In the 11th episode of NBC’s Marry Me last week Crista Flannagan humorously portrayed the stereotypically feared direct sales consultant, entrapping Gil and Dennah with a personal testimony and sales pitch that tricks them into purchasing more inventory of her diet-shake to redistribute than they could possibly manage. Although not all direct sales consultants are so frighteningly entrapping as portrayed in this episode, this threat could be extremely real if you do not know the questions to ask upon signing on with a Direct Sales Company.
The idea of at home direct sales give the image of the ideal world of nothing but financial freedom with little or no work. This ideal world seems too good to be true for most of us, making us leery as we start running the opposite direction. For the most part, although you may not be sunbathing at the top of your penthouse while the millions come rolling in, direct sales could offer a decent income to line your pockets and help supplement your family’s income.
Pros of Direct Sales:
- You manage about 90% of your own hours, 10% will sometimes be controlled by your clients’ needs or any company training or events.
- This is incredibly easy to manage as a side job. When I did direct sales I was a full time student and most of the other consultants I worked with were school teachers.
- You get to choose who you work for, instead of the other way around.
- Allows you to expand your rolodex of connections for future networking purposes.
The Questions to Ask Them Up Front Before Signing Up
1. What will the start up cost be, really? Not what it could be with this many up front sales, but the solid worst case scenario number? Many times Direct Sales companies love to tailor their pitch to what you want to hear and focus less on the actual realities.
2. Will the start-up be the only cost to or are you going to have to maintain inventory and continue risking your own finances for this company?
3. Will you have to maintain your own inventory? This could take up not only all your income but also a decent amount of space in your household.
4. Does the company provide training? Are they just going to dump you with a starter kit and book on how to be successful, or are they going to provide you real in depth ongoing training with actual humans and mentors?
5. Is there a minimum you will have to meet each month? What are the penalties if these sales are not met?
6. What is your bottom line take home commission? Not the what your income could be for this many hours of work, or what it would be when you are the overlord of your own direct sells minions. What is the flat take home (percentage) base commission? Are their any conditioners (a minimum earning) to your commission?
***Avoid any company who only provides complex difficult to read charts of your “possible” earnings.***
7. What are the perks? What’s your discount? Are you able to earn free product? Is there a car or a fantastic trip at the end of the sales year? Although you shouldn’t choose solely off the perks, they are fun to think about.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Signing On
1. Who would be interested in the product you are considering selling? Do you know at least 3-5 people who have agreed to each host a party for you so to get your name out there with their connections?
2. Are you personally passionate about the product with the company you chose? It’s hard to sell a product you don’t believe in, and when you have the freedom to choose from such a variety of companies with such a variety of products it is important you choose something that is important to you.
3. What kind of time do you have to commit to this? Are you willing to work some weeknights or weekends to promote your product?
Ironically earlier this week while compiling this information I found on my blog feed this great blog post with tips on how to approach your friends that are in direct sales: https://theivieleague.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/how-to-deal-with-your-direct-sales-friends/
Image from: http://www.archive.org/details/tupperware_3