The Ultimate Direct Sales Leadership Cheat Sheet

Direct Sales Leadership is about connecting with the people on your team, getting close to them and creating a “family” like culture. Now you ask, how can that be done effectively? By paying close attention to what you would want in a leader of course. Below are my leadership guidelines that will help you develop a strong, passionate team that is connected to you and connected every person that joins you.

Body Language

Like it or not, people pay attention to how you carry yourself, even when you are silent. Here’s how to express an attitude that’s appropriate for a leader.

Make Eye Contact. Always look directly into the eyes of your team or potential new recruits. This shows you’re interested and also gives you a sense of confidence.
Face the person you’re talking to. This shows you are interested and engaged in the conversation.
Always smile. Smiles are something people love. Smile at the people you are talking to. They will feel invited to engage with you.
Look your best. You don’t have to be dressed to the nines every day but you should dress appropriately and neatly. Clothes can have a big impact on the way you’re perceived. Represent your business, your team and the company you represent every single day.


When being of the top people in Direct Sales Leadership, your team wants to know they can depend on you. When you say you are going to do something, keep your promise

Only promise what you can realistically deliver.  Don’t promise your team things that you know you cannot come thru with.Only promise things that you know you can make happen. Being dependable is one of the top things that team members will respect in you.
Set clear goals. Make your to do list weekly and monthly. I put everything down on a dry erase board so that they are right up in my face and I know what I am accomplishing daily.
Organize your team. Many of your team members will have strengths and training that they can bring to top. Showcase their skills and get them involved in doing training and webinars as a team. The more you duplicate what you can do will strengthen your team.
Delegate tasks.  Have your team do things to help the team as a whole. This will take things off you and also help train them to be the amazing leader that you know they can be.
Direct Sales Leadership means keeping communication open. Stay in touch with your team on a weekly or monthly basis. Whether you use texting, phone calls, Facebook messages or videos. Even a simple hello will let your consultants know you are thinking of them.
Stay organized. Staying organized will help keep you on top of what is going on and what you need to get done. When you accomplish the same things on a monthly basis, your team will see your consistency and start following you lead.

Trust & Recognition

A happy fun loving team who feels comfortable asking questions is a happy one.  Everyone will be more cheerful if you follow these simple rules.

Don’t play favorites. Of course you will make friends with people on your team or even bring on close friends but try to give the same advice and help to everyone on your team no matter who they are. Also teach your team this same attribute. It will keep everyone closer.
Give credit to your team. Did your consultants have an idea or go above and beyond? Give them credit and shout outs. This will build their confidence and make them want to repeat doing things for the team.
Never discuss consultant matters with other members of the team This kind of gossip always gets back to the person and will make you look unprofessional.
Keep your promises.  If you promise a consultant something, then keep your promise. It’s that simple. If your consultants see you are undependable, they won’t trust you. When there is no trust like any relationship, things fall apart.
Recognize a job well done. Make sure your consultants feel recognized for a well run business. Consultants will be more willing to put in extra effort if they know it’s noted and appreciated by their up line.
Provide motivation. Sometimes consultants just need a boost. Provide them with encouragement and support. Something that I always let my team know is that I understand if LIFE happens. Our team is not here to judge them but only to provide support not matter what is going on.

Origami Owl team

Manage Yourself

Have good Direct Sales Leadership characteristics isn’t just about what you can encourage others to do, it’s also about managing your own performance.

Be Accessible. Make a pact to return calls or messages within 24 hours. If you go on vacation or are having family time, be sure there is another leader that your team can contact. Let them know that they can always come to you with problems and concerns.
Be open to constructive criticism. It may not always be what you want to hear, but listening to constructive criticism gives you the chance to learn and grow from your mistakes.
Accept responsibility. Part of being great when it comes to Direct Sales Leadership is accepting responsibility for the mistakes that you WILL make. There is no perfect person and every person will make a mistake. Be open to accepting when you do and taking steps to improve things.
Know there’s always room for improvement. As I stated above, no one is perfect. Education should be a huge part of your Direct Sales business and you should always be willing to learn.
Improve your skills. Learning is a something that you need to do in order to continuously be a better mentor and person. You’re never too old to take seminar or course in order to improve yourself.
Get regular feedback. Ask your team how you can improve, what they need from you or what you can do to help get them to the next level. Be open to hearing what they say. This will show them that you really care about being the best mentor you can for them.
Know your limitations. You can’t be everywhere doing everything all at once. Know the limits of your time and abilities and say no to things you know you can’t do.

Boosting Productivity

Getting the most out of your day may not be very easy with a busy schedule, but you can use these tips to help you maximize your time in order to be better available to your designers

Get the most out of meetings. We have a team webinar every single week. It is important to connect with your team and know what you want to talk about so they get the most out of being part of when you meet. Be organized and prepared for meetings to increase effectiveness and time savings. Keep your webinars exciting and make your designers want to never miss one.
Focus your energy on things that matter. Don’t focus on gossip, negativity or things that will not help your designers businesses grow. Focus on the good and productivity.
Identify your time-suckers Everyone has moments where they get distracted. Figure out what these are and work to eliminate them, if only for a few hours a day.
Be punctual. Being on time is a big deal. Never keep people waiting for appointments or meetings. Value your designers time as you want them to value yours.
Respond to your email and Facebook messages within a reasonable amount of time. You don’t have to be chained to your inbox but try to make it clear that you will do everything you can to respond to your messages within 24 hours. Sooner if possible.
Stick to schedules and routines. Yes, they can get redundant but schedules, routines and consistency will show your team you are dependable and improve your productivity.
Eat That Frog, Yes Do your least favorite tasks first. Get your most tedious and least desirable tasks out of the way earlier in the day. After that, everything else will be a breeze.

Communicating with Customers

Remember your customers and Hostesses are the boss . At the end of the day, your job is to make the customer happy. Do whatever you can to make sure your customers have the best  experience.
Retain a strong customer base even when you get new ones. While you always want to bring in new business, it’s very important to maintain relationships with loyal customers. Touch base with them and do whatever you can to make sure they know you as their locket lady.
Provide effective channels of communication. Make sure your customers can contact you easily and quickly if they have a problem, concern or question. Like your consultants, be sure you ask them for their feedback so they know you truly care and appreciate their business.
Provide the Follow up. Don’t let contact fall off. Its not enough to just sell one time. Connect with your customers. Build the relationship.
Listen attentively. Pay attention to what your customers are asking for so that they keep coming back to you.
Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. It’s OK not to know the answer to every question. Customers and consultants will respect you more if you are honest with the. They don’t expect you to know everything, but they do expect you to be honest.

Keep Up with Change

Adopt a predictive Direct Sales leadership style. Don’t wait for things to happen to make a move. Anticipate problems and provide contingency plans.
Test your contingency plans.  Keeping things quiet and not preparing for them can be disastrous way to lead your team. Get your core people in place and know what to do during busy times, launches or other changes that may be coming.
Identify the positives. Even the most negative changes can have positive aspects to them. Keep your team focused on the positives at all times and explain to them that change or bumps in the road happen with every business
Be quick to adapt. Learn to adapt to changing situations quickly and be able to change plans on the spur of the moment if the situation requires it. Have faith in your company and always have their back in regards to their decisions. If you don’t, you will find a team full of negative nellies.

Resolving Problems

Whether problems are internal or external, they can make your management duties a nightmare if you don’t handle them correctly. Here’s how to stay on top of them.

Stand up for your consultants. In leadership, you must be the voice of your consultants. Let executives or up line know what their thoughts are.
Manage and control your emotions. Don’t let anger or frustration affect your problem resolution. If you are emotionally invested in a situation, cool down before discussing it or bring in an outside mediator.
Learn when to step in. Some problems might resolve themselves if you just let them be, but you need to be aware of times where you’ll need to step in and take control of a situation.
Take the blame. If you’ve made a mistake, fess up. It’ll give you more time to work on fixing the problem instead of talking your way out of taking the rap.
Get the facts first. Before you pass judgment on a situation, make sure you have the whole story. Listen to your designers and refrain from questioning anyone’s integrity without knowing all of the story
Rise above the crisis. Learn to separate yourself from the problem and rise above the fray. You’ll be able to think more clearly and make a better decision on how to rectify the issue. Your team will respect you for staying calm and handling things the way a leader should.
Don’t ignore problems. A small problem can easily snowball and become something much more difficult to fix.

Go Above and Beyond in your Direct Sales Leadership

Leadership isn’t about bossing people around or being at the top with a sparkly title. To truly be a great leader, sometimes you need to go above and beyond what the people expect.

Lead by example. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but the best way to get a point across is to walk the walk. Your team will your lead.
Get your hands dirty. Sometimes you need to show your designers that you are doing exactly what you are teaching them to do.
Make a difference to your consultants.  Don’t just be a generic leader. Forget levels or lines. Treat your team as one family. Help everyone. Be there for everyone.
Gain your consultants’ trust and respect. You’ll have a much easier time connecting with your team when they respect you and trust your leadership.
Be empathetic to personal problems. Whether it should or not, what happens outside of work can have a big affect on your consultant’s businesses. Be sensitive if consultants have personal issues that keep them from concentrating on their business.
Be unique as a Leader. Every position title asks something different. March to the beat of your own drum and shake things up. Be different.
Remember that ethics matter above all. Be honest and reliable in all of your business and personal relationships.
Be on the lookout for new ideas. You never know where your next great inspiration will come from. Think beyond just being a consultant. Always make your business about helping others and new ideas to do that.
Get to know your team members. Learn more than just their names. Get to know your consultants, family backgrounds, likes and dislikes. Doing so will make you more relatable to them. They will truly feel apart of a family and make your leadership techniques something that they want to duplicate.

What tips do you have to be an effective leader? I’d love to hear them. Join us over on Facebook and give us your ideas to share with other direct sellers.  For more Direct Sales Business Tips, be sure to join us in our GIRLBOSS community.