Should You Get Into Direct Sales?


You see it every day on your Facebook newsfeed: that old friend or distant acquaintance seems to have found the perfect career path. She’s working from home with a flexible schedule, improving her lifestyle with some magical product, and, more importantly raking in cash! When she posts that she’s looking for new team members, you feel tempted to join. But should you?

Here’s what you should consider before taking the plunge into direct sales:

1) Are you and sales a good fit for each other?

The reality is that direct sales are exactly what they say they are — sales. It won’t matter how amazing the product is, it isn’t going to sell itself. How would you feel about selling a product to your friends? If the answer is “Awkward,” this probably isn’t the gig for you.

Another thing to consider is that direct sales won’t be all about throwing cute parties and maintaining a daily presence on Facebook. You’ll also have to manage orders and, in some cases, training. If your plate is already full, sales may not be the thing to add to your load.

2) Choose the right company.

This sounds like a deceitfully simple step, but we think it deserves its own article!

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3) Understand your prospects.

Your success in sales will be directly proportionate to the time and energy you exert. Those amazing success stories where women are pulling in full-time incomes? Yeah, those women are probably pushing their products, managing orders, and marketing themselves full time, too.

Your success may also be limited by the number of people you know who are potential customers. Before buying into direct sales, write down a list of as many people you as you can who are truly potential customers. Then cut that number down by 25%. Cut that number down further based on who might become a repeat customer. Is your network large enough to offer long-term profits?

4) Understand the costs.

Joining your BFF’s “team” likely won’t be free. Neither will running your business. Most direct sales companies have some sort of buy-in fee or minimum amount of inventory you need to purchase. Then, there will be the cost of hosting parties, as well as other miscellaneous sales costs. If you don’t sell all of your inventory during a season, and your company doesn’t buy that inventory back from you, you will have to eat those costs, as well. Sometimes positive cash flow can be deceiving, so be sure that you are able to bring in more than you spend.

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