Sponsoring isn’t about joining for products, its about building relationships. Let’s start at the beginning.
Nine times out of ten if you are in the direct sales industry, you went to a party or saw something on Facebook and fell in love with the products. You thought to yourself, I absolutely love these products, they will be easy to share and you quickly begin your journey. I often refer to this as the Direct Sales roller coaster. You know you are so excited to join, you can’t wait to kit your kit. Then the second it arrives, you are bursting at the seams to open it and then all of the sudden you realize you own a business and want to crawl in a hole wondering what you got yourself into? Sound familiar?
Believe me, we all go through this emotional roller coaster. You immediately start doubting your decision and very quickly start doubting yourself. When this happens, we must quickly lean in and realize this is common. I have seen it a million times. A very anxious new consultant can’t wait to get her kit and then all of the sudden, we pretty much have to get the FBI involved to find her. Why does this happen? How could someone be jumping over the moon waiting for UPS and then need to be tracked down. Well most of the time it is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of talking with people. Fear of what people will think. Fear of too much responsibility. Fear of leading people. When these fears don’t subside, it is near impossible to share the product successfully and we can’t even discuss beginning to build your team.
When I first started growing my business, I thought that shuffling paperwork & watching videos, or posting on Facebook was a successful leader. Of course I felt busy so I must be successful right? Truth was, I was hiding behind my fear. I am sure so many of you can relate as you read this. The funny thing is fear in the beginning of your business is a great thing. Why? Because as you share your opportunity with people, you will be able to tell them your story. You will be able to relate and let them know you know exactly what it feels like to be scared. The key to a successful business is sharing the opportunity, but I see so many decide not to do this or when they do, they simply don’t know where to start to help their new team member.
Being a Great Sponsor
The key to being a great sponsor is truly fostering relationships. It means listening and being there and cheering people on. You will stumble, you will make mistakes, but I think everything changes for a person in their business when they simply let their guard down and become authentic. When they stop trying to “sell” the opportunity but instead share their excitement for the business.
People can tell the difference. Have you ever dealt with a salesman that just didn’t get it? You know the kind that gives you every phony plug possible to get you to buy their product. You end up rolling your eyes, making every excuse to get away or simply running in the other direction? Yeah that is the opposite of what you want to do when you start sharing the opportunity.
The best sponsors simply share why they love their business. They tell of memories and friendships and adventures that without their company they would have never experienced. People can feel your heart. They are pulled toward you and want to hear everything you have to say. You must learn to never say things that will make you look desperate for people to join you but rather share with people why you would love for them to go beside you during this adventure.
Once people decide that your company and product is perfect for them, there is still work to do. You must be their friend, coach, cheerleader and bumpers along this journey. All of your words and actions can potentially determine which direction they go. Below are some of my top direct sales sponsoring teams that I have learned during my journey.
1. Love your products.
After being a direct sales failure for so many years and feeling like I simply played eenie meenie miney mo when choosing. I now know it is key to find a product and a company that you are absolutely passionate about. People gravitate to others who are happy and excited and love what they do. They want to jump on board with people who they know will wake up every day and help motivate them. They want to know that when bumps in the road happen, they will be there to pick them up. To create that culture, you must love your products and company. You must have faith in them when times are tough and that must always shine through. After all, you are going to want team members that have the same attitude right? I tell my team all the time. Your team will mirror what you do. Act like Eeyore and you will have a team of Eeyors. Act like Tigger and you’ll have a team of Tiggers. I think its pretty clear what you would rather have.
2. You must be consistent.
For many years I tried to find the right formula so that my team would be connected. Truth is they were the most connected and on top of things when I was the most consistent with team calls, opportunity nights, posting on our team page, incentives, newsletters and texts. When they know you are working your business at 150%, they work their business at 150%. Everyone will have an off day, but people need to be motivated and they are motivated by what leaders do. They will watch you and they will watch to see what you do to be successful. Set a schedule and don’t shy away from that schedule. In the beginning I was only have my team webinars on a random day once a month. This just wasn’t working for my team since we were all across the United States. Once I became consistent with a specific time and they knew I would be there no matter what, things started changing. They knew they could depend on me and they knew they could click into the call and feel connected to me and our company.
3. Stop being a boss and start being a coach.
Its the same as recruiting versus sponsoring. Those words like boss and recruiting are ugly in direct sales. People get out of corporate america to get away from all that. It is very difficult for some people to transition from boss to coach. You won’t always have the answers. You need to know that that is ok. What is important is that you listen to your team member. Let them talk. Sometimes they just want to get their frustrations off their chest and once that is one they can move on. You are NOT their boss. You are their mentor and partner in this. You are here to guide them along showing them the ropes and acting as a net when they fall. You are not responsible for making sure they do their tasks or work 8 hours a day. You can not do their business for them and although you need to be passionate and excited, you can not MAKE people do the things that it will take to help them succeed. Offer resources, coaching time, coffee dates, phone calls, Marco Polos, Facetimes, or any thing else that will help them. Relate to their frustrations, guide them in the right direction and most importantly cheer them on when they hit even the slightest milestone.
4. If you want to be a Director, you must do the things Directors do.
Someone once said that statement to me when I first started in this industry. I never thought I was allowed to do the things Directors did. I thought there was some written creed once you promoted that allowed you to do team calls and send motivational cards. How silly right? Truth is you are who you hang out with. So find the leaders of your company. Follow their lead. Do what they do. Put out a newsletter with team stats even if you only have a couple people. That newsletter can be as simple as an email or as extravagant as using constant contact. It really doesn’t matter, but the key is letting your team know how they contribute to your business. Do team conference calls or webinars and have them the same time every week or month. Truth of the matter is whatever you do, your team will duplicate. If you have a call, they will start to do calls. If you send out welcome cards, they will send out welcome cards. Reward the behavior you want repeated. Its an amazing thing. Whatever you want to see your team do, you must do. Watch what happens.
5. Know your stuff
Knowledge is power. When you know things like your commission structure or your product pricing you convey confidence. People want to join a team where the leader knows what they are talking about. You certainly do not need to know everything but there is something powerful in talking with a leader who knows her stuff, yet if she doesn’t says with confidence she will find out the answer. The first thing you should always take the time to learn is the commission structure. Although we know direct sales starts off being about the money and almost always turns into something more, fact is people want to know what they are going to make and how long it will take them to get them. Many direct sales consultants avoid learning how the commission structure works and honestly it is one of the most important things I believe a consultant should learn first. Direct sales sponsoring success happens only when your team is successful so knowing the commission structure allows you to educate your team on how to get to each level.
6. Follow up is crucial
I didn’t actually understand how to be a successful direct sales sponsor until I understood the art of planting seeds, watering the seeds, letting them grow and then returning to harvest my plants. What does all that mean in a nut shell? Follow up. I use to think that if I asked someone to join and they said no, then that was it. It was no forever and I never asked them again. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You must have a really good follow up plan. You must share the opportunity with everyone you know (plant the seed). If they say no, that is OK just continue to follow up with these people by means of Facebook message, newsletter, postcard, small gift in the mail (watering your seeds). Then let them be a bit. I follow up with everyone in my Customer Follow up binder every single month (let them grow) and then I wait for either people to completely say no don’t ask again or they join my team (harvest my plants). There are only two options in my binder. I big black X that means no forever or a pick date that lists the day they joined. You must follow up. If you assume a No is no forever, you can miss out on some really great team members. This business has to be at the right time for them, not you. It doesn’t matter what is right for you. If a new team member does not join when they are ready they are doomed for failure. Make this opportunity all about them.
7. Do more, be more, offer more.
People can join with anyone. You must go above and beyond. You must stand out from the other leaders in your company. To get really good at direct sales sponsoring you must do things on your own that are different. Offer your knowledge. Share with people on your team what you know. For my team, we have 3-4 training webinars a month. They are the same date and time every week. We also have 2 opportunity webinars a month. These are to help them start building their team immediately in the event they aren’t as confident as they would like to be a need a little help saying the right things to bring people on board. We off a new consultant training school above and beyond what my company offers. It is the little things that you can do to give your team all the tools they need in order to be successful. You have to remember if they are successful, their teams will be successful. Offer outside training resources, websites, tools, mentors and books. Anything you can that will help them in their business. Offer one on one coaching or coffee breaks so they feel extra special. Send them “Just Because” notes in the mail and be very very active on your team page. Its crucial that they see your presence and see you there with a positive attitude and providing them with everything you can as a direct sales sponsor.
8. Great Communication is KEY
Effective communication is imperative. . Great direct sales sponsors make sure they are heard and understood, but they also know the importance of listening. Communication is a two-way street, and making the most of it will have your team at the top of the charts every single month. Your team will not only come to you but they will know that you LISTEN. When teams don’t listen to each other, they fall part. Social Media can make it sometimes difficult. Be sure you take care learning how to communicate effectively with your team on Social Media as well.
9. Be emotionally aware
While many people advise keeping emotions separate from matters of business, business is ultimately about relationships between people especially in direct sales. To make these relationships last, you need to be emotionally intelligent — to be sensitive to different points of view and different learning processes. When using your head to do what’s best for your team, don’t forget to have a heart and understand where people are coming from.
Direct Sales Sponsoring success takes time
Direct Sales sponsoring is not something people will be good at overnight. It takes time to find a real balance, the right product and realizing that you were once upon a team in this new team member’s shoes. It takes time to understand what people want and grow your team. You must always remember what it was like joining a team and what you would have wanted if you could rejoin today. A great direct sales sponsor will share not sell. They will show not tell. It is a pretty simple concept and it works. If you want your team members to act a certain way, then you need to act that way. Set the tone and your team will follow. As I talked about there is a difference between a leader and a boss. A leader wants their team in the spotlight and is comfortable sharing information and crediting others. While it might be counter intuitive, being humble takes a lot more confidence than basking in glory. Your team will love being a part of a team where they can see that their leader truly wants them to succeed and prides themselves in sharing with potential team members all that it will take in order to be successful. Here are so more tips on recruiting and sponsoring that I covered for my team. Check them out here.
Thinking of switching or starting a new business? I would love to help you learn how to be a ROCKSTAR Sponsor and grow and incredible team. Join my team today and let’s get you started on your Scentsy journey!