Direct Selling is about helping others, it is about relationships… we learned about sharing, being nice and helping others while playing on the playground… these lessons often stay with us… sometimes… we just need little reminders… let’s continue on with the 10 Direct Selling Playground Lessons and 10 Direct Selling Strategies…
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #1 Acceptance
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #2 Be Nice
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #3 Play Nice
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #4 Role Play
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #5 Imagination
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #6 Explore
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #7 Bullies
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #8 Friends
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #9 Teachers
- Direct Selling Playground Lesson #10 Rainy Days
Now. Lesson 9…
Yep. I was going to die.
I kept my head down looking down at my shoes, my sweaty hands wringing behind my back.
“Ok, Mark… tell me the truth. What really happened out there?”
“You see I was mad…” I began my plea, “Jimmy was picking on Danny because he doesn’t have any hair! How was I suppose to know there was a rock in the snowball!?”
“Maybe because you made it.”
Ouch. She was good. I could hear Taps in the background. I saw my mother and father weeping. The shame I brought to the family name. It was probably good it ended this way… who knows what kind of awful criminal I may grow up to be…
“Mark.” Look at me.
I was going to upchuck any moment. Guilt is a hard thing to swallow. I swallowed hard and raised my head.
Ms. Vivian lowered herself to my eye level. “Mark, I know you were angry at what Jimmy did… what he did was wrong and he apologized to Danny… but if it happens again… make sure your aim is better.”
She gave me a quick smile and a let’s-keep-this-between-us-wink. She stood up and started walking away when she stopped and turned back, “And Tracy… she is ok you just scared her. Once I explained what happened she thought what you did was pretty brave.”
That day Ms. Vivian became one of my favorite teachers.
Direct Selling Playground Lesson #9: Teachers
As a child, we had our teachers taking turns overseeing the activities and interactions of the playground. But what was their role? They weren’t behind their desk going over our spelling vocabulary… they were outside… on the playground… that’s not a learning environment right?… Wrong.
Teachers’ goals are to teach right? Teach what? Simply the subject matter?
No, a worthwhile teacher’s role is far more complex than reading out of some off-the shelf curriculum!
So.. “Yes, teacher’s goals are TO TEACH”… but the best take it beyond the classroom.
4 Corners of Effective Education
Corner #1: Cognitive Education
Cognitive Education is the most obvious, it is about facts & figures, spelling & vocabulary, States and their capitals, history and important dates. It is about developing knowledge across a breadth of fields in order to assist students in applying cognitive interpretation to their situations. Effective teachers will develop the critical thinking component in their students… teaching them to THINK on their own.
Cognitive Education on the playground is teaching children the rules of the games, explaining how and why things work the way they do.
In Direct Selling, your team needs to understand what they are trying to accomplish, what the legal parameters are of their opportunities, why certain things are done the way they are.
The phrase “Expectation without Explanation leads to Frustration.” summarizes the importance of Cognitive Education nicely.
Corner #2: Behavior Education
Behavior Education is about how we act. How we DO things! It’s the How To.
Behavior Education on the playground is teaching children how to throw a ball, how to catch, how to kick, how to jump rope, how to go down a slide… how to… fill in the blank!
In Direct Selling, your team need to understand HOW TO do things… most people aren’t going to walk in off the streets and know how your team and opportunity performs certain activities. Sure some people may have sales experience, others may have even been in other direct selling opportunities… even the one you are involved in! One thing I have learned is everyone does things slightly different. The opportunity I am involved with has 6 different groups in the SAME city, all involved in the SAME opportunity, each with different philosophies and methodologies towards building it.
When looking at direct selling opportunities, understand, to look at the fruit on the tree of the group you will be working personally with. Beware of corporate or ambiguous hype… what are the growth, retention and profitability rates of people you will be coached by?
Would you consider using something from 1936? Odds are it is outdated, obsolete or worst… wrong.
The Direct Selling Strategy for today is a lesson I learned on the playground, but was reminded it’s importance from a book I was recommended when I started with Direct Selling. A book authored in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is a book I even used when I taught communications courses at college… It is a fascinating read… filled with history, stories and timeless principles. One of my favorite stories from the book leads us to our strategy for the day,
“Pete Barlow was an old friend of mine. He had a dog-and-pony act and spent his life traveling with the circuses and vaudeville shows. I loved to watch Pete train new dogs for his act. I notice the moment a dog showed the slightest improvement, Pete patted and praised him and gave him meat and made a great to-do about it.
That’s nothing new. Animal trainers have been using that same technique for centuries.
Why, I wonder, don’t we use the same common sense when trying to change people that we use to change dogs? Why don’t we use meat instead of whip? Why don’t we use praise instead of condemnation?
Direct Selling Strategy #9: Praise
In our Burger King microwave society where we want everything done OUR way right NOW, we have become more abrupt and cynical, rude and demanding, takers not givers.
If you want to stand out in the mind of your customer or team. Slow down and use some praise.
No this isn’t an alter call… simply learn to lift people up.
Understand: What you edify is repeated, good or bad.
3 Important Praise Tactics
1. Use people’s names.
According to Carnegie, it is the sweetest sound a person can hear. Figure out ways for you to remember peoples’ names.
I remember a meeting, in my first year of direct selling where an individual happened to be passing through our area and attended a regional meeting. It was near the end of the meeting when someone recognized him as a very successful direct seller from the east coast. He was asked if he would be willing to share some of his experience and provide tips for people. He agreed. I don’t remember a single tip or story he said, because I was captivated by his using people’s names! Understand, not knowing anyone when he arrived, he worked the room, mentally noting each person’s name and something about them. During his training, he would look at people, use their name and mention something they either said to him or something he heard said about them before the meeting by someone else. I remember looking at me and saying my name, even though I hadn’t talked to him, one of my downline did and told him about recent trip me and that downline took! I was captivated! The room was captivated! By the end of the meeting, he probably recalled 20-25 people by name of people he had never met prior to that night. Each person walked out of the meeting with the feeling he KNEW ME!
Still to this day, that experience left a lasting powerful impression on how powerful people’s names are.
For the remainder of this Lesson, watch for the upcoming release of the E-Book “Direct Selling Lessons from the Playground” with extended tips and advice for each of the lessons AND an additional 5 Lessons and Strategies not covered at the blog!!
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Your Turn Readers…
What teacher has had the greatest impact on you and why?