Hi. This is Tasha, and I’m the founder of Emerge Sales Training, and today I want to talk about How to Deal With Unsupportive Spouses.  This is something that came up during one of our Happy Hour sessions on Facebook. Each day at 4:00 on our main Facebook page (www.facebook.com/emergesalestraining), I do a Facebook Live video at 4:00 Pacific, so I think that’s a good name for it.

There was a comment one of our students made about being one of the few husbands that really supported their wives, and I thought, “Oh gosh, we need to talk about this.”

Today, I want to spend some time chatting about unsupportive spouses.  I have a cool group that I’m doing in the recruiting course I teach, and there’s just this super cute couple.  They did their intro video yesterday a bit late, and the husband said, “I’m one of the few husbands that really pushed my wife to do this network marketing business.”  That stuck out in my head, and I thought, “Well gosh, I think it would be a good idea for me to address this a little bit, because I think that unsupportive spouses often get a bad rap.”

So, at another client’s suggestion, I am going to call this Outlines For Life.  This will be Lesson #1.

I’m not a marriage counselor, just a sales coach, business coach that is.  I am pretty good at seeing patterns throughout different types of behavior.  While certainly there are spouses that are not cool, I think there is another side to this, and a different problem that we need to look at. Are all unsupportive spouses unsupportive spouses, or are they protective angels?  Here’s what I mean: when we look at the outside, when there tends to be the lack of support there, and we start to ask a few more questions, we may see things from the spouses side.

Now, what I’m going to do is paint an alternative picture.  I’m not saying this is the case for every situation, but I just want to give you a little bit about my perspective.  Then, I’m going to teach you how to create buy-in for members of your family, for them to support you in your business, which will give you the ability to work more in your business.

This is part of a bigger question, how do I get buy-in from my family?  If you were to take a step back, and look at some network marketing behavior – not all network marketing behavior – I think we can all agree sometimes it could appear a little bit like a cold.  I think that triggers a lot of protective family behavior. Here are some things just to look at.

Was the person I love sold a dream that is not realistic?  Maybe it’s not realistic because the whole industry is not realistic.  Maybe it’s not realistic because we don’t have the time. Maybe it’s not realistic because this person may not have the skills to do it.  It could be unrealistic for a lot of different reasons. I have heard spouses say things like, “Well, obviously that way you’ll just buy more product,” and I was like, “Huh – that is an interesting perspective” because I think it could look like that to people.

Maybe the spouse is treating it like a hobby, but says it’s a business, but acts like it’s a hobby, and now it’s turned into a very, very expensive hobby, and so that then that stops making sense, seeing the realistic thing.

Maybe there’s past baggage, or past experience that is coming in.

Maybe that individual had high hopes for some business, maybe it had a family member that had high hopes for a business, and it didn’t work out.

Maybe, even though the network marketer is serious, they have jumped from thing to thing to thing, so their spouse is being protective, rather than unsupportive.

I will just assert a different view of the unsupportive spouse as maybe a protective protector, trying to protect someone they love from getting hurt, or getting disappointed.  I think if we look at things from that perspective, it’s a lot easier to know what it is that we need to do. Here’s what I want to ask you since a lot of us in the Emerge community are parents:  Would you keep paying for your kids’ activities if they stopped going?

I wish we had more young people, I’m a big fan of young people selling as that’s when I learned how to sell when I was 20.

So Charlie took the kids to karate, and there was a time where Haley was being a stinker, I know that’s like every day, but she didn’t want to go to class.  Well, we were like, “Okay, fine don’t go to class, but we’re not paying for this anymore.” Would you pay for a class like karate lessons where your kid didn’t attend?

Would you feel good about your spouse buying designer sunglasses, and then treating them like a Slinky?  Would you be okay with this type of behavior?

If we were sending our kids to private school, we’re going to be even more invested in their outcomes.  Then if they’re not taking seriously, it’s different, right? If they’re just playing sports at the park, versus, you’re having them play club, that’s going to be different, and so I just want you to consider maybe a different thought process that maybe it’s not making so much sense.

Here are a few things that I want you think about, and if this isn’t you, just help coach some of your team members that might be running into this situation.  We have to create buy-in for our family members – our spouses, our kids, our support systems. Maybe it’s our mom who needs to babysit, and so we need to create buy-in.

The first thing we want to start with is how does this help them?  

We know that you love your business, and you’re excited about this, but really take a step back, and say, “Okay, well if I’m going to devote my time to my business, and our financial resources, and whatever else I need in order to be successful, how does this benefit my spouse?  How does this benefit my kids? And really start to make a long list from their perspective.

Then, when you’re communicating, set realistic goals, commitments, and outcomes, and, here’s where I’m going to be really mean…meet them.  Take them seriously.

I think it’s also really important in this whole conversation, especially with spouses, is to take your business seriously.  Don’t call it a business and then act like it’s a hobby. Do you carry a profit and loss? All businesses, legitimate businesses, need to look at their profit and loss.  If they’re not looking at their profit and loss, then are they really serious about their business?

If you, or a team member that is struggling with this, or maybe some unsupportive family members, encourage them to carry a profit and loss, encouragement them to increase their skill level, encourage them to really be serious about guarding their time.  

Here’s an example.  So Charlie has a blog, it’s called Charlie’s Dad Life, and since he has now been working from home, he’s been able to contribute a lot more.  But there was a time when I was super sick, he had to take care of things even more around the house with the kids, he was working, and he wasn’t contributing to the blog.

Then I started to be like, “Why are we paying for this website?  Why are we paying for this tech if you’re not doing it?” What I wanted to see as a spouse, not because I’m a jerk, or maybe I am, I don’t know, I guess Charlie can chime in on this if he wants, but I just wanted to know, are you serious about it?  If he says, “I don’t have time to do my blog,” but he’s playing video games all the time, which isn’t the case, but if that were, then I might be a little bit more negative toward the blog, because he’s not taking it seriously.

Now, however, if he’s like, “This is it, my blog, I’m going to write one to two things per week, and once I get consistent, I’m going to look into this, to be able to improve it, or whatever,” I would be so much more excited about, “Hey kids, like let’s go play for a little bit, dad’s going to go work on his blog.”  I think it’s important to really look at if you’re having this challenge, maybe it is there are some deeper issues that we can’t address, however, maybe it is the seriousness in which you’re looking at things.

Here’s where outlines for life come in.  I’m just going to give you guys the string of questions you can ask, or a string of statements, where you can use these to gain buy-in.  This is going to be for maybe a spouse, or maybe a family member, maybe your kids, maybe your mom who needs to babysit, or just whoever you need to get into your support system, so here we go.

Let’s say you’re currently working your network marketing business about 10 hours a week, but you think it would be a good idea to push for your next year buy-in convention, which means you’re going to have to work twice as much.  What that means is you’re going to need to get buy-in from your family instead of just starting to work, and them not understanding it.

Here’s how you would go about starting this:  “All right, here’s what I’m thinking about doing. Now hear me out for just a moment.  Alright, I’m thinking about making a push, which would require me to work a little bit more.”  Okay, got more, “But, here’s why: If I can get this ranked by convention, this would increase our family’s income by $1-$2000 a month, honey/kids/etc.  Why do you think it’s important that we have that extra income per month?”

Or maybe it’s, “I want to reach this goal, because I’ve been working really hard, and I just need to know that I can accomplish my dreams.”  It’s a little bit more vague, but then you can ask the same question, “Why do you think it’s important that I’m able to set a goal and achieve it?” And your spouse, or family, they might say something like, “Well, I think that’s important because it’s a great role model for others.”

Okay now, “If I were to work 20 hours, or so, what concerns would you have?”  Let them list all their concerns proactively. Create a space for that, because what happens is if you’re going to go from 10 to 20 hours a week, then all of a sudden, it’s going to come to head one day, and it’s going to be really, really frustrating.  Have this collaborative conversation asking “If I were to double my hours, from 10 to 20, what concerns would you have?” And they might respond with something like, “Well, the concerns would be, who would do this? Who would do this? How do we do this? How do we go about this? How would this work?  Would this happen?” Then just make a list of those concerns, and let’s make sure we actually address them.

Then, I would follow up with an if/then statement.  “If we dot, dot, dot.” Or, “If we made up a chart or goal and were able to figure out solutions to most of this, then would you be on board with me doubling the amount of hours I work on my business?”  Or, “Would you be on board with me pursuing this goal even if it took more time out for our family?” That’s how you would create buy-in. There’s first shot at outlines for life.

Alright, I hope you enjoy this week’s post.  To get some free live training on either closing more sales, recruiting, or leadership, go ahead and go to emergesalestraining.com/freetraining.

I hope you have a great rest of your day!



You can learn how to sell consistently and be a solid leader, without going through grueling years of hard knocks.

You can learn how to sell consistently and be a solid leader, without going through grueling years of hard knocks.

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