How NOT to become persona non grata this Thanksgiving
Earlier this year, you started a home-based business as an Independent Representative/Consultant selling an exotic skin care line made in the South of France. Your Aunt Sue calls and invites you and your family to join in the holiday festivities for Thanksgiving dinner. Before you pile the husband, kids, and your organic sweet potato-pie into the SUV for the annual family gathering, make sure you’ve practiced these simple tips – which I learned from my mentor, Kim Klaver – so that you do NOT become persona non grata this year.
Tip #1. Wait for the Ask
Wait for someone to ask what you do, or what you’ve been up to, before you tell anyone about your business or product. Because that’s when you’ll have a few seconds of their attention. Remember, it’s a family get-together. Try not to accost everyone about your fabulous new business or life-changing product.
Tip #2. Resist the Temptation
Resist the temptation to tell them how great your product, service, or company is. Because you are, in the end, SELLING it. Whether you call it “share,” “educate,” or any other verbal camouflage, they discover you have something for them to buy and that (gasp) you are paid if they do.
That’s why so many home-based business owners have no place to go for Christmas dinner… because they can’t quit talking and selling to every person they bump into at the Thanksgiving dinner.
Tip #3. Always Offer a Downside.
When you’re telling someone about your product or business, always offer a downside. This will surprise the other person with your honesty. Every business has its own set of problems and you can pick one of your own – that YOU find problematic.
Being perceived as genuine and credible is a giant problem when you are an Independent Representative/Consultant. Offering an honest downside about whatever you’re marketing is a refreshing breath of air. It brings a sigh of relief to you and the person you’re talking with.
Tip #4. Don’t Push Your Luck
When your cousin Diane tells you she’d like to try your product or service (you know… be a CUSTOMER?) be grateful and say yes. When someone’s ready to be a customer, let them be that. JUST that. Don’t try to sell them on your business opportunity. Ok?
Tip #5. Keep it Friendly
To reduce angst in both your mind and theirs, when you’re done talking with someone about the product, service, or business, try saying this:
“Anyway, that’s the story. Do you know anyone who might like to know about something like that? If you think of anyone, let me know, ok? So anyway, Diane, how is Emmy doing in Junior High?” Or, “So Lauren, tell me about your fabulous trip to Panama this Summer.” You want to pivot the conversation back to that person.
And do not bring it up again during the holiday time you spend together. Wait for them to reach out to you.
Sales and marketing is a courtship, and there are always a number of steps in the dance. Allow human nature to take its course. Go easy. Don’t act all needy and pushy. Because….
You’re going to want a place to go for Christmas dinner in a few weeks.
Happy Thanksgiving! Now….Let’s EAT!