Direct Sales Success: Do You Feel Lucky?

With St. Patty’s Day just around the corner, I thought it fitting to talk about being ‘lucky’ in your direct sales business. In truth, there’s relatively little about direct sales that happens because of luck – specifically when it comes to being a leader.

In direct sales, there are all kinds of leaders, but nothing bugs me more than an ‘accidental leader’.

These are the people that don’t have a clue how they managed to achieve leadership. And leadership doesn’t mean a title or a rank. It means anytime the consultant excels and is recognized for setting the pace. They can’t tell you what they did to become successful, or share with you the secrets to their success.

It doesn’t bother me that they have secrets. What bothers me is that they think they somehow got ‘lucky’ and success just fell into their lap.

Luck doesn’t just happen. Seneca said “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Indeed. There’s a lot of preparation that goes on while we’re waiting for that lucky break. We’re putting together host packets, attending training meetings, learning about our products, and sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

So it always kind of irks me when a leader is asked how they won that prize, or how they achieved a goal and the answer comes back “I really don’t know”, or my favorite “I just talked to everybody.”

The problem is that these accidental leaders are misinterpreting the question. They think people are looking for some ancient Chinese secret to success – when in reality, they were just being consistent in their business.

I know, that’s about as sexy as quarterly planning, but hear me out on this. I recently sat down with Nicki Keohohou from the DSWA, and we talked a bit about the qualities of a leader. There’s no magic pill here, it’s about consistency, quality, and a commitment to excellence that permeates your entire organization.

The correct answer may not be glamorous, but there’s nothing wrong with telling the truth:

“I held nine shows and booked three shows from each of those shows. I hostess coached like I was trained, and my shows averaged $550. So I was selling about $5000 a month, which just happened to be more than what everyone else did last month. If there’s any luck, it’s because no one else had a $5000 month, but you guys could all do what I just did. It’s not magic. I don’t have a lucky charm or anything like that.”

People may not think it’s a sexy answer, but there’s nothing wrong with sharing the fact that direct sales is a business, and you have to work it like a business if you want to get paid like a business.

If more consultants and leaders were transparent about the work that was involved in being successful, we’d probably have fewer recruits looking for a magic pill. The recruits we DID have, would probably be more productive.

© 2010 Lisa Robbin Young.

Please do not alter it and include the following information (with active links as appropriate):
Lisa Robbin Young is a certified direct sales marketing coach, teaching direct sellers to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at


  1. Kim Duke

    You are so right lady… yes there are techniques that make selling easier but if you don't go out and do the work, get in front of people, attract your customers, have a good time and let people know you love what you do, no amount of sales training is going to help.

    Good for you for doing soooo well in your sales!

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