Finding Customers For Your Direct Sales Business
In this day of social media, we’ve all received a message from a “friend” on Facebook you barely (or don’t) know or haven’t talked to in 30 years telling you about their amazing product. Or, you may have received 10 or 20, like me. A few weeks back, I got this message – one of MANY:
Friend from 20 years ago or random stranger who just friended you 20 minutes ago: Hey Girl! Can I ask you something? Would it be okay if you earned a paycheck while staying home with your family? There are many moms that can now be home with their kids because they became consultants and make more selling XYZ than with their 9 to 5 jobs!
Everybody knows the Sun is hard on Women’s skin and everybody says if we don’t take care of our skin we will get really deep wrinkles and look older than we are. Most ladies want to protect their skin so would it be okay if you tried product for a couple of months to see how young you could look? If you are interested, Message me or check out my facebook page. If you are not interested, I apologize for taking your time.
(edited SLIGHTLY to anonymize the sender)
What effect this has on the reader
Now, here’s the thing, this is a very polite note. I appreciate how the consultant clearly took the time to craft this message. But she missed one key factor – a big one. I don’t care about wrinkles. I never have. I’ve always thought of aging as a beautiful experience, so when she wrote this to me my first thought was, “no. I don’t care about looking younger.” I wasn’t interested, so I politely said, “No, thank you” and moved on. Her pitch didn’t interest me because I legitimately don’t care about aging. I forgot the message (and her product and her) almost immediately and
only remembered as I wrote this article.
Another person sent a similar note to a friend of mine. And that person also focused on the aging aspect. My friend doesn’t care about wrinkles, but she does care about her skin. Like, a lot. For her, she was immediately turned off by the fact that “everybody says if we don’t care about our skin we’ll get really deep wrinkles.” Because my friend is about loving yourself for who you are, and also taking care of your skin. She would have bought this product, but the way it was approached turned her off. Not to mention this was the first communication she ever received from this person.
So lets assume that the pain point section isn’t an issue, and that we do want to look younger, me and my friend. If you’re selling a product, you need to be the expert. Your goal is to influence someone to purchase from you, and influencing someone means that you need to come from a place of confidence and knowledge. “Everybody says,” doesn’t inspire confidence and it tells me you don’t know if your product works or that this is what people want or care about, you’re just doing what you read on the internet – doesn’t really fill me with confidence.
I can tell that this person wrote this out in a Google doc and was copy pasting and sending this to everyone on her friends list. It didn’t matter who I was, she was just sending it. Immediately when you get a note like that, your psychology says, “spam.” You know they’re messaging everyone just to see who’ll bite. And when you get tons of these, they all start to sound the same. And when everything starts to sound the same, your brain doesn’t even register it anymore.
In summary, no matter what combination of these points applies, they all tell me this person doesn’t know me and doesn’t care about me. She just wants to sell some stuff, so she’s using the pitch someone told her to use. This doesn’t fill me with confidence or influence me to shop. It doesn’t matter if that’s how she actually feels. That’s message I receive.
An Alternative Point of View
We all get these same kinds of messages pretty regularly, and from a lot of different consultants from many companies. I can pretty much guarantee that this works some percent of the time. The law of numbers is on her side. But there’s a lot of emails going around like this. How many numbers? Messages? People? How much time? And in the end, what does it matter, because for each customer, you have to do this again and again.
That sounds time consuming, and exhausting.
Knowing who my target audience is the magic bullet that will allow me to use social media to attract my customers, instead of chasing them.
I like that idea. I am a huge fan of not having to chase people to shop with me. It feels icky. Not to mention, Facebook doesn’t like it if you send the same messages to a number of people, it think’s you’re a spammer – so it can get you a one way ticket to Facebook jail.
What You can Do instead
Well, I’m not going to give it all away, because that would be a novel and not a blog post. But, the first step in this process is identifying what my customers want. To do that, I need to know who they are. So on this, and future installments of this series, we’re going to go over learning about my customers using my training (yup! I’m super meta, I am going to train myself).
If you want to play along with me, you can head over to my programs and get a copy of Identify Your Target audience, and we can do it together!