How To Lose Friends and Alienate People: Direct Sales Edition
I’ve written before about my own experiences with Direct Sales companies. I’m still a (inactive) member of one or two of them, and I believe that they are valid business opportunities for many people, and especially women. However – You should know that by joining a direct sales company, you run the risk of some interpersonal challenges. Specifically, your friends may not enjoy your new way of life. Read on for some backstory about why this happens and what you should avoid if you go into direct sales.
It all starts innocently enough, usually with a message or a text from an old friend wanting to catch up. Or maybe it is a new friend who is excited about something she can’t wait to tell you about. Maybe you’ve complimented a stranger on their nails and before you know it, you’re being a shown a “business opportunity.” What kind of business opportunity? The kind where you will absolutely lose your shirt, be forced to pay fees and buy products you’ll no longer be able to sell, and some of the ugliest leggings known to man. That’s right, that catch-up or that coffee date was never about strengthening a new friendship or rekindling an old one. It was a setup, the only opportunity anyone was looking for was the opportunity to get you caught up in their direct sales business. It is one of the best ways to lose friends and alienate people.
Why we hate it
There are so many reasons to hate direct sales, from the long hours for little pay, down to the constant need for recruiting fresh blood into the organization until the market is saturated. But one of the main reasons people hate direct sales is that it takes our friends and turns them into people who are manipulating or pressuring us for their own financial gain (or so they think). There are plenty of people who have tried every direct sales marketing plan there is who can tell you they simply don’t work, but yet people keep trying. They spam your Instagram with wraps, and they pretend to be concerned about what has happened since last they heard from you. In short, direct sales marketing plans focus on guilt trips and pressure in order to sell a product. Even the best product ever is eclipsed by our hatred of these marketing plans.
Why you shouldn’t do it
If you choose to take on marketing and sales, you are well within your rights to do so, however, try a different approach. Instead of the blind pitches and the fake interest in your friends, be unique. Put your product out there as the face of what you are doing, and make it the star of the show. If you have nail wraps, wear them. Do FB lives of you putting them on yourself and other willing participants. As the people who are interested in your product for their address and send them a free sample. These are ordinary ways to market a business that will not result in the people you care about most hating your product and yourself by extension.
Congratulations on your business venture. We all wish you luck and good fortune in it. However, if you believe in your product you don’t have to reminisce with me about the good old days of high school or invite me to a “party” that really turns into a pitch. Be forthcoming and honest in your business, and you’ll be sure to do less alienating and more networking.
And that, my friends, is how you don’t lose friends and alienate people.
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