Choosing a Direct Sales Opportunity

Direct sales can be a great way to start a home business, but how do you choose a company? Fortunately, it is not as difficult as it may appear on first glance.

The first thing you want to consider is what would you enjoy selling. It is possible to sell things for solely practical reasons, but it's much more fun and often more profitable to sell something you are enthusiastic about.

Do not join a program just because your best friend joined it and wants you in her downline. If you love the program too, then go for it, but otherwise think things through carefully. You aren't doing your friend a favor if you aren't really interested in the business. You might even waste her time.

Now it's time to consider the details of the program. First let's consider the legal aspects. It's the ugly side of things, and I like to get past it quickly.

Watch out for companies that practice "forced buying," no matter the name they may call it. Forced buying means that you must purchase a certain amount of product in order to receive commissions, and it is illegal. It can lead you to having a huge amount of excess stock in your house and cause you to lose large amounts of money.

Is the focus on recruitment or sales? You will want to read this article from the FTC on multilevel marketing, but the gist of it is that you want to watch out for programs that focus too much on recruitment and too little on sales, or you could be a part of a pyrimid scheme. You can read more from the FTC here.

Watch out for exaggerated claims, either for the product or your income potential. This is a huge red flag. Make sure all claims are substantiated with hard evidence and watch out for shills.

Phew! Done with that part.

Now take a look at the commissions. How much product will you have to sell to earn enough money for your needs? How realistic is it that you will be able to sell this much? This is one of those points you should go over carefully with your upline, and if they don't have the answer, but you really love the product line, see if they can find out. Support from your upline is vital in direct sales, and if you aren't getting it now, you won't later either.

What are the products? Will you be using them too? Once again, if you are excited about the products, they will be much easier to sell.

Is your local market saturated with reps? If the competition is all over the place in your area, you're going to have trouble selling.

Can you sell online? Can you design your own website or are you restricted to the one the company made for you? What does it cost?

Finally, beyond your upline, what sort of support does the company itself offer you? There will at some point be a problem where you will need the company to help you out, either with a customer's order or with your business. Make sure the company is going to be there for you.

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Copyright © 2003-2017 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated

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