Welcome to the In The Clear Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Recla and today, we are speaking with Jennie Bellinger, the up level coach, about transparency and accountability in direct sales. Jennie is … she doesn’t describe herself as a business coach because she’s so much more than that. She works with all sorts of calibers of people in direct sales, in business. We just got done having a really quick chat before the show and things just really, really clicked and so I’m super, super excited for this conversation with Jennie today so, without further ado, please, please help me welcome Jennie. Jennie, thank you for joining us.
Thanks for having me Justin. I’m really happy to be here with you and your listeners.
Jennie, can you share a little bit with our listeners about exactly, what it is you do?
Well, I’m a whole person coach who, primarily focuses on working with people who are in multi-level marketing businesses or, some people call it direct sales. We use those terms fairly interchangeably, it seems like, depending on where you are in the country. I have chosen that niche of coaching because that’s where I was, myself, for seven years. I saw how there were people who were really struggling with the whole business aspect of going into the multi-level marketing because they were coming from service related industries, most of the time. A vast majority of people who get into direct sales are coming from being teachers or nurses or ambulance drivers or firefighters or police officers, people who clock in, get paid.
Clock in, show up, do what they’re supposed to do and then get paid. It’s not their business to run the business. They’re from a service industry. They have very little, if any, background in business at all. Through my networking, I got to know some business coaches and realized that they weren’t servicing direct sales people for a couple of different reasons. Number one, because most direct sales people don’t even notice you got to coach and then secondly, most of the business coaches just weren’t necessarily comfortable working with people in direct sales because they just didn’t understand the different mindset that they have because they’re not in a traditional business model. That’s what drove me there.
I’m so glad that you bring that up. We were kind of talking about that a little bit before we started to record. You even mentioned that the network marketing, the MLM businesses have gotten a bad rep. Why do you think that is? What’s the biggest reasons why people either avoid MLMs or don’t want to work with people that are MLMs? What’s the biggest thing that you see and how do you help your clients through that?
Absolutely. I think the big reason that MLMs get a bad name is because of the few people out there who are just relentless with it in terms of, they are not marketing the right way, they’re not creating connection with people, they’re just trying to sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, recruit, recruit, recruit. You know what I mean? They’re just pushing so hard, to the point where nobody even wants to pick up their phone for their friend because they’re afraid they’re going to try and get sold. You know what I mean?
I think those few bad apples, unfortunately … they’re trying to make their business work, they just aren’t going about it in the right way. Really, what I’ve been working with my clients, is finding ways to create better connections with people, preferably because, in MLM, just like any traditional business, the only way you’re going to stay in business is if you’re number one in service in the clients that you do have, taking great care of them. Secondly of course, you got to be bringing in new clients, all the time. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to stay in business and grow.
It’s finding ways to get out there and create connection, real connection with people, to make sure that what you have to offer is something that they, number one, need or number two, want because, the products and the services out there in direct sales, are in some cases, things that you need. They might be kitchen products or clothing. Those are things that people need, if that makes sense. In other cases, it’s products that you don’t necessarily need but you might want so it might be jewelry or candles. Those aren’t things you need but they’re things that you might want.
It’s learning how to make those connections, listening carefully to what people say that they want or need in relation because, they’re going to ask you who you are and what you do and how people present themselves, how my clients present themselves to determines whether or not that conversation continues.
I absolutely love that. Is so important for the business world is one, that connection piece but also is the transparency piece. How do you see transparency really playing into your clients’ success? How does that look for them?
Well I think, for my clients, first of all, it’s being up front with people as they are discussing with them and creating that connection to say, “Look, I’m just wanting to know more about you so I know whether or not my product or service is a fit for you and I can’t know that unless I know you.” If they’re up front about that, just letting them know that, “Hey, if this isn’t a fit, I’m going to tell you and I’m not going to bug you.”
I think that’s the first part of it. I think part of it too is, when you’re inviting people to events because now, the big thing in direct sales and multi-level marketing is, instead of focusing on just having little parties but it’s also to have these big events, being up front and saying, “Yes, there is going to be, I’m going to let you know right now, there’s going to be a sales portion. We’re going to talk about placing orders. There’s going to be a portion where they’re going to talk about why you might want to have a show. They’re just going to educate you, what you can get. There’s not going to be a push or anything. It’s going to be, here’s what you get, do you want that?”
Also saying, “There’s going to be a recruiting portion for people who are looking for another strain of income so, just be aware, up front, that there’s going to be sales, booking and recruiting talks.” If people go into it knowing that, then they can go into it knowing, “Okay, well, I know I’m not going to be interested in the recruiting portion but I’m at least willing to listen to what I might get if I had five of my friends over, with a bottle of wine.” You know?
Yeah. I love that. That transparency piece is that, there’s nothing more annoying than getting invited to a seminar or a conference and one, you’re either not told a whole lot about it and you get there and it’s a pitch fest or, getting there and being told that it’s a pitch fest and getting dragged into some lower frequency, lower migration stuff that just doesn’t feel good. I don’t have no problems going to a conference where they’re doing a lot of sales and so forth, by all means but it’s being armed with it up front.
If the people that are promoting it, the people that are participating in it, aren’t being transparent about that, that has a huge impact on whether or not I participate in the future or not so I love the fact that you bring that up, “Okay look, look, I’m in direct sales, I’m in multi-level marketing and we have a sales aspect, we have a recruiting aspect,” but, calling it just what it is and in saying, “Hey look, we also have some products and services that you can really benefit from and up level your own life. I think that piece is huge.
Absolutely because in very few cases, is there something that, is there a company existing with a product or service that you don’t need or want? If it’s something you don’t need or want, why is it in existence? Everything has an aspect of, there’s got to be a customer base out there for it but you also want to keep in mind is, what’s the purpose of this company? How do they treat their representatives? How do they treat their hostesses or hosts of their get togethers? How do they take care of their customers? What’s their customer service like?
Knowing the answers to those questions is also going to be helpful. Go online and check out their rating with the Better Business Bureau. Go online and just look at reviews for those companies to see what’s out there. Also keeping in mind that, when somebody has a bad experience with a company, regardless of whether it’s multi-level marketing or not, this happens in traditional business too. You’ve probably heard this mantra before where you have someone who’s had a bad experience, they’re going to tell 3,000 of their friends. If they have a great experience, they might tell three. You know what I mean?
Yep, that’s human nature.
Exactly. People love, for some reason, when they’ve had a bad experience, they’re like, “I’m going to bad mouth you. I’m going to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m going to blast you on every social media channel possible.”
It makes them feel better about themselves because they’re the ones that made the decision to get involved with that company that they had a bad experience from and in our world, that just means that they didn’t do enough due diligence into looking and understanding that company and they made a decision without enough information but those sure as heck, will be the first people to tell you about it, about the bad experience. We see a lot of that in the due diligence world.
Absolutely. As I’m one of the aspects of my coaching that I started seeing is, people are asking questions about because I’ve got seven years experience in direct sales, because I’ve now been coaching specifically in that world for almost seven years is, I’ve got people starting to ask me, “How do I pick a company?” Let’s say I was maybe thinking about a second string of income, how do I find those things?
Now it’s getting to a point where people are asking me, “How do I do this?” That’s probably going to be one of the next products or services I’ll be into offers, helping people pick a company.
Oh, I like that. I like that a lot. If you were just joining us, we’re talking about transparency and accountability in direct sales with Jennie Bellinger. Jennie, where can our listeners go to find more information about you?
Well, my website is one great place to do that. That is levelupcoachllc.com. Again, that’s levelupcoachllc.com. Then, another great place to find me, because I know my tribe, my tribe is on Facebook. That’s where direct marketers, direct sales people are is on Facebook so you can find me at Facebook.com/levelupcoachllc.
Fantastic. Fantastic. When we get back from the break, we’re going to talk to Jennie a little bit more about the accountability piece, of what that looks like in direct sales. Again, we’re talking about transparency and accountability in direct sales with Jennie Bellinger and we’ll be right back after this break.