Growing up, my grandma had a long lane…really long. You could see as cars would make their way down the lane and one frequent visitor was the Avon Lady. I remember everyone moaning and groaning at the sight of the Avon Lady’s car…yet she was invited in, offered a glass of sun tea, laughs were had, and items were purchased. As an adult, the contrast between the groaning and the actual experience makes me smile.
As a coach, I continue to bump into direct sales conversations. One client is a Rockstar in her direct sales business and blows me away by her success. I have other clients who are corporate executives and ask me about starting a direct sales business “on the side” for “building a total financial profile.” Their questions surprised me…how would they find time to do this? Could they make money at it if they weren’t focusing on it full-time? I decided I needed to learn more when next I met several entrepreneurs who have direct sales businesses ‘on the side.’ I looked at the products I purchase from direct sales companies and I decided to become a consultant of one to coach better on this subject. I’ve really been surprised and gained new perspectives that I want to share.
Here’s 4 Learnings that I’ve gained in this experiment. Don’t skip #1…or #2!
- An Unofficial Business and Marketing Degree. My business acumen is being used in full force. I’m doing my own marketing, sales creation, incentives, customer appreciations and service, accounting, sample inventory management, data entry, etc. I knew I would need my sales experience but I think I had this false sense that the rest would be handled somehow. The amount of trainings the company offers are excellent. If I didn’t have my business background, I would still have all the tools and support to learn. You really can develop a business sense and an unofficial degree by being associated with the right direct sales company. Most important…I think a direct sales business is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is considering being an entrepreneur. For a small investment, you can really test whether you have what it takes to start your own business.
- You support a friend’s small business. You can purchase make-up from Ulta or Sephora where corporations take the bulk of the profits. You can one-click from Amazon and save yourself a few minutes. OR, you can purchase, in most cases higher quality products, from a neighbor and put money directly into your community’s economy. It takes a bit more thought, but direct sales have kept up with technology and shopping with these companies couldn’t be easier.
- Confidence Building and Team Support. Direct Sales have historically gotten a bad rap because of pyramid models. Despite some of those negative opinions, I have been impressed by how much team support circulates around direct sales consultants. Social media has a way of bringing everyone together and I do NOT think it’s an accident that women are thriving in direct sales companies. Women tend to have natural born skills for building communities. A strong community empowers individuals and increases confidence.
- Fun. I’ve been having fun. Who knew? Finding time to add this to my schedule hasn’t necessarily been easy but bringing women together, learning more about products I already love, and adding the new people into my life has been really fun. And, I had more parties…Yay!
So, what are your thoughts on direct sales? Are you a consultant for a great company, leave a comment with your business page link. Have you had a bad experience with direct sales? Let’s have a conversation…