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Selling your products to friends or family can be a very tricky activity. Although you might think it would be easy to sell something to them because there are ‘family'. That usually, in some cases, is not how it goes. Today, I will show you how to get your friends and family to buy from you, and get them to do free marketing for you!
Your friends and family are people obviously close to you. They know when you started your business and seem to support your idea. But the truth is that they might not buy into it.
Repairing gadgets has always been my side hustle after secondary school. One period back then, there was ASUU strike. So I decided to buy some phone accessories and sell them to my friends, neighbors, and families. I got the shock of my life when my services were underpriced!
I had in mind that it would be smooth sales and that all would go well and I would make more sales before I returned. When the reverse was the case, it left me questioning what I did wrong, what they did wrong, and what I could have done or said to not have fallen trap to the predicament I was in.
Another challenge I faced was how to approach friends. It was easier with family, but leaving home was difficult. I am a very introverted introvert. So, face-to-face conversations can be really exhausting. I didn't know what to do or say.
This experience helped me establish that the toughest persons to deal with are people close to you in whatever form. No jokes. It is easier to talk to complete strangers because there might be a sale for you, but with this other category, you simply do not have the right words or pitch or it would be all jokes, ‘whining', and encouragement and no sales.
Remember the bible saying that “The prophet is usually not honored in his hometown”. That is the reason you need to the end to discover what you are or could be doing wrong when you are selling to your family and friends.
How to Sell your Products to Your Friends and Family
There are 8 basic rules that you must follow if you plan to get your friends and family to buy from you. They are already explained below, but here is a list of them:
- Expect and Handle Criticism properly
- have a reasonable price rate
- Never sell to them on credit
- Do not add pressure
- Maintain professionalism
- Have a target
1. Expect and Handle Criticism Properly
Before you talk about that product, brand, design, goods, and services to your friends, expect criticism.
This can be really discouraging. Friends and families might not have anything tangible to say but mocking comments about your effort. They most likely might not say anything nice and would not give you the criticism you need to flourish.
So there are two chances and both can break your heart if you are not prepared for it: they are blunt with their criticism or they simply smile, pat you on the back, and leave you and your offer. The best thing to do is to pick where suggestions align and work on it.
2. Have a Reasonable Price rate:
Because they are related to you and you are probably just starting out, you might have to assure them that you did not inflate the price rate for them. Family always want a cut, there’s a sense of entitlement that some friends and family members consciously or unconsciously have with them and they want you to give them at a slashed ridiculous price.
You need to be able to convince them that the business is not about them and that you need their support if they are able to offer it in any form. If you can win over your family and friends with your products, you’re one step away from selling your brand through them online.
Referrals are a great way to reach more people online especially if you are just trying to save money and make ends meet through the business. But not just any type of referrals, the kind that is done with passion and earnestly.
3. Never Sell to Them On Credit:
As tempting and as trusting as this might seem, you must not sell to your friends on credit. Keep in mind that whatever is sold to your family member or friend on credit might as well be forgotten.
One of the things that can kill a business irrespective of the field is low turnover. Real business people know the importance of turnover in a business. But when you sell to your friends and they owe you, there is a huge possibility that getting your money will be very difficult.
It will be best to tell them to return when they have their money ready and give them the option of paying in installments.
4. Do Not Add Pressure:
This applies in cases when you’re selling to older family relatives and/or parents. It is no novel thing to us that we have to treat the older generation differently. While we can play around with words and make sarcastic remarks and teases to our mates, we have to be wary of the older.
They understand things differently and should be allowed in most cases to work at their pace. When you pressure an old person to purchase or try something out they start considering (not all of them) the possibility of you selling a fake or worthless brand to them. This applies even to your parents. They can feel easily stressed out and must be allowed to come through when they please.
The same goes for neighbors. Some neighbors are hesitant to buy from a known person. When you introduce something to them, allow them to come to terms and only chip it once in a while.
5. Maintain Professionalism:
More times than not, we are tempted to laugh around with our friends and family, and other relatives when selling to them. This most likely spans from our shyness and awkwardness. However, over-familiarity breeds contempt.
You should endeavor to know when to take a turn with your siblings before they run you out. A certain level of professionalism, not strict, ensures that buying on credit is crossed off the list and your money or business is not played with.
6. Have a Target:
You cannot sell to every member of your family. You should know already who is capable of buying your product and who is not. Except it is something you do not run a loss in, then you can give it away to that person.
Targeting what family member to sell to and the one to not sell to saves you the stress of engaging with probable credit sales, bulk purchase with little installment.
Getting your friends and family to buy from you is actually tricky, and this starts from your mindset. The key is to determine who to sell to and to know which one of them needs the products, or services. You cannot ask your grandma to subscribe to your website, nor tell your male friend who is single to buy a bonnet. You must implement strategic advertisement and pitching, and you manipulate this to favor you.
Did this article help you? Let me know below.