I have NOTHING against direct sales, I was in direct sales for yeeeears. First, with KEEP Collective, then I transitioned to LuLaRoe, and I even dabbled in Color Street for a few months. I have NO beef with direct sales products, or the people that sell those products. My problem is with the lack of education within direct sales, especially when it comes to selling products online. Relationship based marketing is the key to succeeding in direct sales WITHOUT being that awful spammy friend online. But, what is relationship based marketing?
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Direct Sales on Facebook
Something that has become very common in direct sales is selling the products through social media, usually via Facebook. There IS a way to do this effectively, but the majority of the time I’m seeing this go BADLY for whoever is selling the product. Are you someone who is constantly posting about your product on your personal Facebook wall in the hopes that your friends and family will magically become interested and then buy all the things? Are you constantly cold messaging all of your Facebook friends to tell them about your products? PLEASE, STOP.
First, you’re violating Facebook’s Terms of Services (TOS), which says: “You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.” Secondly, and I know you don’t want to hear this, you are just annoying the hell out of your family and friends. You might not know it, but people are snoozing you, girlfriend. And if they take it a step further and report your posts to Facebook, because they are just THAT annoyed over it, you could get your profile shut down, because again, you’re violating the TOS. As long as your company’s P&P allows you to use Facebook for your business, you need to be doing all of your direct sales stuff in a Facebook group, or on a Facebook business page.
Back To The Root of Direct Sales: Personal Relationships
The constant Facebook spamming on your personal profile is burning out your immediate circle, and this is BAD. You need the people that already love and trust you to try your product. The ultimate goal is that they love the product and then tell other people about you and what you’re selling! Maybe you’ll see an immediate spike in sales when you first start doing this, but this IS NOT going to sustain your business long-term.
Someone is MUCH more likely to shop with you if they feel they have a personal connection with you, and if they feel like that connection is mutual. If they don’t trust you, they’re sure as hell not going to try out a product they’ve never heard of before just because you’re posting about it on your Facebook timeline.
BUT, Facebook can be spun to your (business) advantage! The first step to relationship based marketing is to pay attention to the people in your life. Did someone have a child that just graduated? Did someone get married or have a baby? Is someone going through a loss in the family? You have the opportunity to engage with people on what’s going on in their lives through this platform – DO IT. Like/comment on their posts and let them know that you CARE!
Resources for Learning More About Relationship Based Marketing
Once you’ve warmed up your immediate circle by engaging with them on THEIR Facebook posts, it’s time to try and get them engaged in whatever you’re selling. But HOW do you do this? I would need to write a novel to explain the full application of relationship based marketing in detail, so instead of doing that, I’m going to share some AMAZING resources that changed my direct sales game!
There is a growing community of direct sellers that are trying to do things the RIGHT way; the non-spammy way; the relationship-based way. The community is referred to as “The Suite” and has a few different levels!
Level 1: The Socialite Suite Facebook Business Page. Here you’ll find free trainings for all things social media and direct sales!
Level 2: The Sassy Suite Facebook Group. A FREE Facebook group where you can find even MORE nuggets of information, training, freebies and more importantly – a TON of other like minded direct sales folks!
Level 3: The Elite Suite Facebook Group*. “This is a premium, members-only subgroup of The Socialite Suite. This group provides daily live coaching on social strategies, specifically for direct sellers.” I’ve been a member of the Elite Suite for almost a year now, and I have NO REGRETS. I will happily give these women my money, because they are constantly helping me improve my business (even now that I’m out of direct sales and running my own boutique!). The wealth of knowledge in this group is PRICELESS.
* This is an affiliate link. Using this link to sign-up for the Elite Suite does not add any cost to you, but does give me a commission on your membership. If you’d still like to sign-up for the Elite Suite, but do not wish to use my affiliate link, you can CLICK HERE.