Jan 9, 2009

What's wrong with Direct Selling?

I was first introduced to Direct Sales when it was blooming back I was 11 maybe. Probably that traumatized me because till recently, I always had a bad impression of Direct Sales, an understatement I would add.

Door to door sales, robot talk about what products they can offer, high start-up fund, member-get-member; it became a taboo, and you know you would avoid people who does them, and especially your relatives and friends, let alone strangers. click here to read an article.

Today, so many (direct-selling) companies (old and new) started to change the bad perception everyone has on them. From denying the fact that, "We are not direct-selling companies" while putting down other companies, to a lot other gimmicks which you and I probably know it from the back our heads. If we see one, we will know.

Let's fast forward 9 years.

Last year I turned 20, and was a fresh diploma graduate. I grew up telling myself that the only reason why I'm doing what I'm doing is to avoid employment. Hey, why make someone rich if you can make yourself one, right? So, I began opening up my mind. For starters, I started browsing online for opportunities, and I did manage to meet up with one and I listened...And a few others as well...

Today, after a fair share of listening to these direct selling companies, I was able to see the pattern; how some did differently, the dos and don'ts, the "convincing" factor.

First of all, let me journey you through; from what direct-selling is all about, pros and cons, and what is determines the success of the company, in a casual manner with some personal stories of my own.

pic: credit

textbook definition:

"The direct personal presentation, demonstration, and sale of products and services to consumers, usually in their homes or at their jobs." agree?

My interpretation of direct-selling is that it enables successful duplication (if done the right way), and one of the best way to market your product and make sure it reaches out to the masses- mainly by personal story, and demonstration, and results.

pic: credit
This funny story happened to me just yesterday. Apparently my friend gave my number to soap bar's salesman, and only called me afterwards to ask me if it's okay (out of courtesy), what can I say? I just "Okay, he can call me. I'll listen to what he has to say". So the call came in last night, after an "interesting" tele convo, he sent me this message, because I asked him to send me a website link so I can read about it.

"www.nst.com.my. Then search under (insert soapbar's brand) Very famous de. If ppl dunno they really not consciousness bout the latesrt trend." (sic)

Epic failure, if you ask me. First of all, to give the readers the benefit of doubt, he was probably nervous that he appeared to cocky. When he asked me whether I have heard about it, honestly no, and he told me it's better to check out the review rather than the website. Forget the brokenenglishidon'treallymind but he's got attitude but then again he could be nervous. By the end of our 3:55 convo, I already tuned out half way and I wouldn't want to hear from him again, plus a black mark on the (unheard of and supposedly famous) brand.

Now, no wonder people hide from direct-selling people. And take note, once someone tells you "This is not a direct-selling thing, don't worry", you'd better be, because most likely it is. I rather you tell me the truth rather trying to denying it, I mean, direct-selling is not a crime, and you're definitely doing it ALL wrong!

Rule of thumb: If you are a direct-selling company, admit it!

pic: credit

The determining factors to success for any company esp a direct-selling company is simple as 1-2-3.

Products, System and Brand.

Products. Simple rule is that if your products doesn't work, then don't bother. Nothing less than what it promise to deliver. That's that. Okay, if it works, work on a system and brand. Who's behind it? Research? Scientific support? Stuff that makes you go, "Okay, this can probably work".

System. Now this determines why you should or are able to adapt to it. Team work, the support, the "marketing plan", and bottom line is that "Can it pay you well?" If you work like a dog for a week and your commission is only 100 bucks, then you might as well, get an hourly paid job or office job.

1)Does the system pressure you to push the product to the consumer?

2)Does the system tells you to introduce 10 people you know and make them a member (member-get-member scheme)?

If yes, once again, don't bother working for this company.

Brand. No doubt that this is the bridge that holds the system and the products. What does it stands for? Everyday, we associate ourselves with a brand. Let's see if you can answer the following:

1) I fly with ________ because ________
2) I drink _________ because _________
3) I only buy _________ sport shoes because _________

Of course the fact that the brands that you filled up those blanks can work; most importantly is if you can relate to the brand. There's a difference in a product that is made in China and something that is made in the USA. What's the difference? You know it.

Here's a good article on misperception about direct selling.

Just recently, out of desperation, so to speak, I began opening my mind. I began asking myself, "Hey, is this the kind of life you want right now?'" "What do you want?" "What am I not doing right as what successful people has done it and made it?"

Those are the questions you would want to ask yourself.

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