Picking a Direct Sales Company: How To Find Your Best Fit
I am embarking on my third direct sales company in 18 years. That doesn't make me indecisive, it is called growth. What I have learned about direct sales over the course of nearly two decades, I could probably write a book. But if you are new to owning your own business, or you are at a turning point, what is the best way to approach it? How do you find the best company that will fit your passions and needs? Since I just joined my newest company, I thought I would give a few tips for choosing who is right for you.
Approach it Like Dating
Just as you would never (consciously) head into a marriage without at least getting to know the other person first, neither should you make a rash decision with your business. If you are truly trying to make this a business, you want to approach it with lots of questions.
- Passion: What is the mission of the company?
- People: Who is in charge? How do you move up in the company?
- Policies and Procedures: What are the rules?
- Product: What do they make? Is it easy to use? Will you use it regularly?
- Payoff: How much will you get paid? What is the compensation plan?
- Personal Vision: How do the company's mission, product, policies, etc align with your own vision for the future?
A mission statement defines a company's direction. As you start to research different companies, take a look at their vision and mission statements. Is their direction something you can be passionate about? Joining with a company who is not aligned with your own direction is a sure-fire way to kill your business before you even get started. One reason I joined my current company was that I was looking for one that would align with my own mission to reduce chemicals in my environment. As I have discovered my own detoxification through food, I have naturally started to be more consciensious about other areas of my house that might have toxins in them. Finding a company that allows for me to be true to my own mission, allows me to be passionate about their products.
Look closelyat the founders, CEO's, and other leaders at the top of the food chain. What is their reputation? Having some experience in Direct Sales previously may make them a valuable asset to the company. However, if you dig and find that they have hopped through many direct sales companies, you might want to find out why and make sure they are not going to make changes that are so radical that they change the whole mission of the company itself.
Policies and Procedures:
One thing that was important to me in looking at new companies was their P & P and what restrictions there were on blogging. Obviously, as a blogger, that was super important to me as I incorporate that aspect into my marketing strategy. I explicitely asked my sponsor what they allow in terms of blogging and microblogging to make sure I could (at the very least), blog on the direct sales directory, [Sassy Direct]. I was a little disappointed to find that I can't blog here very much, but the restrictions on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter seem a little less strict so at least I have those channels to funnel through.
: Join SassyDirect
Obviously, this is a big question. Years ago, when I took my first adventure into the land of direct sales, I jumped in with both feet to the scrapbooking world. It was something, at the time, that I was passionate about and had seen a friend's scrapbook a couple of years prior to that. It left such an impression on me that even after a couple of years (about 4 I think), I still remembered the name of the company. Unfortunately, due to my horrible inexperience and my lack of money management skills, my business failed within a few months.
A few years ago, when I felt the pull again, I did a little more research, but did not take into consideration the type of product I was using. It was so far from my actual daily life, that the use of the product became a burden. I began to resent that I had to use it and didn't understand why other customers weren't so excited over the product themselves. It was not an easy sale.
This time, I chose a product that is more in line to what I actually do in the course of a regular day. It will not be hard to incorporate the use it into my daily life. (The difficulty is in getting my OCD husband to use the product the way they were intended. LOL) This product is also in direct alignment with my own mission to reduce chemical exposure in my own life and reduce my carbon footprint by not creating a lot of waste in my household.
The compensation plan is definitely something to look at and make sure you are ok with the way you will be paid. Is there a pay out every week? Every two weeks? Do you have to be an active consultant to get the discounted rate on the products? Is there a way to earn incentives for things other than sales? Check into it and ask questions.
One of the main reasons I started searching for a new company earlier this year was that the company that I was currently with was starting to make changes in some of the products that it offered. Part of me was excited to try something new. But at the same time, I started having some health issues and started doing deeper research into ingredients in some of the products I was using. That led me to start making some changes in the products I was buying. While I wasn't exclusively eliminating certain things, I knew I eventually would and so I started to get uncomfortable with selling products that I would not personally recommend myself. Even though I still use (and probably will in the future) some of that company's products, I won't use others and I wanted find a company that was more in tune with my own future vision for growth and change.
Keep this in mind, if you read a product's ingredient list and cringe, or read their policies and start to feel limited by certain constraints, it is probably not going to be a good company with which to build your own business.
If you are in direct sales, comment below. What were some of the things you looked at when you joined your company?
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