Sure you’ve probably heard about the benefits of a career in direct sales. You get to make your own hours. You never need to worry about being downsized or laid off. You get to determine your income by your choosing your level of effort. You can earn opportunities to travel and other rewards. But what does it really take to be a successful direct seller? Here are some facts to take into account as you consider a direct selling or network marketing career:
You have to work. You will not make money if you don’t sell stuff. The more time you put in, the greater your paycheck will be. Don’t expect to make a million dollars working ten hours a month.
You need to talk to people, both in person and on the phone. Be prepared to be on the phone a lot. You’ll also have meetings and other in-person events. The foundation of this business is networking and talking to people.
You’ll have to work hours when other people are home. This is when you can reach them. This means you may be out several nights a week. Yes, you can probably pick which nights those are. But you’ll still be out of the house. Be prepared for that.
You’ll need to make arrangements for your kids. You won’t be able to get anything done if you are constantly interrupted. So it’s best to make child care arrangements during your work hours.
You need to be pretty organized and self-motivated. Sure, your company can help you with systems they have developed. But, at the end of the day, you’ll need to stick to that filing system, and make yourself get on the phone. No one can do that for you.
You will make more money if you recruit people onto your team. Not because you get paid when they join (that’s illegal.) But because your compensation for coaching and training people you recruit is that you get a percentage of their sales. The more people you recruit, the more they sell, the more you make. It’s that simple.
You can’t do it all on the computer. You have to talk to people.
Direct sales can be an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding career. You will not make a million dollars overnight, and it won’t work to try and put your direct sales business on auto-pilot. But if you are willing to put in the time and do the work, there are many rewards, including income, travel, recognition, lifelong friends, and much, much more. Ask any successful direct seller and they’ll tell you the same.
Your Business Doesn’t Grow in your Spare Time
When you find a great, ethical company that you love, you can find lots of rewards in a direct selling or network marketing career. But, too many of us have been guilty of selling the opportunity as something you can do “in your spare time.” Then we’re surprised when people take us at our word, join, and aren’t successful. Plenty of people love this industry. But don’t kid yourself; it’s work. And it’s not for everyone.
The fact is, it takes intentional, planned action to succeed in direct selling. If you’re simply saying “I’ll plan parties when I have time” or “I’ll recruit someone when the opportunity presents itself” you’ll never hold a party or recruit anyone. You must:
Schedule your work time and stick to it. Block out the times in your calendar for parties and sales appointments, opportunity interviews, phone calls, team meetings, and office work, and then fill those times with business activities. Nothing else goes in there. Just your business.
Hold yourself accountable for filling those dates with the types of activities you’ve designated. If you have three slots per week designated for parties, get on the phone and don’t stop until those slots are filled. It gives you a goal, on paper, that you can work towards. And you’ll know when you’ve achieved your goal: when the slots are full.
If you don’t fill a slot with the type of activity you’ve designated, work anyway. If a time is slotted for parties, get on the phone and get reorders until you have ten orders (the number of orders you would get at a party.) This also says to your family that this is work time, not spare time that they can fill with their activities.
Take advantage of the business education your company provides. It astounds me how many direct sellers have not taken advantage of the training their company provides. Not taking training is like saying “I don’t want to succeed.” In your schedule, plan time to take every training module available to you. You must constantly be learning if you want to grow.
The big question you need to ask yourself is: Are you committed to your business or not? If you are, then go to work just like people with regular 9-5 jobs. It takes more discipline with a home business. But when you commit to your schedule, you’re a lot more likely to succeed.
Jennifer Fong » JENNIFER FONG CONSULTING – Web 2.0 Marketing
Jennifer Fong is a speaker, consultant, and trainer, who teaches direct selling companies and individual direct sellers how to use social media effectively as a business building tool. A former direct sales company CEO, Jennifer built her company from the ground up, and understands what it takes to build, lead, and train a team, as well as the three major principles of any direct sales party plan business: book, sell, and recruit.
Jennifer is available for corporate consulting, convention speaking, and training. For more information, contact her by clicking here.
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