When a new customer buys some oils from me or one of my baby quilts it is a highly personal experience for them and me. I get to witness their excitement and see the glimmer of hope in their eyes. I get to share in their relief from pain or something that has been holding them back. I’m there to hear how what they just bought from me is going to do something special in their life. It is a moment of connection between two humans where more than just money is exchanged.
It simply feels different when you get money for something you directly created and provided to someone else. It is very different in feeling from my corporate paycheck. While still meaningful to what that money does for my family budget it is not the same. I personally get a huge burst of pride in my heart that I did something that someone else is happy about spending their hard earned money on. It makes me feel good that I created that feeling for them. That experience is so often lost in many of our purchases we make in a store or online. Too often it is about the transaction instead of the experience that makes why we are buying this product special, intentional and memorable.
What I did was more than just make a sale. I also made their life easier, better and even may a little happier. The money exchanged in that situation feels incredibly different as a result. It feels like a connection between humans and not just your regular shopping experience where someone is bagging your purchases just wishing it was their quitting time. Each sale is instead this personal expression where we both gain something of value and oftentimes that value outweighs the purchase price. In no other setting have I found this to be true than when shopping small businesses, including and especially from your friends who sell products. Whether those products are things they personally made or are products they represent is the same.
The natural side of selling things is that human connection and interaction where you genuinely get to care about each other. I become more concerned with helping my customers find the exact thing right for them instead of just pushing what is on sale or what I need to hit a sales goal. For my customer, it is about their ability to trust me to be that true caring person they can rely on to help them and mean it. Of course it is mutually beneficial but the point is about how each of us feels in that process.
When I see someone being negative about direct sales either about buying the products or being in the business I have to assume they have never felt this experience. Maybe they had a representative that was just in it for the sales or maybe they didn’t have the help to find the right thing and that is what caused them to feel this way. It happens and while unfortunate if they knew how incredible this feeling was I am betting they would try it again. I like to think we are not so jaded in life that we would consider everyone who works in direct sales as an individual representative or brick and mortar small business owner is just out for sales; because we are not.
For most of us the nature of direct selling has many benefits we feel physically through our income and in who we evolve into through the process. We become more attuned to relationships and being the opposite of everything you have ever heard about a sales person. To me I wish there was a different label that applied to people who seem to have graduated beyond the idea of just selling something to someone else. The nature of selling is the connection it inspires to generate a feeling that extends between seller and consumer. It is not experienced when there is just a one sided interest to make money.
I think supporting our friends in business is a personal responsibility because it helps all of us. It helps our economy and supports small business but it also uplifts us in a greater way of thinking about the consumer experience. To me it says I value the experience as much as I value the product. When I go to the grocery store it is not the same as buying eggs at the farmer’s market. When I go to the hardware store it is not the same as going to Home Depot or Lowes. When I buy a makeup, essential oil, workout gear, personal care products or anything else my friends are selling it is not the same as ordering it on Amazon.
The beauty of the situation is it can be still be convenient, economical and most of the time of high quality to shop directly. It often comes with onli