Every week over 60,000 Americans seek out an opportunity in the home-based direct selling or network marketing industry, and with job satisfaction at a surprisingly low 18%, it’s easy to see why.
Most start out with the same bright-eyed and bushy tailed enthusiasm as visions of financial freedom for themselves and their families whirl around in their heads. Then as time goes on and nothing major changes, the light starts to slowly fade. Anyone who has been in the direct selling or network marketing industry for even a short amount of time has seen it.
The sad fact is only a small percentage of people who start out in direct selling actually make a profit.
Why is this?
Everyone in network marketing starts out on the same level playing field (the bottom), so why do studies show such a massive separation between rates of success and failure? There is obviously an underlying factor that the small amount of successful individuals either avoid, or figure out a way to persevere through.
The answer is simple. It’s fear.
Fear that something will lead to pain that acts as a permanent parking break for most.
Specifically fear of selling.
I’ve heard it countless times– “I don’t want people to think I am trying to ‘sell’ them”.
It would be easy to tell you to just get over it, and that to be successful you’ll have to push through your fears, which is absolute truth, but not much in the way of help.
It’s a valid and understandable fear to start with. Nobody wants to be seen as the pushy salesman trying to make a buck off of their friends and family. Many of the most successful people in the industry started out with this same fear. I can tell you that I did!
Rather than give up and join the majority statistic, we tried our best to understand our fear and likewise banish it from our thoughts and our business.
The easiest way to drain this fear from your life and your business is to understand the basic psychology of your fear.
Ask yourself what you’re really afraid of. You’re not afraid of the sale itself, because that’s what puts money in your pocket and food on your table. It’s something that is associated with the sale or the process.
Are you afraid of feeling rejected when you fail to close a sale? Most people are. Realize that when the prospect tells you ‘no’, it’s not a personal slight against you, so do your best not to take it personal.
Most of us base our decisions on what will create pain or pleasure in the short term as opposed to the long term. We are not driven by reality, but instead the perception of reality. Anything that’s valuable requires you to get out of your comfort zone and break through some short-term pain in order to gain long term pleasure.
Resist being emotionally sucked in.
In retrospective, most people who told us no in the beginning are now our happy customers. Very quickly we learned that a “no” is almost always a “not right now”, so don’t completely write the prospect off. Ask them what is holding them back. Find out their hesitation and objections and do your best to politely address them. Can you answer the question or concern at hand, or are they giving you the adults version of “the dog ate my homework” simply so you will leave them alone in their fear of the unknown?
Are you afraid of ruining personal relationships and being pushy? This is one of the top myths associated with selling. To be a good salesperson you have to be pushy. Hogwash! The days of the pushy door to door salesmen were left behind in a bygone era.
When I think of sales in the traditional sense, I think of the guy at the mall virtually shoving the curling iron I don’t need down my throat, or forcibly squirt the hand lotion into my palms. I bite my lip and nod as a polite gesture when I have to, but I’m usually engrossed in the most important phone conversation of my life as I walk by.
Selling today is not about bothering people, it’s about identifying a need and offering a solution to fill it. Social media does a great job to illustrate this. Around the clock people from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe are actively asking for opinions, advice, or seeking council.
In today’s world you don’t have to sell anything as much as you have to be willing to find and give the correct answers. Everything you do, everything you say is relevant to what you are trying to sell. Answering someone who asks what you had for dinner on Facebook could get you in the door with your next customer or referral. Why? Because you took the time to respond and connect.
The key here is to establish lasting, meaningful relationships.
Stop talking for a second and listen. Ask questions. What does the individual do for a living? For fun? Family? Friends? Hobbies? Passions?
To put it simply, get to know the person that you’re talking to. It’s very hard to appeal to a need if you know nothing about the individual. Consumers today choose to do business with those that they know and trust.
Are you afraid to accept money in exchange for your product? This is something that is surprisingly common. Home business owners pretend they are operating a charity when they don’t have confidence in the value of their products. Have you used the product yourself? What problem did the product solve for you? What value did you get from it?
If you have used your product regularly but still lack confidence in its value, it might be time to find yourself a new product! If it’s not something that you are passionate about, more than likely the people around you won’t be excited to hear you talk about it.
Take a good focused look if you’re hesitant to bring up your product in conversation, especially when the conversation is practically begging you to mention it. Do you feel obligated to share it? Waking up everyday and feeling obligated to those around you to share your product or service is key. Get obligated and you’ll find yourself standing in the middle of a gold mine.
Share your story and what beneficial impact it has had in your life. People don’t want to be told boring facts and figures, they want to know the impact your product had with real people. You are not Pepsi. You do not need Michael Jordan to sell your product. There are a thousand opportunities out there but only one YOU. People will flock to you, all you have to do is be more of who you already are. Share your story and share it often. There is power in vulnerability.
We look at selling now as a way to make friends and meet new people. Since we truly believe in our products and have seen the value that they directly create, we know that we are showing genuine care and concern when we recognize a need and present a superior way to fill it.
It’s amazing what wonders simple belief in your product and the ability to freely share your own experiences will bring your business.
A lyric from a recent song says it best –
“Never let your fear decide your fate.”