5 Reasons People Fail In Direct Sales
Hey there fellow boss babe! (Or boss guy!) If you've already ventured into the world of mlm or if you've just looked from the outside, chances are you've seen and heard lots of "horror stories." You've seen the click bait videos of angry people who got screwed over by direct sales or the long Facebook posts about how it was a waste of time and money. I'm not here to discredit their feelings or mock their shortcomings and trials because I know they are real. But here's the question.. was it entirely the company's fault or the direct sales structure or... could it have possibly been the person or circumstances? (don't like reading? Watch my YouTube video instead!)
WAIT! Before you get your rage on for me saying that, let me back up a bit! There ARE poorly structured and scammy companies out there and there are products that just aren't easy to sell to the average person. There are companies that require a large buy in and continuous personal investment and that is SCARY and I'd be careful joining companies like that. But guess what? There are a lot of GOOD companies out there that have proven to have happy and successful distributors and have an awesome structure and really awesome products. So don't lump all companies together because that's just not fair!
That being said, let's put the individual company and specific people aside and talk about some of the general reasons people fail or give up in direct sales! These are legitimate reasons and some are harder to resolve or overcome than others but if you've considered either leaving your direct sales company or joining one, I'd think about these 5 things first!
YOU EXPECT INSTANT RESULTS AND OVERNIGHT SUCCESS. For some reason, this is super common with mlm businesses because of the unrealistic standards that some big ranked reps throw out there. You see a post from someone saying claiming they "quit their job and made a 6 figure income within 6 months with their amazing direct sales business!" It's inspirational and I don't doubt they are telling the truth but here's the thing... it's maybe not what it seems. This person may have already spent years building up a social following, a large network of friends, or a familiarity in their area. So when it came time for them to start this business, they already had a foundation to build off of. It doesn't mean they didn't earn it but it also doesn't mean they were an overnight success!
Many people don't seem to treat direct sales like any other business that takes training, time, patience, investment, and consistency! They assume and hope for it to be easy money and to quickly double or triple their income. And that just doesn't happen unless you WORK HARD and happen to sign up superstars to your downline and have an incredibly strong and specific business plan upon starting. Is it possible? Sure! But is it the standard? Not at all. I'm sorry but you can't just casually post to Instagram or have parties with your friend and expect to massively grow your business! Of course, you can certainly use this as an excuse to give up OR you can use it as a wake up call to start hustling, start networking, and start treating it like a real business that may take a year or two to pay off!
YOU ARE TOO "SALESY" AND INGENUINE. Truth bomb here... are you constantly sharing product images and hosting sales and promos and giveaways? Were you taught by your upline that everyone you meet is a prospect and that every opportunity is a sale? Well is it working for you? If it is and you're happy with it then I'll leave it alone.. but I'm guessing it's not annnnd.. I'm also going to guess that you don't enjoy chasing people away and feeling awkward and gimmicky all the time. So STOP DOING IT. That is not the only way to grow a direct sales business and not the most sustaining either.
Instead be GENUINE. Be honest and be yourself! I suggest only joining a direct sales company that you truly love and support and whose products you actually use and are passionate about! Those factors alone will help you "sell" your products more naturally and easily! In addition, focus on helping people and serving them. How can you make their life better or easier? How can you stand out from everyone else in your company? Sell yourself first then share what you have to offer!
YOU DON'T HAVE A MENTOR/UPLINE OR YOUR UPLINE IS NOT SUPPORTIVE OR ACTIVE. This is probably the hardest one to get past because it's not always in your control! Especially if you're new to direct sales, you may not even know what an upline is or how to find one! An upline is someone who has joined a company and has hopefully taken on leadership roles and has established a strong foundation for their entire team. Some companies require you to join "under" someone but others (like Maskcara Beauty) give you the choice of doing that or signing under corporate. Thankfully though if you sign direct to Maskcara corporate and want to move to a Maskcara team, they will move you! (Just once!)
The reason I think a good upline is so important is because they are going to offer you a sisterhood, a support system, and exclusive tools and training to help you succeed in your business! It's a major help to have that accountability and access to help and guidance when you need it! When looking for an upline in your company, look for someone you connect with and relate to. Someone who shares a similar lifestyle as you, had somewhat similar business goals, and will have the time and desire to communicate with you and train you! You shouldn't necessarily pick the person with the largest team or highest ranking, but you should pick someone who is passionate about the company and consistently showing up and showing their value. An upline doesn't make or break your success, it still comes down to YOU but an awesome team does help make it a little easier and definitely more fun!
YOU DON'T HAVE A SUPPORTIVE NETWORK/FAMILY/SPOUSE. Again this one can be slightly out of your control and it's even harder than not having a solid upline. Your family is your world and what motivates most of the things you do. If you ave a spouse or parent or best friend who is anti direct sales or thinks what your doing is just dumb or a waste of money and time then it makes it REALLY hard to dive in and really work it! I know there were a few months in my journey when my husband wasn't completely onboard and it did affect me. It affected my mindset (letting in all those negative thoughts) it made me embarrassed to do things or talk to people, and it left me feeling unmotivated and incapable to do these things.
In my situation, my husband was struggling with his own battles and got through them and has been rock solid for me ever since! But if you do feel like you have someone close to you who just "doesn't get it" you'll have to either learn to move past it or have a serious and honest talk with them about how their actions are affecting you. If they really care for you and your happiness, they will come around!
YOU COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY. We already compare ourselves enough these days in every aspect of our lives. We compare our parenting abilities, our looks, our health, our homes, our vacations, our income.. it goes on. And one of the biggest fallbacks of those in direct sales is feeling like they are on the bottom. That they are finishing last, that they aren't doing enough or doing it as good as everyone else. While there may be some truth in that (meaning you may need to be doing more or working differently to reach success.) Most of those things are just our insecurities trying to convince us that this is too hard, too scary, and too risky.
Some fear is good and we need it to stay safe but fear of success? Fear of happiness? Those types are unacceptable! You have EVERY right and EVERY capability to find success and happiness. The thing is.. your success and the path to get it is going to look different than anyone else's! You can't compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter five! You have to stop comparing your talents and your dreams with someone else's because they are different and that is how it's supposed to be! If you get caught up in always watching others building their dream life, you will never be able to build your own.
Anyone can build a successful full time business with direct sales, you just have to WORK FOR IT. You MUST believe in yourself and your dreams so much that you can't even think about giving up! You've got to give it time my friend and you have to see the bigger picture of everything. If you are going to bed tired from a hard days work, if you are waking up with excitement and a million ideas and you are holding onto those dreams with clenched fists.. the universe has got your back. Remember, good things take time.
P.S. I am first an advocate for self love, happiness, and family and second for rocking a business and making money. If your direct sales business is costing you too much financial investment and straining your family, then I'd look into other options. The same goes if you feel like it is taking away too much time for your family (not a reasonable work time) then re-evaluate. Most importantly, if your business is not ultimately bringing you fulfillment, excitement and joy and helping you be the best version of yourself then it may not be the right thing for you. My direct sales business brings me so much joy and fulfillment, doesn't cost me any personal investment (besides outside tools I choose to implement) and it doesn't take me away from my family which is why I stick with it and why I still love it even on the hard days.