Why People Hate Direct Sales
Maybe hate is a strong word but maybe not from what I've witnessed and heard "around the block." To understand my "authority" on the subject, you have to know I've been on the whole spectrum. I was completely annoyed and confused by any kind of MLM. I didn't support them and I didn't like them. Then I decided that I would just support my friends because hey, maybe they are trying to make a few bucks so I guess I can help a little even if I still thought it was dumb or crazy.
Then I joined one. Yep, despite all the odds and insecurities and past resentments I had. And now I love supporting MLM's and I see how much good and possibility lies within them and how much joy they bring people and how this type of business really can dramatically change people's lives.
With that, I still remember being on the "other side" of it and my negative feelings and I've come across plenty of people who are still very much on that side of the spectrum. I've had the figurative door slammed in my face tons of times and of course plenty of those eye-rolls! But I keep on going.. Why? Well that's a post for another day. Look, I'm not here to convince anyone that MLM's are perfect and the only suitable career to pursue or preach that I know everything and that I'm right. I just wanted to share 3 of the reasons in my experiences, people (including myself) have trouble with direct sales/MLM's and why they really really really don't like them.
Number One- They Were Burned
This is probably the one I see the most and the one I sympathize with the most as well. People hate direct sales because they tried it and it ended bad for one reason or another. Maybe the buy in or keep up was more than they could handle so it financially just kept putting them behind and kept burying their goals and dreams further and further into the money pit. Maybe the products weren't the best fit for them after all, making it hard to sell something they don't really believe in.
Maybe they didn't realize the skills they needed to learn or the time they would need to put aside to grow a successful business. Maybe they didn't receive the best training or support. Maybe they couldn't handle rejection or overcome the fear of reaching out to strangers. Maybe it's as simple as it wasn't fun, it didn't make them rich, and it didn't change their life.
Or maybe it's not even about them, maybe it's a family member or friend that they witnessed falling into the traps of direct sales and coming out a different person or broke or stressed out or obsessed or all of the above. There are endless reasons why and how people have been burned by direct sales or MLM companies and why they now have a mistrust for them. And these are the hardest ones to convince otherwise because there is such an emotional driven tie between it all.
Number Two- They Are Skeptical
This category is very different from the first because these are the individuals who have not personally tried any kind of direct sales and who don't seem to have an interest to learn anything about them either. This is the category I belonged to for so many years. I had a few 'not so close' friends who were a part of these companies and although it didn't involve me or hurt me in any way, I would always still get so annoyed and defensive over every post, invite, random message, and email.
Why? For me, and perhaps many people in this category it's a sort of social conditioning to be wary and annoyed by these things. You hear the few bad experiences or see those viral videos and blog posts about how terrible direct sales companies are and you just soak it all in. I also made the assumption that every company was the same. They weren't "real" jobs. They were a scam to get your money and make you desperately try to earn it back through constantly spamming all your friends, and signing up as many people as you possibly could because that's where the real money is, right?...
At first, I would feel bad for those people who were "fooled" into joining an MLM. And then as I would see their posts and videos, I would grow very skeptical and judgemental of their products and the plans they had for earning a full time income by selling them. I just couldn't accept that you could sell stuff to enough people to make good money for an extended amount of time. Most people can't believe that someone really does love the products and/or company and wants to just share it.
We tend to just automatically assume that we are just a number, just a prospect, just a sale to these people and that nothing about their business or their practices could be genuine or worthwhile. Maybe the biggest obstacle with this category of individuals is that they don't want to take the time to learn or shift their perspective because it's honestly just easier not to.
Number Three- They Want In
You may read that and be confused. Why would someone want to join in if they hate direct sales? Well it's complicated but let me shed some light on this category because yes I've even been here for a time too. If there's one thing I want to express in this blog post, it's that there is more than one way to do direct sales.
I had been following a friend of a friend on social media for a while and her business had sort of literally "taken over" her life. Every post was about it in some way or another and scattered in there too were plenty of posts boasting and flashing about how much money she was making and all of the things they were able to do and buy now. I guess you could say it was a little tempting to think about trying it and made me a little addicted to following her and at the same time hating her.
I was the poor-newly married-pregnant-college student. So of course the idea of paying off our student loans, buying a home, paying cash for a new car, going shopping all the time, and having all the cute things for our new baby was very appealing. So appealing in fact that it made me envious. It made me mad and resentful of my life and my circumstances. I wanted to make easy and good money like she made it seem. I wanted to join and just force it into my life like she did. Sometimes I even wanted to be her. I didn't ever join because I knew deep down that I didn't believe in the products let alone use them. I felt like she was a rare case and not the standard. I felt like she had the right personality and the right resources and maybe even a little luck. I hated what she was doing because I wanted it so bad, just not in that way.
The point I want to make and hopefully imprint on my readers is this: direct sales does not have to be bad. In fact, in most cases, it's not. I offer full understanding and even validation to anyone's objections or opinions of MLM's but I hope someday it can change to a more positive conversation. Again, there are many different ways to approach and run a direct sales business and there's many that I still don't agree with or find admirable.
I'll conclude with a slightly corny metaphor but one that I find to be very true! When forming your opinion on a direct sales company or a person running one- don't let that one bad or cracked egg ruin your entire carton of perfectly good eggs that have their own unique way of being cooked to share with you! ><Holly><