Defined Sight

Personal Development Blog

Stop Selling to Your Friends: They are not Clients nor a Source of Income

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If you have not reached the stage in life where all your friends are having babies, then trying to stay at home with them, yet sell crap on the side to make some money….lucky you! Chances are, if you are a new mom, you are considering it. I highly advise that if you take the plunge, please remember your friends aren’t your clients. Going through the phase of “I want to work at home just to spend more time with my kid” may cost you friends.

To all the stay-at-home mommies, who already have a full time job (taking care of their home, teaching and raising their kids) you have one of the most difficult, unpaid careers. With disgust I say it: today’s society views a person’s contribution to their home is valued by physical income and not by the intangible benefits (teaching and developing America’s youth and maintaining your home). Stay-at-home moms now feel obligated to contribute in some way to get that physical income.

I’ll get off my political soap box and get back to the point: stop selling shit to your friends. Your friends are not your source of income. They have full time jobs and are likely living on a budget. They feel obligated to buy from you, because after all, you are friends and they want to support “your new adventure.”

If you are selling stuff, why is it “going on an adventure” with a goal for people to “take this journey” with you? Stop using those lines. Do I go on an adventure every day to work? Depending on traffic flow, heck yeah. But if i described my job to my boss as an “adventure” they might think of me as a lost scout that can’t read the instructions to boil water. In my opinion if you want to sound credible, don’t make it sound like a fantasy you are trying to sell.

Moving past the marketing lines, so, you sell an item to your friends. Later, you ask them when they want to try x again, or maybe the new fall colors are out and you push the new line on them. Even saying what you are doing around them, is going to come across as a potential threat, make them feel uncomfortable as they already bought from (and supported your new adventure!) once and they really don’t want to do it again.

This is when they start saying no; not to your products, but hanging out with you. They don’t know if the coffee you grab together, is going to be a sale opportunity for you to pounce on them.

Find a way to get real strangers, not your friends, as clients. Not gonna lie, that’s hard work. And involves you being an extrovert. Maybe you have to sign up to get a booth at a fair, or get a table during Crazy Days at the mall. You need to figure out your own way to drive, advertise and sell your business to total strangers. Chances are, they may believe you more than your own friends and family members! So get a different, external network. Tweet. Set up a different Facebook page, completely separate from your personal one so people can actually like it on their own. Get a mentor in the business who can teach you a thing or two about selling.

If you are starting your own business, there’s great products and ideas to sell. Figure out your audience of who needs it, and why would they want it. Now reflecting on who I’ve bought from and not bought from this past year, it wasn’t from my friends. Weird how that works, eh?

5 Comments

  1. This is a really interesting angle and until you mentioned it I hadn’t thought about all my friends that were selling these type of products via Facebook. My wife has been able to turn down most of these. But I agree with you to forced selling to friends is not my idea of a great business.

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 12, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Mr. Mustard Seed Money,
      Thank you for stopping back in to our Defined Sight! I reflected on how many friends I “unfollowed” on Facebook because their posts were filling up my Newsfeed, and overall scrolling through things I definitely don’t want (or need!) was a waste of my time where I’m not learning anything new nor spending valuable time with family. Indeed, there are better ways to make a buck and run a business!

  2. Interesting point I hadn’t considered. I do find all those friends trying to sell me things quite annoying.

    I actually posted an article today about the side hustles my family is using to get ahead in light of my wife transitioning to a stay at home mom starting this month. That being said we won’t be selling anything but rather doing freelance work and increasing cost reduction.

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 15, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Full Time Finance,
      Thank you so much for visiting the Defined Sight! I will check out your article – I have many suggestions for side hustles that will have many financial and life benefits!

  3. 100% agreed, really despise people on Facebook who use their friends lists as a list of potential clients. I have a few realtors on there and I’ve had to block their updates, since I’d rather just not hear from them at all then have to wade through all their junk posts and listings.

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