Let’s be honest here, in direct sales people come and people go. All.The.Time.
Every day. And it’s really hard when they go, especially the good ones who you love working with. Really hard.
This just happened to me and I want to share some wisdom I’ve learned through the process with others who are just beginning or are sitting in the middle and I hope it helps because it’s painful watching someone leave the business.
[This photo usually carries a negative connotation but in this case, I want it to be positive. When someone decides to leave your business let them go]
First things first– UNDERSTAND
Understand where they’re coming from. If you don’t understand, ask. Simple. Just ask “what’s taking you away?” The friend who just left my business told me without my asking her, that’s the kind of woman she is, open and honest communication is her specialty. If yours withholds or hesitates assure her that whatever the reason is you will understand, you just want to know so you can grow.
And then you better be understanding. Whatever her reason is matters to her. Don’t try to talk her into staying. Just understand that she has made a decision and it was probably difficult and she probably feels like she’s a failure and a disappointment. Assure her that she is neither of those things and just simply understand that she has made a hard choice. Support her in that.
IT IS OKAY TO HATE THE FACT THAT THEY ARE LEAVING YOUR BUSINESS
Seriously, it’s okay. You can hate that shes leaving. You are human after all. You can be upset, you can be sad, you can be emotional but don’t you dare blame her. See #1. She made a tough choice and you understand. That doesn’t mean you stamp down your feelings. You can feel those, you should feel those. Losing someone, especially someone you really enjoy knowing and working alongside is an emotional process. Work through the process.
Be a big girl– WISH THEM WELL
And you better mean it. Don’t just say the platitude, mean it. If you don’t mean it, don’t say it. The mature woman/business owner will work through her own emotional issues and sincerely wish the person who has decided to leave the business well. Regardless of her reason for leaving. We’re business owners here, part of our business is the coming and going, and a big part of how you handle that depends on YOU. Only you. This person hopefully was much more than a fellow business owner, hopefully she was your friend and you should always want what’s best for your friends.
Speaking of Friends– STAY FRIENDS
Just because someone has decided that the business you love so dearly is not for them does not mean you cut them out of your life completely. I sincerely hope that this person was truly more to you than a number on your list and a name on your roster, I hope they became friends and you learned who they are, who they love, and more. Don’t throw away the friendship just because the business relationship ended. That’s silly.
Finally– DON’T SHUT OUT FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES
One major thing I’ve learned in many years of direct sales is that timing is EVERYTHING. Seriously. I thought it was a crock too when I first heard it but I’ve been around the block a few times and timing keeps coming back. Time matters. Often the time just isn’t right now. This person gave the business a try and she just wasn’t ready. She has some growth to do outside of the business that needs to happen before she is ready. I always highly recommend growing within the business because this is the best way to grow and make money at the same time, but most people just cannot see that, and that’s okay. Let her go. Let her do her growing elsewhere as she needs too and you never know, she may come back to you and the business one day. So long as you don’t slam the door in her face.
Letting go of people who wish to leave is an important specialty, one that you must learn to be successful in direct sales. And I can say that with authority because it is an important part of this business. Holding on to them, forcing them to stay in the business out of guilt only does irreparable harm to you, the one who wants to leave, and to your relationship. Be brave. Tell her it is okay, that you understand and that you would still like to remain friends. You’ll be better for it and you will see yourself grow in immense ways!
I am grateful that my friend told me the truth about her decision to leave and I know how difficult that was for her to decide and I do wish her well, I will miss her desperately but you know what, she had lessons to teach me both as a business partner and during her departure and I am oh so glad that she did ❤
I wish you the best of luck with this because the letting go process is difficult. I welcome your comments on how YOU let go of those who decided to leave your business!