Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Essential Direct Sales Skills

When I share my “why” at parties, I always say that I never did direct sales before but the truth is I was a kit-napper.  I joined direct sales companies for the kit and the discounts then when the shopping bug for that product died – I found another company or just went shopping the traditional way – in a store!  As I have shared before, I started with my current direct sales company as a hobby – for my love of the product which meant discounts.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought “Maybe I could sell this” but it took some time before I actually thought of it as a business.  

I came across a blog called “3 essential skills that Women Lack in Direct Sales” and began thinking about my own journey in the direct selling world.  The three skills that the writer talks about are computer skills, organizational skills and branding skills.    

Computer skills are more than just Facebook and email and should include some other applications like excel, power point and word/ publisher.  This was an easy one for me and I think for most women today.  As a mom, we need to be a little tech savvy to monitor what our children are doing on the computer.  If you have worked outside of the home at all, in all likelihood computers are involved in some aspect of your job.  I have found that many of the direct sales companies have forms, tracking mechanisms, etc. that can be downloaded and used.  An important skill but one that can be learned with a little bit of help.

Organizational skills – so for me this is an ongoing challenge.  I look back at the days when I was crazy busy: working a 40 – 50 hour work week, commuting 1 1/2 hours round-trip to work, single mom with a daughter who had a passion for competitive sports (gymnastics, field hockey, all-star cheerleader) outside of school and a craft business on the side which included making and selling American Girl doll clothes.  Of course I am organized, right?  The busier I am the more organized I am – the more time I have, the harder it is for me to be organized.  Seems kind of crazy but I keep thinking that I can do that later then later doesn’t come.  I work best under pressure or deadlines which is not always good for my personal business.  I had a system that kept everything going.  As I moved into Leadership in Direct Sales, I have found it difficult to find a system that works for me to keep everything going.  Probably not the best thing to share with any potential recruit but I believe in being honest – you need to find a system that works in order to incorporate your business into your life.  On the outside, I am organized, supportive and a growing leader.  In my office – I am a hot mess.  I can find things quickly and respond to requests in a timely manner but it looks like a mess.  Something that I am working on.

Branding skills – this was a new one for me.  Branding to me was ONE of these titles: Belinda’s mom, COO for Bethel, Social Worker, Bag Lady when in reality I was all of these things.  I often wonder how people see me?  I know that they see me differently than I see myself just by the comments, requests and questions that I get on a regular basis.  I am learning to incorporate all of those things in my brand which I hope will be a “motivator for women”.  Thank you Vanessa Coppes for teaching me about branding.  I thought I had to wait to brand myself until I reached a specific level in my direct sales company but the truth is I can start NOW when I am a Director.  I guess I really started when I was a Consultant and was drawing recruits in without even trying to find them.

I don’t claim to be an expert in any of these areas but I am growing.  When I don’t know something, I ask.  As women, we already have many of the skills necessary to have a successful direct sales business.  I used to tell recovering, struggling addicts to take the skills that they used on the streets to sell and do drugs then apply it in a positive way to change your life.  In essence that is what each of us have to do with the skills that have – learn how to translate them into something that will help us in our business.  Not sure how to do this, ask someone how they see you?  You may be pleasantly surprised by their response.

Would love to hear about your organizational systems?  Please feel free to share you ideas.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!