MLM Hater Turned Direct Sales Money Maker
By Michaela Spaulding
So here I am, coming up on the 3 month anniversary of my enrollment into the Direct Sales company Thirty-One. I (who have vowed for probably 20 years never to have anything to do with MLM, who instantly tuned out anyone who made mention of Direct Sales, who preached with religious fervor to anyone considering Direct Sales the message that getting a “real” job was the only way to make “real” money) am now that person who finds every excuse to tell complete strangers how excited I am about my Direct Sales company.
What caused the drastic turn-around? Looking back, it seems like one of those times where the sun, moon, stars, and all the planets aligned for one perfect moment. At the time, what I saw was my impending lay-off from my high-stress government job, my desire to be a stay-at-home mom, and the friend who I had been buying Thirty-One products from for the past year doing very well with her business. I told her that I wanted to sign up to get all of the products in the company’s enrollment kit at the discounted price (since I would be losing my job, after all). I would sell enough to pay for my kit, but after that, I may just keep my products to myself and never bother selling again. I kept my hopes that Thirty-One could be my ticket to being able to stay home a secret, just in case I wound up being the failure that I expected all Direct Sellers to eventually be.
My vehement opposition to all things “MLM” has caused me to work my business differently than the usually suggested ways. Most companies teach new consultants to write out a list of their closest friends and relatives and to focus on marketing to and recruiting those people first. To me, that has always been the biggest turn-off! I hate having friends or family members trying to suck me into whatever company they’re with so that they can profit from my involvement! It makes me want to avoid those people like the plague. I actually like my friends and (most) family members, so the idea of them wanting to avoid me motivates me to try something different.
Don’t get me wrong — all of my friends and family members know that I am selling (I wouldn’t want one of them to buy my product from someone else because they don’t know I sell it). But I will never ASK them to buy anything, host a party, or sign up underneath me. I do all of my ASKing to strangers. Isn’t this so much harder? Not to me. I’ll strike up conversations with strangers about unrelated topics and when I sense they are warming up to me, I’ll find a way to bring up my business. The way I look at it, the worst thing that could happen is that they get offended that I am trying to market to them and they decide they don’t like me and wouldn’t want to be my friend. Big deal! They weren’t my friend before I started to talking to them either, so what have I really lost? Not a thing. But there is that small chance that they will be interested in my business and either buy from me, host for me, or join with me… in which case the gain is HUGE!
Whenever I have nothing to lose and a lot to gain, I’m going to dive right in. Now, I’m not going to pretend every single person I solicit responds favorably and I’m not going to pretend that I gain a new customer every single day using my “Talk to Strangers” plan. The percentage of people who take an interest is low (I’d estimate it to be around 10% for me), but I do get customers and I don’t annoy my friends and family. Oh, and I’m able to stay at home…
What non-traditional ways have you grown your Direct Sales Business?
Michaela Spaulding is an Independent Thirty-One Consultant. You can check out here store here: http://www.mythirtyone.com/Spaulding31/