Direct sales (also called network marketing) can be a rewarding, life changing experience for someone looking to own their own business and determine their own financial destiny. You can set your own schedule, be your own boss, set your earning potential as high as you want, earn some jewelry to wear or even a fancy car to drive.
Not every company is created equally and there are some things you should consider before spending money on something that turns out to be nothing more than a scam.
Things to Think About Before Joining a Direct Sales Company
Let’s discuss a few things you should consider prior to signing your name on the dotted line for any direct sales company.
Try Before You Buy
A person should make certain their money will be well invested on any business venture. If you’ve tried the product you’ll be selling and like it then you’re off to a good start. If not, determine why you are even thinking about selling the company’s products or services. Make sure someone is not trying to coerce you into signing up just so they can make money themselves. Never join just to help a friend or family member out if that’s your only reason for doing so.
Is Your Recruiter Actually Successful?
If your up line is successful and can prove it, the better your chances of your business being profitable increases. Always look more than just one level up too. Even if the person recruiting you isn’t making great money yet, there could be a reason, so don’t be afraid to ask the person who signed them up for information too.
Research the Company Itself
You want to know the company you’ll be working for has been around and can make it the long haul. New companies can be successful, but with direct sales companies constantly opening and closing, you want to be sure you’re with a company that can withstand any hardships that come with being the new kid on the block. Learn as much as you can about the company, the owners and the sales reps before making your decision.
Show Me the Product
There are many direct sales companies who claim to sell products, but in all actuality they are only selling an idea to make money owning your own business. Some of these companies do sell a service, but the service itself is not worth selling, is simply a cover to hide the fact they are actually just making money from the down lines, and honestly are just looking to make money from those who don’t know any better.
Not every direct sales opportunity is right for everyone. You have to make sure you are joining the right direct sales opportunity for your needs. It’s also important to make certain you aren’t being swindled by some clever scheme where you’ll never make the money they promise. These are just four of the most important things you’ll need to determine before you actually sign up as a representative for a direct sales company. Learn as much as you can about every part of the business before you commit to anything.
Planning and Researching are Important before Starting Your Own Direct Sales Business
As with any other business, direct sales businesses require a lot of planning and forethought before jumping on the bandwagon. Anyone interested in starting their own direct sales business should never take the decision lightly and do as much research as possible before making the decision to join a certain company. Think about the following before starting a direct sales business of your own.
Initial Start Up Costs
Do you have to purchase a starter pack? If so, is it worth the money, what all do these kits include? If you’re spending a large amount of money to get your business up and running, you’ll want to definitely look at all the options available to you and compare them. Do you get any extras that will actually save you time or help you better run your business if you purchase the top kit? A tip: A good company will give you items you can use yourself or give to your first few customers.
Working with Your Team Leaders
You don’t want someone heading your team who doesn’t motivate you, doesn’t hold meetings regularly or who is not available to team members. Do they possess good leadership qualities and will they be someone you can get along well with? You’ll also want to determine your own personality at this point. You’ll want to join a team you can feel comfortable working with for a long time to come.
Product’s Selling Potential
You’ll want to do some research about the product itself. Will it actually sell? Is it something people actually want or need. What kind of value does it offer for it’s price? You’ll also want to research any competition you may have should you choose to sell it. For instance, if there are 5 representatives for the same company in your town and you live in a small town, you may want to reconsider or choose a different area to market your business to.
Your Hard Work Pays Off
There are some companies who offer their top sales people and team leaders big incentives. Think Mary Kay and the pink Cadillac. What do you have to do to reach that level? Can you receive other prizes along the way? How will you prove that you’re a leader in your business to those you are trying to recruit? You’ll want to take this into consideration as it will make setting and reaching goals a lot more fun! Things like these smaller motivations are a great way to help you achieve your ultimate goals.
Always take into consideration the pros and cons of any direct sales business you are thinking of joining. Think about costs, value, the product itself, your market and the person recruiting you. Ask any and all questions you have before you sign up to avoid making the wrong decision and regretting it later. Your gut feeling about a company has a lot to say about it too. If you find the company looks great on paper and everywhere else, but you just don’t have a positive feeling about it, maybe you should look elsewhere for another direct sales opportunity or a different team with the same company.
7 Questions for Those Wanting to Join a Direct Sales Plan
The number of direct sales opportunities abounds and grows more and more everyday, especially because going online allows them to reach even more people. If you choose the right business, the possibilities for success are extremely attainable.
You can make a very good living as a direct sales company rep, but only if you choose the perfect one for your situation. How do you know which company to choose? Ask yourself and the person trying to recruit you, before making your choice.
Questions to Ask Your Direct Sales Representative:
1. How successful are you at this? – Are you making real money and do you have a way to prove it. Of course you don’t want to get too personal by expecting them to show you their tax returns or anything, but if they have reached or exceeded goals within the company, they should have something to show for it.
2. How about your up line? – Ask your recruiter to discuss their team and how they work? Do they hold meetings, are they goal oriented and do they meet those milestones? How long has the team leader been with the company?
3. Can you tell me about the company I’ll be working for? – Ask as many questions as possible to help you determine the longevity and success of the direct sales company. You’ll want to know things like how long the company has been in business. Don’t shy away just because a company is new, but absolutely put a lot of thought into the product and whether or not it is something that will sell well for you if it is.
Getting in at the beginning can be a positive thing for you as a business owner. What is the reputation of the company, not only locally but online too if you plan to market it online.
4. Can I find information at a company website? Will I be able to market my business online with a site set up just for me? – Some direct sales companies have not realized the power of the online community yet. If you want to expand your business beyond just local clients, be sure you know how their website works as well as how you can do business online. Find out if your customers can place their order online and you still receive the commission for the sale.
Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Is this company’s product something I actually have faith in? Unless you were put on this Earth to act, you’ll need to be able to stand behind the product you’ll be selling. If you don’t believe in what you are asking others to buy, it will show in your presentations and you’re sales will suffer. People can see through the “sales” side of you and if you don’t have something to back up your thoughts with when they ask questions like “Why should I buy this?” you’ll never succeed.
2. Does this fit well with my life? – For instance, if you have a family will you be able to work around their schedules? Will you still have time to yourself and can your business work around your life instead of your life revolving around your business – unless of course that’s what you are looking for.
3. What kind of start up costs do I need? – The costs associated with getting things started vary from company to company. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth whether you’re required to purchase a starter kit or carry a certain amount of inventory. It helps if some marketing material is included as well. If you are required to make a big up-front payment seriously consider what it’s going to take to make that money back. Be aware that some require a fee but don’t give you any product to actually sell and that you are not required buy those separately. You’ll want a company that gives you actual products to sell in your start up purchase.
If, after asking these questions and any others you can think of, you get the answers you want it will make your choice of which company to work for an easier one. No matter which company you choose realize you’ll have to put in hard work and be dedicated in order to become successful.
As with any business opportunity, if it sounds too good to be real, be weary and admit to yourself that it probably isn’t what you are looking for. Move on to another company that fits your wants, needs and lifestyle – there’s one out there you just might have to look through a few to find it.
10 Tips to a Thriving Direct Sales Business
Whether it’s your first direct sales business or you’ve been down this road before, everyone could use a few tips to make their business successful. Here are 10 tips from a direct sales business owner that will go a long way in creating a profitable business.
1. The Products – Know, love and stand behind the products you sell. If you know how it works, why it’s worth it and actually like it yourself, you’ll do a better job selling it to others. Know what similar products are all about as well. If your competitor sells a product like yours, be able to tell your customers why yours is better even if it costs more.
2. Network, Network, Network – It’s important to build a business network. Be yourself and take the time to build friendships and other contacts beyond just potential customers.
3. Online Presence – Create a website for your business. You are missing a huge opportunity if you’re not doing business online. One of the first places people go to find something they need is the World Wide Web and your product is no different. Even if you sell a lot locally, broaden your horizons by going online too.
4. Take Your Business Seriously – Your website, business cards, products, presentation and everything else you do in your business should exhibit that you’re serious about your business. Sometimes this will take a bit of money, like hiring a web designer to put your website together if you don’t know how. However, most of your professionalism will show in you personally, so treat it like a real business and you’ll reap the benefits of doing so.
5. Honesty is Key – When your customers feel like they can trust you they will be back. Don’t be shady or pushy in order to make sales or gain team members. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and move on.
6. Accept Rejection – In the direct sales business, the word No is one you’ll hear frequently. Don’t take it personally and realize it is a part of this business. Keep working hard and you’ll get positive replies and more sales too.
7. Attend Meetings – Take the time to attend meetings for your team. Not only will you learn about new products and sales techniques, but you’ll receive some needed encouragement from others who’ve been where you are. Even better, you will be able to help some of the newbies on your team eventually.
8. Set Goals – This tip is extremely important when it comes to the success of your direct sales business. Setting goals and constantly working toward them will help to make your business more profitable. Set big goals and then break them down into smaller easier to achieve steps. As you work your way through your list you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something and your ultimate goal won’t seem so out of reach. Be realistic with your goals, but don’t be afraid to set them high either.
9. Be There for Others – You will someday remember what it was like when you first started out. The help you received from others was valuable and once you’ve worked your way up, be sure to lend a helping hand to others. Being of assistance to others in all areas of life is very rewarding.
10. Work Hard and Stick with It – There will be hard times and maybe even times you are ready to throw in the towel in your business. Remember, any business takes work – nothing happens overnight. Keep moving forward even through the rough patches.
Take these tips and apply them to your direct sales business and you’ll see success. There are many other things you’ll need to consider in order to have a profitable business but the 10 we just discussed are important and should be your starting point. Here’s to your success!
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