Direct Sales: Skeevy Tactics That Burned Me Out
Direct Sales. Chances are you have, are or know someone who is in Direct Sales. Now if you read my first post you remember I said that I’m honest and that it tends to offend people. This is one of those posts, so if you are in Direct Sales and are easily offended this is your Trigger Warning. I fully expect to get hate mail and lose Facebook friends after this but I’m okay with that.
Now before you get all butthurt and start that angry email let me say this. Direct Sales in and of itself isn’t bad. In fact, if you are good at it and you enjoy it then yay and rock on. I have zero issues with reps who work hard and do it without being skeevy and spammy. I still have a ton of Direct Sales reps on my friends list whom I would gladly purchase from. It’s the overwhelming number of bad reps that are taking over facebook that I take issue with.
I was in Direct Sales. I was with a makeup company, because makeup. After I joined and became part of that community the things I was instructed to do and the things I experienced pretty much burned me out and made me hate it. When you join Direct Sales you are told to surround yourself with other Direct Sales reps. So your friends list gets huge with reps. It doesn’t make much sense to me because I would think filling your friends list with potential customers instead of other reps would be better but what do I know?
The skeevy tactics:
I was instructed to contact EVERYONE I know and pitch them the business. Not sell the products, but try to get them on my team. It didn’t matter if they would be good at it or if they could afford it. All that mattered was the numbers. If someone can’t afford it encourage them to buy anyway. “If you sign up you will make your money back in no time and more!” I was also instructed to not take no for an answer and to keep asking until they said yes. I never did this because I value my friends and taking advantage of that wasn’t something I was willing to do. I was also told that I should stop being friends with anyone that didn’t jump up and down and RahRah my business. I was told a LOT of iffy things that pretty much made me think I must have the most unethical upline ever. I was wrong. Since then I have seen much worse.
As a customer of Direct Sales I have experienced the most skeevy reps imaginable. I have had weight loss reps msg me and tell me I “Look like I could lose some weight.” and offer to send me their products at a discount.
I am being msg’d on Facebook daily by the weight loss reps. People I have NEVER talked to before who copy and paste a sales pitch that always starts with, “Hey Girl!” because they are too lazy to learn my name. As soon as I see “Hey Girl” I stop reading because I know exactly what it says. I have started replying to these weight loss messages with, “Are You Calling Me Fat!”.
Facebook Groups are evil! Did you know that you can create a group on Facebook and add anyone of your friends to it without their permission? I didn’t know until I joined Direct Sales. You are encouraged to make a sales group and add ALL your friends and then have them add all their friends. After being added to at least 6 groups per day (and being re-added after I left the group) I started posting my sales links in their groups. It became almost a full-time job managing all the notifications and sifting out the spam from the legit ones.
Poaching. This is the practice of stalking a competing rep’s Facebook posts and messaging anyone who shows interest in the business or the products. So I post something on my profile about my business. My friend comments that she wants to try a product or is thinking about joining. She would then get message after message from other reps trying to get her to sign up with them instead. Goes without saying that this practice lost me a lot of potential team members because they got turned off by the other reps behavior and decided against Direct Sales.
Sabotage. This is where competing reps go to your profile and report all your posts as spam. If enough posts are reported you get locked out (Facebook Jail) and can’t post for a certain amount of time. If you are in the middle of a party this can kill your sales.
Reps promise the moon. Essential oils reps and reps who sell supplements or shakes take things too far sometimes. I have seen reps tell people not to listen to their Doctor. This will cure it. One particularly bad rep that comes to mind told a cancer patient to stop chemo. She said it was poison and that her supplement could cure cancer. This behavior disgusts me to no end. I have fibromyalgia and I have had so many essential oil reps try to use my illness as a selling point telling me that they had the cure.
Stalking. When I was is Direct Sales I had a purse that had my company info on it. I was at the nail salon one day and there was another woman in the chair next to me. She got done and left. An hour later after I got done I walked out of the salon and she was standing next to my car. She then proceeds to pitch me her business that had competing products trying to tell me that her makeup was better and I should leave my company for hers. This woman waited outside the salon for an hour…. WTF Lady?
Now I have more but you get the idea. The reason for this post is that I am seeing a lot more good reps leaving Direct Sales because the bad reps are taking over Facebook. People were instructed to sign people up even if they are not the type of people you want representing you and your product. People who should not be in customer service or sales are now running all over social media making the companies and the good hard working reps look bad. If things keep going at this rate companies are going to lose big in social media. My old company has already had their links considered spam by facebook and automatically blocked because of so many spammers.
If you are in Direct Sales PLEASE don’t sign just anyone. Make sure they can do the job respectfully. I didn’t have the patience to deal with the skeevy. I spent more time dealing with other reps then working on my business. After 2 years I left. If you are going to grow a team you need to be ready to take responsibility for their instruction and their behavior.