I love direct sellers. I really do. They are some of the most passionate, giving, enthusiastic people that I know. However, one of the occupational hazards of friending a lot of direct sellers online is that those who have not (yet!) taken my social media training for direct sellers still do what I affectionately term the “Sales Swoop” any time they see an opening (and sometimes when they don’t!)
So today’s post is about what NOT to do as a direct seller online in social media.
Let me preface this by saying that what you SHOULD be doing is providing valuable content online that people appreciate. You should NOT be a sales pitch. I love it when people get it right. One of the ladies I’m friends with on Facebook who happens to be a wine consultant posts wine tips a few times a day as her Facebook status update. I’m learning the temperature my white wine should be to bring out the flavor. I laugh at her jokes about how most people age wine for as long as it takes to get it from the store to the glass. In short, she’s got an audience. She GETS it. I know she sells wine. But she’s not ramming it down my throat, and I look forward to her posts.
So let’s talk about some direct sales faux pas in the online world.
1. If I mention your company or your product, do not swoop down on me and ask if I already have a consultant. If you really want to know, start a conversation with me. Get to know me and find out what I like, what my interests are. Check out my blog and see what I write about. In short, know me as a person before you try to be my consultant.
2. Don’t provide me with a link to your website the minute I meet you online, because I’ve mentioned anything remotely related to your product line. I won’t click it. Instead, I’m more likely than not to ignore you and never click on anything you’ve sent me ever again. Instead, engage with me. Say hello. Share (FREE) resources with me about the interest that I’ve mentioned. I’m a lot more likely to be interested in what you have to offer when you express an interest in my needs, and try to help me with my needs (without trying to sell me immediately.)
3. Do not make every status update a broadcast about your product. You may think you’re meeting people’s needs by sharing valuable information about your products, but you’re not. Instead, you sound like a commercial. And I like to go get ice cream during commercials, not pay attention to them. I’d rather get to know YOU in your status updates, and have you get to know me.
4. PLEASE don’t make your logo your avatar. People in social media want to connect with PEOPLE, not logos. It’s amazing, but I feel a LOT more connected with those people online who have faces. When people have a logo up, I have no idea who they are, and I pay less attention. The people you’re trying to reach will do the same thing.
5. And finally, DON’T sign me up for your newsletter until I do it myself. Now perhaps this is another occupational hazard of communicating with a lot of direct sellers, as I do for my job. But my friends, this is actually against the law. It’s called SPAM if I don’t sign up for it myself. If I have an interest in your newsletter, rest assured, I know how to find you. But don’t sign me up without asking first.
Social media can have a dramatic impact on your business. It can help you connect with people you never could have met before, and can position you as an expert that people turn to for advice and products. By avoiding the direct sales faux pas I mention above, you will be on the path to success in social media.
What do you think? Have you experienced the “Sales Swoop?” Are you a reformed “Sales Swooper?” Would love to read your comments below!