Confession: I was almost a part of a direct sales business. Almost. I had a friend contact me, and I listened to her spiel. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I only had to get seven people on my team, who would get seven people on their team, who get seven people on their team, so on and so forth, and I would be a billionaire. I would run the world, and I would be running it from the comfort of my own brand new free car!
Now that’s not exactly how it worked, but you get the idea. Luckily, my phone phobia kept me from fully committing. (I can hardly call my neighbor to ask to borrow an egg, let alone contact friends from 10 years ago to try to persuade them to make a purchase.) During my direct sales period, I sold exactly zero products, and I’m probably on a do-not-contact list over at the company.
What happened to the “friend” who persuaded me to join after my direct sales business crashed and burned into the ground? I never heard from her again. Nope, not once.
It was a fake friendship.
Let me just start off by saying, I fully support moms who are trying to better themselves. I am 100 percent into supporting small businesses and moms who are building their companies. If you are in direct sales and rocking it, go you! I’m not against direct sales at all. However, there is a part of direct sales that really grinds my gears, and that is the pseudo friendship aspect that direct sales seem to spur.
I’m sure we’ve all gotten the overly friendly messages from long-ago friends trying to sell us hair removal cream, fat burners, organic cure-all oils, or whatever the latest trend is. The other day, I saw that I had a message in my inbox from a friend that I haven’t talked to in many years. I was excited to hear from her because I love reconnecting with old friends. When I clicked on the message, I was disappointed when it said something like, “Heeeey Girl! Your kids are so cute, and your life is dreamy and adorable. But you know what would make your life better? My latest blah blah blah blah blah.”
Wait. We haven’t talked in years and now you’re trying to sell me crap? My fake friendship radar immediately went off. I don’t even know what she was selling because I felt bamboozled. She didn’t want to be friends. She simply wanted to sell me something. She wanted my moolah, plain and simple.
I actually had a friend contact my husband on Facebook asking if he wanted to buy some of her latest and greatest fancy skin care products for me. Really, dude, really?! First of all, let’s keep my husband out of this fake friends nonsense. He won’t fall for it. Second of all, is there something grotesque about myself that I’m not seeing? Have I transformed into a haggard old lady at the ripe old age of 29? Do I have the opposite of body dysmorphia where I think I look halfway decent, but in reality I’m a wrinkly acne-ridden lady with the leathery skin of a 90-year-old who still sunbathes? Please say it ain’t so.
Let’s not even get into the fact that more than half of my Instagram requests come from fake friends trying to sell me something. I had a lady that I had gotten to know via Instagram who randomly sent me a picture of her kids through a direct message that said, “Do you want to earn a full-time income while working from home?! Contact me and I’ll tell you how.” Fake friendship alert.
First of all, I’m pretty confident in the fact that in order to make a full-time income I would have to sell nine million dollars of product in under two months all while juggling fiery batons and sleeping on a bed of nails, but that’s really beside the point. When I was a working mom, I found it offensive when people would assume that I was miserable at my job, or that I was dreaming of the day I could work from home. Not all working moms dream of becoming the next June Cleaver, okay?!
Anyway, there’s nothing more annoying to me than fake friendship. If I haven’t talked to someone in years, it drives me crazy when they contact me, add me to groups, and try to get me to purchase something. I already know they sell it. I see the products cluttering my Facebook newsfeed, and honestly I don’t really mind that. Post away, spread the word, but people contacting me acting like my bestie giving me their sales pitch drives me flat out bonkers. Sorry, fake friends, I’m not buying it.
If I am interested in a product, I can almost guarantee I will contact the person about their business. If I am looking to make a purchase, I cross-my-heart-pinky-promise-take-a-blood-brother-oath that I will try to buy it from one of my (real) friends first.
This post originally appeared on Oklahoma City Moms Blog.
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