Congratulations! You just lost your best customer. No, she didn't drop off your OEX list because she's upset--she dropped off because she's EXCITED--and now she's become a demo, too. And you are excited, too... sort of.
Well, actually, you're a little worried, to tell the truth. You know that your sales are going to suffer without the big orders from this customer. You might even find yourself worrying about minimums again, and it's been a long time since you did that. And now, you have competition from her to worry about as well. Her friends and family will naturally start ordering from her instead of you.
Ok, maybe more than a little worried... maybe a lot.
There's a big sign-up promo going on as I write this, and many of you have expressed this paradox of emotions. You know you're supposed to be excited, but actually, once the initial euphoria wore off, the experience has been a little deflating. I completely understand, because I've been there--and still I go there regularly. Surprised? I hate to break it to you, but this is one aspect of small-business-hood that, while it may get easier, never quite goes away altogether.
I'd like to share some lessons I've learned/am still learning about the process we undergo when a good customers turns into a downline. I wrote this article to deal specifically with the loss of additional customers when someone signs up and takes them with her, which you may find helpful. But for today's post, let's focus on the mix of emotions sometimes present with a recruit.
Many, many demos are afraid to recruit their best customer because they can't see past the roadblock of lost sales. I can't emphasize enough that you need to be focusing on what is best for your group, not yourself. Your group may consist of ten people or a hundred, or it might just be you. Quit thinking of yourself as a struggling individual and start thinking of yourself as a fledgling group. What is best for the group? Stagnation? Fear? Reservations? No! Growth, of course. What's good for the group is good for you.
A major problem I've been seeing a lot of lately is that many demos (self-professedly business demos) are still thinking like a hobbyist. The hobbyist only sees how changes affect themselves. The business demo needs to think for her whole group. Stop dreaming small! Dream BIG!
This is a process, and one I remind myself of when I suppress that internal sigh, realizing that the process of continually procuring customers is never ending. Your customer base is in a constant state of flux, and you will never reach a state where you do not have to work at your business. That's why they call it "work"... because it takes work! We're blessed that it is FUN and REWARDING work, but we should never let ourselves become deceived into thinking that it is possible not to work at it and still receive the same rewards and benefits. An unknown author says, "All the so called secrets to success in the world will not work unless YOU do."
I've beat this dead horse a dozen times already, but I'll say it again: You MUST focus on the long term. Yes, I will fully admit that in the short term, there is sometimes little that is tangible to be gained from the initial acquiring of a recruit, and some harmful side effects seem to take center stage. But take the long view, and the potential for income and promotion, and more importantly (to me anyway), personal growth and friendship, are exponential.
Business maturity is reached when the demonstrator can put aside her own immediate desires and gratification for the long term good of her entire group. As with childhood and young adulthood, the process of maturing takes time, and involves learning the hard way sometimes. Don't let yourself be a demonstrator who is stuck at the toddler stage...move on, learn the lessons, gain the experience. The toddler stage is rewarding, yes, but we're all glad when our children move out of it!
I may not have convinced you to plunge ahead and ignore your inner reservations about your customer signing up. That's ok, but I hope you will be brave enough with your business to not allow yourself to be motivated by fear, and say no to the fantastic opportunity to be an upline. It is one of the best and most fun decisions I ever made. You'll have to make this leap of faith, on my word and the words of others more experienced. As with so many things in life, sometimes you will be making the step whether or not you are happy with it, so you might as well decide to be excited about it. Embrace uplining with enthusiasm, and resolutely take the long view, and your journey will become so much the richer for the friends who come alongside you.
Dream BIG, friend!