Remember in school when you were afraid the teacher would call on you for the one question you didn’t know the answer to? A question would be posed and you’d look down at your desk and frantically pray, “No, no, no, please don’t call on me. Not for this one. Please no, not me.” It can be traumatizing to some kids, if they live in fear they’ll look stupid in front of their peers.
Some adults still live with that same fear. Direct selling party plan consultants are particularly vulnerable. What if someone asks you a question for which you don't have the answer?
Here's the thing, though: Who said, or where did you read that you need to have all the answers? Even if you're a sponsor, team leader, Manager or Director, what is the worst that would happen if you uttered the words, "I’m not sure, but I will find out and get back to you?”
We’re mostly all adults in this business, at least according to our driver’s license we’re at least the age of majority in our states. Yet some consultants confuse being an independent business owner with being in sixth grade. No one is going to laugh and point and call you mean names if you don’t know the answer to something. Rather, it will likely make you look more human and approachable when others see that it’s ok if you don’t have all the answers.
You can actually claim expert status EVEN if you DON’T know all of the answers.
“Well Dee, how in the world can I be an expert if I don’ t know all the answers?”
I’m glad you asked! I always tell people, you don’t have to know all the answers to be seen as the expert, you just have to know where to find all the answers.
The great thing about many companies that we partner with in the Direct Selling industry, is that they really provide great reference material and training so that their consultants can receive the education that they need and also empower those same consultants to share those resources with potential customers and business partners.
Yes, starting a new business can be scary. There is a lot to learn. But it’s not nuclear science and the good thing about direct sales, is that there are no real emergencies. Meaning it’s not life and death and there is nothing so important an immediate answer is necessary. “I don’t know but I will find out” is a very good response. It shows your willingness to learn and to provide an accurate and timely response to the customer or downline member. And again, you can go to your trusted sources (training, reference guides, your upline and senior leaders in your company), to find the answers you need and pretty soon you will be seen as the expert. Although, you don’t HAVE to be an expert in order to be successful.
Consultants who are too afraid to take risks will not go very far in this business. Risks don’t need to be massive with extensive consequences. They could be as simple as stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance that you will be okay if someone asks you a question to which you do not immediately know the answer.
Interestingly, some consultants are perfectly fine telling their customers or team members that they don’t know the answer to something, but at all costs will avoid being in this situation with their peers. Some leaders who are very comfortable around most people will do everything within their power to not meet with fellow managers or directors for fear of not knowing something. That is just crazy because fellow peers don’t have any direct influence or impact on your business, so who cares if you know or don’t know something about these folks?
It sounds silly when you say it out loud, doesn’t it? I’d rather not put myself out there, talking with people because I might not know the answer to something and I don’t want to look stupid. If you are paralyzed with this feeling of not knowing an answer to something, consider what advice you might give your child if she came home and told you she wasn’t doing very well in school because she didn’t want to raise her hand to answer a question. She was too afraid she might get the answer wrong.
Whatever advice you’d give your child on this subject, give it to yourself too. Then watch your business grow.