Back in 1225, the English developed the word peddler, or a trader travelling on foot. Today, we refer to modern-day peddlers as direct sellers, or individuals who market and sell products directly to consumers instead of working out of a fixed retail location, like an office.
As with many jobs, direct selling has its ups and downs; its wins and losses; its failures and successes. To better understand the world of modern-day direct selling, it’s helpful to review stories of individuals who have first-hand experience with both the failures and successes of the job.
Failures With Direct Selling
Just because the scope of direct selling is expansive and diverse, doesn‘t mean it is the ideal job for everyone. The following are examples of stories where direct selling didn‘t go so well.
Matt McAllister thought that selling nutritional supplements would be the perfect job for him. However, he didn‘t believe in the products he was selling. Even though he liked and even used the products, his skepticism was evident in sales. McAllister was already having trouble identifying himself as a salesman; he would feel uncomfortable during pitches and unnatural when explaining products. And the doubt he had in his own product made this even worse.
In 2005 Susan Coleman thought her job as a Pampered Chef direct sales rep would be the perfect fit. What she failed to realize, though, is that being a lucrative rep required time, commitment and even strategy. Being in sales is not always easy, and Coleman was not prepared for just how difficult the job would be. Furthermore, Coleman recognized that she got involved in direct sales for one reason – the wrong reason: money.
Direct selling didn‘t work for Mike Poplawski because instead of treating his business like a business and making it a priority, Poplawski would push business matters aside if something else came up. He didn’t make time for selling, and he didn’t go out of his way to hunt down sales, which ultimately caused his demise in the direct sales world.
Direct Selling Success
Because direct selling is a retail platform used by both top brands and start-up entrepreneurial companies, job opportunities are plentiful. With companies marketing a diverse selection of services and products (such as cookware, nutritional goods, cosmetics, housewares, energy drinks, and insurance, and more) chances for success are endless.
The three following women have made great strides as direct selling consultants, and are living success stories.
In 2008, Tracey Schwartz began selling Stella & Dot after admiring the company’s jewelry. Schwartz was searching for a hobby that would bring revenue while not consuming all her time or costing her a substantial amount of money. Little did she know her involvement with direct selling would net her more than $230,000 in just one year.
Ginny Fiscella left her full-time job in hospice management when her husband‘s work required them to move across the country. She soon found Silpada, a fashion and jewelry direct sales retailer, and after just a year and a half as a sales rep, Fiscella was earning $3,000 to $4,000 each month. After six years of working with Silpada, she was netting a six-figure salary.
Kare Wright began working with Visalus Sciences in June 2011. A mother of four, Wright was looking for a job that would allow her the freedom and open schedule to juggle the different demands of motherhood. Though she had minor experience with direct sales in years past, it wasn’t until her personal experience with the health and wellness market in 2000 that she became a full-time direct sales consultant. In one year of working with Visalus Sciences, Wright earned nearly $190,000.
8 Ways To Ensure Direct Selling Success
To ensure your direct selling experience is a success, heed these 8 tips:
- Set goals: establish a goal for what you want to accomplish, money you want to save, etc.
- Make lists: make a list of all the things you want to accomplish the next day.
- Be enthusiastic: you‘ll never generate energy or make the sales you need without enthusiastic.
- Always ask: in the world of direct sales, always ask. Asking for appointments brings business, asking for business closes sales, asking for referrals, and you can again ask for appointments.
- Prepare for NO: in order to survive in the direct sales industry, you have to be prepared to hear no, even after asking. This is not personal. It is simply the way the system works.
- Schedule smartly: avoid frustration and get things done on time by creating a schedule and sticking to it.
- Be positive: remember that in sales, success means 90 percent attitude and 10 percent aptitude. Work at developing habits that inhibit constructive thinking.
- Have an office: an office is essential because it increases productivity
Direct selling isn’t always easy, but when done right, it can be incredibly rewarding. So don’t give up, and remember to always stay positive!