity regardless of the outcome and learn to accept that a no is just a no, it’s not them saying no to you, just what you’re offering at that moment in time. I train my team to enjoy finding the No’s and then it prevents them seeing it as a negative it also encourages them to have more conversations with more people in turn getting them better results.
A great book on this subject is Go For No! I'd highly recommend it for this subject. To find out more and buy it CLICK HERE
- Expecting too much too soon
Network marketing/Direct sales is not a get rich quick plan and large incomes shouldn’t be promised, we’ve all read the disclaimers yet for some reason we sometimes expect to see results overnight. Often people over estimate how much they can achieve in the first few years but then seriously underestimate how much they can achieve in the years after that.
See your journey as an apprenticeship, you start by learning new skills and get paid to do that, but it won’t be as much as you earn once you’ve learnt all those skills and that’s great. With this industry you don’t have to go to college for years to learn how to do it you can learn as you go, building your business from day one. Obviously the more work you put it, the more learning you do the quicker the results and income will come. It’s really important to explain this to new team members so they aren’t expecting to earn a six figure income in their first month but also explain to them how that six figure income is gained over a period of time. During planning meetings make sure their goals stretch them but are possible, explain the level of activity they would need to do to create that income in that space of time and then see if they are prepared to do the work, this will manage their expectations without stealing their dreams.
- Thinking you have to gain customers before recruiting team members
I remember this well. I thought I had to get a good client base before I could find team members to do the same, that’s not the case, far from it. Often people start by approaching others about the products because they are more comfortable with the products than the business opportunity. The problem with this is that once people have said no to the products it’s then very hard to ask them to take a look at a business based on the product they’ve said no to! It also gives them the impression that you’re a sales based company and that they would also need to sell if they joined you, something many people aren’t comfortable with.
Building a team is the quickest way to build your business. Individually you can only retail to so many customers in one day, we all only have 24 hours but if you have a team of distributors all contributing a couple of hours to working the business this will build your business and the customer base your accessing as a team. It’s also the way to the larger incomes, financial security and a residual income. It’s also more time efficient to spend 30 minutes a day calling 5 prospects than it is spending 30 minutes gaining 1 customer.
- Forgetting to Enjoy the Process
Having fun is the key especially if you want people to join you and believe in you. People in your team will look at you and mirror you, copying what you do and getting their own results with their own teams. So if you’re miserable, your whole team becomes miserable. Then there’s the people you’re prospecting how do you make them feel when you’re around them? Are you someone who lights up the room when they enter or someone that others try to avoid? If you’re upbeat, they will listen to what you have to say, they may not understand it all at first but your excitement will excite them and they will follow you.
I always say if you’re not having fun in your business you’re doing it wrong. Lots of people are miserable in their day job and looking for a way out, you have that way out but it has to be enjoyable otherwise it will appear as another day job or chore in their day. Enjoy what you do each day, gratitude is a wonderful thing. I love meeting new people, networking and helping others with their goals and dreams- what are your favourite parts of the process?
Do you have a story to tell based on one of these points? Have you a success to share by following some of the advice above? We’d love to hear your comments on this so please feel free to comment below.