When you start a direct selling venture your sponsors and fellow consultants can provide wonderful ideas to build your direct sales business. No sense reinventing the wheel. Take the experience from veterans and learn from them.
Sounds like pretty sound advice, yes? It certainly can be wonderful advice. However one word of caution: Test Everything.
Not all business ideas are good ideas. Some ideas may be obsolete – what worked in 1989 probably won’t work today. Other ideas may work well in one geographic area but would flop where you live. Still others may initially sound like a good idea, though after further consideration may create a threat to your personal safety.
Good Idea? One idea that recirculates every couple of years within the direct sales community is to affix business cards or catalogs to the outside of your car while you are parked in public. Some suggest using a magnetic locker caddy; others prefer using suction cup shower caddies. The idea behind it is that while you’re in the mall or grocery store, other patrons will walk past your vehicle, take a catalog or business card and then potentially be your next customer or recruit.
Bad Idea. I emphatically discourage any home based consultant from employing this tactic. Do you really want complete strangers knowing what kind of vehicle you drive or that your vehicle at that very moment could contain the candles, jewelry, or kitchenware that you’re promoting? How easy would it be for someone to lie in wait, and then follow you home – because surely you may have some inventory at home and possibly even a stash of cash from a recent party? Instead of “Take One“ or “Free“ you might as well hang a sign that says “Follow me home if you want to burglarize me; I have a stash there!“ Or “Expensive Inventory on Board“
It’s also a waste of your marketing collateral. Kids or competitors would love to take your catalogs and business cards. They’ll end up in the round file or scattered all over the parking lot. Then perhaps the facility manager can give you a personal phone call – no not to place an order, but to inform you about their no solicitation policy and fine for littering.
Good Idea? Approach at least three people a day about your products or opportunity.
Bad Idea. Yuck, really? Do you want strangers coming up to you while you’re trying to do your shopping or daily walk? I sure don’t. Get away from me, you freak. I don’t approach strangers and I don’t want them approaching me. Remember the ‘Do Unto Others’ rule. Fine Print: I’m not referring to handing a sample to a clerk or waitress requesting “if you know anyone who likes [candles] could you please pass this along?” That short-and-sweet-asking-for-a-referral doesn’t bother me. Rather it’s the supposed fellow shopper, but really secretively recruit stalker who comes up to me while I’m trying to find a pair of pants to fit my not too small booty and asks, “Can I ask you a question?” (sure) “You seem like you really have it together. If I can show you a way to have financial freedom”¦” or “Are you satisfied with your current income”¦” Good grief does that stuff really work? Get away from me, you freak.
I have plenty other examples that I will share with you in upcoming posts with regard to ideas or gimmicks that I’ve witnessed direct sales consultants try over the years, only to produce little or poor results.
The next time someone gives you an idea about running your business, rather than just running with the suggestion blindly, perhaps try taking what you like and discard the rest.
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start and maintain a candle business. You can find Laurie at https://la.Scentsy.us, https://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com or https://www.Twitter.com/thrivingcandle