Laurie Ayers
Superstar Director

Heidi Thompson, Scentsy President & Co-Owner

Article Topics

Lost My Miss Congeniality Award

Dealing with Difficult Team Members in Your Direct Sales Biz? Read on …

I learned something recently, not everyone thinks I am as wonderful as I do.  Just kidding, I’ve known that for years.  That wasn’t a new revelation.

I received an email recently that could peel paint off prison walls.  I have to admit that at first I thought WTH! Well, because 99% of it was unfounded, inaccurate and it blind-sided me.  It came out of nowhere.  Clearly I am not on this person’s Christmas list. After the shock of it wore off and I shared it with two close professional associates and confidants, their remarks were “she must be on some funky medication that caused her to be delusional, confrontational and totally off her rocker”, and “don’t tell me, she’s a spoiled 30 yo who has a false sense of entitlement.”

No worries, I would never use this person’s name or break any confidence. No one knows the identity of this person unless she has chosen to disparage me to others.  Who it was in this particular case is of no importance, however it is a very real topic that happens to most of us who spend any time in Direct Sales.  It’s important to have the knowledge in your tool box so that you know how to deal with these kind of people, when situations like this arise.

Sadly, this person must really be struggling with something, as her note made her look like a buffoon. Regardless, I hope she is okay and whatever is causing her unbalance works itself out. I harbor no ill feelings and wish her well; I have always liked this person. Besides,  I certainly couldn’t take such an attack seriously.

You can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose, or whatever that saying is! Point being, once you’ve earned senior ranks in your direct sales business and you manage a large organization, this also equates to more people to complain about you. It happens to all of us. Don’t let it crush you.

Of course no one likes to hear such disrespect, insults and untruths. But how do you recover?

  1. You may be tempted to fire off an email in kind, telling the sender where to go. Fight the urge. Remain professional. Sleep on it for a night. Rehashing, point counter point and providing documentation as to the error of her ways would solve nothing.
  2. Look at the attack as an opportunity for self inspection. Is there any truth to the slander and accusations? Be honest with yourself. If so, take it as an opportunity to learn and grow. No one is perfect. But if after you honestly consider the bull..oney that was flung in your direction, and you can sleep well knowing that you are not what the person says you are and that you are not guilty of the false accusations, then let it go.
  3. Consider there may be factors in that person’s life causing such bizarre behavior. You have no idea what people are going through. Your difficult team member could be taking infertility medication which has been known to cause severe mood swings, agitation and unexplainable outbursts. She could have just found out a loved one is ill, or her relationship is on the rocks. Who knows? It could be any number of things. But don’t take it personally. Rise above the fray.
  4. If someone asks to be left alone, respect that. Entering that bee hive will solve nothing.

Lastly, as Don Enck,  recommends with regard to dealing with difficult team members, “Take a close look at your team. Is this [negative] perspective the view of all your people? Or, are the ones who are kicking it and busting their butt the ones who are coming to you…no matter who you are perceived to be…for leadership and guidance? Experience has been that the PITA people are the ones who voice the most displeasure. Focus your energy on the ones who are doing the work. They say “like attracts like”. Be who you are. The right ones will come to you. The others will slowly drift away or adapt and come to learn that you really are a very genuine warm hearted leader. Be yourself. That’s where you shine!”

Now that I have room on my fireplace mantle where I thought my Miss Congeniality Award trophy would go, I’ll have to find some other tchotchke to put in its place!

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, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, Austria 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 or for updates on Facebook LIKE and twitter @directsalesblog

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