Be Successful In Direct Sales, Part 1: Why Direct Sales

This is the first article in an eight-part series.

So you've just made the decision to change your life by jumping into direct sales. This sounds a bit loaded, but the truth is that direct sales can have a major impact in your life as far as finances. Direct sales can either be really good and make your bank account numbers soar to the sky, or it can be really bad and make your numbers take a serious nose dive. By using the tips in these series of articles, you will hopefully be able to make your numbers climb in the right direction.

Why Direct Sales?

To be successful in direct sales, you must have a clear vision of why you want to be a direct seller. It sounds lame, but being a direct seller is not the easiest way to make a fortune. Some people opt to work for a company as a direct seller and others opt to take the entrepreneurial path and be their own boss. Either way, direct sales is difficult for many people and it helps to know exactly what you aim to gain when you enter the field.

Direct sales is very hard work mentally. A person has to be able to block out all of the failures and continue to pursue their goal despite all the rejection. The goal needs to be strong enough to help a person be able to mentally overcome all of the obstacles that a direct selling career has to offer. Money is not a good reason to go into direct sales; money is what everyone wants. It has to be something more personal, something that fuels your inner desires. For example, a single mother who can't work a regular 9 to 5 because she can't afford daycare, but still wants to be able to provide a good life for her children, may opt to start a home-based business that involves direct sales. A person may opt to go into direct sales because they are tired of the glass ceiling at their dead-end job. Some people may simply find that their talents are more suited for direct sales than other careers. There are many reasons that people get involved with direct sales, and in order to be successful with the field, you must know what your reason is and hold on to it throughout the bumpy ride.

Some of the top direct sales companies
Some of the top direct sales companies

Deal With Rejection

Rejection is usually the number one reason that people give up on direct selling. The constant wave of "no's" becomes to much to bear and people simply give up. Rejection is a normal part of sales. Not everyone is going to want what you're selling. In fact, you will get way more rejection than you will sales. Trelitha Bryant, a vice president at Behavioral Sciences Research Press, a Dallas-based firm that focuses on how fear affects selling, calls it your "sales ratio" and estimates that on average it takes about 30 calls to get an appointment with a prospective client" (Porter, Don't take rejection personally. It may simply be that the clients don't have the money at that time, don't need whatever you're selling at that time, or just simply aren't interested at all. Whatever the reason is, learn to expect rejection but don't focus on it. Focus on getting to a "yes."

Know Your Product

So many people try to go out and sell products that they don't know anything about. In order to be successful, you need to know your product. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't sell something because you don't know about it, it means that you have to be willing to put in some research. Learn about the product, how it's made, where and when it was made, uses and functionality, and competing products. If you make the product yourself, then you should already have the answers to all of these questions. Other things that you should know are your target market, any cons of the product, and any current news relating to the product. Research other people who have been successful with selling the product, or similar products. Knowing your product is very important when having a conversation with a potential client. You don't ever want to have to say "I don't know" if your client asks you a question. If you don't know something off of the top of your head, at least have a quick and reliable way to find out the information that you need.

Would you buy something from a salesperson if they don't know how to use it?

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  • Yes, if I knew how to use it
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Be Honest

Being honest about your product is the best way to develop customer retention. You want your clients to trust you, and when they trust you they will be your clients for life. They may even refer their friends and family to you. Being honest doesn't necessarily mean to highlight all of the flaws upfront. It means to answer honestly if they ask a question and don't try to pressure your client into spending money on a product if you know that it will not help them. Even if you lose a sale, they will come to you the next time that they do need something.

Besides your customer, you should be honest with yourself. Be realistic with your expectations. Set goals and work hard to meet them. When you aren't doing what you are supposed to, hold yourself accountable. Don't blame others for your failures. Own up to them, decide to do better in the future, and don't dwell on your mistakes. Be honest, genuine, kind, and professional and watch your success in direct sales skyrocket.

Don't Give Up

Direct sales is a field in which the turnover rate is high, over 50 percent. While this rate includes people who leave direct sales for many different reasons, a large chunk of the rate is due to people who simply give up. Direct sales is hard, except for a few who seem to be naturals at it. When starting out, you have to be willing to really put in a lot of work--sometimes more than a typical 40 hour per week job. It gets easier down the road if you put in the work, so set your goals, don't take rejection personally, be accountable for yourself, and keep selling.

Check out the next article in the series, Be Successful In Direct Sales, Part 2: Initial Contact.


"Direct Sales Industry Statistics". N.d. Web. 27 Sept 2016.

Porter, Jane. "Seven Rules for Coping With Sales Rejection". 13 Dec 2011. Web. 27 Sept 2016.

© 2016 Danielle Clemmons

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