I’m an information junkie. It would be very easy for me to spend the entire day reading about how to do business instead of actually working my business. That’s one of the reasons it’s important for me to keep to a schedule.
One thing I’ve noticed lately in many of my resources is advice about getting my customers to increase their orders. The suggestions range from ways to get nearly every customer to add cross-sell items when they place their order to ways to make people become emotionally invested in products so they’ll spend more than they’d planned. I completely understand the reasoning behind these suggestions. I just don’t see them fitting in with my way of doing business.
You see, my goal is to help my customers stay within their budgets. Maybe it’s because The Furry Guy and I are attempting to get all of our non-mortgage debt paid off. I don’t know. What I do know is that I never, ever press someone to spend more.
I joke about the two sets of cookware every guest at my show is going to buy. I have frank conversations with guests when they ask for help deciding whether to order one item or another, and I don’t have any problem at all suggesting that someone invest in one of the more expensive products. What I will not do is encourage someone to throw their budget out the window in order to invest in that product.
I once participated in an expo with several other direct sales consultants. I had a very successful day with both sales and contacts. Several other exhibitors did not. As we were packing up one of the other exhibitors asked how I’d done. I told her about my sales and contacts. She said I was lucky. Then she said that she wished the crowd had been younger. In her opinion women in their 20s were much more likely to pull out a credit card and buy whatever they wanted, while women more our age were “too worried about watching what they spend.”
I was appalled. I can’t imagine wishing my guests would throw fiscal responsibility out the window just so I could make more money.
Now, I’m not saying that those who engage in the practices suggested by those experts whose newsletters and books I’m reading and CDs I’m listening to are doing anything unethical. They aren’t doing anything underhanded. They’re just running their businesses differently than I do.
One of my favorite comments to receive from a host or customer is that they feel like I helped them to get the best value for their money. That’s what I hope to do with everyone at my parties.
Pushing the sale may work for some people, but it’s just not me.