I write this in tribute to my recently departed friend Carolyn, her daughter Traci, siblings and family missing her tonight. I was so blessed today, with a reminder that Direct Sales is a relationship business.
For over 20 years I have built relationships and shared product I believed in with people who became friends. Mothers brought me daughters who had their first foray into cosmetics. Those girls came back from proms and brought friends. Then they grew up and got married and there I got to play fairy godmother. Daughter became mothers. Mothers became Grandmothers. Women celebrated milestones and for many of those events… I was there. I did prom makeovers, divorce parties, Wedding day makeovers, bachelorette parties, spa parties, baby showers, birthday parties, Christmas parties. Every celebration, so many milestones… I was apart of their lives. It has always been about the relationships for me. Some joined my team. Some remained clients for life and I was there Consultant for life.
I shouldn’t be so surprised that my phone rang yesterday. I will say that I was more humbled and privileged and blessed that my phone rang yesterday. For me the measure of a well lived life is impact. How long will my legacy outlive me and what is that legacy? So yesterday at 10 am I received a call from a former Client (I really don’t sell anything any more). For 15 years I serviced her, her Mother, a few Aunts and a few Cousins. Her Mother had been a very good Client and shared me with a great many people. We had done a dozen events together over the years. Traci was calling me to tell me that her mother Carolyn had passed.
So many thoughts flooded my mind… Traci’s grief.. the loss of Carolyn’s life (I thought she had beaten the cancer)… how much I would miss her. As I sat there processing what her daughter was saying to me I began to think… this girl is calling her Mother’s makeup lady with this news! I wondered “How many Clinique counter girls make the call list when someone passes?”. It was then that I was reminded of the beauty of our business model. When they invite us into their home, we become so much more than a salesperson. We become, in that moment, a friend. When we service them well and take care of them…we have the privileged of becoming their Consultant for life.
As I walked into the funeral home today (carrying BBQ.. its what we do here. We feed grief. No since being heartbroken on an empty stomach. Before you get too impressed, a southern woman worth her salt would have cooked something.) and was greeted by so many familiar faces. I saw Children now grown, Aunts, Cousins, Siblings… I found myself picturing what their homes like, after all I had been there.. I could recall milestones in their lives…tears… laughter… a lifetime of memories it seemed. At that moment I felt more like family than a friend.
I was reminded how much this business is not about “selling stuff”. It is about taking care of people. Becoming interwoven into the fabric of their lives. They can buy stuff anywhere. This is about building relationships and being their Consultant for life.
Rest in peace Carolyn. I checked your lipstick before I left and it was perfect. I would never have let them bury you any other way. After all, I am your friend. Thanks for me letting be a part of your life.
Michelle Archer is a certified coach with over 20 years experience in direct sales. Michelle works with companies and individuals to explode their business potential. Connect with her on Facebook Learn more at http://directsalesinstitute.com/