Quit it!

Hey guess what? I have something to share with you that will shock you.

Wait for it…

Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed by US forces.

OK, I know I’m being silly. Is there any way ANYONE who doesn’t live under a rock doesn’t know this?

But here’s the thing. It seems that many direct sellers have COMPLETELY lost their heads about this. I am shaking my head in shock watching the polarizing political posts go by from both ends of the spectrum. Everyone seems to be using this excuse to make their political point.

And every time you do this online, you’re damaging your business.

Why can’t you just say this stuff to your friends in person? Must you make this point on Facebook to people who will be alienated because of your strong political opinion? Have you no control at all when it comes to this stuff?

Hear me: When you make political posts that lean strongly in one direction, there will be people in the other direction who disagree with you strongly. And if your post hits them the wrong way, they may very likely choose to hide or unfriend you. And then all the work you’ve done to build a relationship with that person is GONE. FOR. GOOD. It’s not worth it.

Not to mention the fact that people’s opinion of your company is often colored by what you say online. So even if the people you’re friends with agree with you, someone else who is a customer of someone else in your company may read it and decide that your whole company is wrong. They might stop doing business with someone else in your company, or brand your company as “full of extremists” because you couldn’t keep your opinion to yourself.

This is bigger than you folks. And you need to quit it. You are doing damage to your own business, and to your company.

Your thoughts?

14 Responses to Quit it!
  1. Ashley Montgomery
    May 4, 2011 | 11:58 am

    I completely agree Jennifer. You may feel strongly about something, but someone else may not see your views the same way. It’s best to keep these opinions and views offline.

  2. Carol Saso
    May 4, 2011 | 11:37 am

    Thank you for stating this so clearly AGAIN! I am amazed at the number of people who are in direct sales who do not understand how detrimental their political diatribes can be to their business – both their personal business and the company they are representing. I’m sure this will become even more of an issue as we head into the next presidential election and I’m saying enough already!

  3. Kelly Donovan
    May 4, 2011 | 10:45 am

    thank you for saying this out loud – and I’ll add to it by saying, just because I may be personal friends with someone, doesn’t mean I agree with them – and just because a friend expresses their opinion to my face, doesn’t mean I agree either. I generally choose not to discuss political or religious issues with social aquaintences and friends. If someone smiles and changes the subject or offers another point of view they are NOT agreeing with you.

  4. Carrie
    May 4, 2011 | 9:17 am

    You said it, sister!

  5. Minnesota Transplant
    May 3, 2011 | 8:40 pm

    Well said (in a way that makes me want to friend you!). In fact, I’m posting a link to this post for the group of leaders in the company I represent. Thanks for presenting a well-reasoned position (unlike so many of the status updates I’ve been seeing in the past 2 days).
    Minnesota Transplant recently posted..That’s incredible emphasis on credible

  6. Sandy Molly Sohn
    May 3, 2011 | 11:50 am

    This is great advice! In fact, consultants need to take to all levels of their business, parties, events, and when they are building one on one relationships. I remind my team of over 700…this is not about us, it always about the person in front of you.

  7. Kristy Pool
    May 3, 2011 | 10:49 am

    I completely agree with you, that politics can severely damage a business and I personally keep mine to myself when it comes to my business. I can understand, though, why there has been a huge amount of focus on what happened this weekend. People who normally can separate business and politics may have been overcome by the events and just gave in to broadcasting it everywhere, when normally it might not be something they would do.

  8. Denise Michaels
    May 3, 2011 | 10:32 am

    I agree with you – for the most part. And, 99.9 percent of the time I don’t post my political point of view. Once in a blue moon I put something on my Wall about a political issue – but with my Journalistic training, I try to present it as information, not a biased opinion. However, the service I offer is mentoring – that’s a personal, intimate thing. It’s one on one. Eyeball to eyeball. Belly to belly. Wallet to wallet.

    Last year I had a client who was way, way to the opposite end of the political spectrum (she came to me through an offline referral, not social networking). This would be okay if she’d simply stick to business in our sessions together – but no. Every session she would spout hate-filled diatribes and put me on her list for conspiracy-filled “newsletters.” I would grit my teach and gently change the subject back to business. I reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and I ended the relationship. (Which sorta proves your point, Jennifer. *wink*)

    For this reason I have never friended people on fb who wear their political leanings on their sleeves if they’re at the opposite end of the aisle. I don’t mind honest discourse with people who have a different point of view – that’s how we learn. I’m talking about the people who are deeply entrenched and refuse to listen to a different point of view. The zealots.

    I figure if that person ever became a client (remember – an intimate relationship) it would become difficult – like the aforementioned client. To this day I have clients who have a different point of view from me about politics – we just don’t go there. We talk about the things we do share – and I focus on helping them with their businesses.

    My reason for refraining posting about politics is because my brand is about my book, marketing for women, marketing mentoring, etc. My brand is not about being a political commentator. I don’t want to confuse people. My marketing rule #1 is that: a confused mind always says “no.”
    Denise Michaels recently posted..Does the Thought of Marketing and Selling Almost Drive You to Chocolate

  9. Kristie Wooten
    May 3, 2011 | 10:25 am

    I agree 100%!! This has been weighing on my mind heavily for the past couple days. Thanks Jennifer!!

  10. Eryn Cadoff
    May 3, 2011 | 10:14 am

    Spot on lady! While I have strong political opinions myself (I was a political science major afterall and live in metro DC), I don’t feel the need to broadcast them to the world at large 24-7. My closest friends know which side of the aisle I sit on and we have great in-person political debates. My colleagues and customers don’t need to be bombarded with my personal opinions.

  11. Linda Burt
    May 3, 2011 | 10:13 am

    Once again, Well said Ms Jennifer. Well said. Even the TV has too much for my taste! Yesterday I had to shut off GMA because that was the only focus. It’s over with, now let’s move on!

  12. Laurel O'Connor
    May 3, 2011 | 9:32 am

    Jennifer-

    Excellent and very necessary post. Too often people do not seem to realize everything they say and do online can and does have an impact on their reputation. Your commentary was right on point and I think will only become more critical as we move into election season. Hopefully people will hear your message loud and clear.

  13. Christa Connolly
    May 3, 2011 | 9:16 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m part of some very large networking groups so I’m friends with many of the business owners on Facebook. I was totally shocked when I read all the posts last night. The self destructing behavior will hurt their businesses.
    Thanks for all that you do Jennifer. I love your posts, feedback, suggestions and support of direct sellers. Thank You!

  14. Paul Young
    May 3, 2011 | 8:43 am

    So true. There’s one CEO who will remain nameless, who uses his Facebook page to make amazingly left leaning postings. Personally, I don’t really care one way or the other, but it certainly casts his huge corporation in a peculiar light.
    Paul Young recently posted..The Best Just Got Better

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