You may be looking for a new job. A new income. A great way to make money. Direct sales may be just the thing you’re looking for.
We hear this question a lot: “Can I really make good money by working in direct sales?”
The answer, of course, is yes. It’s important, however, to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Direct sales is an awesome way to present a need directly to the consumer. But if you want to be great at it, and if you want to make a decent living there are three things you need to be sure of: you’re selling the right product, you’re selling it at the right price point, and you’re selling it to the right customer base.
Sell The Right Product
If you want to make money in direct sales, you need to sell a compelling product.
What constitutes a compelling product? Well, it’s one of those ‘in the eye of the beholder’ type of things.
See, a compelling product is one that you can appreciate. If you can’t get excited about a product, you’re not going to sell it well.
That doesn’t mean this product has to have changed your life. It does mean you have to have some interest in the product, or the need that the product solves.
If you can’t remember the last time you washed a dish or mopped a floor, you’re not going to be a great salesperson for cleaning products.
If you can’t cook, you’re not going to be an all-time-great sales rep for chef’s knives.
It doesn’t matter what the industry is, you need to be able to show interest in it and represent your product, or service, well.
Pick a product that you can personally get behind. If you can stand behind the product with confidence, it will be much easier to get your prospective clients to do the same.
Sell At The Right Price
All that being said, you can be the most successful direct sales rep ever, sell the most compelling product you’ve ever seen, and still not make any money… if that product is sold at the wrong price point.
Direct sales is powerful, because you’re making a direct connection to the customer. That means your time with those customers as a sales rep is incredibly valuable. And you want to make the most out of that value.
That means selling a product with enough commission to make it worth your while.
Let’s take cleaning products, for example. Let’s say you’re selling a bottle of cleaning detergent. It’s the best detergent you’ve ever seen. You can get behind it. Your presentation is flawless. You start making sales.
You sell a bottle of this miracle detergent for, say, $5.00 a bottle.
If you get a 10% commission on that bottle, that’s 50 cents. How many bottles of that stuff are you going to have to move to clear a decent living?
You may be able to make a consistent living if you can sell on a recurring basis… that is, go back to the same clients over and over and continue to sell them more detergent. But even with a recurring product, you’re going to have to hustle real hard.
If you compare that to a high value product with a decent commission, you’ll see a way better return for the amount of work you put in.
Sell something that you can sell at a premium price. Can they buy your product at Wal-Mart? (If they can, you should probably find a different one.) Or is your product special? Find that special product, at the right price point, and you’ll find yourself a special paycheck.
Sell To The Right Customers
Of course, it doesn’t matter impressive or high-value your product is if you don’t have anyone to sell it to.
A lot of direct sales companies will encourage you to use your personal networks to move product. Sell to your friends and family!
The problem with that? That network can dry up pretty quick. Once it has, where do you go?
Do you have any other way to generate leads? Or do you just hope you can make more friends?
If you’re getting involved with a direct sales firm to sell their product line, you’ll want to make sure of two things. First, that that the product they offer appeals to a wide range of people. And second, there’s a way to continually generate new leads.
Sometimes, the company will provide leads for you. That’s an awesome way to support a direct sales team. But, at the very least, they should offer you the right tools for you to discover new leads on your own.
Maybe it’s a territory for you to explore door-to-door. Maybe it’s through referrals, (which can be encouraged by the company or the sales rep in question.) Or maybe you generate new leads yourself using tools like databases.
Regardless, make sure that there is a market for your product, you have a way to access that market, and you have the tools in your toolbox to ensure that your sales pipeline never runs dry.
At Solcomm, we are direct sales leaders in the Telecom industry. We strive to build up sales leaders and reps that can thrive by selling a great product to their community. If you want to further your career, or open your own direct sales firm, we’d love to talk to you.