But I Want it Now! (and Other Bad Behavior)

As I’ve mentioned before, my company provides community management services for direct selling companies. What this means is that we manage the day to day of a company’s social media presence, from writing and posting content to responding to comments on Facebook, Twitter, etc. (to monitoring and reporting as well.) And it gives me a very up close and personal view on the way that consultants treat their companies on the company Facebook Page.

And the conclusion that I’ve come to is that some consultants feel exceptionally entitled, and think the company Facebook Page is the place to “stick it to the company” if they don’t get exactly what they want, when they want it. Which is of course damaging not just to that consultant’s own business, but to the business of every consultant in the company.

For example, I recently saw a consultant complain about difficulty with inputting an order. The Facebook Page admin directed her to the proper path to report the problem. She responded by saying that she had tried that but didn’t want to wait on hold and so came to the Page instead. And nothing the company posted in response made any difference. She just continued to complain. Repeatedly.

The problem with that approach is that the people administering the Page could do nothing about the problem. So all she did was damage the credibility of the company with her complaints. What a foolish thing to do! Plus, she was trying to jump over all the consultants who WERE using the proper channels and waiting their turn, hoping she was noisy enough that she would get taken care of first.

How amazingly inappropriate.

When you become a direct seller, you become part of a team. And that means working to build up your company, and all the people in it. You do this because you know that by building up everyone, your own business prospers. It’s how the model works. So when we see behaviors like the one I just described, it’s destructive. It breaks down the model. Which can lead to irreparable damage to the company, and by extension, your business.

Why on earth would you want to do that?

Direct sales companies, train your salesforce on the consequences of complaining on the company Page, and direct your folks to the appropriate channels. Leaders, make sure you’re providing this same training, and not tolerating even one instance of inappropriate behavior. Consultants, counter every negative you see online with a positive, and contact your friends offline about their posts if necessary.

The health and well-being of your company, and your business, is at stake.

Your thoughts?

4 Responses to But I Want it Now! (and Other Bad Behavior)
  1. Kristen
    October 17, 2011 | 10:46 am

    Hi Jen – As the administrator of our company page, I set up “page rules” that remind Consultant’s that our Facebook Page is customer-facing and set expectations for their involvement on the page. It is extremely rare for me to remove customer posts, but if this behavior was displayed by a Consultant, I would immediately hide the post. I would then respond to the Consultant, reminding them of the page rules and of the proper channels for their complain. Almost every time, they are embarrassed and apologize and it never happens again. They simply lost sight of the public nature of the page. Thank you for your post; these reminders help us all!

  2. Pat Zahn
    October 16, 2011 | 11:43 pm

    First, love the pic! Second, I think I’ve commented enough on your posts for you to know how much this frustrates me. I’d love to wave a wand and make people behave better. I guess, just like any other major campaign to make a change we have to keep at it and trust that it will occur. (Sometimes I wish that a condition of being a Consultant is that you can’t publicly slam the company you rep – I know that that would create a whole other set of problems, but…)
    Pat Zahn recently posted..Family Scrapbook – When are you too old for Birthdays?

  3. Tim Haran
    October 14, 2011 | 3:21 pm

    Hi Jen,
    It’s stories like these that make me so glad our company has the distributors it does — distributors, by and large, who recognize that a public-facing Facebook page is not the appropriate place to air grievances.

    You’re right: Education and training are incredibly important. We try to provide resources that promote proper social media etiquette and best practices, and fortunately we’ve got a great community that is respectful of others and of the company each of them represents.

    Thank you for the post.

  4. Michelle@eatwellwithmichelle
    October 14, 2011 | 11:59 am

    One of the things I love about direct sales is that your success truly does increase with the success of others. We don’t have the same competition model as many businesses. Unfortunately it also means that when the company gets a bad rep through the actions of a select few, it affects us all. You have to take the good with the bad but ultimately it is your own integrity that will determine your success or failure.
    Michelle@eatwellwithmichelle recently posted..Wildtree has always been on the cutting edge! Finally everyone is catching up an…

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