Documented evidence of the history of direct marketing channel may be lacking in Nigeria, however, the advent of modern direct sales companies in Nigeria can be traced to a company called Cross World Venture in the early 90s. This direct sales company was brought to Nigeria by a South African man by name Trevor Bible and operated from the Eleganza Plaza at Apapa Wharf area of Lagos.
This company trained a lot of young Nigerians in the act of direct selling and entrusted merchandise to them which they sold around the Lagos metropolis and in other parts of Nigeria at a commission. Cross World venture offered a whole lot of people the opportunity to make money and cut their teeth in sales. And for my good self, it was this company that gave me the first opportunity to learn the art of marketing and the one-on-one selling method as a merchandiser.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DIRECT MARKETING MODEL
SINGLE LEVEL MARKETING MODEL (SLM)
The single level marketing and selling model recognize direct relationship between the sellers and the parent company from which the sellers buys and sell directly to the others end users without the need for sponsorship or recruitment of down lines. In an SLM system, the seller buys directly from the parent company and in turn sells directly to customers or product end-users usually families and friends.
In single level marketing, sellers are rewarded based on their personal sales activities, what matters here are the sellers personal efforts and abilities to create customers or buyers that they sell to directly. The seller earns income in the form of commission and bonus from both personal purchases and sales made.
Companies such as Mary Kay, Fuller Brush products, and Lia Sophia Jewelry sell their products using the single level marketing system.
The single level marketing models have some advantages that are worth noting:
1. Low cost in up-front Investment. A single level marketing platform is easy to join because it is reasonably affordable and does not require huge investment and once a potential seller meets the companys requirements he or she might only be required to buy the starter pack.
2. Direct Relationship is established between the seller and the parent company. Single level marketing avails the single level seller to directly relates to the parent company with little or no interference from go-betweens
3. Single level sellers receive enormous support from the parent companies in areas of product training, sales strategy and promotions.
4. It allows for flexible time and schedules. It is a home business so it is convenient to undertake.
5. Less risk as minimal startup capital is required and product purchases limited to individuals capacity.
1. Volume of sales may be limited since SLM is based on individuals effort as against group effort
2. Lack of monitoring and control by the parent company on the activity of the single level seller might engender strife and strain relationship
3. Since sales are mostly based on personal testimony and demonstration it may be difficult to win doubters over.
LINKED: HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF DIRECT SELLING
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