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Antonia’s Guide to Direct Selling Part 1

23 July 2012 No Comment

Here is the first part of a two part post giving tips to help you choose a great direct sales opportunity AND make it work for you.

1.       If you want to begin your own direct selling business, you will be able to get started with many companies for somewhere between £25 and £50, especially if you watch out for special offers. You shouldn’t have to invest more than £200 in the first week to get started.

2.       Becoming a rep is a good opportunity if you are looking for work to fit with the family, but enter into it with your eyes open.  The clue to success for any direct selling opportunity is in the word ‘selling’. You need to be prepared to twist arms, turn acquaintances into customers, and make the most of every occasion to sell.

3.       Watch out for scams. Steer clear of anything where it isn’t obvious what you will sell. If you have to send £10 in response to an ad for homeworking opportunities, you may find they just suggest you place a similar ad and ask people to send money to you. Avoid opportunities that promise large rewards for little effort, or only offer contact through a PO box or mobile number. Read the Office of Fair Trading website for more information on scams to avoid.

4.       Becoming a rep requires hard work. Weigh up how much spare time you have, and what part of that you can commit to delivering catalogues and orders, collecting and chasing payment, and promoting and planning parties. Do you want to sell door-to-door, to local groups or at parties? Do you have a car to help your transport large boxes of samples? Some jobs will also require you to deliver customers’ orders. Find out if you will need to store large quantities of stock.

5.       Half of all reps sell for less than two years. Only a small percentage finds long term success. Direct selling is usually commission based, so there’s no regular income, and you have to feel confident about getting people to buy. Model success: look at people who ARE making direct sales work for them and try to understand what makes them different to those who give up.

6.       Make sure you are genuinely interested in and like the products. It is hard to sell something you would not use yourself. And think whether what you sell will interest people in your area. Check if you can buy the same thing in your local shops more cheaply.

Read part 2 for more tips on direct selling.

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