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Marketing Tips for Direct Sales

When I resigned from my outside job to be a work at home mom, I needed to replace the income I was making. This was the understanding that I made with my husband, for our family. For almost the entire first year I found myself continually giving free services, time, and even product to people. I felt bad and even guilty every time I would hear of someone who didn't have enough money or didn't have the proper skills/software to do what they wanted in order to help their business grow.

What ended up happening is that I felt I couldn't say "no", and because of this, I put my family's finances at risk. This was unfair to myself, my family and my business. I have had to learn to say "no", and have had to learn to draw that line between business and friendship. It is a struggle, and something that is still not fully resolved. Am I saying that you should never help others by offering discounts and free services? No, definitely not. What I am saying is that you need to be careful and not fall into the trap of attempting to make everyone happy and of taking care of everyone else’s problems. If you run your business this way, you will


run it right into the ground. Pick and choose what you can do for others.  Help others when you can - when you and your business can afford to. You will find both you and your business will run more smoothly when putting limits on your generosity.

Doing business with friends can work wonderfully and be beneficial if done properly. By setting up some guidelines and having candid conversations up front, you can have a business relationship with respect and understanding.



1. When becoming a customer or client of a friend, don't expect any special discounts or treatment. This is unfair to the business owner and directly affects their livelihood. If you each want to extend a discount or other perks to each other, be open and up front about whether it is feasible. Remember, if
your friend gave a discount to every friend/associate they had, they wouldn't be able to make the income they need. You are not the one to judge what another person needs to earn or should be earning.

2. Pay your bills on time. Do not treat your friend's business any different than other companies you deal with. Put yourself in their position. What if all of your customers/clients did not pay you when their bills are due? Paying on time not only shows respect but is the right thing to do.

3. Don't take "no" personally. If your friend cannot offer you a free or discounted service, respect that. She/he is attempting to run a business and not only has their business expenses to pay, but an income to earn. It has nothing to do with the type of person they are. Do not judge someone by
what you can receive for free from them. You do not know what their situation is or all the free services/products that they already provide to others.

4. Do not over-extend yourself. Many times people allow themselves to be taken advantage of out of guilt. They feel they need to help and offer their services for free or at a discount to everyone. Unfortunately, some friends, family members or acquaintances will try to make an individual feel guilty.  You know what you can and cannot do in the area of helping others. Do not put yourself in a bind so that your business or family suffers - financially or time wise. This is unfair to your family. You cannot be everything to everybody. Be true to yourself, your values and your needs. This does not
mean you are being selfish. It means you are being realistic and will help where and when you can.

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