Disappointment is a way of life for direct sellers. You walk into a home party or a sponsoring interview with great hopes and expectations, do your absolute best, and sometimes (many times), the outcome isn’t what you thought it would be. That’s the reason I’ve learned to be committed but not attached in my business, especially in the past few years. I’m 100% committed to delivering the greatest possible value in every interaction I have, and to making sure my clients and customers have as much information as they need to make a decision about working with me or making a purchase from me. That’s something I can always control. And I’m 100% not attached to their decision, because that’s something I absolutely can’t control.
This is a concept I learned from one of my mentors several years ago, and it’s come home to me in a huge way this week. Let me share.
Last week I launched my brand new Direct Sales Success Blueprint and Direct Sales Accelerator Coaching Programs with a free webinar. These are more expensive programs than I normally offer so I knew I wouldn’t sell the volume of programs I normally do. During the free webinar I did to launch the program, I told the participants that I was completely committed to making sure they walked away with enough information to make an informed decision about the programs (and some great, actionable information for their businesses as well), but that I was not at all attached to whether or not they said yes. I knew I was attracting exactly the right people to be a part of these programs and I also trusted that I wouldn’t have to talk anyone into anything. If it was right, they’d know it. If it wasn’t, they’d know that too.
Some of you may know that I had to do the free webinar from the hospital where my husband had been admitted. It wasn’t ideal, but I made it work. We spent 8 days in the hospital, including a big surgery for him and the recovery around that. I’m telling you this to underscore the absurdity of something else that happened to me while we were in the hospital. (Stick with me here. This does relate to the point of this post).
I apparently applied online for something called the National Association of Professional Women (although to be honest, I don’t remember doing this or when I did it. I took their word for it). They contacted me a few weeks ago and asked to “interview me to complete my application.” They left a message and with all that’s been going on in my life, I hadn’t had a chance to return the call. While we were waiting for my husband’s 8 hour surgery to end, a woman named Stacey called me on my cell phone. I shared that she had called at a pretty bad time and why. Without even missing a beat, she asked if she could “interview” me to complete my application. I figured it would pass the time and agreed. Then she began asking me a series of questions about my business.
It became apparent to me quickly that Stacey wasn’t really interested in (or even listening to) my responses. She clearly had a script and was just waiting for this “interview” part to be over so she could get on with it. I started to get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach (you know the one, when you feel like someone’s about to try to talk you into buying something you don’t really want). Sure enough, about 10 minutes into the “interview,” she began to pitch all the benefits of their “free” membership to me. Then she shared how I could get the “free” stuff by joining their platinum membership level. I listened politely and when she asked how I’d like to pay for my brand new membership (without even asking if I was interested in actually buying it), I told her I was not in a position to make an investment in any sort of membership at present. I reminded her that I was in the hospital with my husband and that he had Stage IV cancer. It wasn’t a good time, as I was sure she understood.
Then the fun began. Obviously working from a script, Stacey started to employing every trick I’ve ever learned about sales to leverage me to join her program. She offered lower priced membership options, reiterated again and again the many benefits I couldn’t afford not to take advantage of, and generally refused to take no for an answer. The one thing she didn’t do was consider, even for a moment, what I wanted. I told her clearly I wasn’t going to make an investment in her membership. My life was too uncertain at present (remember, MY HUSBAND HAS CANCER!). That still wasn’t enough. I finally ended up telling her I hated to be rude but I was hanging up now. And that’s what I did.
Here’s the thing. After I hung up and said out loud to myself (I actually talk out loud to myself a lot. Don’t judge.), “I would NEVER consider being a part of an organization that employs those tactics to get members to enroll. EVER!” The contrast between my experience with Stacey and the experience I know I offer prospective customers or clients whenever I made an offer was glaring. And it made me glad that I have the philosophy I do about “sales” within my own company.
That being that I’m committed but not attached. It’s been such an incredible experience coming from that perspective and it’s renewed my commitment to the concepts I teach around our industry and a new way of working your direct sales business. The old ways of leveraging people to do something they may or may not want to do don’t work any more. I know that for a fact and experienced it first hand in the waiting room of the University of Washington Medical Center Surgical Ward last week.
So what about you? Are you attached to the outcome with your customers, hosts, and representatives? What if you let go of that and became committed instead to what’s best for them? Just imagine, for a moments, how much better that would be for them and for you!
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Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.