This month, Powerhouse Planning is featuring superstars of the direct sales industry who have taken the time to share with us their experiences and viewpoints gained over time. Through the words of those doing it—and doing it well—our Powerhouse team aims to help both new and established direct sales professionals grow their business as a result of the insights (including some of the harder lessons learned) of those in the field who are finding success.
Young Living is a wellness company offering essential oils to customers around the globe, including the United States, Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan, and Singapore. It officially launched in 1994 after the owners, D. Gary Young and Mary Young, developed farmland in Utah and Idaho. According to the company’s website, they currently rank as a world leader in the essential oils industry, and earlier this year they received the Silver Award from the Public Relations Society of America for brand communications and public relations. Further, the brand has expanded sustainability efforts through their program Seed to Seal, which utilizes greater supply chain assurance.
Independent Distributor Carolyn Herrick, an Air Force veteran, joined the company three years ago anpresently holds Gold status, representing an average monthly income of $6067. She made the decision to operate her direct sales business after experiencing the benefits of the essential oils during a difficult pregnancy. Product categories include for the home, wellness, beauty, and balance. She chronicles her thoughts about the different oils and how they can be beneficial at http://essentiallyaware.com/. The website offers her the opportunity to connect in a more personal way with potential and current customers by providing real-time insight into the health benefits of her offerings.
Why has direct sales been a good avenue for you?
I have always loved people. I love talking to people, I love meeting people, I love helping people, and I love building other people up. I didn’t start with Young Living with the intent to sell, but when the products worked for me and my family, I just started talking about them. This happened during a time in my life when I had lost my primary source of income and was nursing a brand new baby. I could do education and help people from my iPhone, in my rocking chair. I could meet other new mamas at the park and teach them about natural wellness and how to live a chemical-free life, since this is such a trending topic. Companies that claim to be natural and honest, we are finding, aren’t. I have so much genuine passion for wellness and natural options that it was extremely easy for me to become a “sales” person even though all of my sales are through heart-centered sharing.
What is your greatest accomplishment with your company?
When I made a certain level—referred to as Silver—in six months, I received as a reward a kit of 120 different essential oils and blends, valued at over $2,000. They made this incentive purposefully difficult but doable. Meaning, with hard work, it is absolutely there for everyone to obtain, but not everyone does. That, along with an all-expense-paid retreat in a five-star hotel for three days, made me feel like a queen, even at a level that wasn’t one of the top leadership ranks in the company.
What is your hardest lesson learned?
Relationships always come before sales. Always. I learned this the hard way by losing some relationships at the cost of my business. Thankfully, some friends have extended grace to me, but one of the things I frequently speak about online is how NOT to do direct sales. Cold calls, mass copy/paste “opportunity” messages, and the like are the easiest, fastest way to get unfriended or unfollowed on social media. Even outside social media, in real, face-to-face relationships, you have to set boundaries and establish lanes or else your enthusiasm for your company can start to overshadow your friendships.
How do you gauge success?
To me, success came in stages. I think it’s important to celebrate each step. Someone’s first referral or sale, someone’s first company advancement—those are some of the most foundational parts of success. My “I’ve arrived” moment came when I was able to quit a very good, stable government job to work from home. That time freedom is priceless and makes me feel I have made it in this industry.
What’s your favorite professional/personal quote?
“If you live a high-vibration life, everything that comes in is abundant.” –Anni Dayan
This quote is the wallpaper in the team business group that I run. I focus a lot on emotional health, and I have learned how much the frequency of the people, things, food, etc. that we surround ourselves with affects us in life, relationships, business—everything.
Where do you envision yourself in five years professionally?
There’s actually a great book called 5: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today? [by Dan Zadra and Kristel Wills] that helped me figure this out. With my current trajectory, in five years I am in the top tier of earners in Young Living. That is an income of about $150,000 a month (youngliving.com/ids). With this income, my husband does not have to work unless he wants to. I am giving enormous, generous amounts of money at will. I have paid cash for a house. I am leaving legacy money for my child and adopting a child or continuing to fund adoptions, which I currently do. I am traveling worldwide to do humanitarian work and take family vacations.
How have you grown your team?
In the beginning, I wasn’t purposeful at all. I just gathered a lot of team members and hoped someone would want to join me in sharing and growing a business. As time went by, I was able to find more resources and learn more. We have a saying, “Know more, do better.” I think the single most helpful thing to developing my business has been developing myself as a person. If you develop yourself as a person, you will be fully equipped to lead anyone else who ends up on your team.
Below, Carolyn shares her tips for using the trending tools of direct sales to expand a customer base and strengthen relationships.
Building Your Team Tips
When it comes to building your team, your personality and values have got to shine through in all the training and techniques. In the end, people don’t choose a product—they choose YOU. You are uniquely gifted to lead your team. No one else can do that better than you.
Online Party Tips
Online parties have got to change as the platform changes. Over a year ago, we were using auto-posting services to run a LIVE event, but presently, truly LIVE videos have become possible. If you try to use the old model, you will fall behind those using the new platforms. Changing with technology requires flexibility and a lot of growth, but if you plan to do online parties you have to keep up with it.
Utilizing Social Media Tips
If you use social media for marketing, make sure only one out of five posts is about your product. Make sure an image accompanies it. Tell a story. Don’t rattle off facts and end with, “If you’re interested in learning more…” because everyone will immediately feel sold to. Just share your heart and your story. That’s what people want to see and hear. They will come to you if you are genuine.
Making it YOUR Company Tips
When you are a distributor for a big, corporate company, it’s important not to have just your own stories, but also to connect your stories with the corporate story. For instance, Young Living is the only essential oils company in the world that owns its own farms. That is impressive, but most people don’t care. What they care about is seeing YOU on that farm, smelling the lavender and showing them how it’s sourced, planted, cultivated, harvested, distilled, bottled, and sealed to end up in your members’ hands. If you are in a company that has a unique niche, you have got to add your own face to that company or else no one will care! They will just read, “We’re the only ones who…blah blah blah.” But when you show them your zeal and you connect with that bigger picture personally, you’ve made money.