Direct Selling For Dummies
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If you're new to direct sales, there are some pitfalls you should try not to fall into. Following are ten key mistakes that every direct seller should avoid in their business.

Not starting with a strong line-up of events

One of the biggest mistakes when starting your business is not having enough parties, launch events, or prospecting appointments scheduled on your calendar. Most companies recommend a certain amount of activity to really get your business going. Following the recommendation creates a strong start as well as momentum for your business.

During your first 30 days, start with four to six parties or events. People who start with only a few parties on their calendar end up with no business or slow business. Without the momentum that comes with a solid launch schedule, it is common to feel unsuccessful or lose enthusiasm for your business.

Many people settle on doing two to three parties and convince themselves that somehow they will get the parties, sales, and recruits that they need. However, they don't create the momentum they need to continue, because it is the bookings from those first six parties that will give them future business and help them create a success story for themselves.

Being afraid to ask for a party or appointment

So many people are so afraid to hear the word no that it paralyzes them. They are unwilling to get out of their comfort zone and ask for help, the sale, or for referrals.

The reality is you will get no's. It's just part of the sales process. Don't take it personally. Sometimes a no just means not right now.

There is also the fear of appearing to be a salesperson. Focusing on service instead of sales can help keep your conversations with your customers genuine and authentic.

To overcome the fear of hearing the word no, you need to consistently reaffirm your belief in your company, your product, and in yourself.

Failing to set goals

Setting goals is one of the key ingredients to success. When people have no idea what they want or where they want to be, it is difficult or even impossible to keep moving forward. The fear of failure or what other people think is often what holds people back from setting simple goals.

Many also feel that a goal has to be huge for them to feel validated by themselves and others. In fact, the small benchmarks are what lead us to the bigger desires we want in our lives.

Lacking commitment and persistence

Not staying committed or quitting too soon is another mistake that many new direct sellers make. Representatives often feel discouraged when they miss a benchmark they set for themselves. They lose drive for their business when they realize that just like any business, a direct sales business takes time. A large percentage of people do direct sales part-time or for additional income for their family, so when they discover that it still requires work and dedication, they are more likely to quit.

Like any new job, there are going to be times when you feel uncomfortable. When that happens, some people quit because they think another product line will be easier to sell. Instead of chasing the next shiny new object, give your business time. It's not going to happen overnight. If you want results, you have to stick with it. Commitment is key.

Prejudging customers and prospects

In business, it's important not to prejudge anyone. Often, you decide how much someone will spend or whether someone will be a fit for the business without ever offering them the opportunity.

You have to put your preconceived ideas about people aside and offer your products and opportunity to everyone. Let people decide for themselves what they want and don't want. You can't know what is in someone's checking account or heart simply by looking at them.

Not treating your business like a business

Your direct sales business is just that — a business — and you need to treat it like one. You must set office hours, determine the days you want to work, and be consistent with that. You must always have proper business aids and supplies so that you're ready for business when it comes.

There are certain things you expect from businesses you interact with — such as your hair salon, bank, grocery store, and so on — and your customers should expect certain things from you as well.

To be successful, you must not only treat your business like a business, you must be consistent with it. Set a consistent work schedule, maintain your calendar, and consistently work on your Power Hour. Use the Power Hour system two to three times a week to keep up with the important income-producing activities of your business.

Stay on top of your social media channels. When someone visits a Facebook business page only to find the business hasn't posted in days or weeks — it doesn't look great. It looks like the business or individual is lazy or inconsistent — or worse, out of business entirely.

Lacking focus

When you're in business for yourself and work from home, getting distracted can be very easy. Being self-employed can be quite challenging for people who have only ever worked a nine-to-five job.

It's important to balance life and work and be present in whatever it is that you're doing. If you want to spend time with your family, then mark the time off and be present in that moment. If you want to work on your business, then spend time on income-producing activities, away from all distractions.

Skipping training and development

Personal development and growth are essential. You must always be a student and learn as much as you can.

Too many people either think they know all the answers without having any experience — or they're too afraid to ask for help. Take advantage of training. It's usually free, or at least very affordable. Dedicate time in your week to your development. Listen to CDs, read books, watch webinars, and learn from others who have already traveled your road.

Neglecting business relationships

Building strong relationships requires time and commitment. Many representatives do not take the time to connect with their customers, hosts, and team members.

Think ROR: return on relationships. This business word is being used more and more by companies because they're finding that customer relationships are proving to be better at creating brand ambassadors and loyal customers than traditional advertising.

Another relationship that is important to build is the one with your upline leader. Your leaders want to see you succeed. Creating and maintaining a relationship with your leader is important to your overall success. Let them help you. Tap into them for their knowledge and expertise.

Depending on friends and family for too long

One mistake many representatives make is that they focus only on their friends and family and eventually exhaust their customer base. In the beginning, family and friends either purchase products at your launch party or agree to host a party for you. And at your parties, instead of going in trying to book their friends and expand your circle, you may forget your booking talk and focus only on sales.

A successful party or event is not based on just what you achieve in sales. A successful event is one that has average to above average sales, recruit leads, and new bookings or appointments for your calendar. A friend or family member may know someone who would love your products or services. Always ask for referrals from people and focus on booking new parties to expand your circle.

Your family and friends are usually the first people who will help you with your business, but they're not the ones who will take your business to the next level. Always be on the lookout for your next recruit, host, and customer.

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