5 things I wish I knew when I started my Direct Sales business

 
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I've made huge mistakes in my Direct Sales business over the last 7 years.   These mistakes I don't regret as they've contributed to huge personal growth and strength that I can pass on to others and my team.  Sharing these mistakes might help you avoid these mistakes in the future and help make your path easier.  Making mistakes is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about when you begin your journey.  Go for the mistakes as it means you'll be on the road to success quicker than if you never tried.  

1) This will be hard:  You may see others moving at insane speeds in this business or earning trips and titles and you'll start comparing your progress to others.  You'll hear the word no a lot.  You may have to deal with mean girl behaviour with other consultants.  Your family likely may not support you.  You wont have funds to progress your business.  You might not like a policy or procedure that your business uses.  You may not have a sponsor that supports you and you have to go at this business alone.  This business has a high turnover rate because people think that its easy money and that their friends and family will sustain them which is far from the truth.   This may be one of the hardest things you've ever done and you will have to decide consistently whether you continue.  Its crucial to work on Personal development daily with this business as it will build your resilience and help you weather the storms which will be many.  Decide that quitting isn't an option from the beginning.  Understand that this will be uncomfortable and push you in ways you may not like but embrace it.  Mindset is everything.  Have a positive attitude, look for the good as whatever you focus on increases.  If you are struggling to see the good in your business, give it space and then fill your days with podcasts, good books, Oprah, exercise, gratitude journals, etc.   Success with this is so much about overcoming your head and your icky thoughts that you'll have along the way.  

2) Dont go into debt:  I was not in a great financial position when I became a consultant (which is why I joined) and why many people join.  Yes you'll have expenses with this business but you need to be mindful of these expenses.  I spent more than I should have because I was so desperate for my business to work and often felt obliged and pressured to attend conventions and buy branded items from the family store.  Yes do these things but only when you can do it and it not affect your household negatively.  Dont do large shows alone---find other consultants to share the burden with you.  I still have product 7 years later that I havent been able to get rid of (almost there though) from shows I did and lost thousands on.   I had earned incentive trips and was struggling to even afford to pay for the things that werent covered (like getting to the airport) and didnt have clothes to wear so I'd put things on credit cards so I could feel like I could participate.    After eventually getting a credit card debt of over 20K (not all of this was due to my business ) I had to make the executive decision to never go into debt again for my business.  I have had to miss out on a lot of events and opportunities to connect because of this.  In less than 3 years we've paid off all but 1.5k in debt which has been an overwhelming task but I dont want you to have the stress I've had.  Do not buy product to keep yourself active in your business.  If you need something only buy things that you will consume and use anyway (like bars) but this has been a problem I've seen within my own team and other consultants too.  You should be selling to others not filling a garage up with product.  This business should be progressing you and your family financially positively not negatively.  

3)  Be Consistent and Patient:  This business will not happen overnight.  You do not need to do Scentsy full time but whatever you decide your goal is with Scentsy for income per month the effort needs to be consistent every single day.  Whatever efforts you put forward need to remain consistent.  Dont get discouraged if you aren't making six figures in 18 months.  Treat this like a proper business and give it the same daily respect you would if you had bought a McDonalds franchise or started a multi-million pound business.  Posting for one hour once a week on your private Facebook page will likely not yield much for you.  Whatever you put into this will come back to you.  Dont assume that because you dont immediately hear or get any response back that you are failing at this.   Sometimes you are just planting seeds in your business and they take time to grow.  Consistency and Patience with this business haven't been easy especially as you are surrounded by news of people who might be moving faster than you.  

4)  Find your own way to work your biz:  You dont have to be put into the box of parties if your biz pushes party plan.  I'd give them a go at least because you never know whether or not you'll be good at it if you dont try...but dont feel like you have to do something or be something you arent.  There will be a lot of information thrown at you, training, catalogues, stories when you join your business and it will be up to you to take what you are given and find your own voice with this.  You might find a different way to sell or bring the products to the public that other consultants havent thought of before.   Dont be afraid to be different and trust that with consistency and resilience and positivity that you can indeed succeed in your own way. 

5)  Have Fun + Remember this isnt about you:  I've been so obsessed with trying to move up the ranks or make money in past that I've forgotten what this is about.  Serving others.  The more you serve and focus on making customers lives better and help your team the more that the money will take care of itself.  Money is a natural byproduct of serving.  Want to succeed?  Out serve, out give your fellow consultants.  Stop consistently trying to push sales and focus on making someone else's day better.  Find ways to share your story as we all have different stories to inspire others.  Whether it was a difficult pregnancy, chronic pain, addictions---dont be afraid to share these as you are building your businesses.  You will inspire others and may even help them to not feel so alone.  Finally Relax and let go!! This is supposed to be fun!  Find ways to enjoy yourself and laugh about things and to not take yourself so seriously.  It will help make the journey so much easier that's for certain.  

 

 

7 Tips for Choosing a Direct Sales Company

 
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This is a follow up to the article I wrote 'How to Choose a Work from Home Job'.

Direct Sales is no longer door to door and something your grandma would do with her Tupperware and Avon parties---direct sales is a great opportunity for you to do to earn a side income or even replacing your full time job.  You can also earn free holidays and other perks just for getting involved with the right company!

Here are 10 tips for choosing the right Direct Sales Company:

1-Products and Passion:  You have to treat your new business like a proper job so if you do not like what you are doing or the products you will hate every minute and lose the motivation to continue.  The Products---are the consumable?  Consumable means that people will need to come back to you regularly for refills.  Things like pots and pans or lingerie?  Although they may buy initially once one buys these items how often would they be needing refills?  You want people to be coming back to you, because it will help your sales and your ability to improve your own life and easier to build long term relationships with customers!

2-Research:  I mentioned in my previous about the Direct Sales Association Global list of 100.  Check companies in the top 30 as they are generally doing the best globally and less likely to fold financially.  Once you find a company check this list for the previous 5-10 years to see how its moved up and down.  Research potential sponsors.  One of the most common mistakes new consultants make is either joining someone in the very top or joining their friends.  This can lead to disappointment for sure as you are the one in charge of your biz not your sponsor!  Often times high title consultants may not have personal one on one time to give you because the size of their teams.  I'd pick someone you find inspiring because it will help with motivation when you are struggling.  If you think you know how you want to market the products find someone who seems to be doing well in this arena like events, online, fundraising, etc.  But again in so many ways sponsors dont matter as you are in charge of your success not them!   Google the company before you join also---type in Your company + Reviews to see what people are saying about the product.  Click on the News tab in Google to see the press releases.  Online history you will be able to get a very good feel for whether a company is legit or not. 

3- Costs:  Many companies require a kit to join but you will also have other costs like a personal website, biz supplies, etc.  Be sure to ask about how much minimum in sales you will need to make to avoid cancellation.  Ask about monthly costs consultants have and if you have the freedom to look elsewhere besides company store for things like biz cards, etc to save money. 

4- Freedom:  Some companies have very tight reins on their consultants.  You want to be able to build your own personal brand who just happens to sell Scentsy.  Ask to see the companies rule book or policies and procedures and be sure to read it before you join to see how they allow you to market your business.  It is also worthy to note whether there are multiple avenues of selling, promoting your biz.  If a company only allows you to do Parties its setting you up for failure.  This also goes for online as some companies promote heavily on social media and online takes time to build and doesnt always have success right away.    Does the company restrict you to areas or allow you to sell country wide?  Its setting you up for failure if you live in a small town and you are expected to only sell to a 50 mile radius.    Check consultant websites they give you....are they quite modern and up to date?  Do they allow you to create an additional blog or means of promoting yourself on Google ? Important things to consider. 

5- Compensation Plan:  I mentioned this in my previous article too.  If you cannot find the compensation plan online for this company its a bad sign and steer clear.  Look if there's potential to earn money without recruiting a team as well.  

6- Support:  Does your company provide regular training calls, do they have a training centre, are trainings easily found on Youtube?  Do they provide training at events?  Is it ONLY other consultants that give training or do they bring in other professionals?  Are you listened to no matter what your title or current earning status?  Is there avenues of communication when you are struggling or have complaints?  Will you be able to feel valued no matter where you are in your journey in the company? 

7- What will MY commitment be?  I frequently see consultants joining companies without giving it much thought to how they will make it work.  Many think its just easy money and yes I'll sell to my friends and family and post a bit on my Facebook Page and everything will be fine!  The truth of the matter is that this is HARD WORK and most of the time people arent lucky enough to have the support of friends and family and you will be faced with a lot of rejection and no's that can be hard on your spirit!  Are you going to treat this like a legitimate business and put in the work no matter what or are you going to quit after a month?  It wont matter WHAT company you choose if your attitude is not in the right place as well! 

Whatever you decide to do make sure you've given it thought as otherwise you'll be out of the starter kit fee and feeling more frustrated and defeated before you've even begun!  You can succeed with Direct Sales but its really a matter of being very responsible and thinking things through before you join!