Laurie Ayers
Superstar Director

Heidi Thompson, Scentsy President & Co-Owner

Article Topics

Getting Customers: What Not to Do

Life sure does give me plenty of blog fodder. I had yet another encounter today that affords me the opportunity to share what not to do when you’re trying to reach new customers for your direct sales business.

I stopped at a garage sale – or “Good Junk Sale” as I refer to them. Signage on the street was bold, plentiful and even had balloons to draw my attention to it – so far so good. From a marketing standpoint, this potential trove of treasures was starting off doing everything right.

lemonadeI parked and immediately saw that it appeared to have mostly baby/little kids stuff, i.e. nothing I would be interested in. But since I was already parked, it was too late to do a drive by so I decided that I would get out of my air conditioned car and venture into the 98 degree garage to see if perhaps there was good junk that wasn’t for young kiddos.

I immediately noticed an enterprising little girl, approximately six years old, manning a lemonade stand. Gotta love young entrepreneurs. Good for you honeypie, it’s hot out here, I hope you make a few bucks.

Then she bellowed:

“Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”

She spoke up clearly and loudly. Very good.   But then “¦. She said it again. Again loudly and in a very irritating sing-song chant.   And then she said it again. And again. Sing-songy, repeated, repeated, repeated.

I heard the Grandmom make a comment to the mom, the apparent home owner. Mom commented that little Suzy was trying to earn money to buy a toy from her sibling or friend or someone else who was hawking their own good junk.   Not once did any of the parental units attempt to hush the carny barker.

“Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”

“Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”

“Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”

Oh for the love of Louie make her stop!

Finally a man must have had the same thought so he went up to her table and said “I’ll take one.”

The little pitch-girl then says to him, “What do you want?”

Are you kidding me?   He wants “Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!” !!!   And he wants you to stop sing-saying that!!

I made my way into the hot box of a garage to see that there was nothing I had to have. But then she was following immediately behind me now screaming at my back: “”Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”  CLAP. Yes, she added the clap. With every step I took, as I tried to make a beeline to my buggy so I could leave: “”Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”  CLAP. “”Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”  CLAP.

I almost turned around and barked, “If I give you a dollar will you STOP doing that?” But instead I let the not very tall irritant chase me away.   It was either that, or risk be charged with battery, which I did not want to happen. (No worries, I’m not a child abuser, but she sure did know how make sure no one stuck around to buy any of her mom’s good junk).

As I drove off in silence, I thought about the little girl’s “upline” – her mom and grandmom. Why didn’t someone step in and say, “Hey darling, ease up on attacking the potential customers.”   ?

Then I thought of some direct sales consultants who employ a similar tactic when working a booth at a vendor event.

It’s important to balance engaging the potential customers, but not so much that they want to get the heck away from you. Take inventory of how you are approaching customers – both in your everyday life, at parties and at vendor events.   Are you sharing your products and opportunity at an adequate level? Or do those you encounter perceive you as saying:

“”Fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents!”  CLAP.

If it’s the later, it’s time to make some adjustments to your delivery.

See you at the top!

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, Australia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, 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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3 Responses to Getting Customers: What Not to Do

  • I loved your story, how you connected it to direct selling, and how you brought awareness about re-evaluating individual sales techniques. You had me giggling to myself while still relating. I use to do direct sells for over 3 years and I also have younger children…perfect mix! Very entertaining piece! I’m also apart of the 31Day Blog Challenge… Welcome!

  • Given the little “darling’s” lack of guidance from her parental units, I think you missed an opportunity to have a very positive influence on a young life. You could have gotten down on her level and given her a mini-lesson in approaching customers. Without some direct feedback, she may never realize that she was in fact driving away business.

    I did love how you used this encounter to share a lesson that many of us in business need to remember: when folks don’t respond to our marketing messages, that doesn’t mean that you need to yell louder and more frequently. Often, it means we either need to change our message, our delivery, or both.

    Thanks for the chuckle too.

  • Being I voluntarily walked onto her property and both her mother and grandmother were choosing to allow it, it wasn’t my place to offer my opinion that I disagreed with their parenting or marketing style. Now if someone had been in danger it would have played out differently, on their property or parents present or not. I did however visit another Good Junk sale today and was greeted pleasantly and shopped in silence. Found a ginormous outdoor black Santa for two bucks. Life is good – and it more than made up for the fresh lemonade and cookies twenty five cents.

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