Need help deciding whether to drop out of direct sales - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-19-2008, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I only became an independent rep for Silpada Designs (jewelry) in January but I'm already feeling like I need to let it go. I have two main reasons. (1)I guess I didn't realize how much the business depends on me cold-calling women at home and asking/convincing them to do home parties. I now realize that I CANNOT do this. I totally feel like I'm bothering people and I would not want this done to me. It feels like telemarketing. Totally out of my comfort zone. (2) My time available to do parties is limited. I tried doing a few evenings and my DS (22mos) waited up for me to get home. Wouldn't fall asleep even with DH. Too much stress. I guess that's the clincher: I feel like I've just added a whole nother stressor to my life. So my real dilema is: do I quit now, sell the jewelry and pay off the debt ($2000.00)!!!! or try to hang in and do a few more parties here and there to pay a little of the debt down, then sell my jewlery and possibly make a slight profit? It's emotional too. I was SO excited to start and really thought it would be great so now I feel incredibly naive and stupid. Anyone have any thoughts?

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Old 04-19-2008, 11:03 PM
 
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It sounds like you want out but want to feel okay about giving up.

Don't be too hard on yourself - it sounds like it turned out differently than you had first anticipated. Also at least you tried - and you learned it wasn't for you. Successful business people usually have many "hats" under their belt before they find one that "fits". Use the lessons you learned from this experience to help guide you to another venture.


I have been caught up by the idea of direct selling and sold Avon and health products for quite a while before learning more about what I want to do. I know NOW that I like selling, but only when I am selling what "I" create - that excites and fullfills me and does not feel like "work"


Good Luck with whatever you decide
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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Direct sales and multi-level marketing are tough businesses. I don't blame you for wanting out. You are not naive, you made a choice and you have a choice not to do it anymore. Move on and don't beat yourself up. Live and learn I say. Think of the money spent as tuition


 
 

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Old 04-20-2008, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies! I needed to hear those things.

Bilingual mama to DS J 6/4/06 and new DS C 9/27/10  homebirth.jpg
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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I do direct sales and have been doing it for over a year and a half, and it is my full time income.

As I read your post, several thoughts came to my mind. What is your relationship like with your sponsor and upline? Can you turn to her for support and help? Does she just say "go make more phone calls" or does she actually equip you to book parties.

I hate phone calls too, and I just don't do them unless absolutely necessary, for something like customer service or follow-up. So, I completely understand when you say you hate calling people, esp. cold calling. I don't do that at all. Most of my parties are booked at parties and I train my team (30+ women now) to do the same. Since I learned how to do that, things have been MUCH better with my biz.

(BTW, I'm don't sell make-up, baskets, scrapbooking, jewelry, candles, nutrition supplements, etc - I'm not writing this post to promote my biz, so I'm not putting it here. You are welcome to PM me if you want to know more about it)

Direct sales is hard for many reasons, and one of the biggest is people saying "oh, you do THAT, that will never work." And there is so much expectation around you to fail. Even people that are "supportive" are supportive by telling you to stop if you are miserable.

I remember when I took my first breastfeeding class. The teacher said that when you are struggling that a supportive comment is NOT "oh, you tried, it is ok to quit now." A supportive comment is "I know this is tough, so what can I do to help? Or what do you need to be successful."

Am I saying don't quit, stick it out and continue to struggle? No. Something does need to change. You need more support from your upline. You need to reignite that reason you started in the first place. I am very passionate about direct sales as it has changed my life. (I'm a single mom of a 6 yr old and 4 yr old, and went through an unwanted divorce) Why is it working for me and harder for you? One thing could be that I found something that I'm completely passionate about. My products are fun, and actually improve lives and families. Having been through a failed marriage, I want to do whatever I can to help other families not go through that. Nothing against jewelry as I know your product is good, but I could not be successful selling Silpada. It just doesn't float my boat.

So, maybe direct sales IS for you, and maybe what got you so excited was the potential that direct sales provides you, but the product is just not your niche.

Or maybe it isn't, and only you get to judge. You aren't a "quitter" if you stop, and you haven't failed. To me the question of whether to quit or not is "Can you get passionate, truly passionate about your product? And Can you find upline support where you can call and get regular coaching from them?"

As far as your inventory ($2000! - wow. It would be a painfully hard decision if I had had to put that much into it to start too - I carry a little bit, but not nearly that much), at bare minimum, Silpada should have a buyback program where you get 90% of your money back - I believe that is the law that companies of this type have that. Or sell it at a discount, and still get some profit off of it, but not your full profit.

I guess I feel like I've been rambling, and I'm not so sure I've been helpful. I did another company before the one I'm with now and I failed miserably and was in debt $5000 from it. This one is completely different. I make a profit at every party, and am building my team. I'm now in the top 2% of my company. I don't say that to brag, but to point out the difference of buying into the "dream" of direct sales vs. truly being passionate about what I'm doing now and my results are night at day. Direct sales can and DOES work, but it is also challenging.

Should you quit? I don't know. Was direct sales a mistake for you? No. You learned a lot about yourself, what you are comfortable with, maybe what some of your dreams are, and probably more. Maybe direct sales IS for you, but Silpada isn't. Only you can answer that. And yes, I hate cold calling too, so I don't do it - and I still have a calendar of 12+ parties for next month - without 1 cold call.

Hang in there. Either way you decide, it isn't wrong. You aren't making a mistake by staying and you aren't making a mistake by quitting. You are making a choice, a positive choice for you and your family. Go with that, and trust your gut.

Janette
WAHsM - work at home Single mom of 2 beautiful daughters
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