The Changing Face of Friendships and The Impact of Direct Sales

I’m going to go ahead and share something today that, quite frankly, might get me into a little bit of trouble. I’m gonna go there because it’s 2016, and it’s happening everywhere. Take one scroll down your Facebook feed and everybody’s selling something, am I right? Somehow, overnight, your best friend who had no idea what collagen is yesterday became a skin care expert. Or your friend who wears nothing but yoga pants and t-shirts started selling designer handbags. Or your co-worker whose lunch is typically a hot dog, Coke, and Doritos is all of a sudden recruiting you to join her “108 Day Solution” group and “take back your health.” 
I KNOW. Annoying, isn’t it?
If you’re anything like me, you usually think to yourself while scrolling, “Ugh. What a bunch of sellouts.” After the eighth post of the day showing before and afters of the miracle cream or cellulite-reducing wrap, you end up blocking all these salespeople from your news feed, and calling all social media worthless because it’s “just advertising.”  
 I know. Me, too.
Then, things start getting even worse because you met a new friend at a play date who seems legitimately interested in getting to know you and asks you to go have coffee with her. About 30 minutes into the coffee date, she lowers the boom: it’s all a sales pitch. She wants you to find “financial freedom” by joining her “fast-growing team” before it’s too late.
A little piece of you dies inside. You thought she genuinely liked you!?!
Here’s the thing…I was in that boat, but…
A small piece of me wondered if it might just work, but the thought of “selling” to my friends was, honestly, pretty icky to me. 
A few weeks ago, I learned that there was only one person in my city selling some of my absolute favorite accessories, so after lots of prayer and an encouraging phone call, I took a leap of faith and signed on to be an Ambassador with The Noonday Collection. SO MANY of my friends were absolutely shocked because, quite frankly, I’ve vented countless times to them about my absolute DISDAIN for direct sales and the constant pressuring of friends and family to join your team and buy your products. 
Sell out.
They got to you.
I can’t believe you gave in.
You’re one of them.
If you are one of the ones who hates direct sales, you might be thinking, “Now I have to block you, too. You’re just going to try to recruit me to sell stuff, too.” (Let me first just assure you…I won’t! That is SO not in my nature…)

But I wonder, what if we changed our thinking…what if instead of constantly being in competition with each other, what if we rallied around each other and supported each other? How would all of this be different if we stopped playing all the artificial friendship games and just legitimately loved our people, whether they joined our team, bought our products, or NOT?  

I know that sounds pretty radical…but I really think it could be done. Maybe if we truly understood the people posting the constant before and afters or selfies in their new “must-have” scarves, we wouldn’t be quite so resistant to supporting them.

Here’s what I know about people who usually join direct sales companies:

1) Most do it because they want to support their families. 

Most direct sales reps are stay-at-home moms, which is why we are also the biggest targets. We generally speaking have no income…so hey, perfect person to sell something from home. We look at direct sales as a way to make a little income to ease the financial burden on our husbands, and for the most part, there’s little investment lost if it doesn’t work out. 

For me, I saw joining Noonday as a potential way to make a little money to help our adoption by connecting with friends over unique and beautiful products that really hadn’t been seen yet in Frisco.  The bonus for me was that Noonday products help create jobs and provide stable incomes for people all around the world in poverty, and that is SO cool. The company also has a huge love for and it’s roots in adoption. That’s MY why…but everyone has their own WHY. 

What if we actually took the time to ask our friends who are selling various products what is THEIR why? You might be surprised…

2) Most are stepping out of their comfort zones.

Usually, direct sales companies require an initial start-up investment. That’s kind of scary when you typically have no income other than your husband’s. Some of us (like yours truly!) are seriously scared to death to ask friends and family to support a start-up business. Failure is scary…and many, MANY direct sales reps fail. It’s just a reality of the time we live in. Let’s pick each other back up!

3) Most do LEGITIMATELY want your friendship first.

So, it was super annoying that the new play group friend seemed like she only wanted you to join her team. But, does that mean that your friendship has to be over? NO! If you legitimately clicked with someone but don’t want her products or to join her team, why not just politely say no and MOVE ON WITH BUILDING THE FRIENDSHIP? 

Why are we so quick to immediately toss a friendship aside when it turned slightly business-like for 5 whole seconds? You guys…we’re making this way more awkward than it needs to be. Remember lemonade stands, 80s kids? What if someone politely said no to buying your lemonade one day and you saw them at school the next day? Would you give them the stink eye and never talk to them again? NO! You would get. the. heck. over. it. 

Let’s be like the 80s kids! Grab your Umbros and Tiger Beat and Get. the. heck. over. it.

To wrap up, hear my heart. This post was absolutely NOT written from a place where I just wanted you to buy my stuff. I love Noonday, and yes, I’d love you to support me in my Noonday business…but that had absolutely ZERO to do with this post. This post came from a conversation I had last week with a friend regarding just how artificial and uncomfortable friendships have become in 2016 due to direct sales. Literally, friendships that had been in place for years are being strained because someone wouldn’t join a team or (gasp!) didn’t love another friend’s products. This HAS TO STOP. We have to change the dialogue. Let’s GET. THE. HECK. OVER. IT. and get back to genuine relationships…business partners or not, team members or not, customers OR NOT.
Friends, direct sales are a BIG THING in 2016…but we DON’T have to let them dictate our friendships. 

2 thoughts on “The Changing Face of Friendships and The Impact of Direct Sales

  1. This is a very good post, I like that you come at it from both sides. And yes, we should certainly all support each other, but also respect each other's decisions to purchase or not purchase all of the different products. 🙂


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