Monthly Archives: July 2011

I want to quit my job and focus on my direct sales business. Should I?

Free Money Collection in Cash

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

This is a loaded question that I cannot give you an answer on.  Only you can make this decision.  But here are a few things to consider.

Income – How much money do you need to make in your direct sales business each month to live on?   Notice I don’t say to replace that income as that income may not be realistic or it may not all be needed.

Savings – Do you have an emergency fund in case you have a bad month and don’t make the money you need from your direct sales business?  How long can this money get you through if you have a bad couple months with your direct sales business?

Taxes – Can you set aside money and not touch it?  Remember, your direct sales company does not pull money from you to cover income tax, so you will need to pay this to the government when you file taxes.  Of course, ideally you will not owe, but you never know.

Additional Costs – If your employer provides you with any type of benefits you need to consider if you still require these or if you can purchase these elsewhere.  This would include, but is not limited to, items such as health care, pension or a drug plan. While you may not think you require these items, you never know when something will come up and you wish you had them.

The statistics for this are not very supportive though, but who doesn’t like to prove others wrong?

Average Yearly Income for Direct Sales Associates in 2008: $1,974

(Source: Direct Selling Association )

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How do I avoid getting burn out in my direct sales career?

One of the best things you can do in direct sales is to make sure that you are not burning yourself out. To do this, you have to be able to control your calendar and leave yourself some time to relax. If you are always on the go, you will tire yourself out and lose your ambition to continue with your direct sales business.

If need be, cut back on the amount of direct sales parties and events that you are booking. I do not recommend stopping all together as that can hurt your business and when you are ready to get going again, you may have a hard time getting people to book with you.

Another reason to keep a few things on the calendar is to maintain your quota and your overrides.

If you need to take a break for medical reasons, talk to your company and see what kind of provisions they can make for you. I think most direct sales companies tend to be accommodating as they want you to continue with them but it is a case by case basis.

Do you have to be in direct sales more than a few months?

I have never heard any rules against this.  In fact, some people sign up, get their kits, and are never heard from again (these are called “kitnappers”).  You may discover that you enjoy the extra income that you are making from your direct sales business that you do not want to quit when you make your goal which would be great!

I would recommend that you let the person you signed up with know that you are only in direct sales for a short amount of time.  Some sponsors spend a lot of time on team training and getting people to move up the ranks.  While you will still get this training, they may ask if you still want to participate or they may choose not to focus on you as much when it comes to recruiting and other training.

Mostly, be honest.  If your direct sales upline contacts you and asks why you haven’t made sales in 2 months, tell them this was just a temporary thing, you hit your goals, and now you’re moving on.  They will appreciate it.

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Why types of clothing/products should I buy to advertise my business?

There are any numbers of different products for direct sales and places to purchase them.  Ultimately it is up to you based on your budget and comfort factor.

Buttons – Buttons are a great conversation starter.  You can wear them on your t-shirt, on your jacket or attach one to your purse.  There are many different ones you can get with a variety of different things written on them.  “Have a free shopping spree on me!”  “Love to shop? Shop for free!”  “Want to earn some extra money?  Ask me how!”  There are also others that are direct sales company specific.

Shirts – Chances are your direct sales company sells shirts that have the official logo on them for you to buy.  I have a few of these now and I wear them to trade shows and to parties.  You may want to wear them when you are out doing errands, at the kid’s soccer games, or anywhere else you may encounter a lot of people.  You may want to purchase shirts from Vistaprint.com where you can personalize it with your own message instead.

Hats – Summer is coming as I write this, so hats may be a good option to purchase and wear to advertise your direct sales business.  Just as with shirts, your company may have an official version for sale or you may want look at Vistaprint and create your own.

Bag/Tote – Another great option is to purchase a bag to carry with you.  I personally carry a canvas bag  with me when I go to the store.  I can fit my purse in it, my shopping list, and if I was really on the ball, a hostess package and extra business cards.  This is what makes this option great.  Some people prefer bags that have a clear window where you can put a copy of your catalogue to make it an even better showpiece.

Depending on where you are shopping, you may find other wearable items that you want to purchase to advertise your direct sales business.  It is totally up to you and what you think you will ultimately wear.  If you aren’t going to wear it, then it defeats the purpose and is a waste of money.

Sources of wearable advertising:

  • The Booster, Business Enhancements – Buttons
  • Vistaprint – Hats, T-shirts, Bags,
  • Your Company Store – T-shirts, hats, other items (they vary)
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Why do you recommend old catalogue for trade shows?

The simple reason is due to cost.  I find many people at trade shows are simply browsing and are not terribly interested in booking anything at that time, if at all.   While these books did cost you money at one point, they are now sitting in your home collecting dust and essentially have no worth.   Why not re-use them and try to get some value from them?

By giving them out, you are getting them out of your home and into someone’s hand that may not have heard of your direct sales company before.  If you try to direct them to your website, they will likely forget and never make it.  By having a catalogue, they will idly flip through it while watching TV or something else.  If interested, they will contact you to book.  But if they do not, you have not wasted more money on buying books that are going to be trashed.

The one problem with this is that they may decide they want something that you can no longer order.  One way around this is to only give out books from the last season and which you may still be able to g order from.  It is also a good idea to put a expired sticker or draw a line through the front saying this book is expired and some products may not be available any longer.  You can purchase these through The Booster or Business Enhancements

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What to Expect at my First Direct Sales Trade Show?

Talk to others who have done shows already in your area to see what their experience has been like.  They can give you advice as to what you should and should not take as well as ideas on how to attract traffic to your direct sales booth.

Make sure you are comfortable with your product and the benefits of the product.  This does not mean putting down your competition but highlighting the features of yours.  I like to say, “People have told me that they find our product is one of the best in regards to X feature.”  Another thing you could say is, “One of my favourite products is this one because of Y feature.”  Chances are it is something the competition doesn’t have which is why it’s a selling point but you are making it personal.

Paper is important.  People like to get paper from the booths they visit.  Have a stack of old catalogues for them to take home as well as contact information.   I personally have catalogues, business cards and a tri-fold brochure on my table and I invite them to take any or all of them home with them.  Each one has my contact information. This should include information about having a party, signing up with your direct sales company and any other benefits.  Some people will take everything; others might just take a card.

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What should I wear for my direct sales trade show?

suits [uniform and uniformity]

Image by the|G|™ via Flickr

The most important thing is to wear something that you are comfortable in while looking neat and professional while representing your direct sales business.  If this is jeans, sneakers and a logo shirt (I wear dress pants, sneakers and a logo shirt), then there is nothing wrong with that.  If you are more comfortable in a suite, there is nothing wrong with that either.   This also tends to be what I wear when I do parties.

Keep in mind your ideal customers and their ability to relate to you in your direct sales outfit and if they would want to invite you into their home dressed like that.  Many people who sell beauty products, clothing or jewelery tend to dress up a bit more to showcase their product.

No matter what, make sure you look your best.  Brush your hair, make it tidy, pin it up, whatever works.

If you have pets, it may be a good idea to put a lint roller in your bag as pet hair has a tendency to show up when you least want it.

Shoes should look clean and in good shape.  Polish or clean off dress shoes; sneakers should look neat, if they are covered in mud or falling apart, leave them at home.

Even if you do not sell beauty products, if you are wearing nail polish, it should look good, not all chipped.

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I am currently working with one direct sales company but I want to move to another one in the same industry. Is there a procedure for doing this?

Resignation Letter

Image by Graham Ballantyne via Flickr

While there isn’t a written procedure, there are some steps that are considered courtesy in the direct sales industry.  As there are competition rules where you cannot work for two companies in the same industry, you have to resign before you join your new company.

Step 1 – Resign from your original company. Via phone – call customer service and notify your upline.  Via email – customer service and your upline.

Step 2 – Sign up with new company. Provide them a copy of your resignation if they knew you were with another competing company as proof you resigned.

Be aware that you likely cannot take your direct sales contacts with you as per the contract you signed when you first started.  Many people do not worry about this in direct sales.  When I changed companies, I simply emailed my customers and told them I was changing companies and if they still wanted me to contact them, to let me know.  Otherwise, I would not be in touch again.

  • I want to join a direct sales company but I’m not sure I really have time. Any advice? (directsaleshelp.com)
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I left my direct sales company a few months but now I want to sell again. I would prefer to work with a different sponsor. Is this possible?

Every direct sales company has different rules about coming back or being re-instated so it is best to speak to your direct sales company to see what their policy.

General policy:

If it has been less than 6 months since you left your direct sales company, you likely can be re-instated but with the same sponsor.

If it has been more than 6 months, you likely can re-sign with a new sponsor.    If you try and it does not work, you will need to contact the company.

I have heard of people who leave their company specifically to change sponsors.  This means sitting out for 6 months as well as losing any teammates you have unless they want to follow your lead.

  • I want to join a direct sales company but I’m not sure I really have time. Any advice? (directsaleshelp.com)
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I joined my direct sales company but have since lost my motivation. How long should I stick it out?

This is something only you can decide when it comes to your direct sales business but consider a few things:

  • Do you still love the products?
  • Can you make any quotas easily to keep your direct sales business active?
  • How much does it cost you to do nothing? (fixed costs such as a website, monthly fees)
  • Can you see yourself selling again?

If it is not too expensive, you may want to stick it out a bit longer and see if you get your motivation back.  You have already done the hard part – decided to join a direct sales company – and it is not too difficult to get going again if you desire.  At least this gives you some time to decide.

Note:  If you are unmotivated for a medical or personal reason, call your direct sales company and see if they can put you on some sort of leave so you don’t have to worry about quotas or losing status for a few months.

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