I’m reading Heart & Soul: Five American Companies That Are Making the World A Better Place
Obviously as a niche marketer for my secondary business in “direct sales relationship marketing”, my concern is relationships first, marketing second. People first, business second. It’s interesting to read stories of entire companies who take that philosophy to heart and refuse to compromise their principles even when faced with growth opportunities, setbacks, employee turnover, problems with the bottom line, etc etc.
My primary business is one of the businesses featured in the book and it’s enlightening to read about how the head of my company started in direct sales: she needed flexibility upon being faced with divorce. Flexibility is one of the main reasons that women choose direct selling businesses. She was thrilled to have an opportunity to meet the head of the first direct selling company with whom she worked, but as it turned out, after lots of travel and a tour, she was only allowed to walk through his garden and not to speak with him personally. From that moment on, even when she later headed a large, successful company of her own, she made sure to greet each person warmly and speak directly to each person. Stories are told of women standing in long lines to meet her, and yet she would greet each individual by looking in her eyes and making her feel as if she was the most important person at that moment.
Another insight in this chapter is how the adoptee program started in our direct sales company. When I recruit someone into my company from another state, all I need to do is find a sales director in that state and even though she does not earn commissions on my consultant, she takes her under her wing and welcomes her with open arms to meetings and trainings. Similarly I help mentor and provide training and support for women who are local to me in the Cleveland, OH area who have been recruited into units whose directors are in other states. I believe other direct sales companies have this policy in place also. This is unique and unusual and really quite special. It’s hard to think of a typical corporation whose trainings and meetings are open enough that you can decide to move to a different state and take your commissions and clients with you, but be able to build on your success when you arrive. Most sales companies would give your local clients to another consultant and let you start from scratch in your new location. It’s little things like this that make a big difference.
I’m just now starting the book but I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts over the next few weeks.
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