Direct Sales. Some people love it; others roll their eyes at the idea. I have several friends who are consultants for direct sales companies, and I belong to two companies as well. If you have thought about joining a company to make a little extra income or to expand on a hobby, read on.Or, if you are curious why your friend is selling bags, scents, makeup, etc., you’ll find this interesting. I will share my experience, lessons I’ve learned, and things to consider before signing on.
- They are not all pyramid schemes. Yes – there have been a few companies who have got into legal trouble for basically being pyramid schemes and leaving people with a lot of inventory on their hands with not much to show for their efforts, but this is why it’s important to research a company before signing on. Many direct sales companies are reputable and have been in business for awhile due to a strong customer base. If the company you are looking at seems to value recruiting more than the products, watch out. Recruitment should be a bonus, not the focus.
- What’s the true cost of joining? That cheap introductory kit will be more than what you’re paying for. Most companies will charge a one time technology fee (anywhere from $10 – 25) and sometimes a monthly website fee to stay in business. Do you need to meet a quota to stay active? Is there a yearly fee? These are not negatives, but real factors to consider. Depending on your intent, the cost could add up if you are not planning to actively sell.
- Who are you signing up under, and do you get training? Personally, I want to talk with the consultant a bit before I join her team and feel out her intentions. Will she be a supportive guide or a “ghost sponsor?” Are there resources to learn how to be successful with your business? I am blessed to have great sponsors for both of my businesses, and they have become good friends. Both companies I work with have supportive networks and plenty of resources for me to get ideas and information. You are making a business decision, so treat it like such and do the research.
- What is the track record for customer satisfaction? The last thing you want to do is piss off your friends and family if the company doesn’t deliver on their promises! Does the company have a good return/exchange policy? An easy way to contact? Are these quality products?
- Is this something you want to dedicate time towards?I would be really wary if someone told me, “all you need to do is share pics and make money in your pj’s!” Oh, if only it were that easy! The truth is, you need to establish your credibility with people. Your customers will buy if they feel they can trust you and that you care. Building a direct sales business takes time – so please don’t think you’re going to make thousands of dollars in a matter of months. BUT, if you are consistent, positive, and offer great service, you will build a strong customer base.
- Family and friends might not be on board at first. Of course, you will have friends who will be excited for you and love the product you are selling. However – don’t expect your sales to come from just those close friends and family. Sometimes people feel funny giving money to their friends, or family members are nervous about showing favoritism. Let them know you do not expect them to buy, but if they could refer your name if someone is looking for your product/service, that’s all they need to do.
These are the main things I’ve learned over the course of a year in the direct sales biz! Most of all, find something that you are passionate about. People will feel your authentic love for what you do.
And friends who have friends in the biz – don’t roll your eyes at her. She is trying to do something to better her situation. If you don’t like the product or are not interested, just be honest and say so. Don’t “ghost” her! I can tell you that being ignored is MUCH WORSE than being told no. Chances are, she is a big girl and can handle it! I do!
I hope this was helpful! Enjoy your new adventure!
Love, laughter, and makeup (my new tag line!) –