It’s hard to believe I’ve stuck with my direct sales company for one full year. The first time I gave this business a shot was years ago. My little adventure lasted two months, and I didn’t sell a thing. About five years later, I joined another company and sold a total of three items, then quit after about five months.
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Fast forward up to a year ago, I found the company I’m currently with and was determined to stick with it. My husband, who witnessed and made fun of my short track record was very skeptical, so I had to make it work. If for nothing else, to prove him wrong.
Reflecting on the past year, I realize how life’s lessons can come from the most unexpected sources. On this journey, I have learned so much about myself and others. I’ve also realized how a career in direct sales can be a most lucrative business. However, it does involve hard, consistent work.
As a midlifer, you may be getting tired of working for someone else. Perhaps you are looking for adventurous ways to make some extra money and decide to start a home business. If you are thinking about becoming a direct sales representative but aren’t sure what to expect, what you are about to read will give you an idea of what this business is all about.
Read also: Just Do It Already! (Go after your dreams)
You should sell what you love.
If you don’t use a product or fully believe in it, don’t sell it. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. People are smart and can tell when they are being taken advantage of. Only offer what you can back 100%. Also, it’s easier to make sales when the product is solid and you have great things to say about it. This way it feels more like sharing than selling.
Someone always has more experience than you.
No matter what you do in life, there will always be another person who is more knowledgeable. Often in direct sales, some reps change companies, and it may not be due lack of performance or sales. Perhaps they weren’t happy with their previous organization, or maybe they are still looking for the perfect fit. Just because someone is new to your company doesn’t mean they don’t have expertise. Many times, these are the individuals who can give you tips on how to take your business to a new level.
You can’t base your success on how quickly you promote.
Month after month the names of those who make rank are announced, and month after month, your name is nowhere on that list. If you are doing what you are supposed to, eventually you will get there too. There are a lot of factors that come into play when people promote. Maybe they had more time to dedicate to their business this month, or it could be that they had 20 family members who joined their team. Also, you may have to ask yourself if you honestly applied the same amount of effort. If one person can do it, so can you.
You may have to decide if you want to be a leader.
Lots of people desire to become a leader, but many don’t want to do what it takes to lead. The title sounds glorious, but there is much work involved–it’s not easy. What are your plans as far as direct selling is concerned? Do you want to lead others? If you don’t, it’s perfectly fine. However, if your intention is to be the head of a group of people, equip yourself with the tools that will set you and your team up for success. Learn about your product, read books on developing leadership skills and carry yourself as a person others would want to follow.
Popular does not equal better.
Before I discovered the ground-floor company I’m with now, I never even knew it existed and had absolutely no knowledge about the products. However, the more I read and researched what the company was about, I was totally impressed with the ingredients used, their mission statement, and website. It wasn’t long at all before I decided to place an order for my starter kit. When I received my box of goodies, I fell in love with every product to include the gorgeous packaging. I’ve used products from other well-known companies, and they just don’t compare. When you are looking for a direct sales company, do your research and don’t be afraid to go small.
Your friends and family may not support you.
Prepare yourself for rejection when you try to sell a family member or friend a product you love. They may not want to try it. Sometimes those closest to us can be super supportive, however, if they aren’t, don’t let that stop you from running your business and don’t let it ruin relationships. Instead, turn your focus to the other billions of people in the world who may want what you have to offer.
You have to study.
Whatever you decide to sell, it’s imperative to know the products inside and out. How will it look if you’re trying to make a sale but can’t answer simple questions? How is the customer going to trust that you know what’s good for them if you can’t tell them anything about it? That’s the best way to lose a sale and tarnish not only your reputation but also your company’s. If there is anything you don’t know, always tell the customer or potential customer you will find out the information requested, and follow-up with them. They will respect you a lot more than if you just say you don’t know.
You must leave your feelings out of it.
Unless you are a robot, you have emotions. It’s just a part of being human. However, if someone doesn’t want what you are selling, thank them and move on. If someone purchases a product and hates it, apologize, try to correct the situation…and then move on. A potential recruit may not want to join your team, or your upline may have to counsel you on a mistake you made. The way direct selling is set up, you don’t have time to dwell on the negative. Of course, there will be times you are going to cry or get upset about certain situations, but don’t let those instances prevent you from growing your business.
You can’t save everyone.
You found this fantastic opportunity and want to share it with the world. As far as you are concerned, every living person needs what you are selling in their lives. The commissions they’ll make from this life-changing business will help pay their car note or water bill. While this could be true, guess what? Some people just aren’t interested. Maybe they had a horrible experience with direct sales in the past, or perhaps they would rather do something else. Remember that anyone can do direct sales, but it’s not for everyone.
There is no comfort zone.
Almost every person on my team has done Facebook lives on their public page. Everyone except me. I’m not saying I will never do them; it’s something I’m working towards. However, I have spoken about my business in front of a crowd, and I’ve approached men and women about purchasing from me. Those actions are way out of my comfort zone, and I may not have done the best job in the beginning, but each time I venture out, I get sales and repeat customers. You have to push beyond the ordinary to get the results you desire.
You are an ambassador.
When you sign up with a direct sales company, you are a representative of that company and your business–all day, every day. You will always be judged by what you say and do. People are watching the way you carry yourself, so you must be aware of your actions. Representation is everything when you have a business and it can either make or break a sale. You should strive to help give your company a good name. If you no longer feel the need to do so, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from that organization.
Recruiting is awkward, but sharing is easy.
If your goal is to have a team, you’re going to have to get others to join you on your journey. For some, this is the worst part of direct sales or multi-level marketing because you want to build your business, but don’t want to be pushy or annoying. One thing most reps run into when recruiting is that one skeptic who thinks you are trying to lure them into a pyramid scheme (which is illegal, btw). However, if your company has a great compensation plan and amazing products, bringing others aboard will be easier than you think–just share what you love. With some companies, building a team could be a requirement. What I love about my company is that no one is pressured into recruiting.
This business is hard work but, you can have a great time doing it. Direct selling isn’t something that should be forced; after all, you chose the business you are with. If it ever comes to the point where you have more stress than enjoyment, talk to your leaders about it. In the instance that doesn’t help, it may be time to seek out a new company.
All the best, always.