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Rules of Direct Sales Businesses Online

Direct sales companies abound.  Look around and you’re likely to see someone advertising how you can lose weight or make money from home.  The opportunities all sound good, but how do you decide which one to buy into?  Determining the rules of any direct sales company, especially when it comes to selling online, is critical if you would like to make use of the internet to do your business.

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It wasn’t that long ago that direct sales companies only had a website that explained their opportunity and how you could join their team.  That has changed dramatically within the last ten years.  Not all direct sales companies have the same rules when it comes to selling online.  In fact, some may not allow their associates to sell online at all.

Most direct sales transactions are completed person-to-person, face-to-face during a party or demonstration.  Some people don’t want to wait for a party to get what they want, however, and will often turn to the internet.  If the parent company has a website, the prospective customer will likely find what they want.  However, if they want to develop a relationship with the company, they may also choose to find a consultant.

How do you know what a direct sales company’s online sales rules are?  Of course, the easiest way to find out is to ask, but not all companies may be forthcoming with their information.  You may have to ask for additional information by signing up on their website, but be prepared to be approached and encouraged to “sign on the dotted line”.

If at all possible, refrain from joining any direct sales company until you’ve had ample time to thoroughly read over their materials.  Know ahead of time what their compensation plan is, how they help you succeed in a business, and also what online marketing you will be able to do.  What do you do if they won’t give you this information?  Thank them for the opportunity, but tell them you’re not interested and you’d rather not be contacted again.

If the company will allow you to have an internet presence, don’t settle for using just the website that they provide.  You can create a separate website, with your own domain, which will link to the main company page.  Having a personal website gives you much more freedom in meeting your prospects’ needs, as well as those of your team members.

Remember, if you’re looking into a direct sales company, don’t be afraid to ask questions – particularly about their rules for running your business online.  If you don’t get the response you would like, consider a different company.  You want to find one that will support your interests and success as much as their own.

An Online-Only Direct Sales Business – Is It Do-able?

As more and more people are online, and are more comfortable with online shopping, people are looking for ways to run their direct sales business online.   I had someone email me through this page asking if I knew of any direct sales company that could be done entirely online.

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Computers Monitor (Photo credit: yum9me)

The quick and simple answer is no. 

The more complicated answer is below:

Many direct sales companies have made changes to their business mode and how they operate that you are able to offer a website where customers can shop.  Some websites do allow online parties so that if people want to shop who do not live near the host, they can and the host gets credit.  If you do not have that ability, you may have the option to input a party manually and have the product ship directly (probably a bit more in freight costs) to the customer.  This still allows the host to benefit.

Once you have established a customer base, it is possible to continue running your business strictly online.  Personally, I have not done an in home party for well over a year.  All of my customers are repeat customers who shop via email or through my website.   But that said, the majority of them were already customers (not necessarily mine) and then they found me and shopped with me.  Several actually started their email with “I don’t want to have a party but can I still order?”

That said, you can advertise in many places online to get business.  You can setup ads on classified sites, local buy and sell, social media or anywhere else.  If you do a good job, you will get shoppers who will come to your site and buy.  They may start small at first to determine if they like the product or they may contact you to try and get a sample before committing more funds, just in case.

As you build up, you can get more sales through this method and potential change all your business here.  But there will always be those who will not shop online and will want to see the product in person.

Do you disagree?

 

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