Can you make money in direct sales?
I used to get asked this question all the time, but now that direct sales is my career I only hear this question now and then.
The short answer is absolutely, emphatically, 100% yes.
The question that people should be asking is “How do you make money in direct sales?”
Assumptions about starting a direct sales business
The mistake most people make is assuming that because it’s so easy to start a direct sales business in the direct sales or party plan industry, it’s easy to make money too.
And that’s not necessarily true.
Running a successful direct sales business requires commitment and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. And not everybody is prepared to do that.
Why people join a direct sale company
People join a direct sales company to make money for all kinds of reasons. I’ve had team members join to earn extra money to go and backpack around Europe. I have team members who support their family by paying a fair amount of the household bills with their business income.
I also have literally thousands of people in my organization who earn a couple of hundred dollars per month. Their direct sales business is a fun side hustle to be able to afford a few extra luxuries for their family they couldn’t otherwise afford. They are making extra cash and enjoying the process.
Some people join with a very specific goal in mind. For example to be able to replace their old fridge or buy a new car. A few of these team members even stop after reaching their financial target.
And that’s still a success in my book – they’ve reached their goal after all.
But you can’t make ‘real’ money in direct sales, right?
The most irritating thing to me is when people tell me that direct selling is indeed a great side hustle but there’s no way to make any real money with it.
It’s an annoying statement because I quit a full time job in teaching to run my direct sales business. I now make a very significant income for my family from my business. In fact, my income is now 5 times higher than what I was making as a full time primary school teacher!
I will concede that I’m not an average direct seller. Only a few percent make it to this kind of income level, in the same way that not everyone becomes a CEO in the corporate world.
I have dozens and dozens of people in my organization who are able to rely on their business for their full time occupation.
Many of them don’t have a degree, some aren’t even fluent in English, some need to stay home to care for children with special needs. I have a deaf team member and I have disabled team members, I have team members with all kinds of challenges in their life.
But their direct sales business has provided them all with a life-changing opportunity. They are earning significant incomes and making their business and family life work for them.
And that’s what I love about this industry.
We have a bad name….
Unfortunately the direct sales industry has a bit of a reputation problem.
Part of this stems from confusing a party plan or direct sales company with a pyramid scheme. And some of it stems from unethical people who over-sell the opportunity and undersell the amount of work needed.
I’ve seen plenty of people claim that it’s easy to make a 6-figure income overnight. Has it been done? Yes. Is it common? Nope!
When people join with the expectation that they’ll be an overnight success with a massive income with very little work, they’ll be very disappointed with the reality of things.
Sometimes the problem is that newbies don’t get a lot of guidance and make all kinds of mistakes. They end up selling very little, recruiting nobody and their business quickly fizzles out before it even got started properly.
This is part of the reason I started Direct Sales Inspiration: I want everybody to be able to make the most of the opportunities that really do exist out there.
If you’ve just joined a direct sales business and you need a little help, start here:
- 2 Tips for Your Launch
- The 1 Mistake You Don’t Want to Make on Social Media
- 3 Tips to Increase Attendance at Your Direct Sales Parties
I’ve written the kind of book I would have loved someone to give me when I started out —it’s the HOW-TO OF RECRUITING.
This book comes with dozens of free worksheets, checklists, and templates to get you started on your direct sales journey today!