From time immemorial individuals had engaged in direct sales such as bartering or when farmers unconsciously cut off middlemen and sold their farms’ produce to the end-users. This mode of trading is as old as human civilization itself. In modern days, direct sales have crisscross national boundaries via mail order, the speedy delivery system of shipment and online sales.
In 2015 direct sales generated $ 184 billion in sales volume while the number of direct sellers came to about 103 million people excluding China. In a Statistics released by the World Federation of Direct Selling Association (WFDSA), the US had an annual sales volume of $ 36.1 billion, China had $ 35.5 billion. It is on record that companies such as Amway generated global sales revenue of $ 9.5 billion, Avon $ 6.2 billion, Mary Kay $3.7 billion in sales globally using direct selling strategy.
The question is why does the whole of African have an insignificant 1% of sales from direct selling except for the not too impressive performance of South Africa in Cosmetics and Personal Care Items?
Not to talk of Nigeria where doubt and lack of will to tap into this global goldmine is still undermining the revenue generating potentials for government, businesses, and individuals. I am particularly interested in routing appetite for direct sales, enhancing economic activities in direct selling/marketing and to help in demystifying the unfounded beliefs that all direct sales companies engage in pyramid scheming or Ponzis. Like every other business endeavor, direct selling has its fundamental rules and principles and certain observable criteria that must be followed to succeed.
I will pay attention to the how of direct selling, look at the various types of direct sales models and how organizations and individuals can make it work for them.
WHAT IS DIRECT SELLING?
This is a sales channel or method of selling, where organizations sell or market their products directly or through representatives to customers thereby eliminating the need for middlemen. In direct sales channel, wholesalers, retailers, and advertisers are not necessarily required. This business typically can be done face-to-face, through demonstration and via the internet; it can be done in a group or party plan and another personal contact format.
According to the definition given by Avon company It is about building relationships with people and offering a high level of service and personal attention
IT MUST HAVE STARTED SOMEWHERE!!
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND DIRECT SALES?
Obviously, direct sale channel must have evolved from an attempt by individuals to satisfy their needs outside subsistence farming which restrict their desires and abilities to meet those desires to personal effort and ability. People were quick to realize that if they must satisfy all their needs then the need to buy from others becomes essential and because they dont have the luxury advertisement and long distance traveling mode they naturally approached neighbors who have needs for what they can produce in exchange for what they need.
Direct sales appear to be the oldest sales channel in history.
In the words of J.M. Emmert, direct sale €¦ began appearing alongside the development of civilizations. As hunter-gatherers settled down to farm and build towns, the first direct sellers began to sell their wares across Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Trade by barter or the exchange of goods for goods in traditional communities without the use of cash or money is largely linked to direct sales where one farmer takes his produce to another who had the need for it in exchange for what he or she needed is a typical example of direct sales.
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