I was recently told that Mary Kay has a home-based sales force of 750,000. I don’t know if that’s accurate – sounds plausible. But I bet between Mary Kay, NuSkin, Amway, Mannentech, and Nutrilite (and some I don’t even know, I’m sure), there are many, many million people selling from home. And now with the economy being so quirky, and people losing jobs, I bet that the industry is going through profound changes.
Some of these folks have been trained to sell by their up-lines. Some have never been trained. Some just bought-in to the business because of some terrific hype heard at one of those Learn How To Get Rich Like Me rallies. But they have all learned to make a double sale: sell the product AND buy-in to the ‘business opportunity’ at the same time.
That’s a hard way to go: folks have a hard-enough time these days deciding to spend any money at all, and when asked to figure out if they want to spend money on cosmetics that they most likely don’t really need AND get others to work for/with them as they are also trying to find a ‘real job (but are ever hopeful that they can convince friends and relatives to understand the business opportunity also).
I suggest that folks selling these products focus on one thing to sell: either the product OR the business opportunty – not AND. This is far less daunting: folks only have to choose a cream or a lipstick, not push away because you are asking for too much. Remember: all buyers have their own unique, idiosyncratic buying criteria that most likely has nothing whatsoever to do with your product details or their possible ‘need.’ Use your knowledge of the field and history of selling your product to help lead your prospects through the types of decisions they need to make. And trust that they will do the best they can do so long as you’re not pushing them into a corner.
The time it takes folks to come up with their own answers (their own answers) is the length of the sales cycle (See my new book about this, Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.). Stop selling and help them manage their decision issues. You’ll make a lot more money, it will be a lot easier, and you’ll actually be helping people find jobs – with you.