I’ve been meaning to add a top tips post for a while, so when the lovely Joanne Dewberry asked me to write a guest post for her on direct selling, it got me to stop and actually do it! She featured it on her blog a couple of weeks back, so I thought I’d include it here for you now, too.
Top Tips when considering a Direct Sales opportunity:
- Is the company a member of the Direct Selling Association? This association ensures members adhere to a code of practice that is fair and ethical. They also impose maximum initial investment standards. See more over on their website, which also includes a list of companies involved, which you can filter by product type.
- Which brings me to my next, and possibly most important tip, choose a company and a product that you genuinely believe in. You’re going to be promoting and selling these products as your own business so, I believe for it to be successful, you need to be honestly enthusiastic about what you’re talking about, as it will shine through to others.
- Look into how the company ‘manages’ you. Each company will have a different structure and set up, so you need to consider what would work best for you. Some have assigned areas and managers to report into on your sales or bookings, some have monthly minimum order levels and targets, some have no targets imposed on you at all. Do ensure you research this and commit to the method that you feel most comfortable with.
- What support is available? Look into who will be there to help you get going and continue on your way. What training is available? How are you kept informed about new products/developments? Are there social media groups you can join in with to keel you informed and motivated? It’s your business, so you’ll want to keep up to date with a happenings.
- Think about your potential customer base. Who is it? Where are they? Ask your sponsor/manager for a list of who/where you can sell. Would you buy the product and who else do you know who would? These will be your first customers and so they are the seeds from which your business will grow. If you’re undecided, show the products/brochure/website to a few friends and get their reactions – these could be your first orders!
And so now you’ve chosen your company and are eagerly with products! These are my top tips for success..
Top Tips for a Successful Direct Sales Business:
- People buy from people. I always remind myself of this. However brilliant your product is, you are it’s USP. Be friendly and efficient and always deliver great customer service. Look after your regular customers with the odd little freebie, voucher, offer etc., as it shows your appreciation of them, and recommendations can go a long way in any business.
- Always be prepared You never know when an opportunity to chat about your business may arise, and you never know when someone will want some information from you. I always carry my business cards, the latest brochures and business information leaflets with me. I also tend to have a little product stock in my car, as I’ll often be at a friends and they’ll just need a couple of cards while I’m there!
- Find the right support system. It can feel quite a lonely job, if you’re working from home on your own, so it can make a big difference to you and your business to get some support. In my case, the trader who actually sponsored me didn’t offer that support and is no longer trading. I muddled on through and still managed to make a great start to my business (phew!), and have since found a few other traders that I know I can call on with queries or just for a quick ‘well done’ or pick me up. I’m also fortunate in that the company I trade for actively encourages ideas sharing, stock swap shops etc. so there is always someone around to help me out. It really helps.
- However busy you are, whether you’ve a family, other jobs, commitments etc. try to do a little bit each day. The odd 5 minutes spent here and there do add up, so a brochure in the post, a phone call, samples dropped somewhere etc. is all advancing your business that little bit and you never know where it might lead. Every time you tell someone about what you do opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities for you, so every time counts. And by doing a little each day, it’s easier to keep the momentum going as it keeps it in your mind.
- Enjoy it! You need to be pretty self motivated to do this, so enjoying it really helps you top get out there and do something with your business. If you’re excited about the latest products, you’ll be happily shouting about them, and there’ll always be people listening! They may then buy from you, book you, or want to join your team as they can see your enthusiasm for it. And so your business grows…Direct selling is not a get rich quick scheme It’ll be a business like any other, so be prepared to give it energy and time to develop.