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Don’t Trust the Skinny Chef

Posted by on September 7, 2012

There is a famous quote by Warren Buffet that, although not intended for the direct sales industry, has a lot of application. He once said, when discussing why he generally doesn’t hire “financial advisers” to make investment decisions:

“Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”

Now the quote may be a little pretentious (the guy’s worth $44B he can say what he wants), but there is a real gem of wisdom in it that applies to building your direct sales business.

Only trust people who can back what they are saying with real experience.One thing that invariably those in direct sales will encounter (if you haven’t already) is that when building your business, many people will be negative to you.

We’ve encountered it lots.  We saw it when Meg first started.  We saw it when she quit her job as a Social worker.  We saw it when I started spending a lot of time in the business and investing directly into it.  Finally we’ve seen it since I left my law job to do this full time.

But here is the thing – in literally every case the people who have been negative towards our business have one of the following characteristics:

  1. They literally know nothing (in terms of first hand experience) about this business or the industry in general. They have never been in direct sales, they don’t know truly how it works and how the compensation plan works, other than hearsay from someone else. They only know indirectly, based on the paradigm of someone else; or
  2. They have failed in direct sales in the past.

What is interesting however in number 2, is that, when I encounter a person like this I tend to push a little to find out what they ACTUALLY did in their business.  Whether they worked it every day.  If they worked it what strategies did they use?  What was the size of the downline?  What training programs did they create?  How did they communicate with their team (what forms, online meetings, in person meetings, by phone)? How often did they communicate with their team?  How did they use the internet and social media to grow their business?  And on and on and on.

Not surprising, what I find, is that they didn’t work EVERY SINGLE DAY on their business, and most of the other questions they can’t even answer.   They didn’t push past their fears. They weren’t innovative in their use of new technology and social media.  They didn’t dig in when the going got tough. They “tried” it for a bit, put in a half effort and then quit.

Trusting their advice is like trusting the financial adviser who takes the train.

I look to people for inspiration who have succeeded in this industry.  We are succeeding in this industry because we have modeled very successful Americans in our company.  We looked at the strategies that they used to build their business and we have done the same. It has taken time, investment, hard work, constant innovation and evaluation.  All of the skills that are needed in ANY form of business venture.

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