Direct Selling – Everything you Need to Know About
- What is direct selling?
- What are the benefits of direct selling?
- Types of direct selling?
- Direct selling strategies?
- Challenges of direct selling?
Direct selling is a popular term in home business and in this article, we are going to give you an insight into everything that you need to know about direct selling and how to make a profit from it.
Basically, direct selling is a retail channel which is used by global companies as well as small start-ups to market their product to the customers.
It is different from the usual retail concept in such a way that here products are sold to customers directly in a non-retail manner and sales happen at work, home or other non-retail location.
These kinds of products and services are not usually found in retail stores and distributors or representatives are the only ways to get your hands on these products and services.
Thus, direct selling eliminates the need for middlemen and the products go from the manufacturers to distributors or representatives directly before they reach the consumer.
What are the benefits of Direct Selling?
Now that you have an understanding of what exactly direct selling is, let us discuss a few benefits of the concept.
It offers great benefits to people who are interested in earning an income and building a business of their own – Direct selling offers an alternative to the usual employment opportunities for those of us who wish to earn a passive income or for those people who can’t afford regular employment.
Direct selling opportunities have the potential to develop into a full-fledged successful business for those who pursue it full time.
Start-up costs are lower than usual and low priced sales kit is all that is needed to get started.
It also acts as an alternative to retail stores and is a very cost-effective way for businesses to bring their products into the market – consumers benefit from direct selling because of the services and convenience it provides which is unmatched by the usual retail channel.
An innovative distribution channel for distinctive products that may not be suited for retail due to some factors like cost among others.
Related: Direct selling software
Types of Direct Selling
There are different types of direct selling methods which can be followed based on the type of company and the kinds of products or services you want to sell. Some of them are listed below.
1. Single Level Direct Sales – this is done one-on-one, like, door-to-door or by doing in-person business. Sales can be done by making use of catalogs or can be done online. Income is earned on sales commissions along with possible bonuses.
2. Multilevel Marketing (MLM) – there are different ways in which sales are made in this type of direct selling. This can involve online stores, catalogs, single or party presentations. Income is earned through MLM commission on sales and also from the sales made by other business partners the distributors hire into the company.
Related : Multi Level Marketing Software
3. Hostess or Party Plan – this is usually done as a group which involves the distributor doing a presentation in some specific location. For example, a health product seller may do a sales presentation for fitness experts. Income is usually earned from the recruitment of other distributors or representatives.
Some Strategies for Direct Selling
1. Internet Marketing – Internet provides users with information, entertainment, acts as a medium of communication and facilitates e-commerce. Internet eliminates geographic considerations. Thus, the internet makes direct selling easier, more targeted, more flexible, more responsible and affordable and more profitable than ever before.
2. Face-to-Face Selling – it is quite self-explanatory and one of the most effective ways to make a sale. It involves personally contacting potential and established consumers. Global companies like Amway, Avon and Mary Kay employs this strategy.
3. Telemarketing – This is the process of contacting people on a list to sell some specific services over the phone. Telemarketing is a very popular direct selling strategy and the success of these campaigns depend on the calling list, effective script, contact structure and well-trained people who are rewarded for making the calls the results in sales.
4. Direct-Response Advertising – Here, the potential buyers are contacted through radio, television, magazines or newspapers. The prospect hears about the product from any of these mediums and places an order.
5. Catalogs – This is a type of communication tool and involves featuring a variety of products that target the needs of a specific audience. A lot of business-to-business (B2B0 marketers use this strategy and sends catalogs to prospective customers. Examples of catalogs are Pottery Barn, Speigel and PC Connection.
6. Direct Mail – Here, information about a special offer, product or sales announcement, service reminder or some sort of communication is sent to a person’s physical or electronic address. CDs, audio and video tapes, email, voice mail, and fax are a few methods of direct mail among many others. The advantage of this method is that it can be personalized, is flexible and allows early testing and response measurement.
Direct selling is perfect if you want to start a home business from scratch. Just reach out to prospective consumers who will be interested in the goods or services that you provide through any of the above strategies and directly sell them your service. You can use this method for B2B as well as B2C (business-2-consumer) sales.
Challenges of Direct Selling
Direct sales have been bashed by many, especially its subsidiary – multilevel marketing. The first negative aspect was noticed when Amway was investigated on its marketing methods.
Even though Amway survived, people began suspecting these kinds of marketing strategies and hence, they are looked upon with suspicion.
Also, sometimes, the people involved get carried away and make big promises for earning a lot of easy money. But most of the times, the companies try to keep their distributors honest.
There are many false ideas and beliefs where direct selling is concerned and most of the people frown on this or at least look at this with suspicion. Some people believe that only those at the top can actually make any money which is really not true.
But if you take this seriously, and plan accordingly like you would for a business, then you can definitely earn a passive income from this method. Most of the people don’t consider direct selling as a business because of which they fail in earning a profit.
Direct selling involves selling products or services directly to a customer and is just like any other business, except there are no middlemen. If you run it like a business with a well-planned strategy, you are sure to make considerable profits to supplement your income.