Putting People Over Profit

My first experience with direct sales was a doozy… A friend who I hadn’t spoken to in years sent me “the message.” “Hey, girl! I miss you and we haven’t talked in forever! Can we catch up soon?” I was excited! Although we hadn’t talked in a long time, we had been good friends and I looked forward to our phone call. After a few brief minutes of “catching up,” the real reason for the call became evident…

She dove right into her recruitment spiel for her direct sales business. I tried to be nice, but I was so sad. Not only did she not seem to care that I wasn’t the least bit interested in joining her business, but she used the guise of friendship to try to make me feel guilty for not “helping her out”. She hounded me for weeks until I had to disconnect from her on social media and stopped returning her calls. It left such a sour taste in my mouth that the fact I ended up becoming involved direct sales at all is a miracle.

Fast forward a few years and I had my next big encounter with direct sales, but this time, it was totally different. I was at a jewelry party a friend was having (which I absolutely did not want to go to because of my previous experience) and the person presenting started talking a little about the business plan. She wasn’t pushy at all, but just shared what she knew and offered us a little packet of information to take home if we wanted. She talked about how she worked her business into her life and how the business philosophy was to serve God and other people. I was intrigued, but hesitant to pursue additional information because I did NOT want a repeat performance of my last experience. Regardless, I asked for an info packet at checkout.

A couple days after the event, the independent distributor called me and told me that she really enjoyed meeting me and thought I might be good at what she did. She invited me to coffee, asked me some questions about my family’s needs, my life, my job situation, and showed me how the business might fit in. There was no manipulation, no pressure, and no sketchy bait and switch. She just laid out the information and asked me what I thought. Before I could even stop the words from coming out of my mouth, I heard myself saying, “I’m in!”

Months later, after launching a really successful business, I was at a training thinking about the difference between my first direct sales experience and my second and trying to wrap my brain around how I had even ended up where I was. Almost at that moment, the following words came out of my company President’s mouth: “At Premier, we ALWAYS put people before our profit. Jewelry is our tool, but PEOPLE are our business.” That was it.

In my first direct sales encounter, my “friend” was focused on her bottom line. She needed people in her downline to reach some goal, and she was calling every person she had ever met to reach that goal. And honestly, looking back, I get it. That’s what she was taught to do and she was desperate to be successful. She had become a master at overcoming objections, which presented itself as pressure and manipulation. But the fact is, if you pressure someone into joining your business – if you have to convince them that they need to do it – they are not going to last. And you may very well damage a friendship.

In my second direct sales encounter, the lady who eventually became my business sponsor genuinely cared about my best interest. She took time to find out about me, about my family, and about our needs. She then explained how her business could meet that need. And she left the decision up to me. Would she have been disappointed if I had chosen not to join her? Maybe, but I don’t really think so. When we put other people’s needs before our own personal agenda, our thought process changes. When we genuinely want the best for other people, manipulation is not an option. When we put people before profits, our business might not grow rapid pace, but it will grow.

Matthew 7:24-27 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

If you want your business to be rock solid, you must put people before profits. This is so opposite to what the world and many direct sales gurus teach, but it is the truth. Love on people and serve them where they are. Then watch and see what the Lord does. I promise you, it is better than anything you could have done yourself.

Selena Garrison is a direct sales entrepreneur, financial coach and COO of Catch Your Money! She can be reached at admin@CatchYourMoney.com.