Saturday, April 20, 2013

Do you know anyone in direct sales?

There are people, who like me, choose to do a direct sales venture. There are a multitude of opinions about the business model, but that's not what I'm talking about today. Some companies are great, and others leave a lot to be desired (and that's the nicest thing to say about some of them).

Whether you think they're an awesome venture if the company is a good fit for you or a friend, or you think all of them fall under the category of things to avoid, the fact remains they still exist, and do provide income for many people. Most of them operate with a home party plan, where someone hosts a show and receives gifts or discounts for doing so. The sales person receives a commission off the party sales. That's the most basic gist of the way they operate.

I can't speak for anyone else in direct sales, but the vast majority of people who are direct sales consultants really do take the job seriously. I take it just as seriously as I take any other job I have or had. So, when we go do a show, and someone books a party, we take that seriously. We honor our part of the commitment we make to come to your home, make the time there as fun and interesting as possible and leave a positive impression. We understand that everyone has a life to live and that sometimes there are more lemons than sugar in your world. If you agree to host a show, we take you for your word that you will do it. If you can't uphold that pledge, then please contact your consultant as early as possible, apologize, and let them know you can't do it. Give the consultant the opportunity to rebook that date with enough time to give the new host the same level of service you would have gotten.

To ignore calls, emails, text messages or postal contact is not being kind to the consultant. We would rather be told up front that things changed, than to be left hanging. We understand that circumstances change and you probably feel a little guilty changing or canceling an agreed-upon event. Personally speaking, I have some decent big-girl-pants, and can handle being told the party can't happen. It won't hurt my feelings if you can't do it. I'm not going to judge you or kick you while life is knocking you down too much to add me and my wares to your mix. What I find more hurtful is knowing that you're ignoring me, now expecting that the show isn't going to happen without enough time to rebook that date, and that you're not being adult enough to just be honest with me. You feel bad that you can't do something you promised, but I am now left being told not to go to work that day. You'd be feeling something when your boss calls and says "don't come in to work" when you know that not working means you're not earning any income that day. Likewise, if you were an employer and an employee no-call/no-showed for work, you would not be happy either because that impacts the business.

So, please be kind when you commit to booking a show with your direct sales consultant. Hold up your end of the bargain. If you can't, then be honest and give your consultant enough notice to recuperate that loss of business with you. We will be gracious, thank you for trying and especially for letting us know about the change of plans, and we'll wish you well, and try again another time. If things change later, reach out and book a show again. If not, then just keep that consultant in your thoughts and prayers for their continued success. You may not be able to directly help their business fiscally, but you can help in other ways through well wishes, prayer or referring other people to them. We will most certainly and gratefully accept any of that from you.

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