Selling to your friends and family
One of my pet hates is companies (often network marketing companies) who advise their staff to sell to their friends and family. To me it’s self evident that this is a bad idea, but I’ve recently been asked about it by three different people, so I decided to write a quick blog about it.
1. Unless you are an incredible, naturally talented and very charming sales person your friends and family may feel that they “have” to buy from you, and that they are supporting you by doing so. If you are very talented you probably don’t need to sell to the people you are closest to, if you aren’t their tolerance may soon wear off.
2. You are very unlikely to get real feedback from people in your family, so if there are issues with the product or service, you may not find out until it’s too late.
3. Starting any business is tough, and at times, isolating – anything which has the potential to damage the relationships you have with the people who support you is a big risk.
4. Recommendations and referrals from family and friends are likely to be harder to manage and track and may not promote your brand in the way you’d hoped (at worst referrals maybe variations on “My sister/neighbour/aunt/brother has started a business doing X and seems to be struggling, could you take a look at this brochure/set up a meeting/donate them a stall at the fete).
5. Whilst most people do find it easier and more comfortable to talk to people they already know – most people don’t actually find it more comfortable to SELL to them – you may be upping the ickiness factor unnecessarily.
No doubt there are lots of people, who have applied this technique with great success, and possibly they hated being invited to parties anyway, but if it is something you are advised to do, and your not sure it’s right for you…… trust your instincts!
Posted by Rachel Warhurst | 2 comments