The Direct Selling Business Model (How to Make It Work for You)

If you are on any kind of social media, it’s unlikely you can make it through even one day without reading all about how one of your high school acquaintances is making all of their dreams come true thanks to the direct selling company they began working for just a few months prior.

While there is much negativity spread about direct selling companies, in reality, these companies have developed a business model that has worked for decades and will continue to work for anyone driven to sell.

Is Direct Selling Right for you?

The definition of direct selling is: Selling products directly to the consumer in a non-retail environment. Instead, sales occur at home, work, or other non-store location. This system often eliminates several of the middlemen involved in product distribution, such as the regional distribution center and wholesaler.

There are several benefits of a direct selling business model, including:

  • You don’t need a college education or technical training.
  • You don’t need to do it full-time, or every day of the week.
  • It isn’t expensive to get into, if you budget properly.
  • You can work from home, from your car, from the library . . . virtually anywhere

However, there are some aspects of a direct selling business model to take into consideration:

  • You do need to have self-discipline and be able to work towards goals, otherwise you won’t work at all, and zero work equals zero return.
  • You do need to have the money to start your business, but this is usually a small amount.
  • Most importantly, you do need to be able to talk to people.

Understanding the Direct Selling Business Model

Direct selling companies can offer an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5 job, giving you a way to make money, but the ability to make that job work around your own personal schedule. People working for these companies pay a fee to get started, then make a commission on the products that they sell. Some of the most well-known of these companies include Mary Kay, Jamberry, Tupperware, DoTerra, and ASEA, all of which have been around long enough to establish themselves as legitimate companies that offer a product consumers want. Like any successful business, they offer a product that fills a need in the marketplace.

Lower Overhead

Choosing to sign on with a direct selling company means significantly less overhead up front, compared with opening a traditional brick-and-mortar business. To start your own business from the ground up, you’d need to invest in a storefront or domain name, ingredients or items necessary to create your product, marketing and advertising material, and so much more. When you do direct sales, however, the initial fee you pay gets you everything you need to start, including products, marketing materials, and in many cases even a free website.

Less Risk

Having less overhead leaves you with less financial risk. Rather than having to blaze a trail yourself, you can follow the path others have created to find your own success with the company. Instead of having to focus on getting started, you can be off and running, making sales from day one when you choose direct sales.

Access to Consumers

Direct selling is brilliant in that it reaches consumers that wouldn’t normally be reached. Not everyone watches TV commercials nowadays, which means sellers are having to find new ways to reach consumers. In addition, less and less people are shopping in stores, opting instead for making purchases via the internet. That’s where direct selling comes in. Direct sellers have the potential to reach people who wouldn’t normally be reached via word of mouth, the recommendation of a friend, a phone call, or a personal visit.

Strong Personal Relationships

The direct selling model is based on establishing and strengthening relationships with the people closest to you, while giving you the opportunity to network and meet new people. Successful direct sellers are able to use their personal story to connect with friends and potential customers. This allows them to prove not only that the product they are selling works, but that this lifestyle they’ve created is worth becoming a part of and can easily be achieved by anyone looking for the same results and success. Proving this company has changed your life will allow you to help others change theirs.

Compensation

One of the best aspects of the direct selling business model is the compensation plan. Each company compensates their employees differently, so it’s wise to find the company that meets your needs in that regard. Rather than getting paid one flat rate regardless of whether you had a good or bad day, being paid commission on the products you sell prevents you from being limited in the income you are capable of making.

The Money Is Good . . . If You’re Willing to Work

A very important correlation to success in direct sales is the amount of work you put into it. It sounds simple, but it is true. Direct sales isn’t an overnight pathway to fortune and success. If you are not willing to put the work into your business, you won’t be successful. It’s imperative that you actually invest time in your new endeavor, and setting some goals is great way to get started.

Goals, Goals, Goals!

The definition of goal setting is: the process of identifying something that you want to accomplish and establishing measurable goals and timeframes.

The key takeaway is that goal setting is a process. It isn’t something you decide to do and then never physically put into action. You must actually put forth time and effort to achieve your goal. For instance, if you are starting a business, you need to reach out to people. Therefore, you make a goal of how many people you want to talk to that week. . . and then you do it even if you’re short on time, even if you’re shy, even if you have to stop the neighbor you hardly know in the grocery store. Following through is essential in attaining goals. Here are some tips to set attainable goals:

  • Choose goals in achievable stretches–don’t set a goal to talk to 1,000 people. Break it down to a daily or weekly stretch: Talk to fifteen people this week.
  • Make sure your goals are specific. Work in numbers, hours and timeframes. For example, “I want to talk to fifteen people (your number goal) this week (your timeframe goal), so I will set aside three hours (your hour goal) per day to achieve this.”
  • Write down your goals. Having a written goal makes it seem more real. You can even check the goals off once they’ve been achieved.
  • Share your goals. Whether you share with a family member or post your goals online, if other people know what you are trying to achieve, they can help hold you accountable.
  • Reward yourself for goals achieved. This can be as simple as allowing yourself extra time to watch your favorite TV show, or buying a pint of ice cream from the store. When you’ve worked hard to accomplish something, you deserve a reward.

A Plan for Work, a Plan for LifeAn important thing to remember when choosing a career in direct sales is that the opportunities you’re afforded as a result of the direct selling business model will truly change your life. Choose something you are passionate about, whether it is Mary Kay Beauty products or ASEA supplements. Finding not only compensation but also recognition for the work you’re doing will have a positive effect on your life. If selling is a talent you find in your repertoire, direct selling is definitely an avenue to consider to strengthen your selling skills while allowing you to reach your full potential within the career field.