Every company has rules. The direct sales company I’m with has definite rules. There is a lot of freedom to conduct my business in the way that suits me best within certain guidelines. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone follows the rules. It is my honest belief that following the rules makes my business stronger. After all, the rules are there to protect the company’s reputation and my business.
The first step is to know the rules. I am shocked at the number of people who start a business without even a cursory glance over the company policies. When you sign an agreement, a contact, to begin working with a company, you are giving your word that you will abide by that company’s policies. How can you sincerely make that pledge if you don’t know what’s in the policy?
The second step is to simply follow those rules. I don’t care whether you think they’re fair or not. I don’t care whether you think they make sense or not. That’s why you need to be sure that you’ve read the policy. If you don’t agree with the policies, you have a window of time in which you can back out of the agreement.
The third step is to ignore those who aren’t following the rules. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t report those people. That’s a personal choice. What I’m saying is that you should not to let what they’re doing affect your actions. For example, it’s against our company policy to advertise our products on places like ebay or craigslist. Yet, if I do a search on either of those sites I’m likely to find many people doing exactly that. It is easy to feel like, well, if they’re doing it I might as well do it. Don’t give in to that.
Finally, following the rules means really and truly following the rules. There are people who skirt our policy against online advertising by having their spouse, friend, or family member do the advertising for them. Technically they’re not breaking the rules, but you and I both know that they’re not following them, either.
It can seem like everyone else is getting ahead by breaking the rules. Don’t believe it. I’ve mentioned before that direct sales is all about building relationships. Honesty and integrity are key to building lasting relationships. Your business will benefit from your integrity. Following the rules is the best choice you can make.