6 Tips of Relationship Success in Direct Selling

Between November 6 and 8 S4DS had the opportunity of attending to the DSA Fall Conference 2017 and exploring the trends of the Direct Selling Industry.

In the session “Partnering with the Frenemy: Managing Business Relationships and Achieving Partnership Success” Dr. Sandy Jap and Dr. Anne Coughlan, both professors of marketing, spoke about the 6 main principles of relationship management.

They helped us to understand how to manage and not to be managed by strategic relations.  Relationships are strategic endeavors and there is a lot of science behind how relationships develop, devolve and jointly perform over time and a lot of implications for how we should be doing business.

According to Jap and Coughlan, building strategic relationships can be considered as a staircase with 6 steps that are the main principles of relationship management.


relationship management in direct selling


  1. Build trust over time: You can lose it in an instant. Remember that trust is more easily lost than built.
  2. Grand gestures make things worst.
  3. Manage expectations with relationship maps: It is important to manage partner’s expectation and it is better if you do it from the very beginning.
  4. Careful how you build: Process matters.
  5. Match risky investments: You need to have mutual investments. They can be your silver bullet.
  6. Say good bye nicely: Learn to “Lose friends without influencing” people. When relationships have to come to an end you have to consider the implication for both parties, try to find a mutually agreed solutions and do not close the door to the possibility of hitching the wagons again in the future.