There is a hidden cost in your direct sales business. It’s a cost that rarely gets exposed, yet could be costing you millions of dollars.
Consider for a moment how you began your direct sales business: you paid a small enrollment fee and perhaps purchased some initial products. There was a distributor form that you filled out (probably online) and that was it. Simple, quick and a relatively small investment.
That’s great for lots of reasons; where else can you start a business with such ease and for so little money?
You saw the huge opportunity — you can make the income of your dreams — and the fact that the entry costs are so low and you jumped in. If you’re someone who’s looking for more freedom, more options in life — why wouldn’t you?
What you perhaps didn’t realize, however, is that such ease in getting started can lead directly to trouble.
Here’s what typically happens:
You contact those you know best: friends and family. You make some phone calls. You spread the word in your social media feeds.
You go through your company’s basic training and get all the info you need on the products (or services) you will be selling. You get some great tips on how to prospect and do presentations.
You get a few sales and you’re excited. You start dreaming about the possibilities of where this could go Wow – this is awesome! I am so glad I joined this business! This could change my life!
And then it happens…
Encountering The Wall
You get a “No.” Then another, and another. The people who had been saying “Yes” aren’t ordering as much as they used to; some have disappeared altogether.
People who joined you in the business are experiencing the same thing and they’re getting frustrated, too.
It’s like you’ve hit this imaginary wall that has stopped you in your tracks.
How did this get so hard?!
Every home-based business owner eventually hits The Wall. It may be in your first month; it may be after you’ve made your first million dollars. But, The Wall comes.
When most direct sellers start their business, they look only at the entry cost. To get past The Wall, you now have to pay the hidden cost we mentioned at the beginning of this article.
So, what is it? How do you find the hidden cost and how do you pay it?
The first thing you need to know is that this hidden cost is not something you pay with money. (You’ve figure that out already, right?) It is a personal cost. It’s your professional development, your commitment to doing things that you may not want to do, that you don’t think you can do.
In very simple terms, it’s the cost of becoming good at business. Let’s repeat that, because it’s the core message in this article:
The hidden cost in your business is the cost of becoming good at business.
You are losing millions of dollars in potential profit, income you will never see if you don’t pay the hidden cost. Every direct seller needs to consider what they are and aren’t willing to do to be successful.
- Are you willing to be uncomfortable, face your fears and do what you’ve never done before? You’ve probably heard that a thousand times — face your fears — but how?
- Are you willing to invest in your own learning? Or, do you think you already have all the answers?
- Are you okay with messing up along the way if that’s what it takes? Or, are you too proud to let’s others see you stumble?
- Are you willing to hang in there and persevere, and make that next prospecting contact even when you don’t feel like it?
- Are you able to stay focused and work on your business consistently? Or, do you allow yourself to become distracted by your social media feed?
- Are you prepared to be a leader? And, do you really know what’s required of you in that role?
- Here’s perhaps the biggest one of all: Are you willing to risk your heart in pursuit of your dream? Or, are you one to always play it safe?
Will You Commit To Taking On The Wall?
If you want to have success in business, you cannot remain where you are…and you can’t remain WHO you are. To have more than you have today, you must become more than you are today.
We’ve been in the marketing and public relations profession for more than 30 years and in that time we’ve learned a lot about people, how they think and why they do what they do.
Here’s what we know: People are like water; we follow the path of least resistance. We don’t want to change.
When confronted by the wall, most of us do one of three things:
- We look for a shortcut and when that shortcut doesn’t pan out, we get frustrated;
- We avoid the issue; we make ourselves look busy but we avoid tackling the wall;
- We stop; we quit the business and live with the regret of what could have been.
How many times have you organized your office? How many times have you reviewed your prospect list and re-prioritized who you should contact first — but then contacted nobody? How many times have you written your goals, but then failed to hold yourself accountable?
We’ll go to great lengths with our avoidance behaviors, won’t we?
But, let’s say that today you have made a decision to face The Wall, to pay the hidden cost. You can see that there are no shortcuts to success. You are ready and willing to improve, become more knowledgeable, more skilled and more resilient.
You accept that the growth in your business is a direct result of the growth that must first happen in you.
A Critical Step That Gets Missed
We’ll get there shortly. First, let’s go back to the beginning, where we discussed how easy it is to start a home-based business. Because we have so little at stake — or so we think — we tend to not give it a lot of thought. We just do it. We jump in.
And there, my friend, is where a critical element gets missed — thinking. We skip the all-important “thinking” step. The problem is that by “jumping right in and off we go,” we set ourselves up for getting stuck at The Wall…or at a minimum, limiting our success.
And we don’t even realize it.
Just like we didn’t see The Wall coming, we don’t see how our own thinking might be keeping us from getting over The Wall.
If that’s a bit confusing, here is an example of how improper thinking trips us up:
Let’s say you have been an employee your entire professional life and your direct selling business is the first time you’ve been an entrepreneur. (By the way, that is true for an overwhelming majority of people.)
It’s likely that you tend to think in terms of trading your time for money; after all, it’s what you’re accustomed to. So, if you work 40 hours on your business, you would expect to make an amount of money that reflects 40 hours of effort.
But when you make only a little money (or none at all), that’s a bit disheartening. This business isn’t working. I put in 40 hours and didn’t make much money. The longer this goes on — what if it continues for 3 to 4 months? — the more frustrated you become.
Here’s what we’re failing to understand: In business, you don’t trade your time; you invest it. Big difference!
That’s how our own thinking can hinder us and keep us from getting over The Wall; and, that’s just ONE example of many. We have to start with correct thinking.
John Maxwell, one of the most renowned leadership experts in the world, said this: “Your thinking, more than anything else, shapes the way you live. It’s really true that if you change your thinking, you can change your life.”
Mull that over for a moment: Your thinking shapes the way you live…If you change your thinking, you can change your life. Now apply that to you business: Is your thinking helping your business or hurting it? Is it helping you get over The Wall, or is your thinking pulling you back down?
The 10 Keys
So, if you’re still with me at this point, you’ve acknowledged several things:
- Because a home-based business is so easy to get into, it sets us up to encounter The Wall;
- The Wall reveals the hidden cost in our business, and that cost is the personal development we must all go through;
- The first step in that personal development journey is to examine our thinking; is it helping us or hurting us?
Our company, WebBrand, specializes in producing online learning and storytelling platforms. Our team has produced lots of tools for lots of clients. As we studied how people in the direct sales profession get stuck at The Wall, we were pretty confident there was an opportunity for us to help.
We interviewed top leaders in several companies — these are people who have built huge teams, who have substantial 6-figure incomes — and we asked them: “What are some of the things you struggled with as you built your business? Also, think about the last three people you’ve mentored: what are they struggling with?”
Those leaders gave us fantastic insights, which we distilled into 10 metrics (or keys). It was pretty amazing how there was such great consensus on the keys to success. Moreover, these 10 keys were consistent with best practice in business in general —in life, for that matter.
Here, then, are those Keys To Success:
- Knowledge of Business — Do you what it means to own a business, all the ways it differs from having a job? What is the purpose of business? Is it to make money — or is it something else?
- Belief in Business (specifically, in the direct sales model) — To what extent do you believe in what you have your hands on? How proud are you to represent it?
- Vision (Your Why) — How do you know if you’ve adequately thought through your WHY? What’s driving you? You may think you have this down, but how do you know for sure?
- Confidence — How comfortable are you being in the sales profession? Do you enjoy building relationships?
- Work Ethic — How do you know if you are thinking realistically about the effort that is required to build a business? How hard do you have to work? Do you know what taking responsibility for your success really means?
- Willingness to Learn — How open are you to taking instruction? When you hear something that contradicts what you believe, what do you do with that new information? Consider it? Dismiss it?
- Perseverance — This is a big one. How well equipped are you to hang in there when things get tough? When you become weary, how and why does this happen? How does your thinking impact your ability to persevere?
- Goals and Accountability — Do you set goals? Do you even believe in goals? And, how are you with holding yourself accountable to those goals?
- Integrity — Are you committed to always doing what’s right instead of what’s convenient? Are there any chinks in your ethics armor that might be setting you up for trouble?
- Servant Leadership — Are you thinking correctly about leadership? Do you by chance have a blindspot here that’s hurting your business? Are you trying to manage people who are essentially volunteers and who have absolutely no requirement to listen to you?
That’s a big list! There is a lot to consider there. Now, of course, there’s more to it than simply knowing this; you have to apply it. Knowledge unapplied does nothing to affect change.
Nonetheless, you now have a better understanding of direct sales than a vast majority of people in your profession. We encourage you to keep going, to dive deeper into these keys. What can you discover about your own thinking, how prepared you are for success?
Getting The Answers You Need
If you’re someone who likes doing research, all you need are those 10 keys we just gave you… and Google.
You’ll need to look up best practice for each of the keys and then compare your thinking and beliefs to those standards. To do that, you’ll need to do some really deep introspection.
Then again, can you really be objective? We’re all human. Can we really accurately assess ourselves?
Maybe the thought of trying to figure out all of this on our own is overwhelming to you. Perhaps you just want to know right now where you stand; to you, having immediate answers would be a huge victory.
And that’s why we developed Direct Selling Indicator. This is a tool that tells you where your thinking is helping your business and where your thinking is holding you back. It’s a 15-minute assessment that gets you the clarity you need, quickly and objectively.
Here’s how it works: you answer some questions about yourself — your current progress in your business, what you’ve learned thus far and what you believe to be true about how to achieve success.
DS Indicator measures the 10 key metrics and gives you feedback on each one through an instant report. You don’t have to wonder what the hidden cost is for you. DS Indicator tells you.
Where your thinking is spot on, DS Indicator tells you and celebrates with you. Where you have gaps in your thinking, DS Indicator shows you how to improve. There are even recommended resources to help your further study.
Maybe you’ve pretty much conquered the wall — you’ve got a great business going. If that’s you and you’re someone who is always looking for that one thing that will help you become even 1 percent better, DS Indicator can help you, too.
This is not for you if you aren’t serious about your self-improvement. This isn’t a stick of dynamite that will blow up the wall so you can walk right through. You have to do the hard work.
Don’t spend your money and your time on this if you really prefer to remain where you are. We’re serious about that; this product isn’t for you. Before you buy DS Indicator you should first resolve that you really want to improve.
Direct Selling Indicator is also not for you if you are confident that you know everything you need to know. If you are already highly successful in your home-based business AND you don’t believe there is room for improvement, this tool is not for you.
But if you are serious about conquering the wall and if you are looking for a detailed and comprehensive analysis of where you are today, then DS Indicator is for you.
You can scale the wall in your business. You can get beyond the hidden cost. Start today by knowing what that cost truly is. Let DS Indicator help you. You can shorten the path to greater success in your business.