There are basically two kinds of thoughts when someone says “I work in direct sales”. First is thinking of the annoying door to door solicitors, and the nagging scammers. “Make $1,000 a week from your couch.” Right? The second is when you think of Avon and Tupperware. I mean who’s parents or grandparents did the Tupperware parties in their homes?? I know my mom did. How many grandmothers collected the Avon bottles? Mine did, and I have them sitting on my fireplace mantle.
When did direct sales become such a dirty word? How did it become attached to “pyramid scheme”? How did we go from our grandparents loving direct sales products to now thinking its all scams.
Bad companies, and wanna be direct sales companies ruin it. There are companies who literally prey on vulnerable people to recruit them into their company. I will not talk down any specific company here, but you can google it and see what I mean. Of course there is also the “Negative Nancies” as they are called, who just trash talk every single company without having any experience or knowledge about the companies.
I have worked for 3 direct sales companies. Avon was the first company, and for me it was a fail before it got started. This was roughly 20 years ago so I don’t know how things are now, but I had no help or direction in how to get started. This can be a huge turn off for someone just starting out in direct sales. Someone convinced you to sign up, and now you don’t have a clue what to do. That can be not only scary but frustrating.
Next up was Usborne Books & More, and for me personally it was not much better. I signed up on my own under a friend because I really enjoyed the books and wanted to build a home library for homeschooling my boys. I wasn’t looking to get rich, or move up the ranks. It was something fun to do that filled the space while the boys were napping or playing together. My upline on the other hand, the girls above my friend, were very pushy. It was quite evident they wanted to push me to better their own business. It wasn’t about what I wanted. They went as far as going through my friends list, picking a bunch of people and telling me to message them for parties. Some of these people I hadn’t talked to in years besides a random comment or “like” here and there. Even telling them this, they said message anyways “You never know”. Yea…that sounds very genuine. “Hey we haven’t talked since high school, but I see you have kids. Dude me too! Want to buy some books for them?” Yea…NO! That is not my style at all. I am not the annoying door to door sales person that doesn’t give a shit about what’s going on cause I want to make a buck. Needless to say, I never messaged them. I did invite some into my book group, but I never followed up with them. Again I am not that pushy sales person.
Target does not call me up every week and ask me if I need to buy a new t-shirt. I know thats a huge stretch of an example, but it kind of works. Target advertises. You see that awesome t-shirt on the TV or while scrolling your Facebook feed, and that makes you say “hey thats cute, maybe Ill check out their site and see what else they have”. Same concept can apply to direct sales. Stay with me here.
Last September I joined Color Street, and by November had left UBAM. I have never cold messaged anyone. I only post a few times on my personal page each week, and of course daily in my nails group. Friends see my nailfies, and ask about it. Simple advertising. Just like Target. Advertise the products, and customers will inquire! I also make it a point to make sure that I am not all about the product and selling. I genuinely care about my customers.
I have support from my upline. My upline does not push me for their own needs, but actually pushes me to meet my own goals. Do my goals help them achieve their goals? Well of course. But do they push other ladies on the team who do not want the same things? Nope.
I now have my own team of over 20 amazing ladies. I do not push them to meet my goals. I push them to meet their goals. If they only want to earn enough to get their own nails, that’s all I help them accomplish. If they want to rank up, I help them. I help push them to meet their goals! I love seeing my team succeed and meet their own goals each month.
Let’s also clear up some misconceptions about direct sales.
Is it a pyramid scheme? Nope. That’s illegal. There are several “negative nancies” who will argue its very close to being one. Actually nope, not even close. A pyramid scheme has NO product. It promises a product and never deliveries one. Hence why it’s illegal. People compare it to pyramid schemes because they assume you are required to recruit to make money. Yes, you can recruit to make more, and move up the ranks. Do you have to? Nope. I cover that later. Think about any company – they all form a “pyramid” so to speak. The CEO of Walmart is not making a dime if they don’t have people working under them. If the sales staff and cashiers do not sell the products in the store, then the managers do not make bonuses, the regional managers do not get promotions, and the CEO will not have a company to run. Difference with direct sales – my upline is not my boss. I do not answer to anyone. Home office has a few simple policies to follow, as it is their product and company you represent, but otherwise it is my business to do with as I please.
Is is a get rich quick scheme? Nope! It’s a business! There is no legit business out there that will make you rich overnight. You have to work at it. It’s a business! Some people will treat it like a hobby, and they will not get far – and perhaps they don’t want to. Those that treat it as a business will go further, and make a profit. I went from treating it as a hobby to a business. When I changed my perspective I started making a difference in the income that was coming in, and really started to grow my business.
I am not a sales person, I can’t do this. Actually you can! You just need a passion for the product you sell. I love nail polish, so Color Street is just a natural fit for me. Find your passion and there’s a direct sales company for you.
Do I have to recruit people? Contrary to popular belief – not all direct sales companies require you to recruit in order to make good money. Research the compensation plans of the companies you are interested in. Ask the Reps/Consultants about what they earned when they started, how long it took them to rank up, the earning potential if you do not recruit, and if there are any minimum sales requirements to stay active with the company. Ask all the questions! Do not be afraid to ask! This also gives you a sense of how helpful your potential upline is going to be. If they are annoyed with your questions before you start, how helpful will they be after you join? If they are happy to answer all your questions, and even provide more answers than you asked for – you know you will get the right coaching from them later on after you join.
I do not have the time for a business. The great thing about direct sales, is that it is your business. You work it when you want to. Of course the more you put in the more you get out. You can block off time on your calendar to only have parties every Tuesday night. Sunday nights you can schedule all your posts and parties. There are many men and women who work full time jobs and still have a direct sales business. Most companies have the ability to allow you to just work from your phone. This means you can check comments and messages on your lunch break, drinking your morning coffee, or during your child’s nap time. I run most of my parties in bed!
I hope that this has opened the eyes of some people, and answered many questions. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions I did not answer here.