Friday, November 30, 2007

QUESTIONS from YOU - Customer loyalty

Has TSF ever published anything on the topic of loyalty among consultants in the direct sales world? I am loyal to consultants that I 'buy from' and/or 'sell to' of other product lines, and often try to support their business by sending leads for shows/events. Recently with more than one of these "fellow" consultants, I got a slap in the face to open an invitation to an event hosted by the consultant, with SOMEONE ELSE offering my product line. It feels to me like a violation of some unspoken direct sales code of ethics and has rattled my sense of being loyal to others in the future! Do you have any comment on say, some ground rules in these types of situations? Your advice and insight is always appreciated! - Annonymous

TSF - Thanks for your comments. As I read your email I am visibly wincing - OUCH - that sure feels bad, doesn't it? It brings to mind memories of friends/family members who I worked to recruit in the early years of my business only to be stunned when I received communication from them indicating they had joined another direct sales company OR in one situation MY OWN company but under another consultant.

It happens to ALL of us at one time or another. We work to develop rapport and customer loyalty and people will always disappoint us.

My advice to you is to keep things in perspective. Most likely your friend from the other direct sales company is related to, or considers the consultant from your company a personal friend. There is likely a good reason that she didn't ask you - she probably didn't do it to purposely hurt your feelings. Unfortunately in this world, direct sales and otherwise, most people are so busy looking out for #1 that they pay little to no attention to how their decisions affect those around them. I encourage you to hold yourself to a higher standard. Continue to refer business to the consultants you are loyal to. Professional behavior such as yours is always rewarded in the long run.

I close with an amusing anecdote. TSF's Teresa once had a good friend who never bought a thing from her direct sales business despite the fact that she had people in her life that definitely could use her products. When this gal joined another direct sales company and asked for Teresa's support. Teresa smiled broadly and said, “I promise, I will happily and enthusiastically support your new business venture in the exact manner that you've always supported mine!”

You see, it happens to the best of us! Hope this helps!

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