Oct 10, 2007

Scrap Your Script!

Let me be the first to say that Direct Sales companies are a great option for some people in the scrapbook industry - either for a personal discount or a bit of pocket money or just to sell an exclusive product that you like. Sometimes, though, business training is limited and things that don't work or make people uncomfortable are presented as THE THING that will really bring 'em in.

Sales scripts are one of those things. Okay, I’ll just say it, scripts are cheesy. They shouldn’t be used - come up with your own way to announce your business to the world. But don't patronize or treat your friends, family, or the lady at the grocery store like they are too dim to see through your "spiel". Most people know what's going on when you start reciting it and the rest catch on about half-way through and wish the ground would open up and swallow them mid-sentence.

Years ago I was walking from my car into my church and I was stopped by another lady from our church. She was a wonderful lady with 6 or 7 kids and the family was DIRT POOR. She was trying to help their family by selling water purification systems or something like that. I said, “Hi Shelly, how’s it going?” She said, “Do you like to drink clean water?” Red flags started flashing before my eyes and alarms started ringing in my head, "DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!". How do you answer that knowing what is likely to come next? The cheeky part of me wanted to say, “No, actually. I like to take my chances and strain the floaties with my teeth.” But, I took a deep breath and tried not to sigh (too obviously) and said, “Yes.”

She, wrongly assuming I had just fallen into her oh-so-smart trap, launched into “THE SCRIPT”. She recited it pretty much word for word I assume because it sounded like it was straight from the can. All I heard was a voice like the mom from the Peanuts cartoon, “Wah, wah, wah, wah”. Luckily I had to go to a meeting so I was able to duck out of the whole ugly scene without committing to buy a water purification system and 50 years worth of filters for a low price of… ooops, I didn’t get that far. I avoided that nice woman like the PLAGUE until someone said, "Oh, Shelly's not doing that anymore".

It’s so cheesy to walk up to someone and say, “Hey, I just started the most exciting business in the world. Yes, it’s SO EXCITING that I just had to share it with someone today. And you are SO LUCKY that it‘s YOU I’m going to share with”. Or hand someone a brochure and say, “Would you like to make some extra scrapping money?” Most people with a clue will immediately spring into action to erect their “wall” between you and if you’re friends, they will likely approach you cautiously for the rest of your lives. It's as stupid as Target getting to the part where they actually process your credit card and they say, "Would you like to save 10% off your purchase today?" I hate that loaded question. I always say, "Yes, if it doesn't involve me signing up for a credit card." It's so tacky.

Yet, those are the types of scripts handed out by direct sales companies of all types. Scripts don't teach people how to NATURALLY introduce their businesses to others in more appropriate ways than hunting them down in the parking lot and asking loaded questions for which there is ONLY one answer and using that as a clue to attack them like some rabid monkey.

People are much more responsive when they discover your business on their own through chatting with you or stumbling on your website via a link in your email signature or seeing your car sign or key chain. Those things aren't threatening to them. Then they can ask questions on THEIR terms and not have YOUR TERMS rammed down their throats.

So, set those scripts aside. They don’t work and no one wants to hear them or be assaulted by your business. Building a business takes time and people will be much more likely to buy from you (and maybe eventually even sign up under you) when you are relaxed and natural about your biz.

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