Direct sales are booming! Hundreds of millions of dollars in product are sold in Missouri and Kansas every year. But a recent study shows the majority of sellers aren't making any money at all.


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I do believe that a lot of people get into direct sales to make quick easy money. You really can't do that. With any business, you need to have a plan and work at it. I do believe that the DS is much easier than a traditional job, but you have to be disciplined. I have been a pharmacist for 31 years. I have absolutely hit the glass ceiling years ago. Every day I wake up, go to work, work a 10 hour day standing up the majority of the time. At the end of the day I go home and I have no actual rewards other that the good feeling of helping people. There are no promotions, big raises, bonuses, etc. That is the nature of that business. I have been involved with a few DS companies over the past 20 years or so. Most of them I signed up just to get the discounted product. 12 years ago I signed up with my current company, Mary Kay. It has been very rewarding. But, what I see a lot of consultant do is to try it their own way. No matter what DS company you become involved with, you need to listen to the higher powers and work the business the way the company has outlined. With the exception of brand new companies, they usually are tried and true methods. In our company, you book parties, hold facials, recruit, and repeat. Those that actually do the work actually do make money.

If you are looking at a DS company, you need to evaluate a few things:

1--Are they an established company. While you may want to be on the ground floor of a company, it is a little riskier as they haven't always established the business model and may have to make changes down the way. On the other hand, being one of the first reps may get you further up in the company faster.

--Do you actually LOVE the product? If you don't, you really can't sell it effectively. Customers know.

--Is it a consumable product? If it is a one time purchase you will constantly be looking for new customers. If it is consumable, you have repeat customers.

--Look at the commission stats. In Mary Kay, we get a 50% profit on our sales. Most DS average at 27%. Note that even in a 50% profit company, the only way to make a million dollars on sales is to sell over 2 million dollars in products. Money in DS is made on recruiting

--Do you feel comfortable telling people about your company and giving them info? If not, you may have trouble recruiting and therefore making money.

--Remember all companies have a tier system. In traditional businesses there is a boss, the managers, the assistant managers, the full time staff, then the part time staff. To rise to the top you would have to displace a lot of these people. In DS, you create your own tiers and it really is dependent on how you work your business and how hard you work your business. I've met a lot of people who said that "It didn't work for me" when actually as we got talking the story was "I didn't work the business the way the company outlined".

Again, it really isn't for everyone but it is a very effective way to have your own business with a fairly small amount of start up.

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