Many are particularly attracted by the flexibility direct selling brings, enabling them to strike a healthy work/life balance and fit their work around their family life. In addition, the opportunity to meet new people and discuss products that they are truly passionate about are other factors that are enticing people into this thriving industry.
Paula Gorry, UK Business Development Manager, Stampin’ Up! UK – a leading craft company which operates via a network of direct sellers – explores the qualities needed to make the most of this employment option.
Passion for your product
Passion for the product is a key source of motivation for any successful direct seller. The industry is open to a range of products including cosmetics, cleaning products, nutritional products, homewares and paper craft supplies to name a few. Given this range, take time to select the type of product you wish to sell. Enthusiasm for your product will always drive the selling process – making it much more fun to continue expanding the business. The independence that is synonymous with direct selling means you have to be self-motivated and this should follow naturally if you are selling a product you believe in.
The ability to network, network, network!
Direct selling is a business model that emphasises social interaction. Sales are typically conducted face to face with products demonstrated to an individual or a group, so it’s a great way to meet new people. Greeting mums on the school run or hosting a party for friends are both great examples of networking in order to build your customer base. However to go that extra mile, the dynamic direct seller will also utilise digital channels to grow their network and drive sales.
Online platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook will help you to share your product to a wider audience anytime, anywhere. The key is successfully striking a balance between classic face-to-face interaction and digital communication.
Be innovative when engaging your customers
So you’ve picked a product and established a customer network, now you need to think about how you are going to engage your customers and keep them coming back for more. The key here is to think outside the box. So, for example, you may host product parties but what about themed parties, birthday parties or hen parties? Keep up regular communications via an email bulletin. The more innovative you are, the more likely it is that your customers will keep coming back.
Effective time management
Direct selling is flexible and this is a key part of its appeal as a business model. Direct sellers are able to expand their business as much or as little as they want, helping them to balance their work with other commitments such as family life. However it also follows that what you get out of it depends on how much you put in. It is important to strategically manage your use of time and create a routine that works for you. Many direct sellers find that a business plan, with key goals and milestones is an effective way of staying on track.
Be Media Savvy
Develop a media profile; this is another great way of getting your product out there. With any media activity, it is essential to target your messages to the right audience. To do this, deliver content along media channels that are most likely to reach your prospective buyers. This could include actively engaging in popular business or mumpreneur forums with advice or tips, or creating a knowledge-sharing blog about your direct selling business. Meanwhile, interviews with the local press on subjects such as how you have transformed your hobby into a successful business venture are a great way of raising your profile in the local community.