I started my first business when I was 20 years old.
It was a translation and tutoring company and I was a sole proprietor. I did quite well, though the work needed to get and fulfill contracts was way too much to continue once I had children. I had less time to focus and deadlines became very stressful and difficult to make. By then I was also working on finishing my PhD, all while pursuing translation contracts. After the birth of my third child, I decided to take time off from my research project. I needed an extra income to supplement our family’s needs. Translations were out of the question for the reasons mentioned above.
This is when direct sales came into play for me and I very methodologically picked the best one for me among 50 different companies.
Thirteen years later I now lead an organization of several Leaders and over 200 Consultants. We are well on track to reach our goal of 1,ooo,ooo in sales this year.
So how did I go from not being able to keep up with my first business to this result?
The main difference is team work!
As a translator I worked alone or sometimes worked on a contract with others but with direct sales (or network marketing) the potential and impact of working together is HUGE!
Here are some of the lessons I have gleaned from team building over the years:
Listen more than you talk – ask questions, find out what team members (or prospects) need or are looking for, then answer to that
Be there for them – in today’s world, we are often left to ourselves and we can become discouraged and isolated, let them know that as a team you have each other’s backs
Set limits – being there for them does not mean being available at all times and in all situations! Team members will actually be reassured to see that you have business hours or clear communication preferences (for example you answer messages within 24-48 hrs though not always immediately). This shows that you respect your own time as well as theirs. It also demonstrates that leadership is feasible and this will encourage them to aim for it as well.
Be open – let them know that any question is acceptable and you will do your best to answer.
Stay in touch – through a welcome call or regular “check-in” messages, keep the communication going. Your intention is to guide them as needed and it will be clearer to them if you are in contact regularly. They will also feel more comfortable reaching out to you when they have questions or need assistance.
Mentor as a learning opportunity – being available and open to learning with your team members give you access to their experience as a new team member, this can give you a better knowledge of what it is to be “new” on the field and will give you insight into the best training or guidance for your team
Ask for help – Delegate certain tasks such as tallying points for recognition to team members who are more involved in your online community, for example, this will make your job easier and create a more collaborative organization, which will help everyone save time and have more for what matters
Complain UP not DOWN – Do not share any of your negative feelings or experiences with the company with your downline, they need to focus on their own business and growth and you can never be sure how it will affect them. Make sure to bring any and all complaints to your company’s home office or your upline as they are the only ones who can make any changes to the situation anyway. Train your Leaders and team to do the same, sending feedback through the appropriate channels.
Follow company guidelines – Growing a team is NOT the place to express your utmost creativity! Follow and teach the systems already in place, they have been working for a long time!
Be duplicatable – this is one of the MOST important tips – make sure everything you do, from how you present the company, conduct a welcome call, or do a presentation, are easy to understand and replicate. Imagine that at any time the people watching can be future team members and act accordingly.
Sponsor first! The best opportunity in your company is the starter kit. Keep that always in the forefront of your mind, and do not make it difficult for people to join! Even when meeting potential customers or hosts, ask questions and see how the business opportunity may serve them best. It has after all led you to where you are, and that is the very best that you can wish for them!