Recently, one of my team members asked for some advice. What’s the secret to selling for two direct sales companies at one time? It was a great question, one that I couldn’t answer immediately. I mean, I know I can do it (because, duh), wait how am I going to do this?
It’s not difficult to be successful at one direct sales company. Notice, I didn’t say it’s easy, you’ve got to do the work. Most companies and good mentors will give you a path to follow: Meet people, invite people, follow up with people, repeat. There’s a formula and truthfully, it’s not difficult.
If you can be successful with one direct sales company, you can be successful with two direct sales companies, right? I believe so, so I did what anyone would do, and asked my friend Google. I was shocked when I couldn’t find a single thing on the old Google supporting my case. Everything I read pretty much said don’t do it.
And I respectfully disagree. I believe those people are wrong, for a couple of reasons: First, they don’t appear to be utilizing an attraction marketing method, but spamming their friends and using their personal Facebook profiles to promote their businesses. And second, they argue that one loses credibility with her customers when she is selling for two companies. Hogwash! People join direct sales companies for a multitude of reasons, so if you sell candles and then start selling clothes, you know what means to me: You must like candles AND clothes. That’s it. It doesn’t say anything negative about the quality of the candles you are selling, the candle company or your ability to earn money through said candle-company.
So, if you want to sell for two companies, I think you can be successful. But, it’s going to take some work on your end! Here are my top eight tips for doing just that.
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #1: Develop a brand that is similar but distinct
I am a passionate advocate for developing your own personal brand, separate from your direct sales brand. If you’ve already created Brand You for Company A, tweak it so your branding for Company B is similar, but different. For example, flamingos are my thing. For Company A, my logo is a pink flamingo, for Willing Beauty, it’s a gold flamingo. Hopefully, when you see a flamingo, you think Windy. Gold or pink, it doesn’t matter. Flamingo = Windy.
Your voice, your tone, whether you’re funny or quirky or smart or sarcastic, should be similar too. Your fans and customers expect you to be one way and if you completely change your voice, it can give the impression that you are not being authentic.
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #2: Separate accounts
This one is a given; cross-promotion is a big no-no for all direct sales brands. If you have a Facebook Page for your direct sales Widget Company, you can’t start talking about your direct sales Zipper Company on it. You just can’t. But, Windy, that’s where all my customers are! Excellent, let’s talk about that.
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #3: Relationships first
Friends may be customers but not all customers are friends. You with me?
If you have developed a relationship with your customer and you “talk” (in quotes because seriously, who talks to people anymore, no one, we text and private message) about things beyond meeting their need for Widgets, they have moved into the friend zone. And friends are interested in each others lives. If they have indicated an interest in Zippers, it’s completely appropriate, as a friend, to reach out to them privately and let them know about your new company. But when you do, lead with value- what’s in it for them? Let them know why you think they would be interested in learning more about your new company.
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #4: Set realistic goals for both businesses
Here’s some ugly truth: No matter how awesome you are, you still only get the same number of hours per day. And managing two businesses takes time. It doesn’t take double the time, but adding a second direct sales business is going to take some time away from your first business. And if you understand and embrace that, you’re already ahead of the game.
When you initially join Company B, the time you dedicate to it will likely come from Company A. I knew the month I joined Willing Beauty, that my other direct sales business was going to be on the back burner for 30-60 days while I set up a new brand, new team infrastructure and resources and learned as much as I could about this new adventure. So, I adjusted my Company A personal monthly goals lower than I normally would.
As you’re setting your goals, focus on the long-view: Why are you doing this? What are you hoping to accomplish? Where do you want to be in six months, a year, five years?
For me, Company A is a creative outlet and fun, but Willing Beauty is the chance to grow personally as a leader and change lives as I’m helping my team become successful. So, my goals are very different with two businesses, and they are based on my personal goals- what I want my life to mean.
One final thought on goals, and this is tough one: Don’t get sucked into company promotions that are not aligned with your goals. You know, Company A launches a big incentive if you complete X,Y and Z this month. Yes, the incentive would be nice, but if what you need to do to complete X,Y and Z are going to come at the expense of Company B and derail those goals, don’t let your enthusiasm for the incentive overtake your big picture goals.
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #5: Get and stay organized
Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if you were talking to someone about Widgets and then sent them the Zipper career plan because the file was just called Career Plan? Yeah, it’s pretty damn embarrassing and also creates the illusion that you don’t know what you are doing.
Your computer, your office files (you know, actual things printed on paper), your customer lists, your calendar, get it all organized. And keep it organized.
On my computer, I have two directories, one for each company and every single piece of everything related to either company goes into the respective folder.
Pro tip: In my phone, my Wiling Beauty customers are listed as WB Name C and my team members, WB Name TF. (Team Fearless, because we are!)
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #6: Time management
To be successful with two direct sales companies, you are going to need to be a time management rockstar! Once you’ve determined your goals, identify how much time you need to dedicate to each company to reach those goals. And then schedule it. Yes, put it on your calendar. My calendar literally has blocks of time dedicated to tasks for each company. Speaking of…
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #7: One focus at a time
So here’s how my brain works: I’ve got 30 minutes to work on customer follow ups, so I’m going to email five Widget customers to see how they like their new widgets (of course they love them, who doesn’t love our widgets). In the middle of sending an email to customer A, I remember that my second cousin, twice removed just posted on Facebook that her zipper broke and I should email her about the new Zipper company.
Nope, nope, nope.
Stay focused on one company during it’s allotted time. If you are working on Company A things, stick to Company A. Write your thoughts on a sticky note, send yourself a text, put it in your calendar, whatever system you have to remember things, but don’t switch gears. Stay focused.
Selling for Two Direct Sales Companies Tip #8: Batch your work
There are a ton of things direct sellers can do to create and maintain a presence online and in her community: Facebook Business Page, Facebook VIP Group, Instagram, Pinterest, blogging, YouTube, email newsletter, vendor events, customer follow ups… The list goes on. And it’s easy to become overwhelmed if you are trying to do each of these things, or even some of these things every day.
Batching your work simply means grouping similar tasks together. Here’s what it looks like for me:
- Saturday morning: Create graphics for the week
- Saturday afternoon: Shoot video or take photos, as needed
- Sunday morning: Write blog posts for the week
- Sunday evening: Schedule Facebook and Instagram posts for the week
- Tuesday evening: Customer follow ups
- Wednesday evening: Schedule Pinterest pins for the week
- Mid-month, once a month: Source vendor events, as needed
Batching works great if you are using scheduling programs like Cinchshare (for Facebook), Planoly (for Instagram) and Tailwind (for Pinterest). They aren’t necessary, but they sure do make life easier. You can read more about them here.
I hope this helps you see that you can successfully sell for two direct sales companies at one time. It will require organization and successful time management, but the rewards are worth it.