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Direct Sales Leadership is a Marathon

direct sales marathonIf you are a Director or Manager in direct sales, or you aspire to be, you need to remember that you’re in a marathon. You have to pace yourself or you will never make it to the top. I’m not a runner, so I won’t pretend to be. Although, I do know you need to train, diligently, every day. I know there are days you don’t feel like it and days when it’s really hard; then there are days when everything falls into place.

Most importantly I know that if you don’t take care of yourself – eat properly, stretch, exercise, get enough rest and avoid negative attitudes and environments then finishing the race will be next to impossible.

The same is true in your quest to go all the way to the top in direct sales. Consider the cycle: You start your new business venture and it’s exciting and friends and family rally around to support you. Then at some point you need to break into the cold market and it’s a little more difficult. You may hit a busy gift giving season and things seems to be rolling along smoothly again. But then, little by little, your team mates start dropping off; parties are harder to book; and while you’re still plugging along, it seems many around you don’t share in the same passion they once did or that pales in comparison to yours.

You’re not alone and you’re not doing anything wrong. Welcome to direct sales. There is high turnover in this industry. Those who succeed, those to make it to the top, are those who kept going when all others quit. No different than a marathon actually. If you quit along the way, you can’t possibly make it to the finish to collect your medal.

Stay on track and do not let others discourage you. While your friends and team members may no longer run alongside you, keep going. Rather than try to drag along dead weight of those who no longer wish to participate, hang out with other “runners” who train daily and who believe failure is not an option.

A common frustration I hear from directors or those striving to reach that level is that their team isn’t doing much or that you can’t motivate them. Ah huh. That is correct. What I mean by that is on average, only two percent of direct sellers build their business to the senior leadership ranks of director or manager. Two percent.  That means if you have fifty people on your team and you have one person who is a go-getter, a business builder, embrace that person. Don’t focus on the other 98% who are only it in as a kit collector, personal user or extremely part time seller.  Don’t ignore them, but don’t make that group the focus of your efforts.

Make your efforts equal to their efforts. If you have someone who only plans to put in an order a couple times a year, then does it make sense to spend hours training, coaching, mentoring these consultants who don’t intend to reciprocate? If you don’t manage your time with those who want and need your help you will burn out. You’ll get frustrated and you’ll start to feel resentment because they’re not as passionate about the business as you are. You have to take care of yourself and your sanity. You cannot motivate someone to do what they don’t choose to do.

So now what? You want to keep building but you’re feeling stuck? So unstick yourself. Keep building. Keep selling, recruiting, hosting.   “But I’ll need a lot of people if only 2% want to be directors!”   Ah-huh. That’s correct.   But you still very much need the part timers, as they make up a brunt of your business.   So keep going. Out of all the team members you bring in, you may find a two-percenter here and there. But to increase your odds, you need to keep going to get more – more customers, more hosts and more team members.

You may find that you don’t have to change anything that you’re currently doing, other than to change your mindset. You’re doing great. You’re experiencing some slumps in the cycle, which is normal, and you’ll continue to build. Be available for those who also want to build and you’ll do well. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

“Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going!” – Jillian Michaels

About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a Michigan work from home mom and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping men and women start and maintain a home based business in the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Australia, Austria, Poland, Spain, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK. To download a FREE Start Up Guide which provides more details about how to start a home business as well as to learn about our compensation plan go to

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