As with any business you may be considering, check out a direct-selling opportunity before making a commitment! Unfortunately, direct selling has a bit of a reputation for being fraught with less-than-reputable opportunities, or with recruiters who only want to sign you up for their own financial gain. The Direct Selling Association (DSA) offers the following advice for checking out any direct-selling opportunity before buying into it:
- Identify a company and a product that appeals to you.
- Ask questions. Ask about the company, its leadership, products, start-up fees, realistic costs of doing business, average earning potential, return policies, or anything else you’re concerned about. Read all the company literature you can get your hands on.
- Consult with others who have had experiences with the company and its products, including online research.
- Investigate and verify all information. The person who provides you with documents or answers to your questions, is the one who may financially benefit by your joining. So that person may not have purely objective interests at heart. Don’t assume that official-looking documents are accurate or complete, or even produced by the company, as opposed to the person trying to recruit you.
- Take your time. A legitimate opportunity won’t disappear overnight. Think long term, and don’t let anyone pressure you into something before you’ve fully researched.
According to the enthusiastic sales pitch of recruiters for many direct-selling opportunities, signing up to sell their products will put you squarely on the road to wealth and prosperity. Although you may very well turn out to be highly successful, you also may not. Of course, no business can guarantee profits, but direct selling does have its advantages. Direct-selling opportunities are geared to the home-based businessperson, and the right opportunity may be just what you’re looking for.
Positive Attributes of Direct Selling:
- Because start-up costs are generally low, there is less financial risk if the business fails.
- High earning potential. If you have the drive and tenacity, and join at the right time, it could be very lucrative.
- Most direct-selling programs are designed specifically to be home-based businesses, and are often geared toward women. Approximately 88% of all direct sellers in the country are women.
- Your direct-selling parent organization generally provides you with marketing and promotional materials, along with sales tracking, commission data, and customer information management systems.
- You can work as many or as few hours as you would like (which will then directly affect your earning potential).
Potential Negative Attributes of Direct Selling:
- Because of the need to continuously recruit a downline of new representatives to replace those that have gone inactive, competition for recruits can get quite lively. The intense competition tends to put a lot of pressure on the people being recruited. A good leader/mentor/sponsor will give you the space you need to make the best decision for you.
- Because of this high pressure “recruit recruit” stigma, direct selling has a poor reputation with some people, making recruiting and selling a difficult proposition.
- Motivating your downline to sell and recruit can require more of your time and attention than you anticipated. Research the training and coaching materials before you join, so you know what is available versus what you might need to create for your own team management.
So what does this all mean? It means that you need to take your time before you jump into direct sales. Join our team Facebook group. See what kind of training is available. See what kinds of successes people are having. Do your research, and make the very best decision for YOU. The cost of entry may be low. But you are in fact, starting your own business, and that should not be taken lightly. Choose an organization and a mentor (and team) that you feel comfortable with, that will support your goals – whether it be part-time hobby, or full-time career.
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