Dear Friend Who Sells Stuff on Facebook,

Hi, how’s it going?

I’m so glad you reached out the other day to check in. It has been awhile, hasn’t it? Two years since we’ve hung out – wow, how the time passes. We have so much to catch up on!

What’s that you say? You want to tell me about some unique products I might be interested in? You have an exciting business opportunity for me? Oh, I see you’ve added me to your virtual Facebook party. And your secret group. Oh look, and there’s another post on my newsfeed and a few pings sitting in my messages from you…

I’m so elated you’ve found an opportunity to grow yourself both personally and professionally. I can tell the products you’re selling make you happy, and I see how passionate you are about them. I’m so jealous of your flexible hours and your ability to work from home! On top of that, you’re earning unlimited income, meeting new people, and rekindling with old friends. How very cool! I can see why you want to spread the news.

direct sales

Before you start your pitch, I must sadly inform you that I’m not interested. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve heard the spiel before. Multiple times, actually. I probably get close to six Facebook party invites, business page group requests, and private messages a month from friends, co-workers, family, and other acquaintances. I’m so flattered that you thought of me, but I have to respectfully decline. It’s not that I don’t want to support your growing business or that I’d rather buy from someone else; I don’t want to feel guilted into buying, period. It’s not you, it’s me.

It takes hard work, courage, persistence, and some serious research to do what you do, and for that I’m so proud of you! Please know that I’m not anti-MLM, I’m just not a fan of being treated like a customer more than a friend.

I’m a super savvy shopper. I like to research, find the best price, and look, smell, touch, and try the product before I buy. I’m not an impulse buyer and strive to not buy things I don’t need (unless I’m in Target!). As cool as your essential oils, lotions, nail stickers, cooking accessories, wraps, jewelry, leggings, embroidered bags, protein shakes, make-up, and cleaning products are, I simply can’t force myself to buy on the spot – and truthfully, I can’t justify the paying the price.

direct sales

I don’t mean to come off as unsupportive or to offend you. I wish you only the best for you and your growing business. Facebook may seem like a great vehicle to spread the word and invite friends, but I must tell you, I don’t like feeling like a prospect. Also, I’m really bummed that the only reason you’re connecting with me is to see if you can sell me something. I feel duped, betrayed, and a little taken aback. When I’m added to secret groups and virtual parties (along with your other “closest” 422 friends), it kind of loses its authenticity for me. Was I added because you knew I’d love the product and you wanted to share your knowledge, or because I’m just someone to make you a few bucks? I really hope it’s not the latter.

I still want to be your friend, so please don’t take my decline as a jab toward you personally. I just don’t want to be used for your financial benefit or feel pressured into something I’m not interested in, that’s all. I know you have good intentions when pitching your products, so I’ll be polite and listen. But, I want you to know how I feel so we can move on from this awkward encounter. I don’t want this to damage our relationship, and I don’t want there to be animosity or resentment.

Owning your small business and being successful is never an easy feat. It takes hard work, courage, persistence, and some serious research to do what you do, and for that I’m so proud of you! Please know that I’m not anti-MLM, I’m just not a fan of being treated like a customer more than a friend. If or when I become interested in your products, I will certainly contact you before anyone else. But until then, I hope you respect our friendship enough to keep your business pitch separate.

Affectionately,

Your Friend


How do you feel about direct sales and friends? We’d love to hear your perspective in the comments!

 

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5 Responses to Dear Friend Who Sells Stuff on Facebook,

  1. Niki June 30, 2016 at 6:49 am #

    I love this. I un-follow those that post this stuff all time. I feel bad because I’d like to know about their lives, their kids, their funny stories. But it gets so overtaken by sales posts that it’s not worth sorting through the clutter.

  2. Ashley July 13, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    This is exactly how I feel. I don’t unfollow people unless it’s intrusive, but I’m not going to buy something unless it’s something I’d need already. I had one person from church invite me and a few other friends over for a mid day party. I was working at the time, but I took a long lunch to drive over, hoping I’d get to know this person and be on my way to making more friends. Turns out it was just a front for a sales pitch… It left a sour taste in my mouth and I felt like I was being used.

  3. Jenni July 14, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    You took the words out of my mouth! Very well written and spot on!

  4. Kate July 18, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

    LOVE THIS!! Exactly how I feel. I’ve been duped a couple times–thinking I was just meeting up with a friend for lunch then finding out it was really only a sales pitch. 🙁 Neighbors/friends/acquaintances had even kept inviting me to sales parties even though they knew at the time my family was undergoing financial struggles due to job loss and I kept declining, explaining I couldn’t afford things that weren’t necessities. Now financially stable, I still dislike the pressure tactics and false social aspect of the parties, so I never attend. I do feel some have been offended by my not attending, which is unfortunate, but I must do what is best for me and my family.

  5. Molly July 25, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    Some of these Direct Sales products have changed people’s lives, either financially as a business investment or improved their skin so they feel more confident for the first time in their lives. If it hadn’t been for someone sharing their info, they may have never known. I agree there is a fine line between authenticity & a sales pitch. But you have the choice and option to just ignore or unfollow, just like political posts, parenting opinions etc…of others.