Undoubtedly, the direct sales industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, with revenue running into billions of dollar and sales consultants in millions across the world. The direct sales industry has come of age taking advantage of modern technologies and innovative approach to consumer and sales management.
The magnitude of benefits that the industry offers has further deepened competition and the needs of both organizations and individuals to be judicious in selecting individuals to engage as consultants and at the same times for those interested to enlist with direct selling organization to be careful in choosing the organization to work with.
Because direct selling does not create an employer/employees related organizations such as manufacturing concerns, service industry, lifestyle and the beauty industry and others found it a better option. At the same time, for individuals, direct selling provides them the liberty to work as independent sales consultants without the need for a retailing location and a minimal initial investment. To the end above, it became pertinent that with these enormous benefits some considerations must be put in place when choosing a direct selling company and these will include:
THE REPUTATION OF THOSE BEHIND THE COMPANY
The reputation of an organization is as good as the reputation of its founder and those that manage the organization. This day organization expands search at ensuring that those on their board and management team are people of impeccable reputation. For example, if check the history and background of Charles Ponzi whom the Ponzi scheme was named after you will know that he had always been a con man so doing business with such an individual or organization that he represents is as good as throwing your hard earn money into the sea.
Before you decide on a company to join check online for the promoters of such skills, ask questions, pay an unscheduled visit to their business place and get feedback from those who are already in the scheme.
PRODUCT QUALITY AND BRAND IMAGE
I have had the opportunity to work for a couple of direct sales marketing companies here in Nigeria, and the first question I asked myself is what value will the promoted product or service add to my life beyond the income generating opportunities? If my response is in the affirmative, it then means that such a product or service is saleable or marketable, because if it is valuable to me it is most likely going to benefit others. However, this is not to say that you must personally use the promoted product but it is better and makes the job easier if you have a personal testimonial.
Product quality and brand image are of utmost importance when making choices on the direct sales company to work with more so that your first point of calls are your families and friends and I am sure you wont advise them to buy an inferior product that adds no value to their lives.
Brand image is highly persuasive and easily embraced by the consumers and as such, it is important to choose a company that has a good image and acceptable by the majority of the people. Today, direct selling company are committed to environmental protection and the green revolution so a company that is antagonistic to these ideal may not be accepted by the society.
PRODUCT USES AND ITS CONSUMER BASE
It is not by coincidence that household, lifestyle, consumable, fashion and beauty products etc use the direct selling model but because of their consumer base and the fact that they can be better reached through the direct marketing channel. In choosing company considered the market for the product and how you intend to promote it. Also, in choosing companies to ensure that they have a variety of products instead of being restricted to a single product line. For example, some healthcare companies have in their product line, food supplement, herbal soup, coffee and other organic product thereby expanding the opportunity for their members.
START UP FEE AND CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS
It is important that you go for a company in which you convert your initial start-up capital into product as against those that are demanding that you register with them with product or services. Leading and recognized direct sales company give up their starter pack at a discount thereby encouraging a good return to those joining them. It has been noted that some direct sales company asked for subscription fee without giving up product samples and only accumulate the money to themselves, please note that in most cases such company are more concerned with the amount raked in from such registration than in the real business that they advertised.
In addition, before signing on the dotted line make sure that you read and understands the term and conditions of the relationship, after all, the true essence of direct selling is liberty and freedom to do your business at your own pace and convenience as against be burdened down with some restriction that will tie you down to a particular organization even when you can work with so many others.
It is important to states that people join direct sales businesses for different reasons, some to simply obtain product at a discounted rate, other to sell at a discount while some are particular about the compensation they receive from building a network and make income from their personal sales and that of their networks. The basic consideration is the certainty that the company has a record of timely pay out of compensation. Today, there are softwares that are specifically designed to manage the payment of compensation seamlessly.
EXIT PLAN AND PRODUCT BUY BACK OPTIONS
Lastly, in choosing direct sales companies understand the option that is available to you when you decide to exit from such network and if you have bought a product that you intend to return back to the company what is the buyback condition? These are relevant questions that you must pay attention to ensure you that you look out for such clauses in the agreement paper.
The direct sales organizations have recorded giant strides for many years now; today it is well regulated to protect stakeholders and the investing public and the consumers in particular. It now a highly diverse industry with millions of dollars in revenue and giving millions of people the opportunity to start their home-based business.
These massive opportunities offer by direct sales can be capitalized on by Government and individuals alike to live the better life. The government has the responsibility of providing an enabling environment for direct sales companies and manufacturing concerns to thrive, by putting in place regulations aimed at ensuring that the investing public is not defrauded by fraudsters disguising as genuine direct sales company.
It is equally important to states in conclusion, that direct selling or multi-level marketing system is not a get-rich-quick business as erroneously held by some people, it is a serious business like any other business, hence, you are required diligence, persistence, committed and careful. Some specific checklist has been given to help in making choices about the system to join and I believe it will help if given careful considerations too.
Lastly, to succeed in network marketing in addition to other business, sales, and marketing skills that you have please pay attention to the organization marketing and sales strategy, it is their business and they know the strategy that best work for them.
To succeed, however, take note of the following
• Be ready to learn the business strategy, combined with other tools that you need to succeed
• Practice what they teach
• Following the good and unselfish advice of your upline
• Be committed to customer service
• Dont quit or stop your regular job until you are firmly rooted in the business
• Dont be pressured to invest beyond your immediate capacity until you are fully convinced about the potential offer by the organization â€“ Please note that what works for someone else might not work for you- be yourself
• Support your downlines to succeed, because their success is your success
• Work as a team no silos
• Pay attention to your business, it is your investment
• Be patient, be patient and be patient, after all, Roman was not built in a day
ABOUT THE WRITER
Kayode is an International Certified Professional Trainer who sits on the faculties of international recognized institutes such as the American Certification Institute (ACI), Institute for Healthcare Finance and Management (IHFM) and The International Purchasing and Supply Chain Management Institute, Lewes, Delaware USA (IPSCMI).
Kayode has consulted for leading organizations such as Samsung Electronics West Africa, West Africa Tobacco Company Limited, FMCG Nigeria Limited, LOreal West Africa Limited and so much more.
He can be contacted via
Telephone +2348033356911 or +2347088172236
Choosing a Direct Sales Company Direct Sales Aid, www.directsalesaid.com
Direct Sellings Strength in the Worlds Billion Dollar Market. Andrea Tortora, September o1, 2015. www.directsellingnews.com
Marketing Management The Millennium Edition, by Philip Kotler
The World Federation of Direct Selling Association (WFDSA)
The Direct Selling Association, Industry Research
The Direct Selling Association of Russia
DIRECT SELLING: MULTILEVEL MARKETING AN UNTAPPED GOLDMINE IN NIGERIA
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