Once you decide to work in direct sales, the first hurdle you have to overcome is resisting the urge to go through your Facebook and turn your friends into clients.
At best, your friends will feel uncomfortable and pressured into buying from you. At worst, you’ll outright lose some of those friendships. People are rightfully skeptical of unprompted sales pitches. Your best bet is to stop cold-calling your friends and start expanding beyond your immediate circle. Here are some ways to direct sell without losing friends.
When a close friend takes the time to recommend a product or service, we take it well. When an acquaintance we barely talk to does the same, it feels intrusive and creepy. Why the stark contrast? Because of the relationship.
Having a strong relationship with someone provides the kind of trust and credibility that makes your input valuable. Without it, you’re just another random person spamming away via social media.
Interact with your friends without a secret agenda, catch up, comment on their pictures, like their posts, and make yourself seen and felt through genuine actions that show interest in their lives. Don’t always make it about yourself and your product. Not only will they be much more receptive to an eventual sales pitch, but it will also encourage them to support you. They’ll know there’s a human being behind the pitch.
Go Well Beyond Your Product
Develop your own personal brand to back up your product so you aren’t selling just one thing, but building an entire universe of value.
What you’re selling is important, but not as important as having a story. The world is constantly bombarding us with information, so your potential clients have likely already heard about your product, every other product available, and have already been spammed by them. What can separate you from the noise is your own narrative — your personal brand.
Say something that goes beyond the sales pitch. Tell us what convinced you. And above all, don’t be afraid to take it as far as you can. If you’re selling makeup, start a beauty blog. Shoot tutorials every now and then, and become a thought leader. Give your audience additional value while reminding them you are just another person, not a walking, breathing billboard.
Being honest about what’s going on lets your audience know you are not just spamming them, or worse, scamming them. Let’s face it, saying you’re in direct marketing raises red flags for people who have been burned by pyramid schemes in the past. You’ll need to prove yourself.
Let’s say you’re an Independent Business Owner for Amway. Being open about what you do and how you got involved can be enough to dispel any suspicion. You can easily prove it’s not about signing people up and taking their money. You can put them at ease by explaining how Amway works — you’re actually making money by selling a product you believe in.
Separate Your Social Media
Think of your business persona as separate from your regular persona, and act accordingly. Create a separate profile for your brand, and fill it with valuable content before asking your friends and family to share it with others.
Want friends to share your product? Don’t ask them. Instead, make it impossible for them not to. If you keep making valuable posts and putting up amazing content, they’ll want to naturally share it with other people.
Another plus? It will make you look more professional to prospects. When you start building a name for yourself, you’ll want all your business-related content to be easily found in one place, not buried between pictures of your kids and posts you’ve been tagged in. This is where you send any prospects that need more information about you or your product.
All in all, having a successful career in direct marketing while keeping your friends will require you to step out of your comfort zone. Remember that value comes first and the sales pitch second or third.