The advantages to living in this digital age are nearly endless for your direct sales business. It only takes a few seconds to send an email or text to a customer or colleague. However, face-to-face communication is still an extremely important part of how you interact with others. Emails and text messages are convenient, but they cannot convey tone of voice, emotion, and other non-verbal cues. As you continue to build professional relationships, make it a priority to improve your face-to-face communication skills.
- Bring a friend or partner for confidence. Meeting a friend, acquaintance, or even a stranger for a sales presentation or opportunity meeting can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or colleague to tag along for moral support. For example, you are about to do your very first home party hosted by someone you only met one other time. All the guests at this party will be strangers to you, and you don’t feel completely comfortable going it alone. Ask someone in your upline or even a close friend to accompany you. Introduce him or her as your assistant, for instance, and you’ll not only have someone to help build your confidence, but you’ll have someone to help you set up, pass out catalogs, and answer questions if appropriate. Sometimes just the feeling of having a friend in the room can boost your self-esteem and make you appear confident to others.
- Practice your conversations. This can be done alone in front of a mirror, by recording yourself on your smartphone or tablet, or even by role-playing with a friend. A direct seller named Vanessa always rehearses the introduction of her sales presentation in her bedroom mirror right before she leaves for her parties. In doing so, she pays attention to her facial expressions like making sure she’s smiling, and her tone of voice to make sure it stays warm and light-hearted. Another benefit of doing this is that she will notice before it’s too late if anything about her outfit interferes with her presentation or just doesn’t look and feel right. Find a way of practicing that is comfortable for you, and make a habit of doing it often.
- Make eye contact naturally without staring. Eye contact is an essential part of face-to-face communication, as it signals to the other person that you are in fact listening and giving your undivided attention. Looking directly into someone’s eyes can be intimidating, however, so use some techniques to avoid staring. Tip: Look directly in between the person’s eyes instead of right into the eye when talking. It won’t be detectable by the other person that you’re not looking into the eye, and you will feel more at ease while giving your attention. As with any skill, you will become more proficient and comfortable with practice and experience.
Possessing strong communication skills will serve you well in any career. When you can appear confident, demonstrate good listening, and use proper eye contact, you can begin to build and maintain the relationships that are so important to your business.