I want to begin this by saying that I truly do believe that most of the time, people do have good intentions and believe they are being helpful. I am not bashing MLM companies or small businesses in the slightest…I am building my own business as we speak and completely understand the desire to share and stand by our products.
There is a sad trend that I have seen far too much of and have been on the receiving end of too many times and that I truly believe needs to be addressed.
It usually comes after a heartfelt post on social media, where I’ve poured out my soul into words about the loss of my unborn babies, or my struggle with infertility, or some other battle with grief, depression, or anxiety. There will be comments of support and love, maybe messages of untold stories that feel they’ve found a safe place to be told.
And then there will come a message, usually from someone I’ve rarely spoken to, that goes something like this: Hey girl! I just read your post on your struggles. I’m so sorry you’ve been going through that, and I’ll definitely be praying for you. By they way, have you ever heard of Plexus?
Replace Plexus with Young Living. ItWorks. BeachBody. Doterra. Herbalife. JuicePlus. And literally anything else. Anything else that this person with only the tiniest glimpse into my story feels will be the thing that cures me.
I get it. You believe that you have a really great product. And you’re building a business. You are being trained to see every opportunity and to jump on it.
But I just need you to understand this one thing.
My grief is not an opportunity for you to make a sale.
My heartfelt, gut wrenching, soul pouring post is not an invitation for you to try to sell me a quick fix, a program, a pink drink, or an oil.
I open my heart up for love and healing, for prayer and kindness. Not for sales pitches.
You product may be great, but your timing and approach is not.
If you understand this, and you still feel that I absolutely have to have your product while I am in the midst of my grief and struggle, here’s what you do: You write up a nice card, you make up a little gift basket, and you offer it freely with no strings attached. I promise you, that will be more meaningful than just randomly exploiting my pain for your own gain, and I will be far more likely to actually purchase from you in the future.
There are few exceptions to this rule, where an incredibly close relationship could allow the suggesting of a product in response to an expression of grief. But this should never be taken lightly and only done with extreme caution and love. And definitely refer back to treating it like a gift to a sorrowing friend instead of a requirement to buy.
Honestly, the core of this whole issue is our response to grief in general. Just because someone expresses their struggle does not mean you have to fix it! Its ok to just sit with someone in their grief, to simply love on them, pray for and with them, to hug them and cry together.
Bring hurting people food, not a catalog.
Send them gifts, not shop links and sales pitches.
Ask them how they are feeling, not if they’ve heard of your product.
Offer more love and less solutions.
They need care and kindness, not to have to spend their precious energy thinking of a polite way to say no to you.
Its ok to build your business. Just do it with a sensitivity to timing and approach. Not every moment is an open door.