What network marketing, direct sales, and party plan all have in common is they are service and relationship businesses. One of the surest ways to build a large income in our profession is by giving the best service to and building strong relationships with the people you interact with, whether they become customers, sign up as team members, or never even join your business.

Building relationships starts with asking more questions and being open to the other person’s wants, needs, dream, and goals. Instead of leaving your house “looking for customers” or “going recruiting,” be on a mission to meet and learn about people you haven’t met yet. As you go about your day, make friends along the way. Ask people about their jobs, goals, and family. Do this without immediately looking for an opening to talk about you or your company. Ask if you can keep in touch with them. Connect with them on Facebook and see what their interests are. Send them a birthday or holiday card to keep in touch.

When you are getting to know people, you will find you see articles or pictures that you think they would like. Forward them an article online about something you know they are interested in. Share pictures in a private message or post them on their social media profile if appropriate. Do these things because you are genuinely interested in the person, not just because you want to sell them something or recruit them.

Build relationships for the sake of the relationship and you will increase your business as a side benefit. Just as you build a relationship with the person, they will also learn about you. They will see you enjoying your work and building your business. Some will want to purchase products from you. Some will want to refer customers and recruits to you. Some will just be people that you have a relationship with that might never want or need your business service, and that’s okay, too!

Once someone becomes a customer, that special relationship should be nurtured. Truth be told, most company’s products are not so unique that a customer could not buy them in a store. Customers buy from us because of us! People buy from you for the relationship you bring to the sale. Make sure you create a great experience for your customers so they will not only want to purchase from you, but will refer their family and friends as well. Consider special touches that tell your customers that you appreciate them. It can be as simple as writing “Thank You” in red marker on each customer’s receipt or sending them a thank-you postcard after a sale.

Send out a customer newsletter that features product testimonials from other customers as well as recognizes your customer’s special events such as a birthday or anniversary. Be the go-to person they think of when they want more information about your company or product line. Have open-house parties, customer raffles, and other happenings that make doing business with you fun and interesting.

I once offered a prize to the customer who picked up their order wearing the best Halloween costume. My customers loved it! Just because your customers receive their orders auto-shipped or directly from the company doesn’t mean you can’t make their buying experience unique. Offer a webinar for your customers on using the products. Ask satisfied customers to help you by recording a video testimonial and posting it on your Facebook page.

To genuinely serve the people you interact with, you need to be offering both the opportunity to purchase products from you as well as the opportunity to join your team and earn money. I believe we do a disservice to people if we predetermine what we will talk about before we meet them.

When I hear people say “I am going recruiting today,” it almost sounds like “I am going hunting” and I feel bad for the people they might meet. Why not leave your house with the intent of meeting new people and asking them questions to see if there is a way you can be of service?

LISA M. WILBER has been a top-earner in her direct sales company for the past twenty years. She is founder of The Winner in You and is an international speaker and author. She is known for her wild-at-heart marketing ideas, including her advertising car wrap featuring her company’s products.