I was reading a blog post online a few weeks ago (I forget where) and the blogger was talking about the book “The Skinny on Direct Sales: Your First 100 Days” by Jim Randel. I had never heard of the book or the author before, but I figured I would take a chance and buy it.
Needless to say, I LOVED the book. This might just be the first cartoon style book I have ever read. More importantly, it’s easy to read and is loaded with great tips. It’s a really, really good book for someone just getting started in direct sales or network marketing. It talks about some of the challenges people go through and how to deal with it.
It talks about having the right mindset and also gives some great success tips. Overall, I give the book an 8 of 10 and think it’s a great book to give to your newest team members when they first get started in the business.
What I want to do in the paragraphs below is share some of my favorite quotes from the book. Each quote is in bold and italics. After each quote I will share my own thoughts on the topic. The quotes are listed in no particular order. Enjoy.
# 1 Many people who begin direct sales either quit or go dormant (and never really wake up) in their first 100 days. From personal experience, I can tell you that most of the people you bring into the business will drop off within their first 90 days. And there’s little you can do about it. The first 90 days is vital if you want to keep people around for a while. You need to give people realistic expectations and help them get off to a quick start (if you can). Even then most people will still drop off.
# 2 About 15% of all new direct sales consultants are men. Women dominate our industry. They make up a large percentage of the people in the industry, and represent many of the top earners. If you aren’t trying to prospect and recruit women you are really missing the boat.
# 3 By keeping in the forefront of your mind exactly WHY you are taking on the challenge of being an entrepreneur, you are less likely to falter. You have to have a strong why your first year or two in business, because things will get tough. Keep your why at the forefront of your mind at all times. Let it be your motivation. It will keep you in the game when things get tough.
# 4 The largest single difference between great salespeople and those who don’t make it, is that the former do not feel anxious or guilty about approaching people. You have to believe in what you are offering people. If you believe in what you have to offer, you will feel obligated to share what you have because you know it will benefit them. You must believe in yourself, your products, your company and the industry.
# 5 There is nothing worse than a salesperson who won’t take NO for an answer. Respect your prospect’s decision and don’t try to pressure or convince them to do something they don’t want to do.
# 6 The biggest mistake that new salespeople make is bringing to a sales conversation the attitude that they MUST make the sale at the first encounter. Most people will need multiple exposures and follow ups before they buy your product. Very few people buy the first time they are introduced to a product.
# 7 Did you know that great marketers believe that with a new product or brand, most buyers need SEVEN IMPRESSIONS before they will try the product. Multiple exposures is the name of the game. The more you follow up and stay in touch with your prospects the higher the likelihood someone will eventually become a customer or distributor.
# 8 Sales is a numbers game. You have to sift and sort through a lot of people to find the right people. It doesn’t matter what you are selling or offering others, it’s always a numbers game.
# 9 Sales take time. Most people won’t join or buy the first time you talk to them. Most people need multiple exposures and multiple follow ups before they will buy or join.
# 10 Join clubs, associations and organizations to meet new people. Get involved in your local community. Do that and you will never run out of prospects for your products or business.
# 11 People who worry about being pushy usually aren’t. Just do the right thing and treat people the way you want to be treated. Avoid pressure, hard selling and hype at all costs. Be a professional and an ambassador to the industry.
# 12 When a prospect comes to you through as referral, tension is usually very low, if it exists at all. Referrals are typical pre-sold, or at least neutral to what you are offering them. There normally isn’t a big barrier that you have to break through when you are talking to them.
# 13 Never be apologetic in asking for a referral. If you truly believe in what you are offering people, you have a duty to ask for referrals. Don’t feel bad about it. Instead, realize that you are offering someone something great, something that will benefit them.
# 14 Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Building a successful business of any kind is hard work. It takes time, patience, perseverance, hard work, and even a little bit of luck. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.
# 15 I do suggest that new entrepreneurs gauge their progress, but only after about six months. One month is much too soon. You won’t know whether or not your business has the potential to be great after a month or two. It normally takes a couple years just to get a business profitable and at least five years to build a successful business (of any kind).
# 16 If you judge your success in your first few months by how much money you make, then you’re going to be disappointed. No business is fast or easy money. It takes time to build a successful business. You must do the work every day and have a little bit of patience as well. Typically, your first three to six months are your learning months.
# 17 You have to go at least six months before you can make a realistic evaluation of what you are doing. Your first six months in the business are MLM School. This is where you learn the basics about your company, the products and the industry.
# 18 They realize that the key to any business success is sales. All businesses need sales to make the cash register ring. However, don’t confuse selling and sharing with high pressure sales. Your job is to work the numbers and collect a decision from everyone you talk to. It’s not your job to convince anyone.
# 19 To be a great salesperson you need to think like a buyer. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes whenever possible and try to see where they are coming from. When you think of things from the other person’s perspective, you will be able to relate with them and connect with them.
# 20 Power lives in listening than in talking. In fact, listening may be the key skill of a successful person. You have two ears and one mouth for a good reason. Use them in that proportion. The most successful people in this industry are not the best talkers. It’s the best listeners that make it to the top.
# 21 The goals as a salesperson is to find your customer’s touch point – where she will react emotionally to your product or service. Appeal to people’s emotions as much as possible. People always make emotional decisions and then justify it with logic. Find out people’s hot button and focus your key points around that.
# 22 The longer you work at something, the more the numbers start to work in your favor. The more you do something the better you get at it. When you first start out you can make up with numbers what you lack in skills. As you improve your skills you can talk to fewer people and get higher conversion rates.
# 23 Be realistic as to your objectives for the first 100 days. The measures you set for yourself should not be tied to sales, but rather to the relationships you establish and the foundation you build for future success. Your first 90 days in any new venture is your learning period. This is where you learn the basics about the products and business. Few, if any business will be profitable in the first 90 days. You have to learn the ropes before you can make money.
# 24 Join every association, organization, and club you can. The larger your network (the people who know you), the more likely you will be successful. This is a people business. Get out of your house and meet new people. Form new friendships and hang around other people. This is a great way to find new customers and reps for your team.
# 25 Do not persuade people to buy your product who will not benefit from using or owning it. It’s not your job to try and sell or convince anyone. Your job is to sift and sort through people and find prospects who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
Jim Randel is a respected real estate lawyer, speaker, author, entrepreneur and investor. He has been featured on several television shows and is a speaker at different conventions.
About the Book
“The Skinny on Direct Sales: Your First 100 Days” by Jim Randel was published on December 15, 2009 by Rand Media. It comes in Kindle and paperback format. It has 108 pages. As of June 2015, it has 26 reviews on Amazon with an average 4.3 star rating. The ISBN is 978-0982439098. It’s available anywhere books are sold.
Buy the Book
In conclusion, “The Skinny on Direct Sales: Your First 100 Days” by Jim Randel is a great book for any network marketer, especially someone new to the industry. Overall, I give it an 8 of 10 and highly recommend it. If you haven’t purchased a copy yet you should.
What are your thoughts about the book? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.