This is part of an ongoing series discussing the role of husbands in the business of direct sales.
Guys, Are You Helping Promote Your Wife’s Business?
If your wife has been working her direct sales business for a while, you probably know this already. If not, let me tell you:
Direct sales is a business based on relationships. Especially Party Plan.
If you think about it for a second or two, you’ll realize this makes sense. Most party plan businesses are run by women and women are much more relationally-oriented than men. And for the business model, it works great most of the time. But there is a lot that feeds into all those social contacts, too.
I would bet every individual involved in direct sales over any length of time has probably hit a stretch where it gets hard to make new connections or turn that into sales, booking parties, and recruiting. There are a ton of things that play into this. Self-esteem is a big factor as it’s hard to put yourself out there if you’re not feeling good about yourself. Some people battle with depression which plays into that as well. These are certainly areas where a supportive husband can (and does!) make a HUGE positive difference.
What about if you move? That’s a HUGE disruption to the party plan business type. But it’s a potentially huge opportunity. I always like to say every challenge is an opportunity. I got married a little over 2 years ago to a wonderful direct-sales woman, Holley Cox. At the time, she was a full-time speech-language pathologist with the school system in Chattanooga, TN. Thirty-One Gifts was something she’d been doing for a while as a side job for extra money. I’ll tell more of this story in a future post. I, on the other hand, am a hospitalist and medical director of the hospitalist program in Morristown, TN (about 2 hours & 15 minutes away). Leaving her life-long hometown was a huge deal, but necessary.
So What Can You Do?
Here’s what I think is the best way to get started: get out there and use your contacts.
Guys are actually pretty good at using business contacts. We have our own networks, and if you look at it, you can probably discretely use those to benefit your wife’s business. If you have a mixed work environment, the best thing you can do is talk about your wife’s business. Getting that conversation started is about 8/10 of the job.
Top 6 Ways You Can Use Your Contacts to Boost Your Wife’s Direct Sales Business
- Talk about your wife & her business at work. Just get that conversation started & see where it goes.
- Bring marketing material (catalogs, mini-catalogs, business cards, specials flyers) with you.
- Use the product, if at all possible. It’s a conversation-starter.
- Connect your friends’ wives with your wife & keep developing those relationship.
- Invite your coworkers and/or their wives to a party (it can just be a regular party at first, not a sales party).
- Consider using your social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
As with anything in life, the more you do something, the better you’ll get at it. There’s a great section in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success suggesting 10,000 hours is about right to get to “expert” level. How about being intentional and starting with that first 15 minutes? I bet you she’ll thank you for it. Just make sure to be discrete and not pushy.
Girls: What ways has your husband successfully helped to promote your business?
Guys: What ways have you helped promote your wife’s business? What worked the best?