But I want it NOW…

We direct sellers are a funny bunch.  We really like immediate gratification.  We show you a product, you buy it.  We tell you about our opportunity, you give us a yes or a no, and we move on.  (OK so maybe I’m oversimplifying things a little bit here, but you know what I mean.)  We want some kind of a reaction for every action that we take.  An outcome.  So we know where we stand.

Is it any wonder, then, that we’re having such a hard time figuring out social media?  Because social media is NOT about immediate gratification.  In fact, statistics show that the average online lead must be contacted 7-15 times before we ever make a sale.  We could be pouring content into a blog and our social networks, and still have to wait a month or three before we see any kind of traction.  And if we’re stuck in immediate gratification mode, we’re going to move on WAY before that.

The thing is, our business as a whole would probably do better if we approached it the same way we need to approach folks in social media.  You see, it’s all about relationships.  I know you’ve heard that before.  But it’s true. The foundation of direct selling is relationship building.  When people go into a big box store there’s no relationship…they pick out a product, hope it meets their needs, take it home, end of story.  If they see that product cheaper somewhere else next time, they feel no need to go to the first big box store again.  But with us, they hear our story.  They tell us what they need, and we suggest products or the elements of the opportunity that meet those needs.  We get to know them, develop a relationship with them, and THEN make the sale.  Now in person, this can sometimes happen more quickly.  But if we want access to the much wider audience that social media provides, then we have to realize that people’s attention is all over the place when they’re online.  You don’t have that solid hour to simply build a relationship.  Instead, it takes place over weeks or months, with interactions that build onto each other.

Those direct sellers and network marketers who are barging into social media, blasting their products and opportunity, are really missing the point.  And to be honest, I hope they give up sooner rather than later.  Then, those of us who are committed to building relationships in the way it’s done effectively online will have the floor, and can reap the benefits that come from a targeted, thoughtful approach.  No, it’s not going to happen NOW.  But when it does happen, we’ll have a much more effective relationship that will lead to long term results.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Your thoughts?

14 Responses to But I want it NOW…
  1. christine
    February 27, 2012 | 6:40 pm

    Finding it hard to build relationships when my company is so new to the area. So many people are so reluctant to opening themselves up to a new person. Going to keep plodding along and see where it takes me.
    christine recently posted..Scentsy Ireland Catalogue Spring | Summer 2012

  2. Kristy Pool
    June 28, 2010 | 6:04 pm

    Yes, I agree. I don’t just want the sale, I want the customer loyalty as well and there is no loyalty without a relationship.

  3. Trista
    March 19, 2010 | 9:13 pm

    Omigosh, I totally agree. It’s very difficult when you don’t have patience and you really have that motivation to do whatever it takes to succeed. There’s that thin line that you need to know how not to cross..

  4. Jill Shea
    March 12, 2010 | 3:21 pm

    Great post Jennifer! I like what Cindy wrote, it’s goes back to the simple idea that people want to do business with a HUMAN BEING. It’s good for our clients to see us as people who also have a life besides our direct sales business. When you build relationships you will build business.
    Love & Success!
    Jill Shea

  5. Lachelle Yoder
    March 12, 2010 | 2:28 pm

    LOVE THIS! This is something my director has been pounding into our heads for the last 6 months. It’s all building relationships – with a recruiting lead, with our current team members, with our hostesses & customers. If we follow this, it will firmly put the focus back on them, not us. And if we let this same process carry over into life – with our family & friends – we will be so much happier and less disappointed! Yeah Jennifer!!! I love your blog!

  6. Christine Casey
    March 12, 2010 | 11:39 am

    Jen, thank you for this blog…and funny that I was talking with a fellow business associate just yesterday afternoon about THE EXACT SAME THING! Wow! A small group of us have been brainstorming on how exactly to build our direct sales business via Social Media, and this info is perfect timing on how to properly do this =)

    • Jennifer
      March 12, 2010 | 11:51 am

      Great minds think alike, Christine! 🙂

  7. Pam Peters
    March 12, 2010 | 11:36 am

    I absolutely agree with you Jen! I really believe that the foundation of my business is about relationships, and I try to teach that to my team as well. With a business like mine (Creative Memories) the relationships develop over time at our workshops and events as people share their photos and stories. I feel like social media is a way to continue that process of relationship building- it’s not a place to pounce on new leads and make a quick sale.

    • Jennifer
      March 12, 2010 | 11:51 am

      That’s exactly it, Pam. And it’s up to leaders like you to be sure our teams understand this basic principle as well. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Cindy
    March 12, 2010 | 10:13 am

    Again, it goes back to the basic idea that people want to do business with a HUMAN BEING.

  9. Pamela Fatone
    March 12, 2010 | 9:17 am

    Be more sophisticated is my desire too. I am amazed at how many pouncers there are out there. If only they attended a webinar by you in their early days like I did, There is a right way and a wrong way and there are more DS going about social media all the worng way. I too hope they give up sooner rather than later. While I am trying to build those relationships that will last and that is what I am hoping will happen.

  10. Allison
    March 12, 2010 | 8:47 am

    thank you…as a newbie in all this, I keep coming back to relationships as being the longevity factor to my business.

  11. Lia Allen
    March 12, 2010 | 8:39 am

    I cannot agree with you more. I am a direct seller and I work with clients who are in direct sales. I really think it is critical to realize that when creating a virtual presence the rules of engagement, building relationships, still apply. Clearly we have to be more sophisticated in doing that but we still need to find a way to connect and brand our selves, create a voice that resonates with our market and then invite them to learn more about us. We cannot just pounce and walk away if the answer is no. Quite often the answer is not now and what that means it could be a yes later.

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