How To Last As A Direct Sales Entrepreneur

We are coming up on six years as Scentsy Independent Consultants. It has been an incredible ride, one that has seen our team grow to include consultants all over the world, and a business that we now own that has truly changed our life, our income, and our happiness.

Over this time we have had the privilege to work directly (in mentoring, training, speaking and coaching) with many thousands of consultants worldwide.  We have realized that there are certain understandings (or beliefs) that determine whether a consultant will “last”, or whether they will quit before they experience the real “fruits” of a successful direct sales business.

Unfortunately, the reality is that many, many consultants (the majority in fact) don’t ever last with one direct sales company as long as we have lasted with Scentsy.

In fact – and these are real statistics – 100% of the people who joined our team in 2009 have since quit Scentsy, and 62% of the people who joined our team in 2010 have since quit Scentsy. In spite of this our business thrives, and continues to grow (both globally and in absolute numbers), and we are able to experience an incredible life because of it.

There are many reasons why consultants quit, and we want to share some to help any new Scentsy Independent Consultants so that they can experience the same blessings that we have felt with this company. Here are 5 tips that will absolutely change your business and allow you to “last”:

1. Motivation Will Wear Off, Habits Will Sustain You

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Direct sales companies are great about “motivating you”.  We have annual conventions with tons of great speakers and trainings.  We have regional meetings, incentive trips, leadership trips, webinars, seminars.  We have more training than you could even imagine.  In spite of this, the majority of consultants won’t last 6 years.

Why is this?  Primarily it is because habits are what really matter in this business.  Motivation is only an ignition switch, nothing more.  Motivation wears off.  It is overrated.  If you want to stick, if you want to last, if you want to beat the war of attrition and experience the fruits of a successful direct sales business you have to establish (as quickly as possible) powerful habits in working your business and allow those habits to carry you to success.  If you constantly need a “re-charge” eventually you will get tired of the cycle.  Habits are what count.

2. The Same Things That Work At The Beginning Will Always Work

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We have the experience of coaching many consultants who find themselves in “plateaus” in their business, after having been in it for several years.  In most cases, the consultant has who is in a lull in their business has moved away from doing the things that brought them initial success.  When you start your direct sales business you often talk to everyone. You are challenged by your upline and you respond.  That leads to results.

Many consultants fall into what I believe is a “productivity trap of leadership”.  They have grown their team a little and they shift the majority of their time to training activities.  We believe that this is a mistake if you do it too early.  Meghann and I are at the highest rank of the company, we have the ability to focus entirely on leadership but yet we don’t.  We constantly do the things that we did in 2009.  As a result we are getting new customers weekly and also constantly finding new recruits.  Our business therefore grows. If you want to last you have to do the things, for your entire experience, that you do as a brand new consultant.

Also – and this is a point that cannot be discounted – when you do the things that “new consultants do” you get to experience the emotions that a new consultant feels: excitement, engagement, momentum.  You have to feel that often to last in this business.  If you become solely a “trainer” or solely a “leader” you not only miss out on a steady stream of new customers and recruits, but you miss out on these positive emotions.

3. You Have To Understand And Conquer The Dip

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Here is the application to direct sales:

When you first start out, you experience a relative level of success.  When we are training our team we like to refer to this initial success as “the friends and family bump”.

You tell your friends and your family about your new business venture.  Many of them will “test” out your products to see if they like them.  Some of them will purchase again, but not all of them.  So your customer base immediately starts to recede.  Some of them may also want to get involved with the business venture themselves. However this initial bump doesn’t last.

Soon you find yourself heading into the “Dip”.  This is where you have exhausted your initial network of contacts.  You are still working your business, and still trying, but you are starting to see your results diminish.

The Dip is where many, many people quit.  The dip usually happens at the 18-24 month point. Those who persist past the Dip, end up with a significant share of the results, and rewards over time.

Persisting past the Dip is hard because it requires you to get out of your comfort zone.  It requires you to expand your personal network. It requires you to experiment with new strategies.  Anytime you start experimenting you open yourself up to failure.  So not only do you have to persist past the Dip, but you also have to get over your fear of going outside of your comfort zone, and you have to get over your fear of failure.

4.  Dabbling Doesn’t Give You Enough Data To Make A Reasonable Judgment 

 

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There are many, many different ways to build your business, and the reality is that they all work.  However, in order to get results from particular methods it is often necessary to stick with the method for a long time.  You also have to learn how to do that method correctly.  That involves failing a little at first until you can correct.

The problem is that many, many consultants will try one method and then make a judgment about whether that method works and then quit doing it.  When in reality they are asking the wrong question  – instead of asking whether a particular method works or not, they should really be asking whether or not they are willing to do what it take to MAKE that method work.  All methods work if you do them correctly but you have to be willing to 1) learn how to do it correctly and then 2) stick with it until you are performing it correctly.

We’ve seen this so many times, in so many contexts, with so many consultants – online marketing, organic marketing, doing parties, doing fairs. I could go on.  You can’t just do it one time and quit.  You have to learn how to do it correctly, and then stick with it until you are actually doing it correctly.

5. The Story You Believe Will Ultimately Define Your Experience 

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