Your Direct Sales Career: Is Leadership For You?

Written by Nicole Dean

Teacher from Bridge Creek Schools in Oklahoma are recognizedIf you’ve been in direct sales for any length of time you realize that one of the keys to a bigger paycheck is recruiting new team members. Deciding to become a leader isn’t a decision to take lightly. Your focus will likely shift a bit from booking shows and making sales (although this will ALWAYS be your bread & butter) to training your new team and if you become a huge recruiting success then you need to devote even more time to the nurturing of your team’s success. You know you want to make more money (and win more trips) but are you ready to be a successful leader?
The first thing you should do is examine yourself. Ask yourself some questions like:

  • What areas am I strong in? Am I naturally social or am I more reserved and shy? If you are naturally social, then you won’t have a problem talking to people. However if you are naturally shy, then you will need to work on this. I recommend you take some classes or read some books on growing your self confidence.
  • Am I organized and do I know how to prioritize my time? If you aren’t a naturally organized person, practice being organized. How do you do that? Watch some TV shows on organization or get some DVD’s that teach you how to organize. You can learn to be organized. If you’re horrible at prioritizing your time, you can learn how. Take some time management classes or have your up line teach you!
  • Am I a good listener? A good listener is one who not only listens to others but they know what to listen to and what not to listen to. Don’t listen to gossip or negative talk! You don’t want to be bringing yourself down or others by allowing gossip or negative talk in your group. Learn how to politely stop it or step away from it or even turn the negative into positive.
  • Am I an available leader? Will I make time for my clients and recruits? Or do I get annoyed if they call at unscheduled time with an urgent matter or emergency? Your recruit might be in the middle of a class and need an answer to a question right away that may make or break a sale. How will you handle that? You will need patience and understanding. Yes, you can learn to be patient, but you have to practice patience to learn it!
  • How’s my attitude? Am I haughty or do I have a better than thou attitude? Or do I know that I make mistakes and so does everyone else? Do I quickly learn from my mistakes or do I let them get me down? If you allow your mistakes or mistakes of others for that matter bring you down and you have a defeatist attitude all the time, you won’t be a successful leader. There will always be someone somewhere that is going to point out your mistakes, just get over it, learn from it and move on. Don’t let a mistake stop you from reaching your goals!

Good leadership takes patience, strength, perseverance and a good attitude. Once you examine yourself, take a good look at the leaders around you and decide who you would most like to emulate. Talk to them and enter into a mentoring relationship with them. Follow the examples of good leadership and leave the rest behind.

Remember to focus on keeping your business afloat as well. Leadership is a time investment. It’s the difference between working your direct sales business part-time and full-time. You have to be ready. When you’ve made the decision to enter leadership do so with the mindset of being the best leader you can be. Congratulations and Good Luck!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Wesley Fryer

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