How to lose friends and alienate people in your direct selling and party plan business. 

This is a topic close to my heart. There are some strategies being pushed among many MLM businesses which really bother me. They are gruesome actually. I was naive enough to follow these instructions from one upline when I started with a certain company and to be honest, I feel sick with regret. I am ashamed that I treated my own friends and family as potential dollar signs. So I really want to share with people my experience and a few of the worst marketing strategies that I would most definately never try again.

1. The 100 List. Almost every company promotes this. Also known as the “FRANK” list or similar. Friends, relatives, aquaintances, neighbours and kids. Write a list of everyone you know and systematically harass them to host parties or buy products. Don’t take no for an answer. I have no problem supporting my friends and family in their businesses. But I don’t host parties and I am only going to purchase products I actually NEED. Hand me a catalogue and I’ll let you know if I need anything. Pester me weekly to host a party and I’ll probably end up ignoring you completely. It’s annoying and takes advantage of peoples relationship with you. Ask once, let it go. They know where to find you if they change their mind.

2. Asking for referrals. If my friend gave my number to a stranger telling them I might be interested in hosting a party, I would probably hurt them. It’s rude. By all means, my friend can pass on your details and if I want to host I’ll certainly give you a call. But seriously, leave cold calling to the telemarketers I hang up on several times a day.

3. Unsolicited adding to Facebook groups. I have been added to, no less than 40 MLM company Facebook groups in the last week. I have counted only 3 different brands. If I already have a friend who sells Scentsy, I don’t need to see the same specials on 15 other groups. Build a relationship with people, ASK if they would like to be added and don’t be offended if they say no. It’s nothing personal. There is only so many times someone needs to see the same promotional video per day before it’s just annoying.

4. Copy and paste verbiage. There are what? 200 people in your extended team? And you all just posted word for word, identical image posts on every group, page, buy-swap-sell site. I just scrolled through and 7 of my friends posted the same identical post in an hour. What did I do? I kept scrolling. Did it make me want to buy from them? No. It made me unfollow them. Be original. Be you!

5. Begging for help. You just sent me a message asking for help to meet your goals this month, to stay active, etc. Ok cool. I can do that! An hour later you post asking for people to join your amazingly successful team. Hmm… see what you did there? Check Mate. Don’t hang your dirty laundry out for everyone to see. If you are struggling get out and work your business, speak to others for ideas, do some personal development and training. And don’t be ashamed to not be ready to recruit. If you are not running your business successfully, you are not ready to mentor someone else. And THAT IS OKAY!

6. Cold messaging strangers. “Heyyyy Girlfriend!!! I came across your profile and think you would looove this opportunity!!!”. Okaaay… so firstly, your company isn’t even available in my country. Secondly, I might have suffered an eating disorder in the past and here is a stranger pushing weight loss products… are you calling me fat? My point is, this person doesn’t know you. You don’t know anything about them. Not only do you look like a crazy cyber stalker, you are damaging your companies reputation. Again, it’s annoying and weird and just stop. Yeh you might get obe “Yes” for every 100 cold messages you send… but that’s 99 people who you just annoyed and have now blocked you as spam… whoops!

7. Vomiting your business all over everyone. You’re excited. I get it. But I was your friend before you started your business. Don’t forget to talk about what else is going on in your life… oh and don’t forget to have a life! On your personal profile, stick with the 80/20 rule. 80% personal posts, 20% business. Any more than that will probably end with you defriended and possibly your family arranging a welfare check because they think you have gone mad, been hacked, joined a cult and perhaps forgotten you have children or a day job. Sorry but it’s true.

I could totally add more to this list, and probably will as I think of things. But basically my point is that running a businness online is hard! But it’s even harder when you are given terrible advice. Don’t take everything your upline says as gospel. Train yourself, develop your own ideas, find out what works for you. At the end of the day, your business will be successful if you provide great products with amazing customer service. Market YOURSELF so that people WANT to come to you.

I’m an Independent Consultant with The Body Shop at Home and I absolutely love everything about the brand. I love working in the Party Plan industy and I have learnt so much on my journey, from both The Body Shop, other companies, external trainers, bloggers and so many more. There is so much information out there for you to find..

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