You may think I am some sort of luddite who is opposed to technology. If you knew how many hours a day I spend with my face up the…ahem…of the internet, you would know that is not the case. I have complained on several occasions about the way technology is used by too many direct sales people. Again, it’s not the technology itself. It’s the use of technology (and its easy proliferation) in the place of good service and personal relationships.
There are lots of things I hope you take away from reading my blog, but one of the biggies is:
Direct Sales is built on Good Relationships
You want to succeed? You want to get ahead? Win trips? Sponsor a team? Great!
- Have genuine concern for others.
- Treat your customers well.
- Be the person that people know and want to support.
Word of Mouth: The Return of Caveman Marketing
Yes, ladies (and gentlemen). Word of mouth is where it’s at. We once had a great presentation at a team meeting where our leader talked about the most effective advertisement for your business starts with the words,
I have a lady…
“I have a lady who sells Pure Romance. Let me give you her number. She’s great!”
This simple endorsement conveys that you are trustworthy, that your products are great and that you have a reputation and business that others are willing to vouch for. There’s nothing like a loyal following.
You want to be someone’s lady. You want to be a lot of people’s lady.
Here’s the problem with a lot of modern marketing:
Let’s start with something simple like a Facebook post to the effect of “Who wants to have a Pure Romance party?” What’s wrong with that? Well, I’ll tell you.
- It’s impersonal. Without KNOWING you or knowing people who know you, you are stranger to most potential customers. Strangers are not people you trust. Strangers are people you are wary of because you might be selling snake oil or just a plain thief. No one wants to be had.
- It’s passive. You can pay lots for ads. You can post on Facebook 800 times a day. It doesn’t matter. You are relying on the customer to see and engage your business. You are powerless to get responses.
- It’s ineffective. Not only are you relying entirely on potential customers to come to you, they don’t know you (see point 1), so even if they do notice your business plug, they have more reasons not to approach you than to support your business.
- It’s spammy. Because it’s impersonal, passive and ineffective, the only way to make even a little headway is to put your information everywhere all the time. You become spammy. No one likes a spammer. You’ve now gone from being an unknown salesperson to an annoying one.
You are NOT someone’s lady. You are just this annoying spammer person out there. You’re torpedoing your business even as you are trying to build it.
Be the Caveman Marketer
There’s no internet. No TV. No advertisements. There’s just you. You the real person (smell and all). You the real person that has to engage other real people in real ways and prove….tada…that you are REAL. This may mean leaving your comfort zone. It doesn’t mean becoming an IRL spammer – like those sales guys who seem friendly, strike up a conversation randomly in public and then shove a business card in your hand.
No, the relationships come first. Yes, you are going to have to make friends, invest in friends and a be a friend. You want people to get to know you and how awesome you are. When they know you and trust you, they are going to want to know about your business and want support you.
But you got to get close enough to smell them first.