Direct sales simply means offering products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location. In many ways, peddling is the oldest form of direct selling. Modern direct selling includes sales made through one-on-one demonstrations, presentation to groups, the party sales plan as well as internet sales.
Running a direct sales company no longer requires you to peddle your wares on the streets, you can simply use and focus on the internet.
I believe we are at a unique junction today that if you have a fairly good grasp of the internet – how things like websites and social media work, you can easily (and cheaply) create a company that can grow as big as you want it to be.
I know I can be very optimistic, I guess that is a weakness and strength. But, really it is what it is: everywhere I look, I see a lot of opportunities.
It is a very simple formula and in this article, I will dive deep and show you exactly how you can go about it.
“Can I really earn a living working in direct sales?”, you ask. The answer is that there is no formula for determining how many hours you must commit to generate a substantial income, I think that to earn the equivalent of a full-time salary, you have to work full-time on it. You should also bear in mind that initially, you have to build a customer base.
The number of hours you invest in your business is what will determine how fast it will grow.
Step 1: Get ready to sell
The business is all about selling products to people. A lot of people feel shy or awkward about asking people to buy stuff from them, you have to break this barrier.
A lot of people say selling is hard. I am happy to inform you that selling is not so hard.
Selling is more like a value exchange, I have a product you need and you pay me for bringing it to you. What could be hard about that? I always advocate that you sell products you actually love and/or believe in because it is always easier to sell things you love.
Step 2: Select the products you want to sell
Do some research and pick a product you want to sell. Remember to pick quality products that interest you, it will be easier for you to sell that way.
You can sell anything – books, electronics, clothes, beauty and health products. (Nothing stops you from striking a deal with a pig farm in your town and selling the pork for them. Open your mind, anything is possible!)
Infact, a lot of genuine MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) companies are also direct selling companies and they offer great compensation to their sales agents. You can check out companies that have been around for a long time such as Forever Living, AIM Global and the rest.
They pay you handsomely when you make a sale, they also pay you when you sign up new distributors under you.
I know a lot of bad things have been said and written about the MLM scheme, but that is not the real picture. MLM schemes are different from the fraudulent pyramid schemes, but before you sign up for any MLM scheme, ensure you do a thorough research.
If you are starting out new in this field, I might suggest you do not go overboard and select 100 products at a start. At the start of your business, you can choose just ONE product to sell or pick a maximum of 5 products initially.
It is easily for you to start that way.
Step 3 – Create an online marketing asset
Your direct sales company will perform much better if you use the Internet to build up your customer base.
You need to setup a website that will act as the central base of your operations. This website is where you will direct people to for them to get more information about the products you are selling.
You can make a website for yourself using WordPress, a free theme and plugins. If you can spend some money, you should hire a website designer to hack something together for you using WordPress. (I prefer WordPress to any other Content Management System (CMS) out there. It is important you use a CMS for your business, makes it super easy for you to maintain)
With your website in place, next thing is to upload some content and your products.
Add valuable content to your website, like tips and various articles to help re-enforce what you are really selling. Also be sure to collect the names, phone numbers and email addresses of your audience whether they buy or not. This allows you to follow up.
You need to know that you might need up to 7 exchanges with each customer before you can land a sale. This is why we advocate that you start the selling process ASAP. No fluff, just act.
Some extra tips to keep in mind
- Acquiring customers everyday is all that matters – nothing else; not the website or the beautiful logo or the 50 other things you would rather do than to focus on selling.
- Everybody is not your customer – Look for people who are interested in what you are selling. Do not waste your time over anybody that is not interested. Don’t take it personal, just move along.
- Do more of what works – When you start getting results, pay attention and find out which efforts lead to which results. Do more of whatever works for you and shun things that are not working. This takes a lot of discipline.
Anybody can start a direct sales operation today. You can set up a website and use it to generate leads for your business and the best part about it is that you can run this alongside your day job.
It costs very little to start this operation and it can become as big/serious as you want it to be.