Sponsoring is bringing someone into your direct sales business and helping him or her get their business off to a great start. It is also referred to “mentoring” as that is what it really involves. Mentoring is very rewarding. Honestly, seeing someone start a business is one of my favorite parts of direct sales.
Mentoring is a learning partnership. Both people can benefit from a mentor/mentee relationship. In my first direct sales business, I sponsored my first team member into the business (people you sponsor and mentor are know as your “downline”) shortly after I joined. Because I was also fairly new into the business, there was so much we learned together. Sharing ideas, making suggestions and helping one another understand the basics of running your own business was both challenging and fun. Over the years, as I have mentored more people, and these are some of the things I have found were key items in being a successful mentor.
- Be a good listener. Learn what your team member’s goals are, and why they went into business (was it for supplementing income, replacing their current job, more socializing with others, or did they fall in love with the product and wanted to share it with others?) You will be better equipped to help them reach their goals.
- You should be available to answer questions (there are NO “dumb” questions,) but also teach them to find where to find the answers they will need going forward.
- Help them find a review the company’s policies and procedures; it will become so valuable as they get more involved in their business.
- Be an encourager! We all feel frustrated at times, and need someone to be there to give support and build confidence. People only fail when they give up.
- Be willing to share your knowledge that has made your business easier, more successful and balanced between work and family life. After all, many people join direct sales to be able to spend more time with their families.
- Be trustworthy, honest, sincere and don’t engage in negative behaviors (gossiping, negativity, or talking too much about personal problems you may have (I’m sure you can think of more!)
- Realize that while you can provide support, information, and encouragement you cannot do the work for a team member. Their success depends on how much time and effort they are willing to invest in their business.
This is a big subject, and these points just touch on the ways to be a good mentor. Read about it, always keep learning and share ideas with experienced leaders. You will feel the joy of helping someone reach success in his or her business, and I feel sure you will find that mentoring is very rewarding for you, too. It is a leadership role you will enjoy!