Ways To Be A Successful Direct Seller

Becky I'Anson - Business Mum

The direct selling industry has experienced a boost in recent years as many people have turned to it as a great way to enjoy flexible working and boost their income. With 400,000 people currently involved in direct selling in the UK, it is the largest provider of part-time work, bringing £2 billion to the UK economy.

Direct selling is any form of selling outside of a fixed retail environment. Sellers choose a company (which could be anything from Forever Living to Usborne books) and sell their products to their family, friends and networks. They then get paid a percentage of the value of the sales made.

For many mums direct selling offers the perfect way to balance work and family life. It is incredibly flexible and you can work as many hours, when and where you choose, to fit around your own life and commitments. Starting your own business is simple and cheap – usually around £100 for a starter kit.

The Direct Selling Association (DSA) was established in 1965 and is the recognised trade body for direct selling companies in the UK. With a commitment to supporting its member companies and driving the industry further, The Direct Selling Association provides a wealth of opportunities to build your own business.  For more information and how to get involved visit dsa.org.uk

If you’re thinking about getting starting in direct selling, the DSA has put together its top tips on how to become a successful direct seller.

Persistence
Although you don’t have to be a natural salesperson to be a direct seller, you do have to be a people person. Expect that not everyone will says yes – you will often hear the word ‘no’, but this does not mean failure.  Think of it as another reason to move onto the next ‘yes’. Your persistence will pay off. People are your greatest asset, so always show respect and be ready to offer your help to whoever needs it.

Network
As people are central to your business, building a network of customers is essential. Direct sellers should always on the lookout for potential customers – whether in the playground or in the pub, you could always be in the company of potential clients. You need to use this to your advantage and have a think about all the chances to network. Be aware that each of your contacts has the potential to extend your network, so ensure you uphold your reputation by being professional at all times.

Commitment
When you start direct selling you are effectively running your own business, so it’s very much a case of what you put in you get back out, as well as giving you a level of flexibility that standard 9 – 5 jobs often just can’t offer. By showing commitment to your sales, you will reap the business rewards whilst building your networks and reputation.

Pick a DSA member company
When choosing a direct selling company to be a part of, make sure they are listed as a DSA member company. All our member companies sign our code of conduct, and by choosing a DSA member company, direct sellers and their customers can be safe in the knowledge that they are working with a reliable firm. For more information on our member companies please visit dsa.org.uk

Personal
Your direct selling business is what you make it- so make it personal.  Your working pattern can be just a few hours a week or, for some, a full time occupation. 82% of sellers work part time, but it is entirely up to you. Choose the hours that suit you to make your business complement your lifestyle.

Passion
Whether your passion lies in cosmetics and beauty, or your home and garden, there is a member company suited to you. Passion, like enthusiasm, is infectious and people love to be around someone who displays commitment and belief in what they do.  Your passion will shine through in your selling and will help your business grow.

– Lynda Mills, Director, the Direct Selling Association

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