5 Ways To Be A Friend Without Buying A Direct Sales Product
It seems like everyone is selling something these days. Direct sales is an awesome opportunity for many who wish to set their own schedules, be home for family while earning an income, are looking for an outlet and a bit of “me time”, want to connect with other women and make new friendships… the list goes on and on. More and more people are jumping on the direct sales bandwagon. Do you feel stressed about how you can’t possibly buy from everyone? I truly understand how you cannot afford to buy every single thing your direct sales friends have to offer. I can’t, either! And I’m here to tell you that’s actually just fine. Direct sales girls don’t expect you to constantly buy all the things, contrary to popular belief. If you happen to need something, awesome! But if you don’t, there are still so many ways to help us succeed.
I’ve compiled a list of five easy things you can do to encourage us, without buying stuff. Simple ways to be a good friend and supportive to someone in the direct sales industry, but not have to spend a dime on a product unless you want to.
1. Never diminish her dream.
Direct sales girls get a bad rap. Many don’t know the right ways to market product (most are not marketing majors!) and I understand how annoying it can be to hear about her product all the time. But the real thing to consider is… this is her dream. Why not take a few minutes to sit down with her, not to focus on the product, but just to focus on her DREAM. What is motivating her? Did you know that every direct sales girl has a WHY? Why she chose direct sales, that product, and so on. This is meaningful to your friend, she is putting a ton of time into it with little return (especially at first). Please don’t ever diminish her dream, but applaud her for having what it takes to work hard at something she believes in. My own “Why Story” is pretty powerful, and started when I was only 9 years old with a vow. I bet every one of your direct sales friends has her own powerful story, that any good friend would love to hear and learn more about.
2. Offer to be an accountability partner.
One of the challenges with running our own business, is that it is easy to slack off on tasks we don’t enjoy. It’s tempting to let go of our business for a few days, or avoid some tasks entirely. Obviously, that doesn’t work out well in a business sense! I’ve worked with accountability partners in the past, and it is a huge help. You each set a goal (maybe yours is to walk every day or something… the goals don’t have to be the same) and then keep each other on task for a full month. Bonus, as an accountability partner, I bet you will walk away with a brand new respect for you direct sales friend as you come to understand a few of the struggles she may be facing and need accountability for. Accountability partners become quite close, so it’s going to only make you better friends… which is awesome all around.
3. Respect that direct sales is a real job.
This is a big one. Direct sales, just like any other business, comes with big challenges. This is a long game, not an instant return. Even if you see your friend making a bit of money right off the bat, most of that will go straight back into the business to build inventory, pay for vendor events, special training, sampling, mailing costs, and so on. This is a real business with real business expenses. They have a strong chance of failing in the first year or two. They need to put a lot of time into it with little return at first, so respect that! As their business grows, you will be able to cheer for them and be happy for them as they begin to have more and more success… because you understand now that this is not some instant get rich quick thing. Direct sales is hard work and your friend has busted her back to earn any amount of success she has. She deserves to be respected for working this just like any other job, with long hours and plenty of effort!
4. Value her, and don’t expect freebies all the time.
Say I worked at a restaurant. Would you expect free meals while I worked my shift? Or if I was a therapist, would you expect a free consult because we are friends? Um, no! That’s silly! We in direct sales are very generous with free samples and our time, but guess what? We do pay for those out of our own pocket. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have friends and family that keep expecting free samples all the time. Want a free sample once or twice to see what oils are like? Of course I’m happy to do it. That is an expected business expense that I deduct accordingly. However, after you know what the oils are like, it’s not valuing me as your friend to continually expect hand outs. Give me and my fellow direct sales girls a bit of respect, hey?
5. Celebrate her success.
You know what I sometimes wish? I wish some of my friends who see me starting to have some success would celebrate that with me. Direct sales can be very lonely for me. It is a business that needs strong self-motivation to succeed. There is little emotional support for most direct sales girls, and it gets lonely celebrating success without your friends. I’m not going to go bragging all over my news feed, you know? But if you ask, then I know you care about me and my successes and we could celebrate together. If I had a big promotion at a traditional job, guess how many people who like or comment on that? Probably a lot of them! A traditional promotion is understood and mainstream. However, if I posted, “Hey!!! I made it to Elite today!!!!”, not many would like or comment. My making a certain company rank is very similar to the feeling someone gets with a promotion. I have worked just as hard for it! So maybe you don’t know what Elite is, or whatever triple blue crown star diamond thingy she made. How about if you ask her? How about you share in her excitement and simply tell her “Awesome job! I bet you have worked so hard to get there!”
See… that wasn’t hard at all. Be proud of your friend, she deserves that much for how hard she is working and hustling!
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