Earlier today, in a group chat of local ladies, a lady shared about her new business for a particular item. She wasn’t very upfront on the details so I got into conversation about it with her. Another mother chimed in and said “It is important to mention that it is an MLM company” to which I questioned, why important? I have yet to receive a response. Unfortunately there is A LOT of misconception about Direct Sales out there and a lot people mention MLM with disgust. But here is the thing: You can call it an MLM, but it is still my small business.
I get the suspicion around Direct Sales, I really do. Unfortunately many people don’t approach their business the right way, focusing on making the sales and recruiting, instead of sharing the product, why they love it and building relationships. I mean just looking at the conversation I had today will explain that suspicion: The Mom didn’t mention the brand name, I could tell what it was from her description, she also posted some misleading information. I responded asking for the brand name and then commented that it is not correct to state the info that she did. I went on to send her a private message explaining that people have a lot of negative ideas about Direct Sales and guided her on a better way to approach sharing her passion.
So, putting aside those who approach their businesses the wrong way, why the passionate opposition to Direct Sales in general? Why are people so against the idea of “Multi Level Marketing”? I understand people don’t like the pushy nature of some consultants – but why the focus and opposition to Multi Level Marketing – with the top executives making more money? Why the issue with the higher ups making earning more?
Let’s be honest – what is the difference between a Mom selling a product she loves and Tim, working a 9 to 5 in sales for a particular service or product? Tim in sales has a manager on top of him that gets paid on his team’s performance. Tim’s manager has to answer to the Branch Manager who also gets paid a commission on all those under him. And guess what! On top of that Branch Manager is a Regional Manager and then a Sales Manager and so on and so forth until it reaches top executives and the company owner. And – you guessed it, the more all the salespeople sell – the more the owner will earn. EXACTLY like an MLM. Here is a newsflash – EVERY business is an MLM.
There IS one huge difference. Tim is sales doesn’t give a care in the world about the product he is selling. He has a job and levels of sales to achieve and a holiday bonus on the cards, so he does what it takes – gets on that phone, sends those emails – anything to makes those sales for a product or a service he most likely doesn’t use or care for.
Whereas, the Mom in Direct Sales decided to sell her product because first she was a customer of someone, bought the product and fell in love – so much so that she wanted to share the love and the product to others that she feels will love it too. She’s passionate and driven and and every sale makes her happy that someone else will love the item that she does. She is selling so that she can share her enjoyment and others can benefit as well.
Don’t get me wrong – while most out there genuinely want to share the product , there are for sure those who are in Direct Sales just to make a buck – but you don’t have to buy from them. It is your choice – if you feel someone is pushy or salesy or just cares for the money you don’t have to support them. But it doesn’t mean that EVERY person selling a Direct Sales brand is like that.
I sell what people call MLM, I prefer to call it Direct Sales. I pour my heart and soul into my businesses. I have built them from the ground up like anyone else with a small business. I have invested money, I have grown social media accounts, I have gained so many friends who were customers first, I pride myself in my exceptional customer service. Unlike a huge company if you buy from me I will take care of every aspect including any issues. I am my own sales, customer service, social media and PR departments EXACTLY like any other small business.
I prefer to call it Direct Sales because I deal DIRECTLY with each and every one of my customers. I personally take care of them with every aspect of their purchase. I have built long lasting friendships and relationships since I am DIRECTLY in contact with each of them.
So, next time you encounter someone sharing their business don’t rush to attack them for working for an MLM. Give them a chance to show you why the product they are selling will benefit you and why you will enjoy it. Or if you are not interested then don’t take the time – but don’t bash someone’s effort making an income. Remember even though it is an MLM, it is still their small business. They are spending time and money and effort. Don’t brush it off just just because it is an MLM, rather, think of it as a woman who may also be a wife and mom who is working hard to support herself and her family.
You may surprise yourself and like the product! Happy Shopping!
I also wrote a post about how to Run a Successful Direct Sales Business and you can check that out here.