I stewed all weekend and this morning about ripping on something I have seen flooded on Facebook the last couple of days, but at risk of offending my friends (and several teammates) I decided to instead have a lunch/tea/catch-up session with one of my BFFs instead and stay off of my soapbox.
Well, I came home, and the soapbox was still beckoning. My apologies to any of my friends and/or teammates before I offend them. Its going to happen.
So, if you are in direct sales, or know someone in direct sales, I am sure you have seen the posts…and I will paraphrase here (because I am too lazy to look it up, and I said this is a QUICKIE, and the actual post is too long…), “You might not be interested in my product or joining my team yourself, but maybe one of your friends is. With your permission, can I please post my link on your Facebook page, blah blah blah…and basically spam your friends.”
I had a problem with that all weekend for one basic reason, but I came home to a post from a friend posting a great point about it, which them prompted me to write this. Her point is EXCELLENT (Thanks Stacy Snow). Facebook is cracking down on direct sales companies posting “spammy-type” posts. I use an auto-posting website that I pay for to post for my parties, and they have been shut down three times in the past two months I have used them because of people “spamming” in groups to people who were added without their consent (only do parties in EVENTS, with voluntary participants). Like Stacy pointed out, now is NOT the time to get your account shut down (busiest time of the year for buying gifts) because you “spammed” your friend’s friends.
YOU might not see it as spam, but if your friend’s friends do, and report you, you are in jeopardy of having your Facebook account shut down for a period of time. The chance of you getting a sale from spamming your friend’s friends is not worth it.
So, Stacy has an incredibly valid point. I will dovetail my original point onto hers. When you have every direct-selling friend “spamming” their friend’s friends–do you think people are actually going to even read your post, or skim over it as an annoyance? My first thought was, “My friends know what I do. They know my site. If they want to share my page to their wall, they can voluntarily do so. No way am I going to spam their wall–even if they give permission.” I think the PROPER way to have rolled this out would have just been to ask your friends to share your site with a testimonial why they like you/your company/your products. I think people would pay closer attention to a referral, and it certainly looks less “spammy.”
On top of that, I have always had success in direct sales because I NEVER do what everyone else is doing. N*E*V*E*R. If you see a zillion direct sellers posting that same post the last several days, instead of copying and pasting their obviously copy and pasted status on your wall, think of something original to STAND OUT. Being original MIGHT be a simple move such as NOT doing what everyone else is doing, and being quiet instead. When everyone else is screaming about their cyber Monday special and their deals…sit back, and figure out what to do to be unique–THAT will catch more attention than all the other posts, and most likely garner more positive attention. My customers know if I am going to post something, it’s time to listen, because I DON’T flood them with white noise.
The number one way to be successful in direct sales is to respect your customers, and be unique. I don’t think spamming them does either.Read More
1–I heard from a former lia customer of mine this morning that she received a CATALOG from them in the mail. I was shocked because, frankly, after working in printing for 18 years, I KNOW it’s not cheap to print catalogs and certainly not cheap to mail them as well. I was shocked that a company that was “going out of business” and left over 10,000 women without jobs with no notice, and still owe money to advisors AND customers would be spending money on printing and mailing catalogs.
The same company no longer honors a “lifetime guarantee” they pushed for decades and used as a selling tool, despite STILL clearly being in business.
I hope you all now see this was their plan all along. After sitting in over 8 conferences hearing the President of the company tell us all they’d “never sell through anyone but advisors”…blah blah blah, I hope you see what REALLY happened.
2–I hope every person who threw me under the bus, crucified me, slandered me, and lied about me, when ALL I DID WAS QUIT THIS UNETHICAL COMPANY now sees the truth and feels horrible for buying into their witch hunt. It’s the same witch hunt I bought into when people before me left for other companies, and frankly, I since apologized to them. It’s easy to see the forest through the trees once you are out of the forest.
*I* saw first hand when I was in NYC with these people for fashion week EXACTLY what they really were like, and knew I did not want to represent anyone who did business in the manner they did. Some comments were made over several bottles of wine (NOT by me or consumed by me) that telegraphed this who thing was coming. My husband saw it that night, *I* saw it that night, and *we* decided that next morning I would be finishing out my booked parties for the year and leave–that was on September 11th, 2012.
There were many comments about managers being on the “lifetime annuity plan.” I didn’t know what that meant–I thought it meant we had some retirement plan I didn’t know about. It was explained to me, by the president, that too many people were being paid and not doing parties, but living off the overrides of teams they established over many years, and for the company to survive, that would have to change and go away.
There was a great disdain towards advisors–it was abundantly clear to me in that dinner, and even more clear when they stuck me with over a $5000 bill for a trip that I *EARNED* . Yeah, maybe many of you aren’t aware of that. When I went to check out, I was told they pulled their credit card and stuck me with the entire bill for fashion week. It was a total nightmare.
It took Jim Turner almost a month of fighting for me to get that reimbursed. HE is the only one who had class and FOUGHT FOR ME to have the right thing done. ALL my uplines knew about it, and NONE OF THEM FOUGHT FOR ME. (Yet many reach out to me now to join their new teams. Yes, I am serious. I’d kill my cats and eat them before ever teaming up with any of them-if you can’t do the right thing when I NEEDED it, I will never earn a dime for you.)
Jim Turner fought for nearly a month, and he knew the deadline for me to get reimbursed before I quit and told EVERYONE what happened that nightmare week in NYC. He literally drove a check out to me on a Saturday, drove it to my house and hand-delivered it, since the deadline was that Monday.
And he was fired the following Tuesday.
So yeah. NONE of this surprises ME.
Do the math–why do you think they sued me and put a two year gag order in place–that expired May 2015…after they “closed”?
And for those unfamiliar with the outcome of the lawsuit because of the gag order–We did not lose. Let’s just leave it at that. And Simply You didn’t close for the reason everyone wants to think they closed. You don’t close your doors 10 days after a new catalog comes out, and all the new line jewelry is sitting in your warehouse. Let’s just say I have friends monitoring their outlet sale (because I don’t want to waste any brain cells/time on it) looking for those SY pieces to show up. Would it shock me if they did? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I expect them to.
Nonetheless, I saw the writing on the wall September 10th, 2012, at that nightmare dinner–not necessarily to the extent it did happen, but I saw the great disdain for me, and for the rest of the advisors, knew something was changing, and knew it wasn’t going to be something I would want to be a part of either way.
There WERE some wonderful women in lia sophia who gave up years of dinners with their family, their kids sports events, etc. to build a team to the point they could live the life they worked so hard for, and it was all ripped out from under them. It would be one thing if lia sophia legit CLOSED after pulling the rug out from under these women, but to keep attempting to squeeze money from the customer base all these women gave up so much to build up is despicable. No class, reprehensible, but certainly not a surprise.Read More
Funny how life goes in a full circle.
Many of you know my direct sales journey–I started with lia sophia 12 years ago, rode that roller coaster to the top in 2012, left January of 2013 to go to a jewelry company in Canada, only to have lia sophia sue me and others for leaving (despite having no non-compete, and not breaking our agreement at all). We prevailed–the lawsuit ended in May. We didn’t do anything wrong, which was backed up by every legal decision, and we went on our merry way…until the company was abruptly closed 10 days into the fall catalog, with no warning, and no rhyme nor reason to that decision. I have my theories what happened, and I am sure if you have followed what happened with lia sophia “closing” and their subsequent legal actions towards another jewelry company trying to start up, you will be able to figure it out yourself.
Nonetheless, I went through the legal nightmare at Simply You with a fellow lia friend, Kathy Gittleman. Many, many hours were spent on the phone, lamenting about the latest legal papers delivered that morning, instead of being able to focus on building our businesses (which was part of their strategy). Trust me, when you get a restraining order Filed against you for posting a picture of your cat sleeping in your jewelry bag on FB, it’s all pretty damned frivolous.
Anyway, Kathy and I were together in Toronto picking out jewelry for the Spring 2014 catalog–it was going to be amazing. We had just finished up after six hours of whittling it down from over 300 pieces to 120 pieces, when we were called into the Board Room and “fired” and told the company was closed.
In shock, we both flew home to our respective states. Kathy went on with another jewelry company, and I took a month sabbatical before starting with Mia.
Eight months or so later, Kathy called me and told me about this company that was starting up. The parent company is Stella and Dot, and we both loved that company, thought their marketing was amazing, and their quality is top notch as well. It was kind of like charm bracelets, she told me, so fun, you can customize it, blah, blah, blah. To be honest, I was engrossed in my Mia-nightmare, and just wanting OUT of any direct sales. She even had the CEO of the company reach out to me, and I politely declined. She sent me a catalog, which was in the magazine bin next to my toilet in my bathroom for the past 6 months.
In the meantime, I started doing my art full-time, and as I am sure 99% of you DON’T know, I also joined Stella and Dot. I do love their jewelry, and I love their marketing and their immediate shipping. GREAT COMPANY. However, with that being said, my husband and I had numerous discussions about NOT getting into it like I had with lia. I was growing my art business, so I would ONLY do online parties for my friends once a month, and NOT NOT NOT get sucked into all the competitive crap I had been in with lia. Once I flip that switch, and get competitive, it’s over for me–I had no life for 8 years with lia, and we were not going back to that.
A month ago, Kathy contacted me–she was in the top three in personal sales in KEEP Collective (the charm bracelet company she joined–the division of Stella and Dot). PERSONAL sales, not team sales, and that was so out of the box for Kathy, and something I TOTALLY RESPECT. I know how hard it is to be at the top of a company in PERSONAL sales, all the sacrifices you make, etc. And I respect that. Kathy asked if I would do a KEEP party for her to help her hit #1. Honestly, I had NONE of the jewelry, didn’t care to have any of it…but I respected her drive, and said yes.
I found it odd that none of it cliqued with me before–I had ALWAYS loved charm bracelets. I had one growing up–got charms for every accomplishment…if you look closely below, you will see some for my forensics medals (I was so cool), when I got my black belt, and my first wedding (ugh).
Over the years, I had some crazy charm bracelet obsessions–this one weighs a ton!
And of course, my hundreds of Pandora charms, that cost as much as probably a boat…
SO, I had this party for Kathy, and just half-heartedly watched as my friends were having her design bracelets for them. And them I started paying more and more attention–people who DIDN’T usually like jewelry were really getting into this. And when they got their stuff two days after ordering, they were posting pictures all excited about them, and saying how they needed more right away.
Hmmmmmm. Then I went to a monthly meeting I have, and two of my friends who ordered had brought their bracelets (and a watch) along, and I was SHOCKED at how wonderful the quality was–and how much nicer it all looked in person. I decided then that I was going to do this.
I just really like the creativity, and the ability to change it out depending on your mood. Even when I was with lia, I would rarely wear their regular-line jewelry, as I hated wearing what everyone else wore. You’d never see me in their top-selling pieces, only Red Carpet, in my quest to not be the same as everyone else. KEEP allows you to be totally different, change it out, customize, and play with it to suit your mood that day.
Going to a badger game?
Involved in animal rescue?
Um, are a crazy cat lady?
The possibilities are endless!
So, there you have it. I am still going to do my art full-time. I started direct sales to give me the ability to pursue my art, and I am not walking away from that, but I also miss interacting with creatures other than my cats and dogs every day! For ten years, I was never home, because I was in everyone else’s homes doing parties, and now I went to the other extreme of being cloistered in my studio/house and not seeing anyone else the past 6 months. In an attempt for a happy medium, I am going to give this a try!
For right now, with a few exceptions, I am sticking to doing ONLINE socials. I think this line is PERFECT for online, and I have to say, sadly, I think that is the direction direct sales is going. People have too much on their plate to leave their homes to go to parties, it seems, and to a certain extent, they like not being pressured, and feel less so by shopping online. I don’t necessarily like that, as I am a people person, but I GET IT. I recently went to an in-home party, and *I* felt pressured within five minutes of being there, and it put me in a mood. In fact, I do need to write about that experience, because frankly, it is situations like that that is killing the industry, I feel.
But with KEEP, people put in requests to have the designer make bracelets, necklaces, and watches with their ideas on it, and the designer posts a picture. You like it, or you don’t. If you don’t, you ask to make changes. Easy peasy! It really isn’t something you “have to see” in person, unlike if you are spending $89 on a necklace, you kind of want to see it in person before making that commitment. It was fun to watch Kathy post pictures for people and over the course of a couple days, they liked it, ordered it, and then posted the picture of them wearing it, already making plans to add to it as well. I loved the excitement, and wanted to be part of that.
Before I even announced I was joining, three people from my party wanted to join, and were shocked that I was considering it as well. I think people just see this a “fun”–as do I.
Feel free to check it out at keep-collective.com/soc/8ql38
Would love to hear your feedback on this. For those who know me, you can be rest assured that I will be posting some VERY INTERESTING bracelet combos on my FB pages in the coming weeks!
Over a dozen years ago, I left a six-figure corporate job to do direct sales full-time. I was very successful with the company for nearly 10 years, finishing #1 in the entire country at their 2012 conference. I thought I would do direct sales forever.
Back when I was in the industry full-force, totally drinking the Kool-Aid so to speak, a really good friend of mine asked me what I was doing in this new career. I told him, and he replied, “Oh, you throw those ‘screw your neighbor’ parties.” I went on and on trying to explain to him that it’s not that way, his perception is wrong, and wrote it off to him being a guy and not understanding.
Well, fast forward many years later. This friend and I met for lunch to discuss a potential job I am interviewing for tomorrow. (GASP. Yes.) He asked why I left my last company. To be honest, that subject can, and probably will, fill dozens of upcoming blogs. I have never been with such a horrible company in my life, and never had a worse experience. Three days into it, I wanted to quit, and in retrospect, I should have. They had the most bizarre culture, and were so blatantly dishonest, it was mind-blowing. Unfortunately, I had this mentality that I brought 40 women in with me, and I was responsible for trying to make things right, or at least tolerable, for them. To quote my husband, who in turn, always quotes Felix Sabates of NASCAR, “You can’t buff a turd.” No, no you can’t. Don’t waste the time trying.
To put it in perspective, I would tell friends I would go work for the owners of the company who sued me and made my life a living hell in 2013, before I would go back and ever work with the owners of my last direct selling company. At least the owners of the first company were business-savvy, had a track record, and last I checked, didn’t have a DVD available for sale on a porno site with the wife in it. (Yes, I said it, and yes, it’s a fact. I even ordered it. And like everything they did, it was lame and a total waste of time and money. Thankfully, I ordered it from Amazon for $3.00, if that tells you anything…but I digress….)
So, during this lunch conversation, my friend said he thought that maybe there was an abundance of sleazy people in direct sales, because of the whole nature of the business itself. I don’t necessarily agree with that–I can think of a couple companies off the top of my head that I think has a great leadership team, and good reputation–Thirty-One Gifts and Stella & Dot come to mind. I also have a great friend who works for Wines For Humanity, and she raves about the owner, whom she works directly with, so let’s throw them in there as well. I am sure there are many more that I am just not familiar with, but I can tell you, the companies I have looked at recently all just give off a “sleazy vibe.”
There seems to be an abundance of new companies lately, and maybe it’s my recent experiences, but when I see pictures of them at their conferences, or in rallies at hotels, my skin crawls a bit.
I was at dinner with my husband on Friday, discussing all of this and asking his input. My husband is the Director of Sales and Marketing for a $100,000,000+ a year company, and even though I rip on him in my personal blog, I do respect his business opinions. (Not enough to NOT do my last company…he spoke to the owner before I joined, and was NOT impressed, and told me to do whatever I wanted, but if he had his say, he’d steer me far away from that company. Yes, it goes into the “should have listened to my husband once” category. I can admit it.)
My husband is a very blunt person and said, “What do you expect from companies that don’t care about their brand?”
I had no idea where he was going with it. He explained that only in direct sales, can ANYONE just join a company. The company loses all control over who is representing their brand, and how they are doing it.
Would you go to a restaurant where any random person can walk in and cook your meal, or take your order? Certainly not. You’d want someone who went through a vetting process, and subsequent training with the company.
With direct sales, you can go on a website, plunk in your credit card number, and represent a brand. It’s odd.
I argued with my husband and said many women will point out how wonderful the direct sales industry is, that it is all-inclusive, ANYONE can do it. That’s true. But as a company, do you really want ANYONE to be able to sell your goods, train your incoming sales people, and represent your company any way they want to?
When I first started with the jewelry company that closed their doors, cough cough, but are still selling online, much to the chagrin of the sales force that all became unemployed right before Christmas, I ended up having a teammate under me who would do parties, ONLY take cash or checks (red flag) and never turn in the parties, and pocket 100% of the money, instead of the 30% she would have gotten legitimately. She was eventually not allowed to represent the company anymore, but she was able to go to any other direct sales company’s web site, put in her credit card number, and play her game all over again.
We wouldn’t feel comfortable going into a hair salon and having some lady who just showed up and decided she was going to be a “stylist” that day come near you with a bottle of color and a scissors, but we think it’s fine with direct sales to do that every night, in our friend’s houses.
To go back to my husband’s point…it’s hard to take certain businesses seriously when anyone can decide to be the jewelry lady, the cookware lady, the makeup lady, and not have to do any specific training or pass some test before they can go out and rep your brand. Even if you are the best customer in the world for that company, you still aren’t necessarily qualified to sell it or advise others. I frequent several restaurants often–but have no idea how to cook.
It cheapens your brand, and your reputation by allowing any Tina, Dora, or Harriett to plop down $99 bucks and join your company. You wouldn’t like to deal that way in any other area of your life, so why is it acceptable in direct sales?Read More
On September 10th, 2013, after a full day of picking out the new line jewelry for the Spring 2014 catalog, I was totally unexpectedly called into a conference room with a bunch of very serious-looking faces who wouldn’t make eye contact with me, and told that effective immediately, the company was closing it’s doors. No reasons were given, no advance warning. Just DONE. And the driver is waiting to take you back to the airport for a flight that was cancelled and you will be stuck in Canada, freaking out until some fancy footwork and phone calls are made.
That was how my direct sales journey ended with a jewelry company.
So, as everyone knows, a big direct sales jewelry company announced they were closing their doors a couple days ago. They gave their advisors basically a month notice.
I know many leaders saw it coming, and have been making arrangements for a Plan B for months. I am torn on that. On one hand, it’s a totally responsible move to make sure you have a game plan in place, and a way to continue to support your family. However, what if the company had not closed? Talking to your downline and trying to rally the troops to come along with you is a violation of your contract, and frankly, something that many people have been sued for and crucified by the same leaders for doing in the past. (For the record, I was *NOT* sued for that.)
There is also the train of thought that had these leaders focused on their current business, instead of looking for the next one, they could have “saved” the company. I have to be honest and fair here…I respect the people who were giving 110% at the end to try to do that, but I honestly don’t think it would have made a difference, and in the same boat, I am not sure I wouldn’t have been trying to do BOTH–I always give 110%, but I think I would have also been looking at a Plan B.
Nonetheless, everyone is scrambling now. Having been though this a year ago, I feel for them. I had no Plan B because I was blindsided. I also came home to a very supportive husband who insisted I take a whole month off and decompress from the events of the past year (working 60-80 hour weeks, a nasty lawsuit, and several life-changing events). He told me to grab my kayak, hit the lakes, and ignore everything for a month.
Easier said than done.
First, literally by the time my plane from Canada had landed, I had 47 messages from other direct sellers telling me “how they felt for me, am here for me, and have this opportunity that they’d be doing me a disservice for not sharing with me.”
Let me tell you something. Every woman who lost her job sees right through what you are doing. You are being a vulture, acting with no class, and ruining any chance of someone really good joining your team. The fake “sistah-hood” act is so transparent. You might as well just message them and say, “It sucks that you lost your job. You are really good, and I want you on my team for the over-ride you will produce for me.” I would have respected that more, to be honest.
Another tip…as a direct seller with another company, don’t post on your Facebook wall, “OMG. I just heard about company XYZ closing. I feel so awful for all my fellow direct-selling sistahs. Please know I am here for you.” Hello…you look like a troll wrapped up in insincere concern. Again, you think you look like you are being “caring and sympathetic” but in reality, the people who just lost their jobs know you are fishing for recruits. You honestly just make yourself look bad.
If you are good at what you do, and would be a good leader, people already know what you do for a living. You should be talking about it regularly, you should have a reputation, so people will know if they want to hear more about what you do, they can ask you. Don’t look like a huckster thinking you have to do so or you will lose out on a good opportunity.
To put it in perspective…if your best friend’s husband was suddenly killed, and you always thought she’d be a great match for your brother, do you go up to her at the casket in the receiving line and say, “Oh Suzy, I feel for you. This is awful. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think you and my brother would make a great couple and you should check him out”? Of course not. You would be totally classless. You need to give someone the chance to mourn, and the grace of space. Same applies here. These women are suffering a different kind of death, and the last thing they need is anyone pushing something new on them. When they are ready, they will let you know.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with just saying, “Hey, I heard the news…it sucks. You know what I do, and when the time comes when you are looking for something else, please know I’d love to chat.” None of the phony-baloney, “I’m there for you. Anything you need…blah blah blah.” Right now, they need money to pay for their kids Christmas presents. You going to give them that? No. You want them to spend money they might not have right now to come make money for you. Bottom line. So, be sincere and classy–people will respect you a lot more.
It’s times like this that brings out the worse in direct sales and sellers. Please do your part to not contribute to the stereotypes of our profession.
I debated writing this. I fantasized about this day for over a year now. Some may think that is horrible, but until you have been in my shoes, you would not understand.
I thought when it actually happened, I would secretly be doing the happy dance. I am not. It’s strange to be past that feeling.
What am I talking about?
The business I left in January of 2013 just announced they are closing their doors in 60 days. To me, they are like Voldemort, in the Harry Potter movies–”The company that shall not be named”.
But you all know who I am talking about.
I am not going to go off on a big tangent about this. I feel horrible for several people who genuinely are still my friends, and didn’t join the “Joyce Foy is the devil” bandwagon when I left. They were friends with ME, not the money I brought in to them. I am grateful for their continued friendship, and am sad they are out of a job.
I do hope people learned, discovered empathy for others, and maybe a little humility through this.
For example, the gal who used to be one of my best friends, who recently was bragging on a Facebook page how she and another former bestie of mine “brought Simply You down”. You just can’t go around saying things like that and not have it bite you at some point. Be grateful you got a 60 day notice. We didn’t even get a 60 second notice.
Or all the leaders at the leader conference last year in Disneyland, who thought it was hilarious when the “Fairy Godmother” said, “You wished for Simply You to be closed…and BOOP…it’s closed.” Really funny to relish in others losing their jobs, isn’t it? Not if you have class, it isn’t.
I am so glad a chapter in my life is closing, literally, and I can mentally move past it all now. That is how I honestly feel. I never have to look back and wonder if I made a mistake in leaving. I didn’t. Had I stayed, it would have bought me a year-plus in employment at the same place, but I would have been wondering when the doors were closing every day since they cancelled their national conference in summer.
I learned who my “true” friends were–and that was the most painful lesson of all. I learned that the “sistah-hood” in direct sales is a big farce, and only extends to as long as you can help someone, by either making them money by being in their downline, or sharing business tips. I am not going to lie–learning that lesson had me in tears many more times than I would care to admit.
So, now they are all scrambling, making deals with companies to bring as much of their downline along as possible. And they get to enjoy doing so without a company threatening to sue them, suing them, serving subpeonas to their underaged son, and telling everyone that they can have no contact with them and besmirching their names in the industry.
Welcome to my world last year–to those who reveled in it happening to me, and my gals last September 10th, karma truly is a bitch.
To those who were empathetic, and reached out to me, and wished me the best, I wish nothing but the best for you as well. I was going to say I can’t imagine being in your shoes, but I can. Been there, done that, got the stupid t-shirt…and survived. And you will too. Much love, respect and all the best to you.
Okay, I know I have a lot of friends who are direct sellers as friends and I would like your thoughts. I was going to blog about this upcoming question the past two weeks, and of course got sidetracked with life (son going to college and parties!).
I have done several parties in the past couple months where there is a seller for another direct sales company as a guest at the party ( I DO NOT DO JOINT PARTIES–PERIOD. That is another topic for another day). Again, as a guest.
I have had two parties recently where the direct seller LITERALLY passed out THEIR CATALOG at the table after I finished my presentation. I was FLOORED. The first one shocked me–the gal had been selling for 2 weeks, and maybe was not well-versed on direct-selling etiquette. The second one was a veteran, and to be blunt, was just being tacky and trying to hi-jack the party, in my opinion.
I know I talk a good game, so you all are probably wondering what I did in each situation, and are assuming I called them out in the open or pulled them aside and asked them to stop. NOPE. Again, I talk a good game, but I sat on the side and continued to enter orders and help customers, give the direct seller the stick eye and stewed all night.
One of them said she would “trade parties with me”, and I declined and told her I had a good friend who sold her product already and I only do parties with her, and to be honest, I didn’t like how she did business. She asked me what I was talking about, and I told her it was direct sales 101 that you do NOT take your catalog out and pass it around at another person’s party. I explained to her that I am the one who has expenses into the party, I did the invites, paid for postage, etc. and it is totally gauche to piggy-back onto someone else’s livelihood. She disagreed. Well, that is fine, but don’t think I didn’t remember her name, and when someone invites me to a party for that company, the first thing I will do is check to see if she is the advisor or not. And, if any says, “Hey, I want to have an XXX (no pun intended…although now you can guess the company) Party”, her name will not be the one I pass on as a good person to book with.
On another note, I had a party last week where there were two direct sellers (for competing companies) and no one would have even known they sold other things had I not mentioned it in my presentation (their products personalize as well, and I tied it in with Mia’s personalization and talked about how people love it from all three of our companies). These women both respected that it was a MIA PARTY, and didn’t say boo about their products. You can bet if anyone asks me for consultant recommendations from either of their companies, I would totally pass their names along.
It’s always a slippery slope if you are a guest at a party, and someone asks what you do. I personally always tell people, “This is so-and-so’s party. I am FB friends with them, so tomorrow, if you want to find me on FB and message me, I will send you info.”
Here’s my personal opinion–no sale or booking is worth stepping on another direct seller’s toes or being perceived as hi-jacking or being pushy. I know it’s hard to believe (and you won’t believe it unless you are one of my personal customers or hostesses), but I am beyond laid-back at my parties, and NEVER EVER PUSH. And outside of my parties, I personally rarely talk about my business. I never wanted to be looked at as the crazy uncle at family gatherings who everyone avoids because he sells insurance and is always pushing people to get insurance from him. Or, the makeup lady who everyone avoids because she is constantly pushing them to “have a facial” with her line of products. You all know who I am talking about. I think that is the culture of that particular company. (To be fair, a really good friend of mine sells for that company and never ever pushes, and only talks about it if you ask her. You can bet any time I want products from that company, SHE is the one I call.)
Where do you stand on it? How do you handle it when you are at another direct seller’s party and you are asked what you do? Or if you overhear someone talking about an issue that your product can help them with? I have had that happen as well–if someone is talking about psoriasis, in theory, some would say I am not doing my business justice if I don’t mention I have this amazing body butter that is great for it, and pull a sample packet out of my purse for them. However, I don’t carry samples OR business cards even (Bad Joyce…but again, I am “off the clock” and don’t live, eat, breathe, pee, poop and puke my business anymore.)
So give me some insight. What do you do? What do you think is acceptable or unacceptable for another direct seller to do a someone else’s party? I’d love your feedback!Read More