When I was single and working a limited amount of time and living in a place I knew very few people, I signed up under someone to be a part of a “relational marketing” group that sold product. I got the kit and promptly put it under my bed and never took it out to “market” to anyone. The main reason was that I never wanted to approach people about my product. How could I possibly know if that person had any interest in what I was selling if I was just sitting there with them at coffee and suddenly brought up my product and mentioned that I was also a salesperson for that product?
I also tried door to door sales for a year in high school and that was a bust.
I’ve never been good at that kind of marketing and I’ve never taken to kindly to being marketed to that way.
When someone calls me up and says, “Hey, I just wanted to talk.” I’m like, “Awesome! I missed you.”
Then they are like, “So I started this business and I want to tell you about it…”
And that’s when my heart sinks. Did this person really want to talk to me EVER? All future calls from them are under scrutiny. Are they trying to sell me something or get me to sign up?
The thing is, I understand the appeal of being a home based business because I’ve been a stay at home mom and I’ve needed income and not been able to find a job and I’ve just been there.
I’m not dogging the product or really the sales people. I think there is a way to approach this whole home based business thing that won’t alienate people. I also love Mary Kay (I already have a MK lady and we have a nice arrangement) and Pampered Chef products. (Don’t call me. I’ll call you.)
However, I have a store and people come to me when I have something they want because I’m in the Yellow Pages or on my website or whatever so I can sell like nobodies business because I know that people have come to me for the express reason of being sold to.
When I answer my phone seeing that it’s one of my friends, I’m answering the phone for the express reason of talking to my friend, not being sold something.
There has to be a way to put it out there that you are a home based business and then allowing people to come to you! I’m not sure what that is but you would think that with social media being what it is, we could accomplish that better.
How about you? Do you “do” the pyramid scheme? Do you “get” the home based business? Is there such a thing as “relational marketing?”
4 thoughts on “Small Town Life – Death of a Saleswoman”
I totally understand this wariness about marketing. It is kind of weird seeing your social contacts as captive audience. It strains relationships, like you said.
It is good to clearly delineate the line between business and friendships.
I agree. I have been selling, or involved with the sales process, for many years. But I only do business with other businesses or sole traders. I have been approached to join such schemes but I have always declined for the reasons you have given. If my friends and family want to buy my services, they will ask me!