“Hey Girl” – The Stigma Behind Direct Sales

Beautycounter

I’m sure every one of you, especially if you’re a young woman, has seen a DM or Facebook message that goes something like this:

“Hey girl, I love your page. You are so pretty and you seem like you have an amazing outlook on life. It also looks like you’re into fitness and I think you would really love this opportunity I have. You could double your income!! I would love to chat with you about it!”

Nine times out of ten we say, “No, thank you” or ignore it completely, right?

I know I did. I am always respectful of course, but after the 15th time of being approached, it feels like a bit much. My friends and I have had many of these conversations about MLM (multi-level marketing) people coming on too strong and frankly, it’s giving ALL direct sales a bad name. That frustrates me.

I will keep all actual MLM company names out of this post, because I don’t want to be disrespectful. So, in this next story I will refer to the company in this next story as company A. My friend has a high school acquaintance that started with company A a year ago. My friend went to one of her parties in the summer and then a week later the lady asked my friend if she wanted to host her own online video party and listed all the reasons why and that it would help her a lot etc…my friend politely declined. After all, she is going to college full-time, working, had a couple deaths in the family that were extremely difficult, and isn’t super interested in the products anyway. Nothing wrong with that.

About a week later Company A lady followed up once again, and my friend declined again, all while feeling incredibly guilty. Another week passes, and another message appears in her inbox, this time the message contains personal notes about how much this lady seems to care about her life. This lady knows little about my friend’s life and it came off super inauthentic. Any wise person can see right through that marketing tactic. “Identify with your consumer” should mean being relatable and empathetic not fake.

This weekend, my friend showed me the latest message from this lady, and you guys, it was 950 words. Longer than most high school essays. The message contained more pushy language promising my friend a car, promising that her hopes and dreams will be reached, even talking about the past memories from their childhood, and pretending to know about my friend’s career aspirations. She actually said the words, “I don’t understand why you’re not joining my team.” WHAT? This lady also accused my friend of “ignoring her” when my friend was driving through a snow storm earlier that month. I CAN’T YOU GUYS. Hearing this made me want to pull my hair out.

It gets even worse. My friend also ordered products from a different company a couple of years ago. This particular company has consultants take down your credit card number so they can order for you. Well, this consultant kept my friend’s card on file and charged it 9 months later “accidentally.” Just so happens that my friend had told her 2 months prior that she did not want to restock her products. When my friend confronted the consultant respectfully. She said, “something may have just got sent to your house. Maybe you can give it to a friend or your mom.” Not once did she offer a refund or apologize for the inconvenience. Super unethical and once again, a behavior that makes ALL direct sales companies look bad.

At this point, my friend said she feels almost violated in a way. She is so bombarded that she now has a bad taste in her mouth regarding all direct sales companies. I guarantee SO many people feel this way and truthfully, I felt this way too. I hate to admit it, but I made fun of MLM people. I thought most MLM companies were a scam and that their “get rich quick” mentality was ridiculous.

I never thought I would be a part of a direct sales company or be involved with sales ever again for that matter, but there’s something about being a part of a company that you actually belive in that feels different from pushing products you don’t use or truly know anything about. I believe in Beautycounter. I believe in our mission to enforce regulations in the beauty industry. It has been 81 years since the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was last updated. While the U.S. beauty industry has grown into a whopping $62 billion dollar business! Since the FDA’s regulations are slim to none, Beautycounter has taken it upon themselves to not only prohibit the use of 1500 harmful or potentially harmful ingredients, which is called the Never List, we are 100% transparent about what is used in our products. What other companies do that?! Not enough that’s for sure!

With all this in mind, I was on board. Mostly, because I was already living this way. My mom emphasized safe products growing up and that mindset transitioned into my adult life, so Beautycounter is just an extension of who I am. I genuinely live my brand and that concept is missing within A LOT of other MLM companies. 

The idea that you will win a car or get lots of cash/free stuff is not the way to entice someone to join your team. Money should absolutely be a motivator, but if you’ve now traded money for quality and authenticity, it’s a problem. Yes, money makes the world go ’round and who doesn’t love it? But, if you are not passionate about the message behind your brand, why are you selling it?

On another note, why are mentors, directors, or team leaders pushing their teams to search out and send random, inauthentic messages to girls on social media? It’s uncomfortable, and frankly, kind of slimy. With Beautycounter, I have never felt pressured to make people order from me or join my team. Frankly, I will not reach out to random individuals on any social media platform. What seems to work thus far is consistently establishing effective promotions on Instagram and Facebook. Not just screenshotting the company emails, but making it my own. Setting up little photo shoots in my bathroom, or doing a quick Facebook video about my evening routine. When people see you living your brand and being 100% genuine, it’s refreshing.

When people are making purchasing decisions, they want to be able to see themselves using the products, so create that image for them. Show them how you are using it in your daily life. Just be honest and the sales will come! I am NOT saying you should settle. I have huge goals for myself and I continuously push myself to grow and learn each day, but I will be successful by staying true to myself, being authentic with my customers, and stressing the education/advocacy part of my business.

Marketing tools I effectively use: 

  • I will follow-up with individuals who have expressed interest in products.
  • I will tell members or customers about new products or promotions that would fit them.
  • I will promote, educate, and advocate Beautycounter on Instagram and Facebook.
  • I will hold social events online and in person.
  • I will do giveaways in private groups.
  • I will send samples to those who are interested.
  • I will answer any and all questions.
  • I will empower women and push them to grow.
  • I will advocate for safer beauty.
  •  I will continue to learn more about product ingredients and expand my knowledge on all things Beautycounter.
  • I will ALWAYS be honest, transparent, and authentic in my pursuit of success with direct sales.

I apologize if I offended anyone. My opinion is just that, my opinion and not everyone will agree. My thoughts come from a good place and I truly want every person involved with direct sales to be so darn happy, successful, and empowered.

Much love,

T

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