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In continuing with the whole making money theme, today, I am focusing on direct selling. My disclaimer for today is, there may be some affiliate links in this article, in particularly with a company I am a consultant for, however, they did not pay me to write this article. I am doing this on my own as part of this blog. I will also give you the pros and cons of this business, so, if you want to be a part of this type of business, either through the company I represent, or another company (5,000+ strong) you can make this decision yourself.
In case you did not catch my previous article (which I highly recommend you read), I am an Independent Home Consultant for The Longaberger Company or Longaberger for short. I will not go too much into the company itself, but it started in 1973, in a little town, about an 11/2-hour drive from where I currently live in Columbus, Ohio called Dresden, Ohio, by a man named Dave Longaberger. Longaberger makes and sells baskets and pottery, along with other accessories for the baskets and pottery. I got started selling them in 2001 and have seen many changes in the company in terms of the products being sold, and ownership. Dave’s daughter, Tami Longaberger took over the company when he died in 1996, and sold the company in 2013 to JRJR Enterprises (formerly called CVSL), the only thing that stayed constant was the making and selling of baskets. (Pottery actually was added to the line in 1993).
What is Direct Selling?
My take on what direct selling is “the art of marketing and selling of products to the customer in a comfortable environment through parties.” It is a little different from what I said in the previous article, which was, “the art of selling exclusive products to a customer in hopes of developing a life-long relationship (buying of product).” Both are correct, except there are other ways that a person can buy direct. To me, infomercials is another, but, the problem is the marketing form is through television, not an actual person selling to you face to face. If you do not feel comfortable with the product being sold on the television, you change the channel, right?
Direct selling, before the home party movement, was mostly made up of the door to door salesman (think Fuller Brush man or the insurance person making house calls). Today, a person asks you if you want to have a party, you say yes, set a date, invite a few of your closest friends to view the product, have them bring a friend who is interested, and they eat and mingle, while the consultant presents a few of the latest products. The guests make an order, and cha-ching, it is money in the bank.
OK, it easy to do, right?
I did not say that it will be easy to ask for the sale (getting someone to host a party or make a purchase). Sometimes the hardest part about earning commission is hosting a party, but it is. I cannot speak on behalf of all the consultants out there, even from my own company. Everyone has different experiences as a consultant, but if you stick with it, you can even make leadership.
Let me get this off my chest for a moment: I have never made leadership with Longaberger or with the other 2 companies I was briefly a consultant with (4 years with Tastefully Simple; 1 year with Your Inspiration at Home). I had a team that I inherited in the almost 15 years I have been with Longaberger. Personally, I think the person I inherited the team from, cheated, because when I called up my team members, many did not know that they were consultants, they just wanted to buy from her. That is a big no-no, because, you can lose a lot of friends that way, not to mention, problems down the road when you leave the company, and your team gets inherited by your upper manager. Because of this, I am slowly rebuilding a team, and I have had a lot of people who have said they want to sell Longaberger, but end up not making the commitment it takes to be a consultant. So, in this business, it takes time, and commitment, because you are building a business. You are building a team of people who have that same drive to work the business as you do. You start off small, and in time, you will have a viable business.
What this business is not:
While you can make money off this business, it is not a 6-figure business, directly. There are ways to doing it, but I have not been able to do it, so in this article, I will not steer you towards that goal. The way that some people have made 6-figures, has turned me off to not even try to cheat my way into it.
What can I get from this?
If you are seeking for a way to get in front of people, this is the business to do just that, but be aware that not too many people will buy from you at first. You have to learn how to promote your business and promoted it well. This is the only way you can gain customers without depending on your friends and family.
You can, however, ask your friends and family to help support and start your business, but the best way to earn more commission, is to have an open house or tag along with your upper manager to one of her parties. If you have an open house, be sure to ask your upper manager to come to your first open house, that way, she can give you pointers on how to make your parties better. If he or she comes, be sure to take notes, and apply them to your next party.
Most party planning direct selling businesses allow you to at least a 25% or higher commission. You also will get incentives for earning certain levels. You can also earn a percentage of the earnings from the people who are under you. Be sure to check with the company decide to sign up with.
There is much more where that came from.
That is all I have for you today. If you have general questions about joining a direct selling company or have specific questions about joining Longaberger, please comment or ask below. If it’s something that you have to ask personally, you may send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send me a message at my Facebook page, Tricia’s baskets – Longaberger, my Twitter account @Tricia721.
Next week, I will have an article about handmade businesses. Until then, I hope you would at least give this a try if this is something you are looking to do. Remember, there are startup costs when going into a direct selling company, but you will make up your money in no time after a few parties. Also, let me know if you want to see more of this type of article. Be well.