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Choosing The Right Direct Sales Program For You

Aug 17, 2007
Before we tackle that question, let's take a look at what Direct Selling really is, and what a Direct Seller really does. If you think you don't even know what direct sales are, I can bet you a lipstick that you are wrong. Ever hear of a company, who, 34 years before women in the US won the right to vote, Mrs. P.F.E. Albee of Winchester, New Hampshire pioneered the company's now-famous direct-selling method, and her name is still honored today in the company...Avon.

Not only is Avon a direct sales company, but so are the following companies you may have heard of: Mary Kay, Tupperware, Slumber Parties, Pampered Chef, Rainbow, Kirby, getting the idea? My own company, Mystickal Incense & More even has its own Direct Sales consultant program (the most comprehesive and beneficial of any candle and bath & body product company around).

In short, direct sales can best be described as the marketing of products and services directly to consumers in a face to face manner, generally in their homes or the homes of others, at their workplace and other places away from permanent retail locations, even the internet. Direct sales typically occur through explanation or personal demonstration by an independent direct salesperson. These salespersons are commonly referred to as consultants, representatives, reps, independent distributors or independent contractors.

So now that you know what it is, how do you choose which one is right for YOU? After right, right now there are well over 500 or so Direct Sales companies to choose from. Each has their own plan, compensation, benefits, pros and cons. Some are even scams or illegal pyramid schemes. With all of that in mind, there are several things you need to consider when choosing a great direct sales company to work for.

First of all, make sure the company is not a scam or doing anything illegal. Do some research first. As a direct sales representative, you should NEVER have to pay the direct sales company anything - after all it is you who is working for them, and you are trying to earn money from their company. With that being said, keep in mind that most (a good majority) of Direct Sales companies do require that you purchase a starter kit or introductory/promotional materials to get you started. That doesn't indicate a scam, it is simply necessary to get the "start up" materials shipped to you. But past that point, you should not have to pay anyone anything. Check to see if the company has other representatives and ask what their experience has been.

Before you actually go "job hunting" however, you should ask yourself a few questions, such as:

* How much time to I have to dedicate to this?
* How much am I willing to spend on start-up costs?
* Am I motivated enough to try to make money by selling products to others?
* Am I a good salesperson?
* What types of things would I enjoy selling?

When you find out the answers to those questions, begin your search. Remember that different companies require different things, and some are stricter than others. Some Direct Sales companies won't even allow you to advertise their products on your own website. Some won't allow you to even use banner advertising to advertise them. Some companies, such as Avon, and the other companies you know by heart, have so many representatives that there are very few customers on the planet that don't already have their own rep, which makes selling a whole lot harder.

Small companies can be just as beneficial (or a lot more so) than the big brand name companies. Being smaller, they have less competition, more potential customers, and have to stand out above the crowd so they offer more to potential consultants. Howeever, before you commit to a company, I highly recommend making a very small order for yourself before becoming a representative. That way you have tried their products, are sure that you like them and want to represent them, and can honestly tell others about the products from first hand experience. Most Direct Sales companies include product samples in their starter kits.

So now that you know what it is, how it works, and how it can benefit you, go research, research, research and find the right company for you! With the right dedication and time, direct sales can be a HUGE boost to your income.
About the Author
Stephanie Davies is a 27 year old Missourian with a loving husband and an 8 year old son. She currently owns her own business, Mystickal Incense & More , and sells handmade candles, incense, bath & body products and more at http://www.mystickalincense.com
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