Before you read this post, take a minute and imagine your life in 10 years. What does it look like? Where do you live? Who do you spend time with? What are your earnings?
If you’re the kind of person that imagined a beautiful home, surrounded by great people, buoyed by a really healthy income, then direct sales might be the right career path for you.
What is Direct Sales?
There are lots of different ways that people sell stuff. Some people cold call. Others use referral marketing or networking. While both of these types of selling – and others – can be really effective (it depends on the product and industry), direct selling can be a really powerful channel for growing business…and your personal income.
Direct sales differs from these other methods in that direct sellers go go directly to a consumer with a product. Typically, this interaction happens face-to-face, either at a sales event or door to door – whether in a consumer’s neighborhood or a business’ office park.
Without the right systems and support, it can be a grueling experience and many young and inexperienced representatives burn out.
With the right systems and support, however, it can be an exciting, challenging, and financially lucrative career.
Is Direct Sales Effective?
In the age of Internet marketing, it seems that ‘traditional sales’ methods wouldn’t work.
We’ll be the first to tell you that there’s certainly a lot of power in digital marketing – after all, you are reading this post on a blog.
But, the most successful companies have multi-channel sales and marketing efforts, which keeps them balanced and increases the overall pipeline.
For instance, imagine a hypothetical situation where you have a product to sell. Your pitch to the prospect is that the product is like a phone, but you can do all kinds of things that make your life easier, like check emails, sports scores, and stay in touch with friends in other countries. You’ll also never have to lug a camera around either because this device will enable you to take amazing pictures and instantly send them out to your friends and family. You’ll find that over time your life will become more productive since you don’t have to be sitting at a computer to do a lot of your normal everyday tasks…
Now, imagine you walk up to that same prospect and offer to sell them a Smartphone.
Which prospect is more likely to turn into a customer?
The truth is that sales and marketing go hand-in-hand, but marketing, while broad, lacks the personal touch. An internet marketer – or even a cold caller, for that matter – can’t read a prospect’s body language and make the necessary adjustments to their message that increase the likelihood that that interaction becomes a done deal.
And that is the power of direct selling.
Interaction for interaction, it is one of the most effective methods for closing new business because it is personal. We start with a pitch and a process, but train the sales representative to read the prospect and drive the conversation from ‘stranger at the door’ to ‘excited customer.’
Of course, how well those interactions convert is largely a function of an individual – and their training. Fortunately, at Solcomm, we’ve created a world-class training program for those eager enough to get started.
What Products Sell Best through Direct Sales?
There are clearly some products that can’t easily be sold using a Direct Sales approach. For example, nobody would try to sell a Boeing jet or enterprise software using this channel. The sales cycles are too long, products too complex or customizable, and the purchase requires a significant investment of organizational and financial capital.
For most other products, however, direct sales can be integral to a growth strategy. Especially when that growth is occurring in new markets or with new products.
For example, imagine a telecom company wants to pioneer a new product that they aren’t sure is going to sell well at scale. Maybe it’s a new kind of entertainment package or some upgraded hardware.
Before spending millions of dollars and dozens of resources on organizing a mass-market media campaign, they might be inclined to send some direct sales reps out into the field to gauge interest.
If the test market performs well, the company might double down on marketing efforts AND sales efforts, in order to reach market penetration as quickly as possible.
Very few other sales channels have the same pioneering appeal at such a broad scope.
Competition is Great
One of the great things about direct sales is that it forces you to stay sharp.
Think again about the number and kind of Google Ads or Facebook ads you see on any given day. Tehy call kind of look the same after awhile, right?
Unfortunately, the tendency of mass-market approaches is that they attain a mass-market equilibrium. Everything starts to look the same.
With direct sales, each interaction is different because each person is different. Plus, because most people are hiding behind their computers this day, you have a competitive edge by having the guts to show up at somebody’s home or office.
Nobody else is making that effort.
And nobody else will be able to tailor a product as quickly and efficiently to a customer’s needs as the direct sales rep.
Show Me the Money
Of course, one of the questions we hear often is “how much can I make?”
It’s a good question, but that we often answer with, “how much do you want to make?”
One of the great things about all sales is that your income is driven by you. We can provide you the tools, the training, and the prospects, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to take the action necessary to make it happen. to do the reps.
If you follow a good system – and, for the record, we think ours is good – the sky really is the limit. It’s not unrealistic that a good sales rep can be earning 6 figures inside of 3 years and managing a sales team in just as much time…even if they start with absolutely no sales experience.
And that’s what makes direct sales an awesome career for the those people who, when they imagine themselves in 10 years, can’t imagine a life without success. Is that you?