March 1999

What Do You Say

... to 'I'm Not The Sales Type' - Coy Barefoot

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times: "I'm not the sales type. I'm not outgoing like you. I could never do what you do. I'm just not that type of person."

We asked a group of Networking leaders from across North America: how do you teach your organization to handle this very common concern?

What do you say? -- Coy Barefoot

David Thornton is an Executive Director with Excel Communications. He lives in Vancouver, Washington.

"I'm relieved you're not the sales type. The worst thing you could do is to try to sell somebody into Network Marketing. From my experience, whenever you do that the person usually ends up not doing anything, anyway-- so why do it?

"The most professional way to do this is to simply keep your eyes and ears open to clues people give that they would like more time and money in their life-- and then share with them what you have learned about this opportunity. I don't go out and "hunt" people, the way some people "hunt" prospects. I don't look for opportunities to pressure people or to get them to sign anything. I have learned that all you need to do is be yourself, and listen a little more closely to the things that people say in everyday conversation. A common saying we have is: Don't go out and do Excel. Do Excel as you go out.

Dr. Ron Overberg is a One Ruby Director with Golden Neo-Life Diamite. He lives with his wife and partner Chris in Dallas, Texas.

"You're not a salesman? Good, most people can see a salesman coming from a mile away. I like to think of my role more as an educator. We teach people about the benefits of products and services, and then they can do whatever they want. Having a lot of sales experience doesn't always work to your advantage in Network Marketing.

"And you don't even have to be all that outgoing. Look at me, I'm a biologist-- I came from behind a microscope to do Network Marketing. I wasn't incredibly outgoing then, and I'm still not today. But I was willing to learn to share this opportunity, because I wanted the results that the business offered. One of the greatest things about a Network is that you have a lot of people who can take you by the hand and show you how this is done. You're not alone.

A resident of Palm Bay, Florida, Chip Humphrey has been in the Network Marketing industry for four years. He is a Director with Pre-Paid Legal Services.

"I know exactly how you feel, because I felt the same way. But what I found is that I naturally told people about the business, because I realized the value of the product. I didn't have to be convinced or coerced into telling people about a good thing-- it just happened.

"It's just like seeing a great movie, and suggesting to a friend that they go check it out. I'm not selling the movie. I don't have stock in it. And the movie company sure never sent me a check for the people that saw the film based on my suggestion. I saw a good thing, I told somebody about it. It's pretty easy. And it's something we all do every day, anyway. Now we have the opportunity to get paid for it.

An eight-year veteran of the industry, Bob McEachern is an International Marketing Director with Lifestyles. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

"I'm glad! The most successful people in the Networking industry aren't the sales types, so I take that as a good sign. In fact salespeople tend to have a tougher time in our business, because they have to retrain. They have to learn to recommend something without pitching it. They have to talk about the business like they would chat with a friend-- to have two-sided communication instead of just one.

"Let me ask you this, do you have kids? Okay great. Do you ever put them to bed? Of course you do. Well, that's harder than Networking is.

"I worked as an electrician on an oil rig overseas for ten years-- talk about a job that doesn't involve dealing with a lot of people. I had no background in sales, and really no background in even getting out and talking to people. But I found that when I really believe in what I'm doing, it's so easy to talk to people. And if you think about it, you already do that everyday: recommend something you believe in. That's all we're doing. It's that simple.

"The Network Marketing industry has seen some phenomenal growth over the last decade. Who do you think are the people that have made that happen? It's not sales people, I can tell you that. It's just every day folks like you and me-- people talking to people about products and services that they believe in.

A five-year veteran of Networking, Dina McDermott is a Vice President and Corporate Trainer with TeleNet Millennium, Ltd. She and partner Dan Rutley live in Toronto, Ontario.

"Really, you're not the sales type? And you really believe that about yourself? Tell me why you think so.

And then I just shut up and listen to them, and let them sell it to me. And then after they've gone and on and sold me on the idea that they're not the right type of person for Networking, then I laugh and say:

"Okay, okay, I get it-- you're not the sales type. You've sold me on that, I'm convinced. Then we both have a good laugh about it. And then I explain to them that what they've just done is exactly what this business is all about-- telling someone something you believe in. And they've already shown me they have all it takes. It doesn't get any more difficult than that.

A Senior Director with Mary Kay, Liz Walcher has been involved in the industry for nine years. She lives in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

I don't believe in sparring with people. I don't believe in getting on the defensive, because once you take someone's objections and get defensive, it turns into an argument where someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. So when I hear this concern, I always start by asking the person: "What exactly does the 'sales type' mean to you?" And then you usually hear something like: `I see someone in sales as being pushy, aggressive, talking with a script, trying to close a deal, getting me to sign something or do something I don't want to do'-- a lot of negative descriptions.

And then I respond by saying:

"I can totally see why you wouldn't want to be in sales, if that's your definition. I wouldn't want to be in sales either, if that was what I understood sales to be. You know, I grew up with a completely different definition of sales. My mother taught me that the correct and right reason to be in sales was to serve-- and to serve others, not yourself. And when you help enough other people get what they want, you can get what you want. In sales, you can design any lifestyle for yourself around helping other people.

"In some way, shape or form, all of us are in sales-- because in some way we all influence other people. But the professional-- who is there to sincerely serve someone else, to share and to educate-- is not pushy or aggressive, but can still influence others. I'm proud to be in sales. I love what I do.

Share your best "What Do You Say?" with us! Send your, or your team's, proven Networking one-liners, phrases, questions and answers, to Coy Barefoot at the Upline address, or email them to We just might include them in a future publication. Be sure to include your name, company, and a little neat information about who you are.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, What Do You Say - March 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,


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